The exhibition is taking place this weekend. Supplied image.
An Auckland wrestling dojo will be testing young wrestlers skills this weekend, in a series of strong style matches in front of a live audience.
Fale Dojo will be hosting the Lion’s Roar Wrestling Exhibition on Saturday.
This showcase will feature the young lions of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling NZ Dojo in competition as they battle to see who will take their rightful place as the Head of the Pride!
The Exhibition series has been a staple in the training of the young lions since 2019.
The purpose of which is for the lions to hone their skills by competing in strong style matches to a live audience.
Notable graduates who have competed in the Exhibition shows have included Yuto Nakashima, Oskar Münchow, Aaron Solow, and Tome & Stevie Filip.
Yuto Nakashima was a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter prior to his initial pro-wrestling training at Fale Dojo. He credits the Exhibition concept for his smooth progression.
“Coming from the world of professional Mixed Martial Arts, I can say with assurance that competing on Fale Dojo Exhibition helped me to have a better understanding about applying my abilities to pro-wrestling or better yet, strong style wrestling,” says Nakashima, a native of Gifu, Japan who travelled to NNZ to train at the Dojo. He was accepted to the NJPW Dojo for advanced soon after.
“The experience of the Exhibition and Fale Dojo training taught me to maintain my background in fighting,” he says.
“It helped me become the competitor that I am. It strengthened me both physically and mentally.”
To further test the lions’ instincts at the Exhibition shows, matches are decided by drawing names from a hat.
The expectation to wrestle a lengthy on the fly match was a tremendous challenge, yet rewarding, says Oskar Münchow.
“The Exhibition shows helped me greatly to improve my wrestling,” Münchow says.
“For one it was so motivating to have something to work for where we could all show our abilities and what we learned during our time in the Dojo.”
Münchow trained an entire year at the Dojo, completing three consecutive intakes.
The experience gave Münchow the opportunity to compete on multiple Exhibition shows and fully immerse himself in the training.
“In my opinion, it makes a big difference to wrestle during training and in front of a crowd,” Münchow says.
“It pushed you to bigger heights. I remember being very nervous before those shows because you couldn’t really prepare for your opponent’s because they were drawn at random. But right when the bell rang I was in my element.
“I was so eager to show everyone what they taught me at Fale Dojo and I think the crowd saw that with every single person on those cards.”
This year's Lion's Roar is taking place Portgage Road, Otahuhu, on August 14.
Doors are open at 6pm, bell time at 6.30pm.
About Fale Dojo:
Fale Dojo is a professional wrestling training school and local fitness facility based in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand. The Dojo is an official part of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling training system, known internationally as NJPW NZ Dojo.
Founded in 2016 by Head Trainer Toks Fale, Fale first came on to the wrestling scene as the first non-Japanese student (otherwise known as a young lion) to graduate from the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Dojo in Tokyo in 2009 before making his NJPW debut on 4 April 2010. Known professionally as the “Rogue General” Bad Luck Fale, his status was elevated in 2013 when he became one of the founding members of Bullet Club. Regarded as the hottest faction in pro wrestling, Bullet Club has maintained its dominance in the wrestling world for a decade, due partly to Fale’s reputation as the Club’s revered enforcer.
Toks Fale’s passion is is to give back to his community. He envisioned Fale Dojo as a way of sharing his experience and knowledge with the goal of presenting professional wrestling as a viable career opportunity. Toks Fale’s reputation helped secure an affiliation between Fale Dojo and New Japan Pro-Wrestling allowing graduates from the Dojo’s three-month professional wrestling course to pursue further training at the New Japan Dojo. From there, they can pursue the opportunity to gain a spot on the NJPW roster.
The chance to gain Fale’s insight has drawn in many locals, as well as attracting students from all over the world. As of May 2021, Fale Dojo has produced 40 graduates. Notable alumni include “Switchblade” Jay White, Aaron Henare, Hikuleo, Robbie Eagles, Gino Gambino, Yuto Nakashima, Michael Richards, and Aaron Solow.
As a local fitness facility, Fale Dojo is equipped to offer a wide variety of classes to the general public aimed at building up people’s fitness, their self-confidence, and supporting their journey and personal development.
The trainers are experts in their disciplines who relish the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and understanding.
The Fale Dojo coaching staff reflect New Zealand’s rich and multi-layered cultural identity; they are equipped and ready to welcome people from all walks of life.