Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Carvalho Report: The Life and Times of a Shooto Contender in Japan

I finally made it to Japan. After sitting on a plane for fifteen hours, I was where I wanted to be. I must thank my good friends Mr. Yoshi Tanaka and his son Danny. Also, special thanks to Yuta Takahashi. Before I begin to tell you about my experiences in Japan, I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Antonio "Pato" Carvalho. I am part of the Franco/Behring team out of Toronto, Canada. I have been competing in MMA for over four years and have fought most of my career in Shooto. It has been a dream of mine to one day live and train in Japan. I am now living that dream. On top of that, my new team was waiting for my arrival. So after a good night sleep, it was off to the Abe Ani Combat Club gym. The AACC gym is located in the Omori area in Tokyo. AACC is literally inside a massive Gold’s Gym on the seventh floor of the building.

The facility is gorgeous and it provides you with everything you need to get a great workout. As soon as you walk up a flight of stairs, you will be amazed at how enormous everything is. Right away you will notice the large boxing ring and all the necessary boxing equipment. On the left side, beside the boxing area, there are all kinds of heavy bags. To the right of the boxing ring, there is a huge area dedicated to mat space for any kind of grappling. The first time I saw the mat area, I could not believe how large this place really was. I had never seen so much mat space at one place in a club.

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