Girls S-cup 2009: Interview with Rena!

Written by: Shu Hirata
2009-08-21

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?


Rena:
About ten days, from July 21st.

Q:
So, how was it training at Ceasar's Gym? Its the headquarters for Shoot Boxing.


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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.


Rena:
I began with ukemi, a fundamental of judo.

Q:
So in your last fight, you were able to show your progress from judo training?


Rena:
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.


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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.


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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"?


Rena:
Actually, from even before I made a pro debut.

Q:
So, you made a pro debut thinking you are going to be a champion?


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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.


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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?


Rena:
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 2009
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
At 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 / 3R
Rena (Japan / Shoot Boxing Oikawa Dojo) vs. Masako Yoshida (Japan / Age Age)


Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3R
Saori Ishioka (Japan / Karate-do Zendo-kai Koganei Branch) vs. Aoi Takahashi (Japan / Ceasar Gym)


Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3R
Misato Tomita (Japan / Ceasar Gym) vs. Madoka Okada (Japan / MMA Dojo Angura)


Girls S-Cup 2009 First Round 2 min / 3R
V 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 / 2R
Megumi Fujii (Japan / AACC) vs. Hisae Watanabe (Japan / Freelance)


JEWELS Rules Bout
Shizuka Sugiyama (Japan / Karate-do Zendo-kai Yokohama Branch) vs. Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan / AACC)


SB Rules Bout
HIROKO (Japan / B CREW) vs. Cho Benkei (Japan)



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

(Rena)
19111-200982347490.rena.jpg