After a long day at work, I hustled to Jewels in the venue “Shinjuku face.” I arrived at 6:15, about 45 minutes after it has started, but I hadn’t missed anyone I knew because they sprinkled amateur kickboxing and Muay Thai fights throughout the card.
The place was packed. Seats were sold out. (I think 1000 can fit? or was it 700, I forget) so they were selling standing tickets only. I got a guest pass because I’m a Jewels fighter, thank goodness. I said hi to Celine and my AACC training partners in the back locker rooms and then spotted Sakura, sitting on some steps. I joined her.
The fights were REALLY good. I kept thinking how much the talent level of female fighters, especially in Japan, has risen over the years I’ve been watching Jewels. Nagano’s striking no longer looks amateurish. It’s true she got out-struck by her opponent V.V. Mei, but she did good. Celine got out-muscled and out-struck by Emi Fujino, but I saw improvement in her game, too. She never backed up, she had some NICELY timed double-legged shots that I don’t know how Fujino managed to sprawl out of. It makes me frustrated to see such improvement in my friend but she can’t seem to pull off the win. Misaki Takimoto vs Yukiko Seki was another REALLY exciting one. Seki’s nickname is “Bomber.” She is sloppy but she just keeps charging forward and bullrushing her opponent, so Takimoto really had to work to keep distance, and ended up backing away most of the time, but ended up pulling off a split-decision. Sakura had fought Seki and couldn’t manage to escape from the pressure so Seki had won by decision.
My friend and AACC training parter Rina Tomita had a hard but exciting fight against Emi Tomimatsu. It was kind of close, but Tomimatsu got the decision win. 🙁 Same with Tama-chan and Sachi. Sachi looked good, actually, but I was rooting for Tamada.
Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Sugi Rock was another back-and-forth exciting fight. Ishikawa trains out of Ground Slam, so I saw Katsumura-san cornering her. Both of their movement was really good and smooth. I wish I could move like that…. Sugi Rock won by decision, and also secured an arm-bar win over Takimoto later in the tournament. Fighting twice in one night is rough- gotta hand it to Sugi Rock.
I’ve had a few people asking ME for HER contact info…. apparently people are after her because she’s ranked number one. Guys, I don’t know, and I’m not in the position to give out or find out anybody’s info. ^^;; No, even though we’re both in the same country, we don’t train together.
Just wanted to say that.
It was too bad that Ham So Hee hurt her back during her and Ayaka’s title match. 🙁 Ayaka was upset, too, that her first title defense ended with her almost submitted in a triangle, and she said after the fight on the mic that she felt more of a responsibility to show good skill as a champion should. :/ Just goes to show that the “W” isn’t everything….but at least it’s something nice to walk away with that’ll get you your next fight offer.
I want to fight again.
But I have to figure out my training first. < Right now, things still feel kind of...scattered.