Shootfighting

Shoot Fighting Shootfighter: Fight to the Death. 1993 movie starring Bolo Yeung.

Summary

Shootfighting is a hybrid martial art which is considered to be a combat sport and a street combat technique. It combines several traditional techniques, including Shoot Wrestling, Kickboxing and American Karate. The sport originated in Japan in 1970s, when two Japanese martial artists were taught the art of real Wrestling. Bart Vale is considered to be its creator, as he had given the sport its recognizable name and included a wider range of techniques. Numerous competitions in Shootfighting have been organized during the last decade and three international organizations are in charge of the sport, the most notable being the International Shootfighting Association.

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

The term “shootfighting” was coined by Bart Vale, professional Japanese-style wrestler. He chose the word to describe his hybrid fighting system which combined several martial arts with shoot wrestling techniques, hence the word “shoot” was used in the coined term.

BEGINNINGS

Shootfighting was created not so long ago. In fact, it originated in 1970s. At that time, a famous German wrestler taught shooting, the art of professional wrestling, to several masters of Japanese martial arts. The two most notable practitioners were Masami Soranaka, who was skilled in Judo, Karate and Sumo, and Yoshiaki Fujiwara, who was a Judo expert and Muay Thai champion. They combined their diverse skills in order to create a comprehensive fighting technique, which has come to be known as this strong style or UWF wrestling. UFW wrestling soon became very popular in Japan, gaining the title of the third most popular sport in the country, just behind baseball and Sumo.

The oldest and largest organization which taught this style of Wrestling was the Fujiwara Gumi, run by one of the founders of UFW, Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Bart Vale was Fujiwara Gumi’s famous fighter and the world champion in this sport. He was the first foreigner who reached the highest level of mastery in the discipline. Upon returning to America, he coined the term Shootfighting in order to refer to the special style consisting of Wrestling and Muay Thai techniques. He also included some points of American Karate and Kickboxing in order to enrich existing techniques and complete the system.(1)

PRESENT DAY

Bart Vale created the system of Shootfighting with the knowledge he gained as a professional Japanese shoot-style wrestler. He added techniques of other martial arts and started promoting this Hybrid style. After he came back to America, he started promoting the sports in Florida and California. Vale also founded the International Shootfighting Association which holds a wide range of Shootfighting events every year. During the years, few other techniques sprang up from Shootfighting. Although they have morphed to a certain degree, their practitioners often participate in Shootfighting events and consider themselves shootfighters. Some of these include Shooto, Shoot Boxing and Pancrase.(2)

FOLKLORE

Bart Vale added several techniques to Japanese shoot wrestling in order to create Shootfighting. Vale is considered to be an interesting character in the world of martial arts, considering that he mastered in several fighting styles and fought in both America and Japan. He is famous for his specific “old school” American martial arts look, including a mullet, American flag trunks and a moustache. He is often admired for his expertise, energy and technique. Vale was one of the first foreigners to compete and gain fame in Japan. He was also the first American who won World Shootfighting Championship in 1992.

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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TIME OF ORIGIN: c. 1970's
PRACTISED: Approx. 44 years
FOUNDERS:

Bart Vale

FOCUS: 

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
PARENTHOOD:

Catch wrestling, Shoot wrestling, Kickboxing, American Karate

DESCENDANTS:

OLYMPIC SPORT: No

NOTABLE FEMALE PRATITIONERS

NOTABLE MALE PRATITIONERS

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NATIONALITY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
AGE: Approx. 44 years
BORN:

RESIDENCE: -
ALSO KNOWN AS: -
OCCUPATION:

JOB TITLE:

Catch wrestling, Shoot wrestling, Kickboxing, American Karate

RELATED FEMALE INDIVIDUALS

RELATED MALE INDIVIDUALS

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COUNTRY: Japan
LOCATION: -
FOUNDED: c. 1970's
OPERATIONAL: Approx. 44 years
FOUNDERS:

Bart Vale

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
SECTOR:

DESCRIPTION:

Catch wrestling, Shoot wrestling, Kickboxing, American Karate

WEBSITE: -

ACOSSIATED INDIVIDUALS

ACOSSIATED ATHLETES

Practices

PHILOSOPHY

Although many say that Shootfighting resembles other techniques, including Jujutsu and Kickboxing, its creator stated some main differences in practice and philosophy of this martial arts system. While other arts teach practitioners different techniques at different times, Shootfighting sets out to teach fighters how to make important transitions. Shootfighting practitioners have to learn the flow of moves better than anyone else and they have to make smooth transitions between different techniques. Furthermore, Shootfighting does not include gi, the robe often used in numerous martial arts, as an important part of the philosophy. This art looks at the whole picture rather than its parts, and that is the most important distinctive point of its philosophy.(3) Shootfighting does, however, borrow some principles of other martial arts, such as using opponent’s weight and momentum against him.

TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

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RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

At the moment, professional Shootfighting fights feature only the heavyweight division for fighters above 200lbs. Pro matches last for 30 minutes, while amateurs fight shorter fights, lasting 10 minutes. Shootfighting is practiced inside standard Wrestling rings and no gloves are worn at any times. Competitors are allowed to kick, knee or elbow all parts of the body except for the groin. In addition, all types of joint locks are allowed, as well as takedowns. However, there are several forbidden moves, such as punches to the face, eye gouges, groin strikes and techniques against the pipe. Fighter wins when he knocks the competitor down for a ten-count or knocks him down five times.(4)

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

A whole movie was shot relying on Shootfighting techniques and featuring some of the most attractive stars of the time. The movie Shootfighter: Fight to the Death was shot in 1993 and starred Martin Kove and William Zabka, stars of The Karate Kid. They were tricked into fighting in Shootfighting to the death, and their teacher Shingo, played by Bolo Yeung, had to step in in order to save them from certain death. The movie is famous for a scene where two antagonists kicked various items off of each other’s heads.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

Links coming soon

References

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.shootfighting.com/
  2. http://martialarts.about.com/od/styles/a/shootfighting.htm
  3. http://www.amam-magazine.com/hale_vale.html
  4. http://www.shootfighting.com/history_isfa.html

COLLABORATORS

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Contact

CONTACT

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