Yoshiaki Fujiwara: Submission Master

The legendary Karl Gotch (1924–2007), the “God of Catch Wrestling” called Yoshiaki “Kumicho” Fujiwara his best student ever. Fujiwara Sensei has had an enormous influence on the worlds of Catch Wrestling, Japanese Professional Wrestling and MMA. He was the training partner of both Antonio “Moeru Toukon” Inoki, the professional wrestler most famous for his match with Muhammad Ali and Satoru “Tiger Mask” Sayama founder of SHOOTO. He was also the teacher of Ken Shamrock and Bart Vale.

Catch Wrestling is a style of folk wrestling that was developed and popularized in the late 19th century by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals who incorporated submission holds, or “hooks”, into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents. Catch Wrestling derives from a number different styles such as British Lancashire Catch-​​as-​​Catch-​​Can, Irish Collar & Elbow, Greco Roman, Indian Pehlwani, Iranian Varzesh-​​e Pahlavani as well as Japanese Judo.

“Submission Master” is a three DVD set of Fujiwara Sensei teaching all of the essential techniques and physical conditioning methods used in Catch Wrestling. The set has been considered by many to be the Holy Grail of Submission Grappling. It’s presented in the Japanese language with no subtitles but with plenty of easy to understand diagrams.

The techniques taught are awesome. They’re similar to the techniques taught in most submission grappling systems but with the Catch Wrestling twist. That means lots of gouging and pain! Fujiwara Sensei masterfully teaches us all the essential positions, locks and chokes that we would need to win in completion or survive a real life fight.

There’s also several great sections on the physical conditioning methods that are unique to Catch Wrestling. Matt Furey used many of these in his “Combat Conditioning” program. Many very powerful variations on how to do pushups and squats are taught.

Catch Wrestling is my most favorite system of submission grappling because it translates so well to reality based self defense. I really enjoyed this program, I definitely learned a whole lot about Catch Wrestling. Give yourself permission to learn from Fujiwara Sensei-​​Submission Master.

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