Team CARPE DIEM
Masahiro Iwasaki leads an all Brazilian JuJitsu cast from the esteemed Carpe Diem gym. Highly regarded for their aggressive submission style BJJ, Carpe Diem members are tournament regulars and medal collectors. With a lineup that is tailor made to win under Quintet rules they will be a difficult hurdle to pass for any of the competition.
One of the top Japanese BJJ practitioners of his generation, Masahiro Iwasaki shifted from Karate to BJJ at the age of 15 and was Black Belt by 21. After securing regional and national Japanese titles, Iwasaki progressed to European, Asian and World tournaments. Content to play from his back, the 75kg Iwasaki has a menacing guard game, fishing for reversals and finishes from 1/2 and open guard.
Nullifying Shinya Aoki`s attacks in a One Championship Grappling bout, Tomoshige Sera has competed against worlds best and has vital experience against Imanari, Kanehara and Kotani. The Quintet veteran likes to go for arms and knees with an approach not dissimilar from Iwasaki.
Going by the name Daisuke “Amazon” Sugie, Daisuke Shiraki was an early innovator for JMMA, carving out a successful career in the early days of the sport. An inspired grappler, it took around 6 years for Sugie to receive a Black Belt under Yuki Nakai. With a change of name following marriage, and a focus firmly on BJJ, Shiraki is a seasoned and accomplished player.
In an almost identical fashion to Iwasaki, Tomoyuki Hashimoto moved from Kempo Karate to BJJ at age 16 and was a Black Belt under Yuki Nakai 6 years later. With experience competing in the World, European, International Pans, and Japanese BJJ circuits, the 62kg Hashimoto is specialized at taking opponents back with slick reversals.
Masaki Takeura completes team Carpe Diem. The youngster is a Purple Belt Japanese BJJ medalist with an Amateur Shooto Championship belt to add to his accolades. A versatile competitor approaching his prime, Takeura is one to keep an eye on on the mat and in the cage.
Famous for his “Judo for MMA”, Michihiro Omigawa has comprised a team of seriously high level Jukoka`s, propped up by some technical Jujitsu practitioners. Strong throws, trips, sweeps and suffocating top position will be keys to teams success as they dominate position.
Captain of the team, Michihiro Omigawa is the founder of “Neo Judo”, a new generation of Judo that is also well rounded, suitable for mma and competition grappling. Omigawa is a fearsome competitor who has proven himself in MMA with durability and relentless aggression. Intensity, “reaping” takedowns and constricting chokes form the top are where the Neo-Judoka`s strengths lie.
Another successful MMA competitor with a Judo foundation, Seiichiro Ito became Flyweight Champion in the grappling heavy MMA organization ZST. Ito has been competing on the mat a lot lately and owns a decisive points decision victory over Hideo Tokoro.
Masato Uchishiba is the big gun in Team Wolf`s arsenal. The 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medalist is an exceptionally versatile Judoka comfortable on the feet and ground. From high altitude throws to reaps, pins to submissions, he can do it all and is sure to make an impression with his Quintet debut.
With a JuJitsu backbone Shinji Morito is currently the no1 ranked Japanese Brazilian JuJitsu Federation competitor in the black belt division. Extremely active in the BJJ scene, Morito could be the ace up the sleeve for Team Wolf as, at 75kg, he is very capable of scoring a key finish, especially over a lighter competitor.
While Grant Bogdanove is the 2nd JuJitsu backup for Team Wolf the gifted BJJ player has a wealth of Judo and Wrestling experience to draw upon. While he may rank as a purple belt in BJJ, the talented young gun was a gold medalist at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Jujitsu World Tour last year.
Team TOKORO PLUS α 2nd
Hideo Tokoro has chosen a team packed with MMA luminaries. Every competitor has a storied career both inside the cage/ ring and on the mat. With an eclectic blend of styles, expect the unexpected from this wildly creative group of submission hunters. Whether Team Tokoro`s quest for the “Ippon” submission guides them to victory or proves to be their downfall remains to be seen. The one certainty is that they are sure to entertain.
Team captain Hideo Tokoro is as exciting as a Martial Artist can get. The acrobatic risk taker thrives on techniques competitors do not usually get away with. Watch him smoothly transition between leaping, rolling and sliding techniques to pull off ridiculously difficult submissions.
A pioneer of the modern leg lock game, Masakazu Imanari turned the grappling world upside down with his highly effective, unorthodox style. The self described “10th Dan of leglocks” has almost exclusively prioritized leg submissions. Utilizing his patented “Imanari Roll” entry to attack the legs and chain together deadly holds, Imanari has influenced countless grapplers with his lower body submission wizardry.
Naoyuki Kotani provides some horsepower, reliability and weight to the team. A master submission expert coming out of the Rings system, Kotani is a strong positional grappler who is also capable of securing unconventional holds and locks.
U-File stylist Daisuke Nakamura follows the “old school” method of Japanese grappling, rooting for submissions over all else. Adept at finding sensational arm locks from unlikely situations, Nakamura concedes position frequently and will go “airborne” for chances to snatch an arm.
Masanori Kanehara brings a methodical, stable and tenacious angle to Team Tokoro. Skilled at taking the back, once he gets his hooks in and position locked it is generally a matter of time before opponents are tapping.
Team ONE HUNDRED
MMA legend Kaoru Uno`s squad consists of an amalgamation of MMA, submission wrestling, wrestling, BJJ and other disciplines. Composed of 3 mature, battle tested veterans, rounded out with younger JuJitsu competitors, the group are highly accomplished in transitions. Correct participation order may be the deciding factor for the adaptable lineup of Team ONE HUNDRED.
Team leader Kaoru “Shoten” Uno needs little introduction, the legend has almost 25 years experience in MMA spanning over 60 MMA bouts for virtually every major Japanese MMA org. A keen submission style wrestler and a veteran of various submission rules matches, “Shoten” excels at takedowns and stealing top or back positions. The veteran “floats” over opponents and catches them mid transition, typically with his speciality, the “hookless” Rear Naked Choke.
Kohei Yasumi emerged from a similar era of MMA as Uno. From his wrestling base Yasumi progressed to MMA and now works on expanding his grappling acumen. The ADCC Asian Qualifiers Champion has a strong base on top and is tough to put away.
Shoki Higuchi is BJJ practitioner who competes in Gi and No-Gi events, snatching the Lightweight All Japan No-Gi Championship in the expert class. With a skill set well suited to Quintet, Higuchi enters on the heels of a successful debut at Quintet 4.
The final MMA veteran, Kenichi Ito, cut his teeth under the old ZST rules format where only a finish counts. There he faced off against the likes of Team Tokoro`s Imanari and Kanehara. Retired from MMA the 44 year old recently experienced a resurgence, winning the 2018 NAGA World Grappling Championship.
Toshiyasu Sagae is a JuJitsu stylist who also possesses a fantastic style for Quintet rules. He trains out of Toikatsu gym, known for having a diversity of styles and practitioners. Sagae has also trained with Imanari frequently and will have valuable experience and knowledge that could be vital to the team order.
In addition to the tournament bouts there will be a dream match up for grappling aficionados as 2 of the hottest names in BJJ meet on the mat.
Representing Brazilian Nine-Nine (99 BJJ) / Igloo BJJ, Igor “Fatninja” Tanabe is a Brazilian national who has lived in Japan since childhood. After Conquering the colored belt divisions in the World, Brazilian, Asian and European championships in GI and No-Gi Tanabe was awarded his black belt this year. A dominant force on the mat with a comprehensive knowledge of BJJ, “Fat Ninja” really shines when working his complex guard game. Regarded as one the hottest prospects and most talented practitioners Tanabe’s time has come.
A native of Ghana, Haisam “Giraffe” Rida came to Japan with his parents as a teenager and fell in love with BJJ. Finding a home alongside many of Japan’s best at the esteemed Carpe Diem gym, Rida has never looked back. “Giraffe” rose to prominence as a brown belt when he submitted 4 highly regarded black belts at Quintet Fight Night 2. That same year he would be graded as a Black Belt. Spectacular at using his long frame to lock opponents limbs, “Giraffe” excels at knee bars and leg submissions. In a Gi match, Haisam conceded a sweep to Tanabe in overtime earlier this month and will be out to even the score.
In a bout sure to delight the fans, Japan’s favorite MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba takes to the mat to face Judoka turned Pro Wrestler Takashi Sugiura. The 2nd “Special Match” will be contested under Greco-Roman Wrestling rules.
Sakuraba delighted Japanese fans with breath-taking MMA performances fusing his brand of entertaining grappling with his love of Pro-Wrestling. Having reached 1/2 a century in age, Sakuraba is battle-scared but still going strong as a teacher and student in the art of submission grappling. The mastermind behind Quintet, Sakuraba has left the MMA world to cultivate and promote his new form of grappling competition.
After narrowly missing the Olympics in Judo, Takashi Sugiura forged a name for himself as a Pro-Wrestler. With a legitimate Martial Arts background Sugiura was scouted for MMA where he made a positive first impression as he faced BJJ specialist Daniel Gracie. While ultimately losing a razor thin split decision his offensive and defensive performance in the grappling department earned him a lot of praise. One year older than Sakuraba, Sugiura will likely weigh in heavier, something that could even the score when facing such an experienced foe.