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« | Home | »

The story of Choo Sung-Hoon

By Zach Arnold | January 1, 2008

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South Korean friend and correspondent Yeo Jong-Hoon tells the story about Yoshihiro Akiyama and why Kazuo Misaki’s comments to Akiyama after their MMA bout was over are drawing a lot of heat.

By Yeo Jong-Hoon

I watched K-1 Dynamite! and Yarennoka last night. Both aired in Korea cable TV, network XTM. (Dynamite was delay, Yarennoka was live).

As you know, MMA/K-1 is very popular here in South Korea. We can watch all of the major events (K-1, HEROs, PRIDE, UFC) on cable television. Most of the shows are live, too.

I want to ask for opinions about Choo Sung-Hoon (aka Yoshihiro Akiyama).

Last night, Kazuo Misaki’s comments to Akiyama made Korean fans mad. If Misaki vs. Akiyama II happens in South Korea, it will draw big money and big ratings.

The story of Choo Sung-Hoon…

He’s a fourth-generation ethnic Korean born in Japan. Life is difficult for him because of racism (it’s commonly known that Koreans and Japanese hate each other.) As a Kinki University member in Japan, he won the Japanese judo GP. Choo was a good judoka, so many Japanese people suggested that he become a naturalized citizen. The thought was that if he became Japanese, he would be chosen as a member of the national judo team. Other suggestions were made to Choo, but he rejected them all.

After graduating from school, he jumped to South Korea to become a member of the Korean national judo team. This was his dream and his father’s hope.

However, he couldn’t succeed in South Korea. There was factionalism. In Korea, Yong-In University has a world famous judo team. Judokas from Yong-In University are usually at a disadvantage. Choo’s ability was good enough, but he continually lost decisions. He always finished third in national athlete selection matches. He couldn’t be number one and was relegated as a reserve team member. As a reserve, he won gold at the Mongol Asia judo GP tournament. He was also the MVP.

However, he was still at a disadvantage because of discrimination. Choo became frustated. Yoon Dong-Sik was also another athlete who faced factionalism.

Choo said, “I should change (myself). I can’t do anythere here. By word, nothing changed. If I do judo, I should go to Japan.”

In October of 2001, he finally decided to go back to Japan and became a naturalized citizen to compete as a national athlete in Judo. As a member of the Japanese national team in 2002 in Busan (South Korea), Akiyama won the gold medal in the Asian Games by beating a South Korean judoka. The crowd booed Akiyama and said, “Go back to Japan! JJOK-BA-RI!” Jjokbari is an ethnic slur in Korean referring to Japanese people.

Some yellow media papers used the headline, “Throwed (betrayed) mother country, Choo Sung-Hoon -> Akiyama.”

This may have hurt Choo.

In Japan, the word Cho-sen-jin (racist term about Koreans in Japan) has long been used as discrimination. (The situation is getting better these days). Famous Japanese-Koreans in Japan include Rikidozan, Akira Maeda, and Riki Choshu.

Choo still says, “I am Korean. I am also Japanese. It doesn’t matter to me. I love both countries. I love judo. Judo is the best!” (Pictures here and here.)

“I am not Korean anymore, but in my heart I never forget that I am Korean.”

Choo’s story spread via TV documentaries and internet blogs. People were moved.

A few years later, Akiyama was involved in the grease scandal. It was absolutely his fault and we accepted it. We were also disappointed in him.

However, people think the aftermath was too excessive. It seems like ijime (a media lynching). Many people guess it is because he is Korean-Japanese. We easily see threads saying, “Fuck Akiyama, liar. Grease, grease, go to Korea” on Japanese web sites. Of course, good Japanese people don’t act like this and it may be excessive generalization.

Last night, Kazuo Misaki insulted Choo Sung-Hoon in front of a big crowd and on live television.

“Akiyama, you betrayed so many people and little kids in the ring. I cannot unforgive you. But, after tonight’s match with you, your heart reached me. After tonight, you should fight with a deep apology in mind for people.” Motioning to the crowd, Misaki asked, “Would you support? Judo is the best! Everybody, Japanese is strong!”

Why does Misaki unforgive Choo? Why does Misaki dishonor Choo?

“Judo is the best!” is Choo’s famous catch-phrase. It seems Misaki jeered Choo by using it. He said, “Japanese is strong!” Some people here in South Korea feel that this is disgraceful to zainichi (Korean-Japanese) because Choo is already Japanese.

Choo seems to be very embarrassed.

Korea and Japan has a long history.

Of course, there is a thought that K-1 intended to help Choo’s return to the Japanese scene. People are angry and the internet community in Korea is exploding. They are cursing Misaki. They also think his kick for the KO was illegal (like a soccer kick showed by Kid Yamamoto at Dynamite). In the picture, Choo’s hand is on the ground. Yarennoka rules said that kicks to opponent’s face who is on the ground are banned.

Even long-time Misaki fans are turning.

So, if Choo vs. Misaki II happens in South Korea, it will be an awesome fight. Now, it doesn’t matter if Choo’s problem with racism is true or not.

Topics: HERO's, Japan, K-1, MMA, Media, PRIDE, South Korea, Zach Arnold | 38 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

38 Responses to “The story of Choo Sung-Hoon”

  1. Mike David (Euthyphro) says:

    Wow is this one-sided. Knees on the ground are generally how the rule is enforced, but even that didn’t matter on the Yarennoka card. Yuji Shimada and friends continually disregarded the actual, announced rules for the card and just went by old PRIDE rules. There were soccer kicks flying right in front of them and they did nothing. This wasn’t just against Akiyama, but throughout the card.

    This just sounds like the musings of a sore loser. Sure, Akiyama got a raw deal after Olaygate, but Misaki’s speech was a reflection of his effort to come around and support Akiyama. It was pretty clear to me that he was rallying support for “Choo Sung-Hoon,” whether you saw it that way or not. Back in the Osaka Dome, Akiyama got a hero’s reception (no pun intended) at the end of the fight, whereas he was getting thumbs down all-around during his entrance.

    The effort in the fight, and Misaki’s post-fight speech, not only boosted Misaki’s standing in the eyes of K-1 fans, but it gave them a reason to cheer Akiyama again. I think your article here is off the mark. Being there with the K-1 crowd — many of whom stuck around specifically for the Akiyama/Misaki fight and left once it was over — it was clear to me that Akiyama left New Year’s Eve with more supporters than he had going into the fight with Misaki.

    To clarify, I meant that a “downed opponent” is defined as one with any part of the body below the waist other than the feet touching the ground. So, sitting or knees. But it’s generally considered in shorthand as “if you have a knee on the ground, you’re down.” The three-point stance (two feet and a hand), on the other hand, is not down.

    Either way, the refs were letting soccer kicks fly throughout the “PRIDE 35? event last night.

  2. ftrap says:

    Thank you for the interesting article.

  3. PizzaChef says:

    What Mike said. This is completely one sided. Let me point out a few things.

    1. Akiyama used grease and showed disrespect to a great Japanese legend and hero to mma fans all over the world. And to add to that, he also fought with a loaded glove, and put on the Oil of Olay thing on purpose. He lied to the media saying he used it for dry skin.

    2. That was a perfectly legal KO, and not a soccer kick. Akiyama was UP. Just cause his fingers are touching the goddamn ring mat, doesn’t mean he was down. And that picture you showed was the after affects of the kick. Frames before that kick showed he was up higher. He was collapsing in that picture that you showed.

    3. Another translation of what Misaki said that you left out was: “fight for the fans” and not “fight with deep apologize for the people.”

    Quit trying to make Akiyama look like a sympathy victim here. He pulled off one of the biggest acts of disrespect for the sport. The facts are simple. He got KTFO’d, with a perfectly legal kick, and he got what he deserved. I don’t believe in karma, but what I saw in the Misaki/Akiyama fight was the ultimate act of karma (if it exists). God, Jesus, Allah, and Buddah is happy with what Misaki did. The GODS ARE SATISFIED, QUIT MAKING MISAKI LOOK BAD AND QUIT YOUR FUCKING WHINING.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks for the article.

    I also think it’s reading a bit too much into Misaki’s speech, searching a bit too hard, to find such negative connotations.

    Misaki had to show respect after he very nearly got knocked out. He’d be a fool not to.

    Akiyama screwed up and seems to have served his time and eaten a lot of shit, with a lot of deep bowing and apologising, as is the Japanese way.

    And I think it is disgusting that many Japanese consider a fourth generation person to still not be Japanese. Jeez, I’m English and I don’t know if I go back much further than four generations but I’m as English as fatty bacon popping in the frying pan.

  5. D says:

    Misaki, a judoka who has spent years training under Sanae Kikuta yells “judo rocks” and people get uppity about it? Seriously?

    He’s always been big on the Japanese pride thing too, I can’t remember a post fight interview he had in PRIDE where he didn’t talk/get asked about being Japanese.

    As for the whole soccer kick thing, the rules were new, and weren’t crafted over a period of years with specific legalese defining when exactly a person is downed or not. There’s no letter of the law for them to follow, and way back when, when PRIDE had no knees to the head on the ground, the referees always demonstrated it by getting on their knees. That’s the only precedent that sticks out in my mind.

    As for “long time Misaki fans turning”, are there seriously enough long time Misaki fans in South Korea for this to be noticeable?

  6. Safari_Punch says:

    The bottom line is FEG wins. A rematch in South Korea would draw huge and they reap the rewards.

    Thanks for the take.

  7. Mike David (Euthyphro) says:

    Yup — even more, I think that Misaki win did wonders for his career. I’ve never seen the crowd react to him like that, but beating the biggest heel in Japanese MMA by KO seems to have done wonders for his crowd reaction. Misaki in K-1 could actually build a following.

  8. GameCritics says:

    I thought Misaki’s actions before and after the fight were disgusting, classless and reduced MMA to pro-rasslin’-like antics. Despite what he actually said, Misaki and his Grabaka goons acted like a bunch of thugs and his attempt of redeeming Akiyama was unnecessary and simply playing up racism and fabricating drama that wasn’t authentic. I also thought Takada’s actions were also disgusting when he acted as though Misaki redeemed Japan’s honor (how much does Akiyama need to apologize before he’s forgiven). Misaki, who’s never KOed anyone, got lucky and he acted like he just OWNED Akiyama, who would beat him 9 out of 10 times.

  9. mose says:

    Pizzachef:

    In the unified rules of MMA(lord knows what they were actually using last night, because the refs. sure didn’t know), your statement:

    “just cause his fingers are touching the goddamn ring mat, doesn’t mean he was down.”

    is false. ‘Downed Opponent’ is defined as “…any fighter who has more than just the soles of their feet on the ground.”

    fingers on the ground would be a downed opponent.

  10. Tom says:

    Thanks for the article & comments. I watched that on HDNet and was really confused as to what was going on (this coming from an old puroresu fan)…

  11. ttt says:

    nice article for some background.

    last night when i was looking at Akiyama on wikipedia, there was a mention he also used a slippery gi in is judo matches. do you have any more information about this?

  12. rainrider says:

    > It was pretty clear to me that he(misaki) was rallying support for “Choo Sung-Hoon,” whether you saw it that way or not.

    Did you watch Eddie Sanchez post-fight speech at UFC79? He was very frustrated with the guy he fought. Eddie has longer MMA career and better overall skills but could not finish the guy. During the fight, he looked very mad and hateful. After all, he somehow managed to win and showed respect to his opponent to show some fairness. He added “Viva Mexico” to please latino viewers. Misaki did the exact same thing. Nothing more or less. He’s fighting for the Japanese audience, but he still had to show he cares about the opponent that he beat. That’s all.

    > And I think it is disgusting that many Japanese consider a fourth generation person to still not be Japanese.

    It all depends on what you do and how you live your Japanese life. Akiyama aka Cho made his own decision as a grown-up to return to Korea and become their soldier. After watching his move, shoud Japanese people consider Akiyama a friend or foe? Think about it.

    > Despite what he actually said, Misaki and his Grabaka goons acted like a bunch of thugs

    You’re misunderstood. The only guy in the ring who acted like a thug was Akihiro Gono, everbody else was a nice, well-educated fighting elite.

  13. rainrider says:

    As to whether Misaki’s right roundhouse kick in the end was legal or not, I think it was against the rule.

    They all knew Akiyama tried getting up on his feet at his own risk and nobody appealed to the judge.

  14. [...] If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don’t have Flash installed. The story of Choo Sung-Hoon | FightOpinion.com – Your Global Connection to the Fight Industry. Of note: Last night, Kazuo Misaki insulted Choo Sung-Hoon in front of a big crowd and on live [...]

  15. white ninja says:

    karma will come hunting for misaki and his grabaka friends in the very near future

  16. Vic Mackey says:

    “Unified rules” is not a concept used in Japan. That’s a Dana White concoction for all the States to adopt. Promotions in Japan are allowed to make their own rules.

  17. D. Capitated says:

    “Unified rules” is not a concept used in Japan. That’s a Dana White concoction for all the States to adopt. Promotions in Japan are allowed to make their own rules.

    Which really isn’t good for the internationalization of the sport. Nor were the unified rules a “Dana White” concoction, nor would MMA be anywhere in the US without Nevada, California, and New Jersey having adopted them in the first place.

    But all of these things are irrelevant. PRIDE~! ICHIBAN~!

  18. Paul Carroll says:

    The Takada /Miskai thing had nothing to do with Korea and everything to do with K-1 vs Pride. It was K1 champ vs Pride champ. The 20000 fans (myself included) in the arena who booed Akiyama from his entrance to the time he got in the ring were booing him for greasing himself up against PRIDE legend Sakuraba.

  19. Kyoung Pak says:

    As a Korean this article is horribly fucking biased. I generally thought Misaki was being sincere and this was Akiyama’s reprieve for 2008. The author of this article is racist and ignorant himself, and does not help the situation at all.

  20. PizzaChef says:

    mose: No. Some organizations don’t count that as a down position. Besides it’s Japan. And hate to sound like a PRIDE mark but if this was PRIDE no one would be complaining. LOL :P

  21. ShimmyShimmyYAH says:

    uh… misaki was not the pride MW champ.

  22. YEO Jong-Hoon says:

    First of all, Thanks for reply.

    - I am not racist. I don’t like Japan, because of history, politicion.
    But I also like Japan, too. There are people, culture which I like.
    I also have good japanese friend.

    Anyway, In this article, I wanted to tell ya story of background of Choo Sung-Hoon.
    Explain why does he is hot stuff in both of Korea and Japan is one of this article’s purpose.

    - I didn’t concluse anything. I just explained situation, how people thought.
    So I mentioned at bottom of article, “Now, it doesn’t matter if Choo’s problem with racism is true or not.”

    - I pointed out how rematch could be big match.
    Yesterday, Tanigawa told he wanna see a rematch of Akiyama vs Misaki, Fedor vs Choi Hong-Man at July K-1 Dynamite in Seoul, Korea.

    - About Misaki’s kick: This have been in controversy on many MMA site in Korea, Japan, US like Sherdog, 2ch, Nikkansports,
    Yarennoka official site forum, Isn’t it?

    Some people insisted it was illegal. Other didn’t. It can be change how they thought Yarennoka rule.
    Yarennoka rules said that Standing position fighter kick/stomp to opponent’s face/head who is on the ground
    position are banned.”.

    I heard FEG prescribe ground is that “If any point of body with exception of the sole of the foot is on ground, it is ground position.”.
    Sorry, I can’t sure. However, If this is true, Misaki’s kick is definetly illegal. But if not, it’s ligal.

    http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/battle/fight/news/20080103-OHT1T00042.htm
    Tanigawa said “(Misaki’s kick) I think it was illegal. I checked it on video. If camp of Akiyama thought it was illegal,
    they should protest it.”

    - Why does People think aftermath of grease scandal was too excessive.

    It’s absolutely Akiyama’s fault that using cream. Everybody recognized it.
    So they also understand why people angry about Akiyama.
    (Especially Akiyama’s oppenent is Legendary Saku….)

    But penalty was harsh.

    This was Heros official rule before revision.

    ——————-
    HERO’S RULES
    Article 6
    Prohibition against use of Vaseline and cleat.

    Section 1.
    No substance such as oil, Vaseline, massaging cream, hair products, any kind of cleat to the bottom of shoes, the sole of feet and any part of the body, or anything of these sorts shall be applied before and during a fight.

    Section 2.
    When a fighter is found of using theses substances, it shall be removed immediately and the fighter shall be given a caution from the referee. Also, 10% of the fight fee shall be confiscated by the promoter.
    ———————-

    If follow rule, 6-2 should apply on Akiyama’s case.

    But FEG gave Akiyama No time limit prohibition, Seizing 100% fight fee. This is penalty of 4 time caution.

    People atttacked that Akiyama lie. They said Akiyama used Cream on purpose.
    But few guys doubt on this. If He really used cream on propose,
    Why he put cream on his body in front of TV Camera?(with Smile). Was he idiot?

    Moreover, there was case MMA/K-1 fighter used vaseline.

    It known Phil Baroni put vaseline on his leg in match against Minowa Ikuhisa.

    In Heros, Ray Sefo used vaseline in match against Kim Min-Soo.
    In match, Ref removed it by his arm. That’s all.

    http://flvs.daum.net/flvPlayer.swf?vid=2FikQd72gtI$
    (At 2:43, Kim Min-Soo protest there’s vaseline on ray sefo’s body.)

    Nobody complain about it.

    http://blog.daum.net/ryuwoon/11602678 (Korean Language)

    There was also magazine article “Truth about Choo Sung-Hoon Lotion-gate.”.
    In this article, they tested how Cream-lotion which Akiyama using is slick.
    And Results confront Japanese Gong Magainze’s assertion.
    (Of course, they also mentioned It’s 100% Akiyama’s fault that using cream)

    There was article in Korea that “Akiyama is attacked by racism”.
    This made some Japanese media angry.
    Kamino Puroresu criticized that Korean Media protect Akiyama.
    “Why does korean put nationalizm on sports?”

    But in here, people thought by different way.

    They did excessive attack on Akiyama.

    Some monthes ago, Maeda Akira said Ijime around Akiyama’s situation.

    Kiyohara, a friend of Akiyama, superstar of Baseball team “Orix Bluewave”, was very angry on post-fight comment from Misaki Kazuo at Yarrennoka.
    (http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/battle/fight/news/20080101-OHT1T00046.htm)

    Both are known as zainich(korean-japanese). This is one of reason people think there could be racism.

    visit below site.

    http://www.yarennoka.com/bbs/
    http://www.ibjcafe.com/talk/fight/kaku.htm
    http://ex21.2ch.net/k1/

    You can easily find that anti-korean/anti-zainich post. I know there is idiot keyboard warrior in every place.

    Yes, I know Anti is a minority, Good guy is most.

    Anyway, There are guys mentioned Akiyama is dirty zainich.

    - I know Misaki was trained judo. He talk “Japanese is strong” in past.
    But it could be misunderstand very easily at this time.

    Because Akiyama’s citizenship is Japanese. He is not foreigner foughter who Misaki fought in past.

    http://ex21.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/k1/1199168971/
    496 ??????????????2008/01/02(?) 11:49:08 ID:RDfEX7Ad0
    ????????????????????
    ????????????????????????
    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ??????????????????

    Few Japanese even think it can make korean/japanese’s race feeling bad.

    >> Mike David (Euthyphro) : but it gave them a reason to cheer Akiyama again.

    From Different viewpoint, I admit it could be right opinion.
    So I mentioned “Of course, there is a thought that K-1 intended to help Choo’s return to the Japanese scene”.

    I don’t know why Misaki say like that. Misaki is only guy who know real purpose of his comment.

    >> PizzaChef : I agree with Akiyama used grease and showed disrespect to a great Japanese legend and hero to mma fans all over the world.

    Tt was 100% Akiyama’s fault. I have been Sakuraba fan. I don’t know why Akiyama use grease.

    >> D :
    As for “long time Misaki fans turning”, are there seriously enough long time Misaki fans in South Korea for this to be noticeable?

    There is long time MMA fan in Korea. They watched fight sports before Pride.
    They saw all of Rings, Pancrase, even Puroresu. So There is Long-time Misaki fan.

    >> Safari_Punch :
    The bottom line is FEG wins. A rematch in South Korea would draw huge and they reap the rewards.

    That’s right. This will be hugh. That’s what I want to say. This match remind me of WWF In your house: Canadian Stampede.
    Using Nationalism is easy way to make money.

  23. YEO Jong-Hoon says:

    First of all, Thanks for reply.

    - I am not racist. I don’t like Japan, because of history, politicion.
    But I also like Japan, too. There are people, culture which I like.
    I also have good japanese friend.

    Anyway, In this article, I wanted to tell ya story of background of Choo Sung-Hoon.
    Explain why does he is hot stuff in both of Korea and Japan is one of this article’s purpose.

    - I didn’t concluse anything. I just explained situation, how people thought.
    So I mentioned at bottom of article, “Now, it doesn’t matter if Choo’s problem with racism is true or not.”

    - I pointed out how rematch could be big match.
    Yesterday, Tanigawa told he wanna see a rematch of Akiyama vs Misaki, Fedor vs Choi Hong-Man at July K-1 Dynamite in Seoul, Korea.

    - About Misaki’s kick: This have been in controversy on many MMA site in Korea, Japan, US like Sherdog, 2ch, Nikkansports,
    Yarennoka official site forum, Isn’t it?

    Some people insisted it was illegal. Other didn’t. It can be change how they thought Yarennoka rule.
    Yarennoka rules said that Standing position fighter kick/stomp to opponent’s face/head who is on the ground
    position are banned.”.

    I heard FEG prescribe ground is that “If any point of body with exception of the sole of the foot is on ground, it is ground position.”.
    Sorry, I can’t sure. However, If this is true, Misaki’s kick is definetly illegal. But if not, it’s ligal.

    http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/battle/fight/news/20080103-OHT1T00042.htm
    Tanigawa said “(Misaki’s kick) I think it was illegal. I checked it on video. If camp of Akiyama thought it was illegal,
    they should protest it.”

  24. YEO Jong-Hoon says:

    - Why does People think aftermath of grease scandal was too excessive.

    It’s absolutely Akiyama’s fault that using cream. Everybody recognized it.
    So they also understand why people angry about Akiyama.
    (Especially Akiyama’s oppenent is Legendary Saku….)

    But penalty was harsh.

    This was Heros official rule before revision.

    ——————-
    HERO’S RULES
    Article 6
    Prohibition against use of Vaseline and cleat.

    Section 1.
    No substance such as oil, Vaseline, massaging cream, hair products, any kind of cleat to the bottom of shoes, the sole of feet and any part of the body, or anything of these sorts shall be applied before and during a fight.

    Section 2.
    When a fighter is found of using theses substances, it shall be removed immediately and the fighter shall be given a caution from the referee. Also, 10% of the fight fee shall be confiscated by the promoter.
    ———————-

    If follow rule, 6-2 should apply on Akiyama’s case.

    But FEG gave Akiyama No time limit prohibition, Seizing 100% fight fee. This is penalty of 4 time caution.

    People atttacked that Akiyama lie. They said Akiyama used Cream on purpose.
    But few guys doubt on this. If He really used cream on propose,
    Why he put cream on his body in front of TV Camera?(with Smile). Was he idiot?

    Moreover, there was case MMA/K-1 fighter used vaseline.

    It known Phil Baroni put vaseline on his leg in match against Minowa Ikuhisa.

    In Heros, Ray Sefo used vaseline in match against Kim Min-Soo.
    In match, Ref removed it by his arm. That’s all.

    http://flvs.daum.net/flvPlayer.swf?vid=2FikQd72gtI$
    (At 2:43, Kim Min-Soo protest there’s vaseline on ray sefo’s body.)

    Nobody complain about it.

    http://blog.daum.net/ryuwoon/11602678 (Korean Language)

    There was also magazine article “Truth about Choo Sung-Hoon Lotion-gate.”.
    In this article, they tested how Cream-lotion which Akiyama using is slick.
    And Results confront Japanese Gong Magainze’s assertion.
    (Of course, they also mentioned It’s 100% Akiyama’s fault that using cream)

    There was article in Korea that “Akiyama is attacked by racism”.
    This made some Japanese media angry.
    Kamino Puroresu criticized that Korean Media protect Akiyama.
    “Why does korean put nationalizm on sports?”

    But in here, people thought by different way.

    They did excessive attack on Akiyama.

    Some monthes ago, Maeda Akira said Ijime around Akiyama’s situation.

    Kiyohara, a friend of Akiyama, superstar of Baseball team “Orix Bluewave”, was very angry on post-fight comment from Misaki Kazuo at Yarrennoka.
    (http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/battle/fight/news/20080101-OHT1T00046.htm)

    Both are known as zainich(korean-japanese). This is one of reason people think there could be racism.

    visit below site.

    http://www.yarennoka.com/bbs/
    http://www.ibjcafe.com/talk/fight/kaku.htm
    http://ex21.2ch.net/k1/

    You can easily find that anti-korean/anti-zainich post. I know there is idiot keyboard warrior in every place.

    Yes, I know Anti is a minority, Good guy is most.

    Anyway, There are guys mentioned Akiyama is dirty zainich.

  25. YEO Jong-Hoon says:

    - I know Misaki was trained judo. He talk “Japanese is strong” in past.
    But it could be misunderstand very easily at this time.

    Because Akiyama’s citizenship is Japanese. He is not foreigner foughter who Misaki fought in past.

    http://ex21.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/k1/1199168971/
    496 ??????????????2008/01/02(?) 11:49:08 ID:RDfEX7Ad0
    ????????????????????
    ????????????????????????
    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
    ??????????????????

    Few Japanese even think it can make korean/japanese’s race feeling bad.

    >> Mike David (Euthyphro) : but it gave them a reason to cheer Akiyama again.

    From Different viewpoint, I admit it could be right opinion.
    So I mentioned “Of course, there is a thought that K-1 intended to help Choo’s return to the Japanese scene”.

    I don’t know why Misaki say like that. Misaki is only guy who know real purpose of his comment.

    >> PizzaChef : I agree with Akiyama used grease and showed disrespect to a great Japanese legend and hero to mma fans all over the world.

    Tt was 100% Akiyama’s fault. I have been Sakuraba fan. I don’t know why Akiyama use grease.

    >> D :
    As for “long time Misaki fans turning”, are there seriously enough long time Misaki fans in South Korea for this to be noticeable?

    There is long time MMA fan in Korea. They watched fight sports before Pride.
    They saw all of Rings, Pancrase, even Puroresu. So There is Long-time Misaki fan.

    >> Safari_Punch :
    The bottom line is FEG wins. A rematch in South Korea would draw huge and they reap the rewards.

    That’s right. This will be hugh. That’s what I want to say. This match remind me of WWF In your house: Canadian Stampede.
    Using Nationalism is easy way to make money.

    As results, Tanigawa maybe happy now.

    He told he would want holding K-1 Dynamite in Seoul at Seoul Olympic Stadium(capacity of approximately 100,000).

    He get 2 Super Hot Card.

    Choo Sung-Hoon vs. Misaki Kazuo. (I saw so many people angry in every internet forum include non-fighting sports like Rock music, Comics, Game…)

    Choi Hong-Man(Choi=Rating) vs. Fedor. (Fedor is most popular foreign fighter in Korea. Bombastically, In Here, He is famous than George Bush)

    Here’s rating for Yarennoka & Dynamite. (XTM. Cable Television)

    K-1 Dynamite 2007 : Overal 6.28% (share 24.79%)

    Yarennoka : Overral 5.06% (share 22.20%)

    - Choi Hong-Man vs. Fedor : 13.02% (13.51% at peak. Share: 47.34%)
    - Choo Sung-Hoon vs. Misaki Kazuo : 7.48%

    This rating was No.1 Cable TV rating of the day.
    Hong-Man vs. Fedor beat 3 big TV network’s program rating(12/31 PM 10:30~11:00).

  26. JThue says:

    For cryin out loud, Akiyama’s right hand lifts off the ground RIGHT BEFORE THE KICK HITS, and it does so because he reacts and tries to cover up. Unfortunately for him, his reflexes made this a perfectly legal kick. Just watch the friggin video in slo-mo for cryin’ out loud. I was stupid enough to actually listen to Trigg the first time and went several hours feeling disgusted over the finish before actually reviewing the tape. Akiyama was NOT down when it landed, and the kick would have been as legal in the UFC as under old PRIDE rules, although I’m sure there would have been a better chance of some referee overreacting and making the wrong call.

  27. jayzee says:

    JThue,
    Sorry to burst your bubble but check this link:
    http://www.sherdog.net/forums/showthread.php?t=704883&page=4
    The video might not have the fps needed or frame-to-frame capability. or you are an idiot. MISAKI ILLEGAL KICK.

  28. MoreThanUFC says:

    Unified rules = created in NJ, modified and adopted by Nevada, then kidnapped by Al Gore, er, Armando Garcia ( We wrote the Unified Rules, but NJ is trying to claim credit!! )

  29. Pachito says:

    Such insult!

    Misaki should have realized that bowing before Akiyama’s feet, the way he did after his speech, is considered extremely disrespectful.

  30. Neggo says:

    Ummm, some of you say that what Misaki said after the fight was a way to get the Japanese fans back on Akiyama’s side? That’s absurd. If anything, it just made Akiyama look like a fool for a reason that has already been dealt with. Akiyama didn’t even have to stay in the ring after the fight..but did anyway. In respect, he stayed in the ring to get lectured what he’s probably been lectured a million times already..and he stood there and took it.

    Misaki’s lecture may have been sincere at first..but it was obvious near the end that his motive was to throw even more shit on Akiyama’s face. Though Japanese and Korean relations in the modern day are quite okay now, turmoil still exists..and it was CRYSTAL CLEAR that Misaki was sending a message out that the Japanese are still superior (not speaking of how all Japanese think).

    Misaki was trying to provide more support for Akiyama? Pfft..Give me a break. Spouting out your opponent’s own famous quote and saying, “Japanese is strong” to someone who’s faced hatred by the Japanese all his life is respectful? All of it was an insult, IMO. Props to Akiyama for taking on that shit directly.

  31. SEAN says:

    koreans are the first one to betray choo when he first came to korea to join the national team. they treated him bad and lost countless controversial decisions because he was from japan(although he’s a korean by blood). so he had no choice but to go back to japan and become a japanese citizen to join the national team to compete for a gold medal. the man is very honarable man and he deserves all the credit in the world. i’ll support him the rest of his career.

  32. Johan says:

    Geez. Get over it dammit. The whole Sakuraba incident is so 2006. Besides, Akiyama was already suspended throughout the entire last year and it’s not like he’s being such a dickhead about being back in MMA.

    If you ask me personally, I think Akiyama’s one of the more humble and modest fighters in MMA. It’s not easy to admit making a huge mistake. He came outta his shell and admitted that yes, he had skin cream on and honestly, I don’t think he used it to cheat anyways. How many of you guys ever watch all of his MMA fights prior to the one against Sakuraba? He was using a gi in all of his fights and only later on (beginning with his fight against Kestutis Smirnovas) that he started fighting without his gi on, so obviously, it doesn’t take a smart-ass to realize that he wasn’t intending on cheating in his fight against Sakuraba.

    As for Misaki, for him to make those comments is disgraceful. Talk about a guy with no sportsmanship. First he lands an illegal kick to the head, then he had the balls to follow it up with racist comments to Akiyama. Is that what you call a respectful fighter? Thank god the Yarennoka officials declared the fight a no contest, even if Akiyama should’ve won by DQ by right.

    If Tanigawa plans to run the next Dynamite!! show in Seoul (which I think would draw a helluva lot more than their LA one), they should try to book Akiyama vs Misaki II, especially since FEG and ProElite (who I believe are also tied to World Victory Road where Misaki’s competing in) are working together to collaborate on MMA fights. Hopefully, this would be a chance for redemption and the next time these two fighters meet, Akiyama will school his ass the way it should be done.

  33. HanYan says:

    Misaki’s post-fight speech was necessary? Did he even professionally greet Akiyama right before the fight? Misaki’s act was immature and unprofessional. If he considers himself as a good sports man, no matter what kind of reputation the fans claimed against Akiyama, he should’ve just finished the fight, instead, crying and yelling in front of millions of people. Did his action make or change every fans mind? I don’t think so. Rather, I feel sorry for Akiyama. There gotta be a second fight. Akiyama is a good fighter. No matter what happened in the past, we all should give Akiyama another chance to prove himself a good fighter in MMA. Akiyama Fighting!

  34. [...] Akiyama is the kind of fighter many Japanese fans (and Shinya Aoki) love to hate, partly because he is ethnically Korean and has been involved in one or two greasing scandals of his own.  As the UFC gets more top [...]

  35. Above Article says:

    japanese hate korean because koreans are koreans? well. i should hate japanese too?

  36. Jay says:

    I am supporting Akiyama through out his career now. He is a very talented judoka/fighter who has been mistreated and victimized briefly in Korea and for many years in Japan I learned in my recent readings. Yet he has been tenaciously trying to better his fight career.

    Misaki is full of it. If he really intended to ask for fan’s to forgive akiyama, he would have greeted Akiyama properly in the begining of fight first. He purposely did not greet Akiyama as the fighters usually do in the beginning (have a look at the fight tape). He walked away while Akiyama was standing purosely leaving Akiyam in the center of the ring looking unconfortable! Also, Misaki made those comments to make himself look good in front of the Japanese fans who’s been naive enough to think Akiyama is a real villan. And performed an illegal kick in Akiyama’s face while he was on ghe ground getting ready to get up. What a FAKE/LOW LIFE MISAKI IS!

    The grease thing is about applying oil of olay for heaven sake, not vaseline. Yes, he was smiling and applying on camera pre-fight tape showed. So he did not know it would be considered banned substance at the time. Some people have created a villan out of him for that in Japan for an unnecessarily long time and they succeeded. The fans who believe Akiyama is a villan for applying oil of olay before the fight should have their IQs checked! You are being fooled by low life punks like Misaki!

  37. Jay says:

    Also, Congrats on your winning the fight at UFC100 Akiyama!

    It must had been tough to continue the fight after the low blow kick received in the begining of the fight, at your first UFC fight in a foreign country for you. Unfortunately, Belcher keeps on trying to kick another low blow. He was kicking and punching a lot but missed Akiyama frequently. So it often made Belcher looking like a 9th grader fighting whose aim is not very accurate. UFC should tighten the rule about kicking man on the groin, accidental or intentional! Penalize them enough for the kick if not the first time but the second time. I’d like to see Belcher getting kicked on his groin in the beginning of the first round and see how well he fights.

  38. Eduardo says:

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything. Nevertheless
    just imagine if you added some great visuals or videos to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the best in its niche.
    Good blog!

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