Back Row (L to R): Katsumi Usuda, Tiger Shark, Yujiro Yamamoto, Keita Yano, Chihiro Oikawa, Alexander Otsuka, Satoshi Kajiwara and Yuta Yoshikawa. Front: Baisen TAGAI, Munenori Sawa, Matt, Yuki Ishikawa, Ryuji Walter and Super Tiger
One of my favorite promotions in Japan was BattlArts. I was lucky enough to see several shows live, and make friends with many of the fighters. Early last November in Tokyo, Japan the promotion had their final show. On the same show Munenori Sawa had his retirement match. I am saddened by the fact that there is no more BattlArts. Here are some pictures that capture my memories of this one-of-a-kind promotion.
Photo from the first BattlArts show I attended:
Various BattlArts Merchandise:
Autographed roster page from Weekly Puroresu yearbook and signed tickets by Yuki “Toy” Ishikawa:
The application & promotional flyer for BattlArts’ dojo B-CLUB, now closed:
Front row seat in 2009 with famed Pro Wrestling author, journalist, commentator Fumi Saito:
With roster members Yuki Ishikawa, Munenori Sawa, Keito Yano, Tiger Shark, Ryuji Walter, with Sawa on his final US tour:
Finally, a New Year’s greeting from Sawa:
Here are a couple of matches that exemplify the unique shootstyle wrestling of BattlArts below. First Yuki Ishikawa, Munenori Sawa & Alexander Otsuka take on Daisuke Ikeda, Super Tiger II & Katsumi Usuda in a lengthy Six-Man war. Next, Nanae Takahashi and Kana of freelance Joshi faction Passion Red take on AKINO and BattlArts’ own Chihiro Oikawa in Queen Bee, the all women spinoff of BattlArts.
Arigato BattlArts! Sayonara BattlArts! Otsukaresama deshita!