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Japan UnderGround >> MMA history, research


1/28/04 5:21 PM
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lat125
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Edited: 28-Jan-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 162
 
was hoping to get some help from mma.tv intellectuals on all these forums on my senior thesis. if i feel i can find enough information, i'll be exploring what it is about american and japanese cultures, histories, economies, etc. that make mma so popular in japan and relatively underground here in america. anybody got any recommendations on books, videos, articles, websites, whatever describing the history and evolution of mma, ranging from anywhere in the world, not just north america? even better, anyone know of anywhere i could get information on the history of pride, shooto, or japanese mma in general in english? thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide, and if i do get the chance to research it i'll post my paper here when it gets done.
1/29/04 7:12 AM
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MMAFun
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Edited: 29-Jan-04
Member Since: 05/26/2003
Posts: 152
Try doing a search on Pankration the first form of MMA in Ancient Greece. And take it from there, that's all i can give you.
1/29/04 10:19 AM
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hermeneus
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Edited: 29-Jan-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 949
Ther is a History Ground here.
1/29/04 5:26 PM
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lat125
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Edited: 29-Jan-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 167
MMAFun, if anything i'll touch on pankration but not extensively. i'll probably use it to show the sport has historical grounds, though i'm more interested in why it flourishes in Japan and not here. hermeneus, i've also posted this on the History forum, though i've yet to get any responses there. thanks for the responses guys.
1/29/04 7:59 PM
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Opash
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Edited: 29-Jan-04
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 151
For MMA in Japan - Pride, Shooto, Pancrase, UWFI etc. You wanna research the 'Snake pit' gym in Wigan, UK - thats where the roots of most MMA org founders gome from Sayama, Takada, Funaki etc. As for why is MMA more popular in Japan than US. Maybe because almost evry Japanese school has a Karate club or Judo club, or both. So the techniques etc are understood from a young age. Although in my experience most people just lump all MMA together as K1. Like in the US - most people have heard of UFC, but dont watch it. Most people I speak to know of Pride but dont watch it (or dont seek it out, they watch it if they catch it while channel surfing). Even then they still go back to calling it K1 lol.
1/30/04 4:43 AM
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lat125
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Edited: 30-Jan-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 172
Opash, thanks for pointing out the Snake pit, i've never heard of it before. i figured the school system's relatively higher integration of combat type sports in Japan must play a factor and i think it'll be a pretty good portion of my research.
1/31/04 3:21 AM
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hinerin
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Edited: 31-Jan-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 304
Wow it's a big topic. Maybe too big for a thesis... But I suggest you start with doing a research on the history of Inoki's (worked) mixed martial arts matches in the 70's and 80's, and their grudge with Kyokushinkai founded by Mas Oyama. IMO, It is Inoki and Oyama that established the foundation for the popularity of MMA in Japan now. UWF was ultimately born form Inoki, and K-1 from Oyama. I think the tradition and popularity of UWF (worked shoot) style pro wrestling and K-1 grew and matured the current MMA market in Japan. Or you may want to start all the way from the invention of various styles of Jiu jitsu in the Edo era, and the modernization of them by Jigoro Kano (the founder of Judo) after the Meiji Restoration. Or you can start from the postwar rehabilitation period, when Rikidozan's pro wrestling became a national phenomenon, and various sports were restored in Japan... Good luck on your research.
2/2/04 2:55 PM
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lat125
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Edited: 02-Feb-04
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Posts: 177
hinerin, as i'm getting more info i'm starting to feel this may be too big also. i'll have to meet with my professor to narrow my topic. i never knew there was a grudge between Oyama and Inoki, hopefully i'll be able to find info on it in english. i'm counting on the more popular histories of traditional martial arts to provide info on histories of judo/Japanese jiu jitsu. thanks a lot for the info, and the luck, i think i'm gonna need it.
2/3/04 3:16 AM
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Opash
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Edited: 03-Feb-04
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 154
As hinerin mentioned most of MMA/K1 as we know it now can be traced to the early pro wrestlers and Oyama. Almost all of the pro wrestlers can trace their roots to Karl Gotch, a European (German or Polish?) wrestlers who learn most of his catch system in Wigan, England at the Snake pit (which still exists, albiet under a different name). Hence his nickname in Japan 'The God of wrestling'. Anyway, my point was its debatable whether or not MMA is actually more popular in Japan than it is in the US. Of course you would have to define what popular actually is in the context of your research. It is certainly more understood or at least the attitude towards it is different and gets a little more mainstream coverage. Yet it pales into insignifigance when compared to say Baseball for example. Much in the same way UFC can't compete with NFL or NBA. BTW I once attempted academic reasearch on MMA a while back (not quite thesis level). It soon fell onits face - due to lack of credible sources etc. Although, it can be done. There are a few examples posted around the web, I'll see if I can locate them and give you a URL. However, I first question your topic. WHY is MMA more popular in Japan. I would fisrt ask why you presume it IS MMA more popular in Japan - then ask you to prove it. Best of Luck! :)
2/4/04 3:58 AM
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lat125
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Edited: 04-Feb-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 184
Opash, i'm debating your point myself actually. while i'm going on the belief that Japan's coverage, social awareness, and ratings and attendance numbers make for a more 'popular' sport there, i'm not sure how to clearly define 'popular' for my paper. i'm thinking about relying on the ratings and attendance numbers because it's easily quantified, and possibly on the coverage of events on Japan's major networks, though i'm not sure if i'll be able to find info on that. i was also debating the relative popularity of each sport, as you mentioned. as in how mma compares with baseball in Japan, and how it compares with the NFL here, the situations are pretty similar. but i felt that it opened more questions to me, as i then wondered why Japan could cover mma more on television, attract higher attendance numbers, and create fighter-celebrities along with other sports and America doesn't seem to allow for both to be successful? honestly, please feel free to pick apart anything i've mentioned as i'm still developing the topic and would greatly appreciate discussion on it, especially if you've had experience trying to write a paper already. and thanks a lot for the luck, take all i can get.

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