Anderson benefits from Battlearts experience
By JOHN MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
In his two years in wrestling, Winnipeg native Andy Anderson has already
gained a wealth of International wrestling experience. Aside from
Canada and the U.S., the 24-year old has also plied his considerable
wrestling skills in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Andy Anderson as "Buff" Anderson. -- courtesy Music City Wrestling.
Yet, an opportunity to wrestle in Japan, what Anderson had always longed
for, had alluded him. A life long fan of Puroresu, Anderson had long
dreamt of making a name for himself in Japan and follow in the footsteps
of his idol Chris Benoit.
In August, Anderson fulfilled his dream when he was invited to tour with
the Battlearts promotion. Those who follow Japanese wrestling know that
the Battlearts office promotes a pseudo shoot-type form of wrestling
that differs from all the other Japanese promotions. It wasn't quite
what Anderson had dreamt of, but it was still an amazing experience
"It wasn't 100% what I was expecting," Anderson told SLAM! Wrestling
recently from his apartment in Puerto Rico. "(The entire experience)
was pretty positive."
Anderson viewed his time spent in Japan as one of the best in his
wrestling career so far.
"After the first show I was telling one of the American wrestlers
working there that this reminds me of why I fell in love with the
Japanese style of wrestling on tapes."
Despite Battlearts being one of the smaller Japanese promotions, the
organization, its officials and its wrestlers impressed Anderson.
"The Battlearts company was very professional," stated Anderson. "They
have a good team atmosphere among all the wrestlers. Before every show
they have a pep talk and meeting. The wrestlers take it very seriously.
That whole attitude and idea, I found very refreshing."
Battlearts has a training dojo that is renowned for being physically
taxing and where the instructors run young wrestlers through the
ringer. Still, Anderson didn't let that reputation intimidate him.
"From all the hype I heard about their dojo, I thought there was going
to be a lot of training and there really wasn't that much."
Battlearts boasts the stiffest working style of all the Japanese
promotions. Matches are contested under two sets of rules: 1) regular
pro wrestling rules and 2) Battlearts rules where the match can only end
on a knockout or submission.
"In Japan it's considered a work-shoot style," explained Anderson.
"With their kicks and head butts, they don't work it. You really feel
it. I gained a new appreciation for it."
While there, Anderson picked up some conditioning tips and learned some
moves that he'll be incorporating into his repertoire of moves in the
"The conditioning was the biggest thing I noticed," admitted Anderson.
"It's helped my style develop. I'm a bit more crisper, more solid."
Despite wrestling in a new country for the first time, Anderson
didn't feel the perils of culture shock. Having wrestled in Mexico and
Puerto Rico, where English is not the main language, helped him adapt to
life in Japan.
"Having to adapt to different cultures, I think I'm fairly open minded
and respectful," said Anderson. "Aside from the food and the language,
it wasn't that much of a culture shock."
Looking down the road, Anderson's itinerary is full. Aside from
returning to Japan, things are picking up in Puerto Rico.
"I'm tentatively scheduled to go back in November, so obviously I'm doing
something right if they want me back. In December the WWF is coming to
Puerto Rico and I'll be working those shows and then in January the IWA
will be starting full time."