Japan Martial Arts Federation Start! Aiming At All-Japan MMA Championship
The new Japan Martial Arts Federation, which is under the umbrella of the Japan Wrestling Federation, held their inaugural press conference today. Figures such as WVR PR Kokuho, Sumo wrestler Asashoryu, Hidehiko Yoshida, and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai were present.
The president of this new Federation, Tomiaki Fukuda, said that MMA and the like has spread around the world, so Japan must not fall behind. That’s the reason for this new Federation.
As mentioned previously, pro organizations WVR, Shooto, Pancrase, ZST, and 9 internal amateur organizations (Combat Wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, etc.) are participating in this.
The first action that the Federation will take is to send 8 fighters to the 2009 Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi in Vietnam at the end of this month (for Muay Thai, Belt Wrestling, and Kurash). After that is the World Grappling Championship in Florida in December and of course the Martial Arts Games in Beijing in 2010.
Also, this federation, while clearing questions such as weight classes and rules, is aiming at an All-Japan MMA Championship.
I think that this All-Japan Championship will have a limited rule-set if it happens (since All-Japan tournaments usually don’t last more than a day) but with an annual championship it could definitely make MMA look more like a real sport in Japan. Especially with Shooto and Pancrase involved and the Federation saying that they will be strict on drug testing. Of course a weeked of MMA tournaments also sounds like a good watch and future Japanese stars could emerge.