Tokashiki Village office worker debuts as mixed martial arts fighter

Tokashiki Village office worker debuts as mixed martial arts fighter

Kiyoya Toyama, who debuted in a mixed martial arts event, wearing a happi coat to promote Tokashiki. In Tokashiki on August 28.

September 1, 2013 Hideaki Yoneda, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

Thirty-five-year-old Tokashiki Village employee Kiyoya Toyama made his debut in a mixed martial arts event held in Matsuyama, Naha on August 25.

Fighting under the ring name Hija Devil, Toyama is the first mixed martial arts fighter from Tokashiki. He lost his bout in a close contest, but performed very well in front of about a thousand spectators.

Personifying the fighting spirit of Tokashiki, Toyama was given an award for his efforts. That he lays his life on the line to fight has attracted attention from local people and his performances help to promote Tokashiki tourism.

Toyama said, “My friend who is a world champion of martial arts, motivated me to fight. I tried mixed martial arts because you can compete at any age. I trained hard when I could get time from work and lost 13 kilograms in the process. Next time I want to win to help promote the island.” He went on to say, “Tokashiki has a boxing gym and is suitable for training of martial arts. I would really like many martial arts organizations to come to Tokashiki to hold training camps.”

Ryota Murata, who won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, held a training camp in Tokashiki during his college years.

As the opening act of the event, Toru Arakaki, the head of the Kerama Drum Association of Tokashiki, and his brother performed to get the spectators ready for the show.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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