Seijo James Imazaki parleyed an upbringing of varies martial disciplines into owning a karate dojo in Chicago, but fighting is more than just a job for James, it’s his life. On September 1st, he gets the opportunity to show everyone exactly what he means in the main event.
Q: How did you get into martial arts?
A: “My grandfather on my mother’s side was a boxer and a wrestler, so growing up my brother and I joined the wrestling team to be like him.”
Q: How long have you been training and fighting?
A: “I started wrestling when I was 10 years old, my brother and I would wrestle all year round. My life revolved around wrestling when I was young. In my early 20’s, I joined a TKD [Taekwondo] School, but a few years later I found Kyokushin karate and I fell in love with it. I dropped everything and moved into a dojo to be a ‘uchi deshi’, which means live in student. Karate saved my life!”
Q: What gym do you train at?
A: “Well, I own a karate dojo in the South Loop of Chicago called Imazakidojo.com. I am the head instructor there as well. As far as MMA training, I train with Dino Costeas at TDCMMA.com in West Town.”
Q: Why did you decide to start training/fighting?
A: “I really had no choice but to fight as a kid, I had an older brother who beat me up often, fighting is just in my blood.”
Q: Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
A: “My biggest inspiration in life would have to be my father.”
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
A: “The best advice I was ever given is to never give up.”
Q: What is your life’s motto?
A: “Blood sweat and tears won’t kill you, it will just get you a little bit wet.”
Q: Describe your fighting style?
A: “I love to stand up and strike, but I also love to grapple.”
Q: What is your favorite music?
A: “I am a Hip Hop head, lol.”
Q: If you could meet one person either alive or deceased, who would it be?
A: “My brother Reiko passed away earlier this year, I would give anything to see him again.”
Q: How do you see your main event fight going on September 1st?
A: “I believe it’s going to be a tough fight. I don’t like to talk smack, all I know is I’m going to fight my heart out!”