Girls S-cup 2009, the very first women's Shoot Boxing tournament, will take place at Shinagawa Stella Ball this weekend.
One of the favorites for this tournament is, Rena, a 17-year old high school karate-ka from Oikawa Dojo. Since her school is on the summer vacation, as a part of her preparation for this weekend, Rena trained at Ceasar's Gym in Tokyo.
Q:How long did you train at the Ceasar Gym?
About ten days, from July 21st.
Q:So, how was it training at Ceasar's Gym? Its the headquarters for Shoot Boxing.
Well, it was hard. The training was hard but also it was a different environment for me. Besides I have to be strong in there otherwise they would say, "What kind of training are you doing at Oikawa Dojo?" so I came to Tokyo with determination that I will hang in there no matter how hard the training menu is going to be.
Q:This training was for not only for you but also for the entire Oikawa Dojo?
Yeah that's why I couldn't even take a breath mentally so I think I became psychologically strong. Ever since when I was a sixth grader, I began training at Oikawa Dojo and this is the first time I didn't go there for ten days.
Q:So you were with not your team mates all the time?
Yes so I was so lonely that I couldn't see them for ten days. But I cannot be feeling down when I train. So in that sense, I really think I became a stronger fighter.
Q:In your last fight in JEWELS it seems though you’re trying more throws. Are you emphasizing your training now more on throws?
From this year I began training judo. After all, last year, when MIKU threw me and defeated me, and that was a big blow for me. By losing that fight, naturally, I began to see what I need to win. I am now being taught by this judo master who used to be the rival of Yoshihiro Akiyama in judo.
Q:So you really are training judo.
I began with ukemi, a fundamental of judo.
Q:So in your last fight, you were able to show your progress from judo training?
Yeah I did clear my goal but I thought about it way too much. So, now, that has become my next subject. I was just thinking about throwing but I did gain confidence by executing a throw (in the fight) but the next time, I have to think about balance too.
Q:During your training in Tokyo, I heard you did many interviews with the media.
Yes, many. I can't even count anymore. (laugh)
But I am happy that the media is covering me because I think its good so I want to do as many media interviews as possible.
Q:Does this mean you are now aware that you are the leading figure in the women's Shoot Boxing?
Well but the most important thing is what is taking place in the ring though.
Q:For sure, then your next fight in Girls S-cup is going to be very important for you.
I think this is going to be a turning point in my life.
Q:What was your first reaction when you heard of Girl's S-cup?
I immediately thought, "Alright!" Its a big opportunity because there is going to be a belt. Sure some called me an Ace fighter of women's Shoot Boxing but I don't have any belt or title.
Q:When were you thinking about "championship belt"?
Actually, from even before I made a pro debut.
Q:So, you made a pro debut thinking you are going to be a champion?
YES. Sensei Oikawa has the belt so I was thinking, "Hey I want to have that too."
Q:So, now, do you have the confidence to win the belt?
From a long time ago I had that confidence.
Q:Shoot Boxing finally announced the tournament match-up, what is your impression on the brackets?
I am not thinking too much in particular.
I did lose to Lim Soo Jung once but I am confident that if I fight her again, I will win. So I am just thinking "I hope I get to fight her" that's it. Nothing more.
Q:There are many MMA fighters in this tournament.
For sure MMA fighters would be strong in the clinch but I have striking skill and also I did conquer my problem with throws as well. So I have nothing to be afraid. I have never seen V Hajime doing a kick boxing bout, and I have seen (Saori) Ishioka-san doing a Shoot Boxing bout but she didn't throw enough striking. So no matter who I am going to face, I am confident that I can win the tournament.
Q:What would be the most important element in winning this tournament?
I think its mental. At the Ceasar Gym, (Kenichi) Ogata-san taught me, "If you fight three times in one day of course you are going to feel the pain somewhere. After you win once, sometimes a fighter thinks, well that is good enough. But in that kind of situation, a fighter who keeps thinking about being number one would win the tournament."
You know you learn a lot training with a fighter who has conquered the S-cup in the past.
Q:So, you did gain this mental strength this summer?
Yes. That is why, in the mental department, I am extremely confident.
Last year, I fought in the big venue, I was able to fight in Korea, and I did fight in the JEWELS show so I went through many experiences. So far I've had ten pro fights so if I can utilize my experiences from all my past fights, I can win this tournament.Shoot Boxing Association Presents:
SHOOT BOXING GIRLS TOURNAMENT
Girls S-cup 2009Sunday, August 23rd, 2009At Shinagawa Stella Ball, Tokyo, Japan
Doors Open - 15:00
Fight Starts - 16:00
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3RRena
(Japan / Shoot Boxing Oikawa Dojo) vs. Masako Yoshida
(Japan / Age Age)
Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3RSaori Ishioka
(Japan / Karate-do Zendo-kai Koganei Branch) vs. Aoi Takahashi
(Japan / Ceasar Gym)
Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3RMisato Tomita
(Japan / Ceasar Gym) vs. Madoka Okada
(Japan / MMA Dojo Angura)
Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3RV Hajime
(Japan / MAX Jiujitsu Academy - Yoga Studio) vs. Lim Soo Jung
(Korea / BARUNSON GAMES)
Girls S-Cup 2009 Semi-final Bout 2 min / 3R
The winner of Rena - Yoshida vs. The Winner of Ishioka - Takahashi
Girls S-Cup 2009 Semi-final Bout 2 min / 3R
The winner of Tomita - Okada vs. The winner of V Hajime - Soo Jung
Exhibition Match - EX Mixed Rules 2 min / 2RMegumi Fujii
(Japan / AACC) vs. Hisae Watanabe
(Japan / Freelance)
JEWELS Rules BoutShizuka Sugiyama
(Japan / Karate-do Zendo-kai Yokohama Branch) vs. Hitomi Sakamoto
(Japan / AACC)
SB Rules BoutHIROKO
(Japan / B CREW) vs. Cho Benkei
Ticket Prices:Arena seat - 5,000 yen / Stand Premium Seat - 5,000 yen$500 yen more at the door.Interview and photo courtesy of Shoot Boxing