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  • 2010.09.28 Tuesday
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  • by スポンサードリンク


【格闘技】ロクサン・モダフェリ日本移住記 Part2


"The Great Wait" is how I lovingly refer to the period of time which I waited with baited breath for my Certificate of Eligibility to arrive. I was under the impression that once I got it, I would be all set to work. Unfortunately there was another step. I had to wait two more weeks after handing it into Immigration to get my actual visa. Every day I woke up wondering if Berlitz HR would call me.
I also struggled to decide on which dojo to train at. Lack of funds made it impossible for me to officially sign up for anything, for most dojo require a one time joining fee of no less than $100, and a two month advance which averages around $200 all up front. The unfortunate problem with my English cafe and tutoring jobs was that they kept me from the dojo. I longed to at least join a gym and begin weight training, but I had no means to do it with.

"The Great Wait(素晴らしい休息)"、私は認定状がくるまでの悩ましい一時を、愛情をこめてこう呼ぶ事にしました。一度それが届いてしまったら、私は仕事を中心に回る事になる、そう考えていましたから。不幸な事に、もう一つステップがあり、入国審査で私の当面のビザをとれてから二週間も私は待たなければなりませんでした。ベルリッツからの電話を待ちながら起床する毎日が続いたのです。

That is, until I because employed by Full Contact Fighter and Boutreview. The latter made it possible for me to head straight to Gold's Gym in Atsugi, a ten minute walk from my apartment, and sign up for morning hours. I began lifting every day, and therefore could deal with doing jiu-jitsu only once or twice a week.
I half decided to join a the K'z Factory dojo network, based in Sagami Ono with a branch in Atsugi. I trained there now and then under the kindness of the owner, planning on paying the entry fees at the beginning of the next month. Then a new friend took me to Wajitsu Keishukai Main Branch in Tokyo, and I fell head over heels in love. WK could give me everything I wanted in submission grappling training, and MMA. Although there weren't official striking classes like kickboxing, so many pro fighters frequented the gym that I would get a good workout if I could pull someone aside to practice with me during sparring time. WK Main Branch, run by Ryusuke Moriyama, focused on its on submission grappling, and pro-fighters regularly came by the bucketfuls to train there.

私はFull Contact FighterとBoutrebiewで雇われているおかげで、彼らのレターにより私は厚木のゴールドジムへとまっすぐ向かう事ができました。私のアパートから10分のところで、私は朝のコースの契約をしました。毎日のリフティングを始めましたが、柔術の練習は1週間に一度か二度だけしかできない契約でした。

One of my two main concerns in the dojo selection process was that men would have issues hitting a female. I've had to deal with that in the past and nothing annoys me more, save someone screeching the "Roxanne" song by The Police. I also worried I would be one of the only pro MMA fighters at my new club. However, first class allayed all my fears. Also, many other women trained there, and by many, I mean six or seven besides myself, the majority having pro-fighter records. More than half of them compete in either MMA, Shooto, or grappling.
When I lived in the States, having one other girl in the class was a lot. I always inwardly groaned when paired with women during a normal class. After being arm-barred, getting my back taken, and receiving a few elbows to the eye and fists to the throat by the tough WK women, I changed my attitude faster than black belt Judo throws a white belt. I can't wait to train with Naoko Oomura again, who normally trains at Tiger's Place in Shitte, near Yokohama. Her technique is faster and sharper than mine, and she pounces on her opponants on the mat like a cat on a mouse. I'm almost sorry she's so much smaller than me, so I have no chance of facing her in competition.
The WK fighter most well known to Western audiences, Caol Uno, trains at the Main Branch on Thursdays. He teaches the striking class Monday at a different location which is part of the WK network. The first day I went to the special "pro-fighter" class, no less than twelve people showed up who had fight records higher than I could count on my fingers. After sparring with them, I was embarrassed to call myself a pro-fighter. They could easily school the guys back home.


One day, during the "The Great Wait," I'd gone to watch a friend compete in an amateur Pancrase competition. There, I met Ryan Bow, the first foreigner to complete the Japanese Amateur Shooto requirements and turn pro in Japan. His MMA skills are incredible, so I followed him to his dojo after the competition where we sparred an hour before his normal class started. I was so impressed with him I would have joined his gym on the spot had it not been for the distance, which was quite long. Someday I hope to train with him when I move closer to Tokyo.
August 18th rolled around and still no post card. However, the "reporter" part of my career was only just beginning. I made my way to Yoyogi Park to watch an ex-opponent Laura D'Auguste compete in Smack Girl. I had a lot of fun, and wrote up an article for Full Contact Fighter. I also translated the interviews afterwards. The day after the next, I took Laura and Amos, a friendly camera-man, sightseeing. We visited Asakusa, a famous garden of shrines with dozens of tiny little souvenir stores and traditional festival food. We also stopped by Ueno Park, where its own shrines to the Buddha and dog-god Inari hid in the overgrowth of trees, bushes, and bamboo grooves.
We had a blast, and I managed to introduce her to a variety of good Japanese food, such as the substance known as "melon pan," which surpasses all other foods. It's bread with a sugary exterior flavored like honeydew melon, but recently they've made maple flavoring, cantaloupe, and chocolate.

"The Great Wait"中のある日、私はアマチュアパンクラスの大会を友人と見に行きました。そこで私はライアン・ボウと会ったのです。彼は日本アマチュア修斗で実績を積み、日本で始めてプロへと転向した外国人選手でした。
8/18、その日は突然やってきました。私の「リポーター」としてのキャリアはまだ始まったばかりなのです。私はスマックガールでかつての相手であるローラ・ディオーガストのをサポートをするため代々木公園へと向いました。その日を私はとても楽しみ、Full Contact Fighter向けの記事も書きました。試合後のインタビューの翻訳もしました。その後、私はローラと友人のカメラマンAmosを連れて観光へ向いました。有名なお寺とたくさんの小さなお土産屋と伝統的な食事がある浅草へと向いました。私達は上野公園にも立ち寄りました。そこはそれ自身が大きな森に覆われた神社とお稲荷様になってます。

"The Great Wait" came to an end the Friday before PRIDE Grand Prix 2005, one of, if not the biggest mixed martial art promotions.
I immediately bolted to the Immigration Office in Yokohama, taking the time to sample Chinese "nikuman" meat buns, special red bean cakes, and nut cakes on the way through Yokohama's Chinatown. I left blowing kisses to the clouds, my working visa sticker stuck in my passport. My boss scheduled me to begin the Wednesday of the next week. I happily looked forward to my first PRIDE experience.

"The Great Wait"はPRIDE GP 2005の直前の金曜日に終わりを向えました。PRIDEはいわずと知れたMMAの最大プロモーションの一つです。

The show was amazing. "Imagine thousands of screaming fans," a friend had said. He wasn't joking.


With my FCF press pass dangling proudly around my neck, I sat on the steps in the nosebleed section of the audience. My eyes joined with hundred's of others that were glued to the big television screens floating around each corner of the arena. I also sat in the interview space downstairs, to wait for the fighters who came in to be interviewed over the course of the show. The fights were exciting and the atmosphere was almost overwhelming. Although I didn't fight, I felt I was part of something great, and wondered if women would ever get their chance to walk down the long aisle into the ring. It was a night to remember, and I stayed up until 3 AM writing my article after I got back home.
With visions of Fedor and Rua dancing in my brain, I turned my thoughts to my first day of work and meeting my new co-workers....



  • 2010.09.28 Tuesday
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  • 16:21
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  • by スポンサードリンク

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