Josh Barnett Gives History Lesson About Backgrounds Of Several Japanese Wrestlers

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett was on Twitter earlier this week and passionately responded to a tweet an individual wrote about the martial arts backgrounds of numerous Japanese wrestlers.

Barnett has had a successful career in both MMA and professional wrestling. A former UFC Heavyweight Champion, winner of the King of Pancrase Openweight Championship and the inaugural Metamoris Heavyweight Championship in 2014, Barnett made his debut in pro wrestling in 2003 at New Japan Pro Wrestling's January 4 Tokyo Dome Show. He also wrestled for Inoki Genome Federation and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling before starting as a color commentator for NJPW's weekly television program in early 2015.

In the initial tweet, the individual wrote, "Greatest wrestlers ever: Jushin Liger, Keiji Mutoh, Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Great Sasuke, Masahiro Chono, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guererro.. Satoshi Kojima... Not a SINGLE one of them was jujitsu master. Tanahashi is a baseball player."

Barnett didn't hold back in his response, replying with a total of ten tweets describing the combat histories of each wrestler mentioned above. You can read his full reply below:

"BWAHAHAHA! You clearly have absolutely ZERO understanding about their backgrounds and training," Barnett wrote. "So in this thread, I will learn you and many others. Let's start off with the simple fact that all of those Japanese wrestlers (especially NJPW Dojo guys) trained shoot from the ground up. Liger DOES have a BJJ background, and has trained catch wrestling under me and through the NJPW dojo, in addition to doing Koppo, which is a Japanese martial art with full contact sparring. Mutoh trained in the NJPW dojo and was trained in fundamental catch and amateur wrestling. Misawa was an amateur wrestler and placed fifth at the 1980 freestyle Jr. World Championships. Kawada was a HS national champion freestyle wrestler and clearly trained in striking arts.

"Kobashi trained in Judo, plus was taught fundamental wrestling skills. Akiyama trained in Judo & was a university freestyle wrestler. Malenko is an old school trained wrestler with catch and amateur wrestling training from his dad, plus training in Japan. Guererro also comes from a legendary pro wrestling family with catch wrestling training and wrestled in college. Kojima was a HS Judoka and then went to train under Animal Hamaguchi—an amateur and catch wrestler who trained an Olympic Bronze and multiple world gold medalist wrestler. Only Sasuke would appear to be from a non-shoot training perspective, but like I said, up until quite recently ALL of the Japanese wrestling schools taught from a shoot perspective as basics. Fundamental amateur and catch wrestling.

"In fact, that was how all the old timers here in the states were taught to begin with as well," Barnett continued. "The NJPW dojo is FUNDAMENTALLY based on catch wrestling and even martial arts training with old school wrestling conditioning. It was created by Karl Gotch! Both Chono and Tanahashi were trained from the ground up in the NJPW dojo meaning they trained in shoot techniques and skills. I have personally trained Tanahashi before in catch and boxing. Notice he throws a three shot combo with hook to the liver? More. Even Toru Yano was a multiple time university national champion freestyle wrestler and has even competed in a shoot fight (which I was his corner with Iizuka). He won the first round against a near 50-fight veteran! So, you have now had a massive amount of new information made available to you. Have fun."

Below are all of Barnett's tweets:












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