Heading to Japan on Christmas Day. But no vacation, Czech fighter Jan Soukup is waiting for a match on the other side of the world. And at a very prestigious event. His opponent will be a man with the nickname Shrek, Hideki Sekine. MMA fight with modified rules of two big guys. The forty-nine-year-old Japanese weighs around 115 kilograms.
Kyokushin and K-1 fighter, that’s how fans mostly know the Czech Samurai Jan Soukup shared with the website www.kaocko.cz: “In Kyokushin karate, I jumped second in the world. It’s a tournament without a weight difference and it’s held once every four years like the Olympics. After such a result, I got an offer to go to the big K-1 in Japan. In MMA, I competed in a similar competition, at which I’m preparing now, which is Ganryujima. The rules are a bit limited, but it has their charm. No elbows are allowed, it’s fought on a platform with no boundaries, so you can get knocked out of the arena. It happens three times in a round and you’re done. Next on the ground for 30 seconds and then up into the stance. Small gloves and three rounds of five minutes each. And clothes according to what style of martial arts you do. I’ll wear a kimono bottom and a belt,” the Czech fighter presented his plans for December 28.
How to get to such a match? In Tokyo, a promoter came to Soukup and offered him a match. “This match has a spirit and I nodded. There are many reasons for this. One is that the tournament is called Ganryujima and the matches are mainly held on the island of Ganryujima. It is the island where Miyamoto Musashi had his last fight to the death. The second reason is that this organization carries the legacy of the samurai and it is a comparison of styles with no difference in weight in the traditional costumes of individual wrestlers. The third reason is that the event is organized in honor of the deceased Japanese hero Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye,” Soukup presented three arguments for kaocko.cz.
The gala evening will take place in Tokyo in the traditional Sumo Arena with all the honors. The fourth reason Soukup took this fight is the opponent, an experienced BJJ wrestler who has a record of 12-6 in MMA.
“He can do what I do on the ground in a stance, so it will be interesting. Karate vs. BJJ. I don’t like the kilos a bit there, he weighs 115 kilos, but that will make it a more interesting fight, I will give it my all,” said Soukup, who also described how he got from karate to MMA.
“In Japan, I trained in Kyokushin karate and watched various pro fights with legends. I bought chips and always some beer. I said to myself, first I want to become a Kyokushin champion, then I want to go to K-1, and finally, I will look into MMA. And that’s how I get fulfilled.”
Although he had health problems before the flight, he trained. “Pepa Král and his boys help me with the ground. I want to thank him very much for that. I also want to thank André (Reinders). Now before the training, I was there only once, but before I was there more often. Thank you very much for your favor, support, and friendship,” Soukup said goodbye before the flight and the meeting with Shrek.
Author: Libor Kalous