Pride comes before a fall

wow tim you look different

See that pun? Yeah, that’s a pun. In 2007, Satoru Kitaoka finally got his big break, and was entered into the PRIDE 2007 Lightweight Grand Prix. Which of course never happened and he toiled around in obscurity for a while, tore Gomi’s foot off, and just lost it all again.

But that’s not what this is about. You might have heard of Nippon Top Team, which is a loose association of 3 men, Shinya Aoki, Satoru Kitaoka, and Masakazu Imanari (the ugly smelly one). They have kind of a strange association, despite being a team, Kitaoka has been quite open and vocal about fighting Aoki in the future. That’s not to say that they dislike each other or anything, it’s simply a byproduct of the kind of gym hopping a lot of Japanese fighters do, and in particular the kind of gym Yuki Nakai runs.

If you have membership with any gym, whether it’s Paraestra affiliated or not, you can train for free with Yuki Nakai. If you come in the afternoon, there’s free sparring. Kitaoka and Aoki train at separate Paraestra gyms, but still train together occasionally. However, whereas Aoki spends lots of time in Thailand training his striking, Kitaoka takes private taekwondo lessons. Which is a bad idea for MMA.

Gym hopping is the in thing right now for former Wajyutsu Keishukai guys, Akiyama’s built his own gym (he’s rich) but Uno and Okami have been all over the place.


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