When number four ranked bantamweight fighter Roxanne Modafferi graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Japanese, she took a leap to the Far East to envelop the Japanese lifestyle and culture. It gave her the opportunity to earn money and train with some of the best female fighters of the Orient.
On a recent interview on “Sportsgeeks” on Blog Talk Radio, Modafferi talked about her experience in Japan, and told us she sees an enormous shift from MMA’s humble beginnings.
“In my personal opinion, I believe that nowadays the training methods (in the United States) are surpassing and have surpassed that in Japan,” Modafferi commented. “We used to have the best fighters in Japan. All the Japanese fighters want to fight in the states. So the big fights are in the states now.”
Modafferi says there are huge differences between Japanese FeMMA and western style in terms of rules as well.
“I think women’s mma in the states and in the west are ahead of Japanese in that there are more of the same rules as the men,” Modeffari observed. “Sometimes they won’t allow elbows and ground and pound.”
Modafferi stated that ground and pound is a subject with mixed reviews when it comes to the Japanese FeMMA fighters.
“I know that many women in my dojo don’t wanna ground and pound. I asked them ‘why not?’ They said, ‘oh just because’ I never got a really good answer from them. But some really want to do it. So I get mixed reactions from that.” Another big difference is that cross training hasn’t caught on in Japan.
“I find people here still either train the grappling or they train the striking,” Modafferi continues. “They don’t spar the MMA, and they don’t do the incorporating drills. For example they hit the pads for thirty seconds, then grapple someone for thirty seconds, then ground and pound for thirty seconds. They don’t do that kind of drill work. They just focus on one aspect or the other, without bringing it all together.”
Modafferi, however, enjoys training and living in Japan, perfecting her striking skills. She misses grappling, but waits for the day she will once again be back in the states fighting. And she has a laundry list of opponents in mind.
“I want Sarah Kaufman first (to) knock her off,” Modaffari said. “Then Shayna Baszler or Tara LaRossa, and any of those top girls. But everyone is making a big deal out of Sarah Kaufman. Of course I wanna get in there and show her what I got.”