Japanese wrestlers compete

Wrestling in Japan


Kitajima along with Shintaro pinning him downImage copyright Alfie Goodrich

A wrestling club comprised of mostly handicapped fighters could be the focus of a documentary. The manager, Heath Cozens, hopes it will challenge people's perceptions of understanding correct and incorrect in terms of impairment.

In downtown Tokyo inside a normal city hallway, a paraplegic man tosses his mind toward headbutt another. Both of their particular feet are tied up together and, lying on to the floor associated with the band, they wrestle before the bell signals the end of the round.

The next fight is introduced and Shintaro "Sambo" Yano, a 46-year-old guy with cerebral palsy slowly gets in the ring.

Their adversary is Yukinori "Antithesis" Kitajima, Shintaro's long-running wrestling arch nemesis. But Kitajima isn't disabled, and is noticeably more powerful than Shintaro.

"He's the Hitler of disabled care, " shouts the female announcer as she introduces Kitajima. Then the fight begins.

Heath Cozens, videos journalist and documentary manufacturer is seeing the wrestlers go head-to-head for over 5 years. He thought uncomfortable as he first went to a fight evening and saw the violent moments of disabled people being pummelled to hemorrhaging point.

Image copyright ALfie Goodrich

"I was therefore shocked I virtually wished to laugh, " he claims, "however felt bad about wanting to laugh at handicapped men and women, and so I believed embarrassed. I simply couldn't determine if this was exploitation, entertainment or real equivalence."

Initially he thought it absolutely was an abusive circumstance, particularly when he realised that non-disabled individuals were pitched against handicapped opponents who will be literally a lot weaker than all of them. He also considered making an expose, but after approaching the wrestlers and starting to film with them, their views changed, along with his brand-new documentary appeared.

Called following the wrestling team, the movie Doglegs follows five members of the Tokyo league as they confront their handicaps and personal life - in both the wrestling ring and out. For Cozens it had been to be able to show the realities of these resides, plus the stark contrast of their experiences in and out of the ring. "These are individuals who encounter severe prejudice in most aspects of their particular lives, " he states, "but Doglegs provides them with a getaway from that."

In the middle regarding the film is Shintaro - the star of wrestling team. He began Doglegs 20 years ago, after a fight with another handicapped man throughout the affections of a female made him realize just how much they had both enjoyed your competitors and physicality for the brawl.

Image copyright Alfie Goodrich Image caption Nakajima has serious depression and sometimes cries within the ring


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