Dear wrestling fans around the world, I would like to present you this interview with Emi Sakura, the founder of Pro Wrestling in Thailand. She’s doing her best and wants all of you to support Bangkok Girls Pro Wrestling. This promotion is based in Thailand but we want to increase our fanbase worldwide as much as we can. This is only the beginning! BKK PRO promises you: We will be the top promotion in the world.
Interview conducted by DDS and BKK Pro staff member Pumi. Additional Translation and editing by Chris Vicious
Please introduce yourself to Thai fans.
Hello! My name is Sakura Emi. I was the 2009 Joshi Wrestler of the Year. I came to Thailand to establish the first Joshi Puroresu promotion here.
Why did you choose Thailand? It’s far from Japan and has never had any wrestling promotion before.
Because there are many wrestling promotions in Japan, but not in Thailand. Also, wrestling fans in Thailand have had a chance to watch many Japanese wrestling promotions on TV, including Ice Ribbon, my former promotion. So I think this is a good place for me to start new things.
You have lived in Thailand for a few months. Since Ice Ribbon focused on developing wrestlers from a young age, can you tell us the difference between Thai and Japanese teens?
If I think about things related to wrestling, there are many differences. All Japanese know about Pro Wrestling, but in Thailand, you can only see a small group of teens who know a lot about Pro Wrestling.
So, I would like you to talk about how Pro Wrestling is different from the other famous fighting sports in Thailand such as Muay Thai, Judo, or Taekwondo.
(Laughs) In my view, Muay Thai is not the best combat sport in the world! Although, I agree that all fighting sports are awesome in their own way, but pro Wrestling is totally different. Wrestling is more interesting. As you know, Pro Wrestling is sports entertainment. It focuses on both good matches and good entertainment. This is Pro Wrestling.
Then let’s talk about the training. I got this question from many fans. They want to know about the qualities of a wrestler. Do you have any minimum requirements? Does myopia, height, or weight affect their training?
I don’t have a minimum requirement, and I can confirm that those sorts of things won’t affect their training. Everybody can be a wrestler. For example, in America, there was a wrestler named “Zach Gowen” who worked for WWE. He has only one leg, but can be a good wrestler. In Pro Wrestling, you can build your character and it can help you be successful. The most important thing is to work hard. If you can do that, you can be a wrestler for sure.
What is the perfect age to start training? In Thailand, children start Muay Thai at seven-eight years old. Is wrestling the same?
Yes, the same! For example, Riho started training when she was eight. So, there is no “too early” or “too late” if you have faith and love it. But in my opinion, I think the perfect age to wrestle in an official match is only between fifteen to twenty-five years.
Many fans wonder why you only train females because most wrestling fans are males.
The easiest answer is, I’m a woman and I have to train females, but if male fans want to be pro-wrestlers, we have Masa Takanashi who wants to come to Thailand and teach them. To elaborate, I think girls wrestling can get more audiences because I’m pretty sure all guys love to see girls fighting, but I don’t think girls will buy tickets to see men. So, in the beginning, I think Thai fans prefer girls pro-wrestling more!
In Thailand, wrestling seems to be seen as a violent sport. How do you want to explain to Thai society that wrestling is not that dangerous?
Not only in Thailand, but also in Japan. Every parent cares for their child, especially when they’re a young girl. I trained Riho, Kurumi, and Tsukushi [They are all under fifteen years old]. They prove to us that wrestling is not dangerous if you train hard and care about safety first. We always do everything professionally.
The cases of Chris Benoit and Mitsuharu Misawa were big news in Thailand. I would like you to discuss this topic.
Those are accidents that no one wants to see again. As I said, wrestling is not dangerous as long as we do it safely and professionally. I played Songkran in Thailand. I think Songkran is more dangerous than wrestling! [Songkran is the traditional festival in Thailand where people throw water to each other.] I guarantee again, wrestling is safe!
Do you have any prohibitions for your wrestlers, such as “no drinking,” “no boyfriends,” “no smoking,” etc.?
In Japan, you can’t drink if you’re under twenty years old so I don’t worry about this too much. The most important thing that I always say is every Pro Wrestler must keep their fans. Fans are the most important people in this business. You can do everything except do bad by your fans that support you. I don’t have any rules for my students, but I teach them to control themselves. If they have a boyfriend or want to smoke, they must move away from the fans and can’t let anybody know. As for drinking, if they can still get up and train on schedule, it’s fine for them to do what they want.
The most important question, do you have plans to bring Thai girls to wrestle in Japan?
Definitely! Not just one or two girls, but I want to bring all girls there!
Do you have any message to wrestling fans?
“Let’s be a wrestler!” I want you to train with us and I will establish Pro Wrestling, not only in Thailand, but also in other countries such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. Everywhere!
Thank you for this interview!
No problem, please support me!
Learn more about Emi and BKK Pro on twitter: @SakuraBKK @BKK_PRO, on Facebook: facebook.com/bkkgirlsprowrestling, on Youtube: youtube.com/user/bkkprowrestling You can also contact them at +66831238634 and +66830912441. Still on the fence, see the introduction video below!
“My name is Sakura Emi, I’m making Joshi Puroresu promotions not only in Japan but also in Thailand! My company is named “Gateau Move.” Let’s be a wrestler! Let’s do it together!”