Focus Hybrid
Country of origin Japan 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.

The word shooto is an English transliteration of 修斗 (pronounced shū-to), an ateji derived from the English word "shoot". The word 修斗 can be translated as "learn combat".



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.[1][2] 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.[1][2]

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.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1]

Fighter classes

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) Japan Kuniyoshi Hironaka 0
Lightweight 143 lb (65 kg; 10.2 st) Vacant 0
Featherweight 132 lb (60 kg; 9.4 st) Japan Koetsu Okazaki 0
Bantamweight 123 lb (56 kg; 8.8 st) Japan Yasuhiro Urushitani 1
Flyweight 115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st) Japan Junji Ikoma 0

Current Shooto Pacific Rim champions

Shooto Rookie champions

Shooto European Amateur Champions 2008

Division Weight limit Champion Gym
Name Country
Bantamweight below 56 kg / 123 lb Raby Williams France France Haute Tension
Featherweight below 60 kg / 132 lb Patrick Lengelo Belgium Belgium Chaput
Lightweight below 65 kg / 143 lb Jani Ketolainen Finland Finland MMA Imatra
Welterweight below 70 kg / 154 lb Loic Korval France France Kordaf
Middleweight below 76 kg / 167 lb Antti Toiviainen Finland Finland MMA Imatra
Light-Heavyweight below 83 kg / 183 lb Sauli Heilimö Finland Finland FFG
Cruiserweight below 91 kg / 200 lb Max Djumbo France France BOCAO Team
Heavyweight below 100 kg / 220 lb Claude Hermann Belgium Belgium Shihaishinkai
Super-Heavyweight no limit Josef Ali Mohamed Sweden Sweden Brasa

Notable shooto fighters

External links

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Breen, Jordan (2008-06-08). "Changes Come to Shooto, Fighters React". Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  2. ^ a b Breen, Jordan (2009-05-08). "A Blood Called Shooto". Retrieved 2009-05-13. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shooto — Der Name Shooto (Ateji aus jap. 修斗 shūto für Kämpfen lernen und engl. shoot) ist eigentlich der Eigenname einer Vale tudo Veranstaltungsserie und Organisation, wird aber heute in Japan als ein eigenständiger Mixed Martial Arts Kampfsport… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Shooto — Le terme Shooto est dérivé des mots japonais, Shu et To, qui signifient acquérir et combattre et dont l association traduit l idée que le combat n est pas qu une simple confrontation physique mais également une lutte de chaque instant pour… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Modified Shooto — Shooto is a combat sport 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… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Shooto Champions — The following is a list of Shooto World champions at each weight class. PLEASE NOTE: Title defenses are incomplete and these do NOT include the regional or rookie champions that the Shooto organization recognizes.Title Histories =Bantamweight… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Shooto Pacific Rim champions — In 2005 the Shooto Organization decided to create splinter Shooto organizations around the world, with their own rankings and champions. Along with a European and American Shooto organization, a Pacific Rim organization was created focusing on… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Shooto rookie champions — Beginning in 2002 the Shooto organization decided to have mini tournaments to determine the best of their rookie fighters in each weight class. Many of the champions have gone on to become serious contenders and some even have become world or… …   Wikipedia

  • List of male mixed martial artists — This is a list of notable professional male mixed martial arts fighters in alphabetical order. NOTOC A * David Tank Abbott (Cage Rage, Strikeforce, UFC) * Hiroyuki Abe [cite web|title=Hiroyuki Abe s Mixed Martial Arts Statistics |… …   Wikipedia

  • Список бойцов смешанных единоборств (мужчины) — Это список мужчин профессиональных бойцов смешанных единоборств в алфавитном порядке. Содержание 0–9 А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч …   Википедия

  • Mamoru Yamaguchi — Born May 29, 1977 (1977 05 29) (age 34) Other names The Illest Afro In Asia Nationality Japanese Height 5 ft 4 in (1.6 …   Wikipedia

  • Tatsuya Kawajiri — MMAstatsbox|name=Tatsuya Kawajiri nick=Crusher height=171 cm (5 ft 7 in) [ PRIDE profile] ] weight=72.9 kg (160.7 lb) nationality= flagicon|JPN Japanese birthdate=Birth date and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.