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Yoshiaki Fujiwara

  

Real Name - Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Lifespan - 

4/27/49

6' 227 lbs. - Iwate, Japan

Athletic Background - 

Judo, Kendo, Muay Thai Kickboxing


Teacher(s) - 

Karl Gotch


Professional Background - New Japan(`72-`84), Germany(`76), UWF(`84-`85), New Japan(`85-`88), UWF(`88-`90), PWFG(`91-`93), Indies(`93-)

Aliases - none

Groups - none

Peak Years - `77-`87

Trainees - Yoji Anjoh, Masakatsu Funaki, Shoichi Funaki, Daisuke Ikeda, Yuki Ishikawa, Jushin Liger, Akira Maeda, Alexander Otsuka, Akitoshi Saito, Minoru Suzuki, Minoru Tanaka, Katsumi Usuda, Kazuo Yamazaki, Satoshi Yoneyama (Muhammad Yone)


Favorites

- Fujiwara Armbar

- Heel Hook

- Anklehold

- Entangled Kimura

- Headbutt

- Kneebar


Ringwork Rating

 Technique8
 Science6
 Counters7
 Transitions6
 Diversity5
 Power9
 Strikes6


Intangibles Rating

 Entertainment8
 Selling10
 Toughness8
 Carrying8
 Heat8
 Legacy8

  
Place in History - 

One of the major figures in the shoot-style rising to prominence in Japan, Yoshiaki Fujiwara was crucial in starting several shoot-style organizations and wrestlers.  An early trainee of the New Japan Dojo, Fujiwara was a devoted Karl Gotch disciple who learned the style well.  He has never been the most dazzling worker, but his presence and hard head gimmick have kept him over with the Japanese fans.  In the early 1980s, frustration with New Japan system and style led a group of wrestlers to breakaway and start the UWF.  It quickly turned into the first shoot-style company and Yoshiaki Fujiwara was the most well-known star.  After it fell, the UWF crew returned to New Japan for one of the hottest periods in the company’s history.  After a few years, Akira Maeda led another exodus of talent and Fujiwara was right alongside him.  This second group had a deeper roster and more defined style.  He was aging, but had an undeniable toughness and the aura of a yakuza boss.  When the Newborn UWF fell, he was the first to run a successor, Pro-Wrestling Fujiwara-Gumi, with a good core of young talent.  The PWFG was doomed to fail as Fujiwara and his management proved to have their limitations, which led most established talent to leave and form Pancrase.  The remaining young talent left a couple years later and formed BattlARTS.  Fujiwara was nearly fifty, but was an established legend in puroresu.  He not only used his name value to work steadily on the independents, but also to do on-screen and voice acting.  Although he was never the most dynamic performer, Yoshiaki Fujiwara had credibility and connections that were pivotal in the shoot-style puroresu movement.  He was able to get three promotions off the ground, which while only short-term successes were vital.  Perhaps more notable than Fujiwara’s in-ring or promotional accomplishments are his training successes.  A well-regarded submission master who learned from Karl Gotch, traveled to the Wigan Snake Pit and was the grappling instructor for the New Japan Dojo for a time, Yoshiaki Fujiwara had an impact on a great number of puroresu stars.  Fujiwara is sometimes overlooked for his vast accomplishments, but he is definitely a key figure in puroresu as well as the development of mixed martial arts.




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