Toshio Fujiwara was born on March 3, 1948 in the city of Iwate Miyako which is located 300 km north of Tokyo.
Toshio Fujiwara went to Tokyo to study. In order to finance his studies, he is a part-time milk deliverer. During his tour, he delivers milk to a martial arts gym, the Mejiro Gym. It was in this gym, which was founded by Kenji Kurosaki, that in 1969 he discovered a new contact sport, Kick Boxing. Kenji Kurosaki was the pioneer of Kickboxing in Japan in the 1970’s, he created his gym in the Mejiro district of Toshima district in Tokyo and called it simply the “Mejiro Gym”.
Kenji Kurosaki made several trips to Thailand in the 60’s and on his return from Thailand with master Naront Siri, they developed Kickboxing in Japan. Japanese Kick Boxing practiced in the 60’s was a form of Muay Thai which also included techniques of Kyokushinkai Karate. There was the clinch, the knees and the elbows, more the projections allowed the passage of hips. The rounds were also 3 minutes but the rest minute was one minute against one and a half minutes in Thailand.
Master Kurosaki has had many great champions as pupils such as Mitsuo Shima, Kunimitsu Okao and Toshio Fujiwara.
There are also a lot of foreigners who came to Mejiro Gym in the 70’s like Jon Bluming, Jan Van Looijen, Jan Plas and Peter Van De Hemel. It was these Dutch boxers who then imported Kick Boxing and Muay Thai to the Netherlands. In 1978, Jan Plas founded his gym in Amsterdam, which he named Mejiro Gym in reference to his teacher Kurosaki.
The Samurai of Clermont-Ferrand, the French Patrick Brizon was also a student of Master Kurosaki. It was Patrick Brizon who in the 1970’s imported Thai boxing and kick boxing to France after discovering this sport in Japan. Patrick Brizon opened his gym in Clermont-Ferrand in 1974 and named it the Kurosaki Dojo in honor of his Japanese master.
Toshio Fujiwara was 20 when he began his apprenticeship in Kickboxing. He was already a sportsman but not really in the world of combat sports. He had practiced “Taikiken (Japanese martial art inspired by Chinese Yi Quan)”. But above all, he was, for several years, table tennis champion and ranked among the best university ping-pong players in the country.
Formed by the foremost expert in Kickboxing, Master Kurosaki, Toshio Fujiwara quickly became a diligent student with a warrior mind. This ring samurai already possessed the famous “Fighting spirit” in him.
For his first professional fight in Kickboxing Toshio Fujiwara defeated by KO in the second round Sakaï Takao, on October 1, 1969. But he then lost in points against the Thai Nanpon Cartesuk and suffered another defeat in points against the Thai Sakuchaï Rakanton. On December 19, he defeated Sakamoto Eiji in points.
Toshio Fujiwara then trains harder and becomes a real terror of the rings.
In 1970, he will perform 21 fights, he fights every fortnight and wins against all his opponents. Out of his 21 fights, he won 16 by KO including 4 in the first round and five victories by points, nobody manages to stop the Japanese war machine…
Toshio Fujiwara won his first major trophy on November 5, 1971, he won the All Japan Kickboxing Association (AJKA) title by beating Tamaki Yoshimitsu on points. He then went on to defend that AJKA title six times, a title that is the equivalent of Japanese champion in Kickboxing.
On April 30, 1972, in the stadium of Ratchadamnoen, in Bangkok, Toshio Fujiwara meets Rungnapa Sitsomsak, the match ends in the fifth round, the Thai who has not stopped playing clown in the ring is knocked out by the Japanese…
Toshio Fujiwara is an innate puncher, he could have made a career in Boxing because he was an excellent fighter with his fists and a terrible puncher.
Toshio Fujiwara possessed a technique in Boxing worthy of the great champions of the noble Art. Moreover, King Mohamed Ali himself had encouraged him to make a career in Boxing.
In 1976, Mohamed Ali traveled to Japan to fight the famous wrestler Inoki. An exhibition fight that ended in a draw between the two champions. During his tour in Japan, Mohamed Ali had attended a training of Toshio Fujiwara in the dojo of Kenji Kurosaki. The heavyweight world champion had been surprised by Toshio Fujiwara’s beautiful fist techniques and recommended that he make a career in professional Boxing…
During the year 1973, Toshio Fujiwara suffered only one defeat in his 16 fights.
On March 29, he beats the former great English Boxing champion Shozo Saijo (WBA Featherweight World Champion, 38 fights 29 wins) who had 16 fights and 15 victories in Kick Boxing. The match takes place in Tokyo in a sold-out stadium with a crowd of personalities from the world of politics and show biz. Toshio Fujiwara completely dominated Shozo Saijo but in the third round, Shozo Saijo’s manager stepped into the ring to stop the match. The fight ended in great confusion with the evacuation of Shozo Saijo and his manager in front of a public at the edge of the riot…
In 1974, Toshio Fujiwara lost only once in 13 fights.
Toshio Fujiwara attacks the year 75 with a victory by KO in the fourth round over the Thai Chamoun Pontawai, in Bangkok, on March 8, 1975. In April, he beats Banchin Sibaton (KO 3rd round), in May, again Chamoun Pontawai (KO 3rd round) and points Sato Masanobu (AJKA title), in October, Pesito Simouson (KO 3rd round), in November, Chaichan Rukbanco (KO 2nd round) and in December Ri Sapoton (KO 3rd round).
In 1976, only the legendary Sirimongkol and the great champion Raweeson Bibelchaï will beat the Japanese in his 13 fights. On January 1, Toshio Fujiwara beats Rung Sinyasonpon on points and on January 27 it is Bakrynu Maropitak who is knocked out in the fourth round by the Japanese.
On March 8, in a stadium of archicomble Radja, Toshio Fujiwara faces the great champion Sirimongkol Luksiripat (Best boxer of the year 1972) who was champion of Lumpinee and beat the greatest such as Pud Laolek, Pud Pad Noy Woorawut, Reungsak Porntawee, Kongdech Lukbangprasoy, Wicharnoi Porntawee and Anantakorn Sor Lukmeuangrat. After a very technical match, the Thai judges gave the victory on points to Sirimongkol Luksiripat.
On April 7, 1977, in the stadium of Ratchadamnoen in Bangkok, Toshio Fujiwara meets for the belt of world champion the Thai Charapon Sothaï who is champion of Radja. The Japanese defeated Charapon Sothaï by points after a hallucinatory fight in which the two men ended up completely exhausted. Toshio Fujiwara wins the supreme title and becomes the first non-Thai to beat a Thai champion (Radja Champion) in the stadium of Radja!
1978 is the year of the consecration for Toshio Fujiwara because he will win the famous belt of the mythical stadium of Ratchadamnoen.
On March 18, 1978, in Japan, in Tokyo, Toshio Fujiwara faced the reigning Radja champion, the Thai Mongsawan Ruk Changmai. The belt of the stadium of Radja in 135 lbs (- 61 Kg) is brought into play for the first time outside of Thailand. Toshio Fujiwara is determined to take the win, he would later declare “I was ready to die in the ring to have this title, no matter if I had a broken arm or a broken leg, I had to win!” “. The Japanese fought without fail, he beat by KO Mongsawan in the fourth round and became champion of Radja in 135 lbs (- 61 Kg). Toshio Fujiwara enters Muay Thai history by becoming the first foreigner in the world to win a Thai stadium title!
On June 7, 1978, in the stadium of Radja, Bangkok, Toshio Fujiwara after having conquered the belt of Radja will challenge the reigning Lumpinee champion Sepree Kiatsompop. But the Japanese did not succeed in the feat of winning a second belt in a mythical stadium in Bangkok, he lost in points against Sepree Kiatsompop who became champion of Radja in 135 lbs and champion of Lumpinee in 135 lbs. The Japanese lose his Radja belt…
On August 2, 1978, in Tokyo, the legendary American Benny Urquidez faced the great Thai champion Prayuth Sittiboonlert (Sisonpop) for a world champion title. Prayuth Sittiboonlert dominates the American with his knee techniques and beats him on points. In the same evening, Toshio Fujiwara meets the American Refugio Flores (IKA Kick Boxing World Champion) for a Kick Boxing World title, the Japanese KOs the American in the fifth round and becomes Kick Boxing World Champion!
Toshio Fujiwara then met Prayuth Sittiboonlert, six months later, in Japan on February 6, 1979. The Thai lost in points to the Japanese destroyer!
Benny Urquidez was then to face Toshio Fujiwara but the match between the two legends never took place. The American team did everything to avoid the Japanese champion…
On September 15, 1978, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Toshio Fujiwara performed one of his best performances by beating the living legend Pud Pad Noy Worawoot on points (Best boxer of the year 1975, Lumpinee Champion in – 51 Kg. In – 54 Kg and in – 58 Kg) which defeated the best in his category like Wicharnoy, Kunkotnoi, Soksin, Sirimongkol, Kiatpathum, Suksawadee, Chaiyuth, Apidet, Huasai and many others.
His fight against the Thai terror of the time was the hardest of his career.
Indeed, Pud Pad Noy had an extremely dangerous punching power with his middles kick but Toshio Fujiwara was able to stem the onslaught of the Thai by breaking his working distance. The match was epic with a Lumpinee stadium completely full, so full that the police had to push back the people who congregated around the ring and who prevented the boxers from entering the ring.
During this memorable fight, Pud Pad Noy was counted twice, once on a hook and once on a nudge. It should be noted that Pud Pad Noy had not fought for two years before meeting Toshio Fujiwara, the Thai lacked a ring because he had gone to teach in the United States. But that in no way detracts from the immense feat of the Japanese. Moreover, this match was declared “Fight of the year” in Thailand!
On October 30, Toshio Fujiwara took his revenge on the Thai Sepree Kiatsompop who had robbed him of his Radja belt. For this fight, the belt of world champion of Thai boxing was in play. Toshio Fujiwara is declared world champion after having defeated the Thai in the fourth round with a magnificent right hook which electrocuted Sepree Kiatsompop!
On February 12, 1979, in the stadium of Lumpinee, Toshio Fujiwara fights for the belt of Lumpinee against the defending champion Narondee Katibandet. But Toshio Fujiwara loses on points for the Lumpinee title…
On January 7, 1982, he destroyed in four round the American champion Manny Johnston who was the Full Contact world champion, Toshio Fujiwara again won the belt of World champion in Thai boxing.
For his last fight, on February 5, 1983, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Toshio Fujiwara met a very strong young Japanese champion named Adachi Hidéo. Toshio Fujiwara loses the first round on points but he finally puts his compatriot KO in the third round. Toshio Fujiwara retires from the rings for good at 35 years old…
Toshio Fujiwara, during his career in Thai boxing, faced 109 Thai fighters, he beat 77 by KO and 19 in points, he lost in points against 7 Thai and by referee stoppage against 5 Thai, and he lost made a draw. He met 30 Japanese fighters with 20 wins by KO, 8 wins on points, one loss by referee stoppage and a draw. Finally, Toshio Fujiwara defeated by KO two American champions!
He made all his fights in the – 61 Kg category. Toshio Fujiwara fought only in Japan and Thailand. Thailand is the only foreign country where he has fought. He practically did all of his big matches in Thailand and when he went to prepare in Thailand he went to the famous Put Laolek camp, a camp that Put Laolek had opened, at the time, in the suburbs of Bangkok.
His number of fights stands at 141 fights for 126 wins with 13 losses and 2 draws. Toshio Fujiwara won 99 matches by knockout, including 16 in the first round, a real record. He won the belt of the stadium of Ratchadamnoen, four times the belt of world champion and 7 times the title of champion of Japan. This great Japanese champion marked the history of Muay Thai forever!
BY SERGE TREFEU