Katsuyori Shibata was recently interviewed by NJPW’s website. During the interview, he discussed the Young Lion Cup and more. Here are the highlights:
On Training American Students:
I was living together with them in the same house, and after about a month, they weren’t treating any of it with enough respect. They were slacking off in the house, they weren’t training as hard, and one day I completely lost it with them. I really thought things are different in different countries, I need to be patient, but I lost it. From there on though, they straightened up. I was pouring energy and passion into teaching and that rubbed off on them.
It’s a rare kind of connection. But I think the guys I’ve taught are proud of coming from the LA Dojo, and that makes me happy too.
On Clark Connors Participating In The Young Lion Cup:
I think you can call him the captain of the LA Dojo team. If I’m not around, I leave the drills to him.
He’s changed a lot since he started. He looks different, he’s gotten bigger. He was really small when he started. All the guys in the dojo were chosen from a training camp we had when it fist opened. We reached out to the guys who had the most promise, and Clark was the first one we called.
And between us calling him and him coming to the Dojo, his legs had gotten quite a bit bigger. He said he’d been doing 500 squats every day. He was really putting the work in. That’s the attitude he had.
On Karl Fredericks In The Young Lion Cup:
When we did the first short training camps in LA, we had about 15 guys in each of the first and third sessions, but only Karl had applied for the middle one. We were talking about just cancelling it. But the guy had gone through the trouble of applying, so we took a look. First thing I thought when I saw him was ‘this guy’s awesome’. He had no trouble with the drills at all. Every part of his body is like a spring. And he’s tall.
He came with experience too. I guess I can say this? He was called by another major company as well, and went through their camp. But there, he asked himself whether he could really do what he wanted. When he did our camp, he decided ‘this is where I should be.’
On Alex Coughlin Participating:
He’s the least experienced of my guys. But he is insanely strong. and very flexible as well. His bridge is just awesome. He’s just… lacking a few things. He hasn’t got much experience, there’s a lot he doesn’t know. How can I put it? He’s like the world’s strongest baby.
It’s like he’s only just been born. He’ll only grow from here, and there’s so much possibility for him, but it’s as if he’s one year old. OK, maybe two. But that’s a real treasure in the wrestling world.
You can read the interview HERE.