English Translation of Official Press Release


October 27, 2015

Today at the GEN Sports Palace Media Center, a press conference was held to announce WRESTLE-1’s “International Wrestling Camp,” which will begin at the end of November.  Comments were made by CEO Sanshiro Takagi, Head Coach Kaz Hayashi, and Manager American Balloon.

CEO Sanshiro Takagi

“Today we are announcing ‘Wrestling Camp’ as a Japanese-style pro wrestling training activity.  From the end of November, 2015, foreign wrestlers from around the world will be accepted to train Japanese-style pro wrestling for three weeks.  Along with our wrestling school, we feel it is a good way to use the GEN Sports Palace, and I’d like to run it similarly to the wrestling school.  After all, the ‘W’ in ‘Wrestle-1’ stands for Worldwide, so this is one of the worldwide activities we are looking to do.  We would like to bring up foreign wrestlers in the Japanese style of training. Those kinds of things are what we’re looking to do. For this, we are going to assign the very internationally accomplished Kaz Hayashi as the head coach.  And an old friend of mine, American Balloon, will be acting as the manager.  We shall begin this at the end of November.”

Head Coach, Kaz Hayashi

“Of course there will be Japanese-style training, but I also think there is a huge mental aspect involved.  Foreigners generally are gifted with larger bodies than Japanese, but Japanese can overcome this with our training methods.  Patience in training, fighting respectfully, these things which we who were born in Japan as Japanese are brought up with and feel is a natural environment-- this environment where we wake up properly, clean, making and eating Chanko in the Japanese style, all living together, and so on.  I would like to use this style to bring up great wrestlers. This time as the head coach, I would like to run the camp in a strictly Japanese style, and share our mentality and training.

American Balloon

I really began my wrestling career at the New Japan LA Dojo. It was the greatest of experiences for me. I not only learned pro wrestling, but being in this Japanese environment caused me to grow up in many ways as well.  Right now, there isn’t anywhere to go to get this kind of Japanese-style training.  I think that it’s wonderful that Americans, Mexicans, and people from around the world looking to receive this kind of training can finally have a place to go.  As for the differences with Japanese training, it’s much like Head Coach Hayashi said, the cleaning, making Chanko, the serious training environment and other things which can’t be found in the US.  I hope that the trainees can learn not just about actual pro wrestling, but many things through this experience. I look forward to it.

Questions from the Press:

Will American Balloon be the person in direct contact with wrestlers who want to participate in the camp?


CEO Sanshiro Takagi

That’s right. American Balloon was living in Los Angeles, but will be living in Japan from now on. From a long time ago, he and I had been thinking the same thing. It’s difficult for American Indy wrestlers to find a place in Japan, and many people could potentially be referred to us from abroad. When we were discussing this, it was right when I became the CEO of Wrestle-1, so I thought that our environment could certainly be used for this purpose.  He wanted to give foreign wrestlers this experience in Japan, so I asked him to act as the manager. We will be creating a Facebook page and a web site, so from there hopeful applicants will be able to get in touch with American Balloon. Then he will check them out and correspond with them and make the decision.  He can speak six languages, English, Spanish, Mongolian, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese... and even French and Russian to some extent, and is very good with foreign languages. So we think we can take applicants from anywhere in the world. 

Question: After the three weeks of training, will the wrestlers participate in matches in Japanese wrestling companies?

CEO Sanshiro Takagi

It is quite possible that this will serve as a tryout. We will train them and see their ability. Then if we decide that they will be a good fit, we may ask them to participate in WRESTLE-1. Right now it’s just a plan, but if matchmakers from other wrestling companies are interested we may be able to refer them.  These are the kinds of things we are considering.  We are planning to do this in a very open way, so many types of people may come.  Without actually seeing them and trying it, we don’t know what will happen.  On my own personal Facebook I receive messages from foreign wrestlers periodically, and American Balloon has also received a number of messages from interested wrestlers. I think there is enough demand.


Question: American Balloon... how many offers have you received yet from wrestlers?


American Balloon

I am talking with between 8 and 12 people at the moment. It doesn’t mean that everyone will end up coming, but at the moment, that’s the number of people we are talking to.

Sanshiro Takagi

“That and basically the fact that we are basically limiting it to men. There was a female wrestler who had shown a lot of interest originally, but considering the training and living situation and so on, we are limiting it to men. We might re-consider this policy for the second or third camp, though.

A new project starting at the end of November.

Please look forward to Wrestle-1’s new experiment!