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Posted: 2006-08-19 01:15:17
To Beranes,

Thanks for you reply. The reason Ishii ignored non-heavyweight divisions was because back in '93, things had to be appearing to those watching pro-wrestling. Contrary to the popular stereotype, the Japanese citizens overall are quite ignorant when it comes to martial arts - both traditional and competitive. Pro-wrestling had been very popular and accepted in the main stream culture. The problem is the majority of people here (certainly I was not)were led to believe those "wrestlers" were real combat athletes. It is just like back in the '80s, the Karate Kid and ninja were more appealing to the main stream America than PKA full-contact karate, was sad to see the martial arts mage in the US focused too much on Bruce Lee and other non-fighting type personalities. But thanks to the UFC and other MMA event and K-1, martial arts practitioners and general public alike are realizing what is real and what not. In Japan the pro-wrestling was given so much attention than any real combat sports(boxing was an exception). As I looked back my school days, it was hilarious that some of my classmates were having heated discussion of their imaginary bout between Mike Tyson and Hulk Hogan, etc. People were uneduacted back then. Those types have no appreciation what non-heavyweight fighters have to offer. Thus, in '93, Ishii and other movers and shakers of combat sports had to re-brainwash the general public what true combat sports are. This is one of the reason I still have a fond memory of those who fought during what I call the dark age of 1980s such as Kaman, Smit, Maurice, and even Satake. Without their sacrifices, we would have not discuss our favorite sport on the Internet.

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