Monday, August 15, 2011
WRASTLIN' WITH SORAKICHI MATSUDA.
Since we have been on a Japanese grappling kick as of late, we bring you the story another great fighter with, of course, lots of history.
Sorakichi Matsuda was a Japanese professional wrestler in the late 1800's. Matsuda came to the U.S. in 1883 to compete in wrestling, which at the time was not well known or accepted in Japan. Matsuda, at the time, was a 5'7" 175lb Sumo fighter from Japan that ventured on a lone voyage to compete against the best the world had to offer. Upon his arrival in the United States he quickly became a featured attraction and a solitary Japanese pioneer for wrestling. Matsuda settled in New York and competed around the country taking matches, regardless of his opponents size or experience. Before Matsuda passed away at the young age of 32, he tried, unsuccessfully, to bring American wrestling to his homeland. You could argue the fact that little known Matsuda started a cycle that would continue to this day of mixing old style Japanese martial arts with wrestling.
As the years progressed and we entered into the new century, Judo spread throughout the world, including the United States. This opened the door for Judoka Hikoo Shoji to travel to California to learn CACC from champion Ad Santel. Shoji then returned home with his knowledge, and he is often viewed as the father of freestyle wrestling in Japan, but lets not forget the man who started it all - Sorakichi Matsuda.