Shooto Focus Hybrid Country of origin Japan Creator Sayama Satoru Famous practitioners Shinya Aoki, Noboru Asahi, Ron Balicki, Takanori Gomi, Joachim Hansen, Hatsu Hioki, Enson Inoue, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Yuki Nakai, Yorinaga Nakamura, Erik Paulson, Hayato Sakurai, Rumina Sato, Caol Uno Parenthood Catch Wrestling, Judo, Jujutsu, Sambo, Kickboxing Olympic sport No
Shooto is a mixed martial arts organization that is governed by the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission. Shooto was originally formed in 1985, as an organization and as a particular fighting system derived from shoot wrestling. Practitioners are referred to as shooters, similarly to practitioners of shootwrestling. Shooto rules have evolved such that their events are now true mixed martial arts competitions.
Shooto was established as a "New Martial arts"(Shin-Kakutōgi) in 1985 by Satoru Sayama (the original Tiger Mask), a Japanese professional wrestler trained in shoot wrestling, who wished to create a sport that revolved around a realistic and effective fighting system. After its establishment New Martial arts was renamed "Shooting" which came from Shoot, a term of professional wrestling meaning "Serious match", but this changed to "Shooto" to avoid confusion with Shooting sports. Compared to the other professional wrestling organizations of the time, such as the New Japan Pro Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Federation (Japan), Shooto was aimed at having no predetermined results. The first amateur event was held in 1986 and the first professional event in 1989.
The Shooto organization hosted the Vale Tudo Japan tournament in the summer of 1994. Previously to this tournament, Shooto did not feature punches to the face in a ground position, but after seeing effective usage of punching by foreign participants, Sayama decided to incorporate these striking techniques into shooto. In April 1996, World Shooto, the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission were formed. This marked the end of Shooto as a single organization, and turned it into a combat sport with governing bodies. Since establishment of ISC, the champions of Shooto are called "World Champion". Vale Tudo Japan events were held annually from 1994 to 1999. In May 2009, it was announced that Vale Tudo Japan would return for the first time in ten years on October 30, 2009.
Shooto was brought to America in the late 1980s by top student of Satoru Sayama, Sensei Yorinaga Nakamura. He began teaching Shooto at the Inosanto Academy in 1991, and is the instructor of Erik Paulson, Ron Balicki, Dan Inosanto, Larry Hartsell, and many others.
There has been an ongoing effort to bring Shooto competition to the United States and Canada that has been spearheaded by Rich Santoro. He was officially named the Director of the International Shooto Commission - SHOOTO Americas division (the North American branch of the Shooto Association) in 2001. He has worked with both U.S. event promoters and state officials to spread the Shooto brand of competition throughout North America. As of 2006 Shooto has taken place in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada, Hawaii, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Promoters of Shooto events in North America have been HOOKnSHOOT, The Ironheart Crown, Midwest Fighting, Tennessee Shooto, RSF Shooto Challenge, TUFF-N-UFF, World Freestyle Fighting, SHOOTO Hawaii and Mannidog Productions.
Previous to 2009, Shooto's rules included a knockdown rule giving knocked down fighters an eight-count to recover as well as allowing strikes to the back of the head. Shooto had argued that the potentential for a knocked out (and thus unconscious) fighter to receive unnecesarry damage while on the ground necessitated the rule, but with Shooto being one of the lone organizations still having the rule, consideration of the potential for injury allowing a knocked down fighter time to recover thus allowing additional blows, and with the original vision of Shooto's founder being a synthesis of striking, throwing and submitting - the rulechange was instituted in mid-2008. The disallowment of strikes to the back of the head was done for similar medical reasons.
Techniques and strategies
The aim in a shooto match is to defeat the opponent by a knockout or a submission, but fights can also end in a referee stoppage or by a judge decision. Legal techniques include general grappling, chokeholds, joint locks, kicks, knee strikes, punches, takedowns and throws. Illegal techniques include biting, elbow strikes, eye-gouging, forearm strikes, hair pulling, headbutting, kicking or kneeing the head of a downed opponent, small joint manipulation, strikes to the groin or throat and since September 1, 2008, strikes to the back of the head.
Shooto fighters are categorized into four Classes.
- Class-D : Amateur (2x2min, Headgear, Special point system)
- Class-C : Amateur (2x3min, Headgear, Special point system)
- Class-C+: Amateur (2x3min)
- Class-B : Pro (2x5min)
- Class-A : Pro (3x5min)
Fighters start out as Class-D or Class-C fighters and enter amateur competitions that Shooto hosts together with the help of local gyms all over Japan. Class-D Shooto does not allow knee strikes to the face or striking on the ground. Class-C Shooto does not allow striking on the ground, but knee strikes to the head are allowed. There are regional championship and once a year the All-Japan amateur championships. Then a fighter can get a Class-B pro license, these fights are 2x5 minute long and use the same rules as Class-A fights. For new pros Shooto each year hold a rookie tournament in each weightclass.
When a fighter has gathered enough wins and experience in Class-B he will get awarded with a Class-A license, as a sign that he's part of the elite professional fighters.
Current Shooto World champions
Men's division Upper weight limit Champion Title Defenses Light Heavyweight 183 lb (83 kg; 13.1 st) Vacant 0 Middleweight 168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st) Vacant 0 Welterweight 154 lb (70 kg; 11.0 st) Kuniyoshi Hironaka 0 Lightweight 143 lb (65 kg; 10.2 st) Vacant 0 Featherweight 132 lb (60 kg; 9.4 st) Koetsu Okazaki 0 Bantamweight 123 lb (56 kg; 8.8 st) Yasuhiro Urushitani 1 Flyweight 115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st) Junji Ikoma 0
Current Shooto Pacific Rim champions
- Featherweight (60 kg / 135 lb): Koetsu Okazaki
- Lightweight (65 kg /143 lb): Vacant
- Welterweight (70 kg / 154 lb): Yoshihiro Koyama
- Middleweight (76 kg / 167 lb): Akihiro Murayama
Shooto Rookie champions
Shooto European Amateur Champions 2008
Division Weight limit Champion Gym Name Country Bantamweight below 56 kg / 123 lb Raby Williams France Haute Tension Featherweight below 60 kg / 132 lb Patrick Lengelo Belgium Chaput Lightweight below 65 kg / 143 lb Jani Ketolainen Finland MMA Imatra Welterweight below 70 kg / 154 lb Loic Korval France Kordaf Middleweight below 76 kg / 167 lb Antti Toiviainen Finland MMA Imatra Light-Heavyweight below 83 kg / 183 lb Sauli Heilimö Finland FFG Cruiserweight below 91 kg / 200 lb Max Djumbo France BOCAO Team Heavyweight below 100 kg / 220 lb Claude Hermann Belgium Shihaishinkai Super-Heavyweight no limit Josef Ali Mohamed Sweden Brasa
Notable shooto fighters
- Takanori Gomi
- Siyar Bahadurzada
- Hatsu Hioki
- Norifumi Yamamoto
- Shinya Aoki
- Rumina Sato
- Yuki Nakai
- Noboru Asahi
- Mamoru Yamaguchi
- George Sotiropoulos
- Grant Campbell
- Kazuhiro Sakamoto
- Erik Paulson
- Ron Balicki
- Naoki Sakurada
- Ryota Matsune
- Akira Kikuchi
- Enson Inoue
- Joe Feldman
- Hayato Sakurai
- Paul Balancio
- Anderson Silva
- Akitoshi Tamura
- Caol Uno
- Alexandre Franca Nogueira
- Jake Shields
- Joachim Hansen
- Vitor Ribeiro
- Tatsuya Kawajiri
- Gilbert Melendez
- Yasuhiro Urushitani
- Mamoru Yamaguchi
- Ryuichi Miki
- Shinichi Kojima
- Yuki Shoujou
- Masaaki Sugawara
- Rambaa Somdet
- Darren Uyenoyama
- Shooto Australia
- Shooto Bulgaria
- Shooto Finland
- Shooto France
- Shooto Holland
- Shooto Italy
- Shooto Japan
- Shooto Sweden
- Shooto Switzerland
- Shooto United States
- Unofficial Worldwide Shooto Results- & Fighterindex Website
- Ironheart Crown, American Shooto event
Professional mixed martial arts organizations United States promotionsCurrent United States promotionsUltimate Fighting Championship • Strikeforce • Bellator Fighting Championships • Xtreme Fighting Championships • King of the Cage • Shark Fights • Titan FC • Tachi Palace Fights • Legacy FC • International Fighting Championships • Rage in the Cage • Ring of Combat • Cage Fury FC • Ohio Xtreme Fighting • WCF • USA-MMA • Extreme Challenge • Supreme Warrior Championship • MMA Big Show • ProEliteDefunct United States promotions Japanese promotionsCurrent Japanese promotionsDefunct Japanese promotions European promotionsCurrent European promotionsDefunct European promotionsBARS • IAFC Canadian promotionsCurrent Canadian promotionsDefunct Canadian promotions United Kingdom promotions:Current United Kingdom promotionsBAMMA • Cage Warriors • Ultimate Challenge MMA • Bushido Challenge • Cage Wars • Olympian MMA Championships • 10th Legion Championship Fighting • White Collar MMADefunct United Kingdom promotions Latin American promotionsCurrent Latin American promotionsJungle Fight • Bitetti Combat • Combate Extremo • Shooto BrazilDefunct Latin American promotionsWVC • IVC • UVF • BVF • Desafio • Mecca World Vale Tudo • Rio Heroes Asian promotionsCurrent Asian promotionsDefunct Asian promotionsSpirit MC • Gimme 5 • Neo Fight Oceanian promotionsCurrent Oceanian promotionsCFC • TUFFA • Shooto Australia • Brace for War • AFC • ICNZ • PXCDefunct Oceanian promotionsImpact FC African promotionsCurrent African promotionsEFC Africa • Fight ForceDefunct African promotionsN/A Sanctioning bodies and networksShooto • WWCN • North American Boxing Council • Association of Boxing Commissions • Japan Mixed Martial Arts Federation • Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation • World Martial Arts Federation of Singapore • WAMMA
- ^ a b c d Breen, Jordan (2008-06-08). "Changes Come to Shooto, Fighters React". Sherdog.com. http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/changes-come-to-shooto-fighters-react-13082. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- ^ a b Breen, Jordan (2009-05-08). "A Blood Called Shooto". Sherdog.com. http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/1/a-blood-called-shooto-17377. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
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