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Posted: 2006-08-18 21:40:00
Mitsuo Shima has been working as a judge and referee ( for example, the Le Benner/Roufus bout) as far as kickboxing is concerned. He still owns his forwarding business. Igari has returned to Nippon Kenpo roots and still owns his bar in Tokyo. Igari still conducts seminars;teaching muay thai to non-pro martial artists, assisting law-enforcement agencies as well as the self-defense force ( nippon kenpo is favored as the core hand-to-hand system of the self-defense force).

There was a talk of the Urquides/Fujiwara exhibition in the early '89s. When Peter Smit decisioned Andre Mannaart in the AJKF event, the possible exhibition between them was announced. Even though the date rules were yet to be decided, Fujiwara immediately began serious training, however the idear of the exhibition was soon given up since Urquidez allegedly asked the ridiculous amount of money for the standard of the sport. Thus, the fight never materialized.

Kozo Takeda is certainly one of today's top fighters, he is not the same caliber of Fujiwara and other fighters of the golden age even though he won the tile of the Radjamnern stadium. According to the opinions of some long time fans, the Radjamnern Takeda and others are fighting today is the ghost of the Radjamnern Fujiwara had to fight. The management policy is totally different. Beginning in the last decade, muay thai has been spreading worldwide. Thus, some Thai officials are dealing with foreign fighters easier and open arm compared to the '60s to '80s. Besides the title he won was the super welterweight, which is not as competitive as the lightweight and under.

There are various reasons the decline of the skill level among the Japanese fighters. Too many sanctioning bodies, and each forces its fighters to agree to the exclusive contract. And each promotes fewer events per year. All these contribute the fighters' lack of experiences. The other thing is that they try too hard to copy the Thai training way. This was especially the case in the '80s through early '90s. Master Toddy, Fred Royers, and Ramon Dekker criticized this habit. Eventually some fighters began to train in Holland as well. Today, there is even the official branch of the Vos gym in Japan. Now, because of the K-1 and MMA events, Japanese fighters travel around the globe to aquire the new skills, though any great fighter is yet to appear.

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