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 Naoko Kuma


1.  How did you get started  fighting?


  Natori Sensei who was the owner and trainer of the local gym recommended that I give it a try.

2. What does your family think about you fighting?


At first they were against the idea, but now they support me

3. Do they come to watch you fight?


They come whenever they can.

4. Did you begin with Master Natori at the Fudohkan?




5. Would you say that Master Natori  is a very strict and demanding coach?


Yes, I think so.

6.  The three most famous women fighters from the Fudohkan are yourself, Aya Mitsui, and Natsumi  Nakazawa. The combined won/.loss record for these three  Fudohkan women is 56 wins against  only 7 losses. That is a very high win percentage!  Do  you think that has something to do with Master Natori's training methods?


Yes, I think so.

7. A lot of American women fighters do not like to fight against other fighters from their same gym, because they are often close friends. But, you have fought your friend, Natsumi Nakazawa. And then Natsumi and Aya Mitsui also fought each other at the Arcion fighting carnival.  How do you feel about having to fight  a close friend from the Fudohkan? It is hard on you emotionally? Or does it make you tougher?


Whenever I fight, I fight the same no matter who the opponent is.


8. Are there any new women kickboxers at the Fudohkan that fans should watch for?




9. Besides yourself, who would you say is the greatest woman kickboxer in
Japan today?


I don’t know.

10. You have so many interesting fights with big name fighters. I want to ask you about some of these fights:

A. YOKO TAKAHASHII:  You had a very interesting fight with Pro wrestler, Yoko Takahashii. She outweighed you 147 pounds to 115 pounds. So you wore very small 6 oz gloves as a handicap. You won that match and Takahashii went down once in the fight.  Can you tell us something about that very unusual fight?


I knew I needed to train for stamina because she outweighed me by 32 pounds.  So I had enough energy to outlast her. 

B. LISA HOWARTH: You have an interesting history with the Great English Champion Lisa Howarth. Your first fight was in
Birmingham, England , and it was ruled a no contest after she knocked you down with a knee thrust, and they ruled the fight a No Contest. Did you have trouble with her height advantage and her knees?
Then, when you rematched with her in Tokyo, you knocked her unconscious in the first round. And, after the fight you appeared to be very emotional.  It seemed like that was a very emotional and satisfying win for you...can you tell us something about those two fights with the great British Champion?


In the fight in England, after the referee said “break,” Lisa tapped my shoulder, so I thought she was going to back-off, but instead she knee kicked me when I wasn’t ready and that was the reason the referee ruled it a “No Contest.”  But Lisa had a really powerful punch and kick and after only one straight-right, my eye-lid got swollen.  Because of Lisa’s strong showing during our first match, I thought I was going to be knocked out during our fight in Japan .  


REGINA HALMICH: You also seemed to have an easy time with The world famous German Champion Regina Halmich. you knocked her out easily in the first round with a body punch. And as you walked back to your corner, you were shaking your head. Were you disappointed that she was so easy for you?


I thought Regina was going to be a much tougher opponent and I was really surprised by the first round knockout. Her record was 20-2 coming in to the fight.   

D. You also knocked out Kyoko "Tomboy Kamikaze" Miyazake twice. Then, Miyazake retired. What do you think of Kamikaze as a fighter?


Kyoko is a wonderful fighter.   

E: when you knocked out Amanda Buchanan she retired. What technique did you use to finish her off?  What did you think of Buchanan as a fighter.

Amanda fought exactly the way that Natori-Sensei described and she is a strong fighter. 

I want to name a few more famous champions you have defeated, and ask you to give me the first word that comes to your mind when you think of them

1. Kim Messer


Strong Heart


2. Kyoko Miyazake


Outside fighter

3. Natsumi Nakazawa


Inside Fighter

Regina Halmich



5. Terumi Fujiyama


the very best of all fighters, a lot of heart

6. Lisa Howarth


The very best and strongest.

7. Sachiyo Shibata


 No comment

11. Who was the toughest Muay Thai fighter or kickboxer you have ever fought? and what made them so tough?


Lisa Howarth because of  her straight right.

12. You appeared in an American made Movie called "Jack Ass" In the movie you have a fight scene with a man, and in that scene, you knocked him out. The punches and the kicks you threw appear to be real. Can you tell us a little bit about some of your feelings and experiences making that movie?


When people watch the movie, the actors appear really stupid. But behind the scene, I got to see firsthand the actor’s effort and learned how important it is to be professional.    

13.  What do you think can be done to increase public awareness and support for women's kickboxing and Muay Thai?


I really don't know. 

14 Would you like to appear in another movie?



15. Who are you going to fight next? Or who would you like to fight next?


Anyone. I’m hoping for an international fight.

16. Kimberly Tomes from
  Ilonka Elmont of Holland, Michelle Sutcliffe of England, and Laura Skinner from Australia have all said they would like to fight you. Would you be interested in any of those fights?


It depends on the details of the offer.

17. Your former stable mate and friend at the Fudohkan Aya Mitsui was tragically injured in a fall from a building. And she can no longer fight. Can you tell the fans how Ms Mitsui she is doing, and where fans might send letters of support to her?

Sorry, no information about this question.

in closing what you like to say to the fans of women's kickboxing around the world?

I hope that everyone will support and advance women’s kickboxing!  

 Thank You very much for taking so much time with us!

You are very welcome.

Dan Cucich,


for a video clip of her KO of Regina Halmich,
click here.  

then,  when  you get to the site, you will
see  the words:  KNAOKO_RHALMICH
in three different places.

(click on the ones in blue font)

Epilogue: Naoko has retired from fighting since this interview

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