“You think I’m not ready? Well, look right in front of you … I was ready a long time ago!” – ‘Switchblade’ Jay White, New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
This photo which was shared by Toks Fale aka “The Rogue General” Bad Luck Fale marks the very first meeting between him and Jay White in 2014. At the time, White was competing in the United Kingdom where his talents were noticed by Prince Devitt/Finn Balor. Knowing of Jay’s New Zealand heritage, Devitt brought him to Fale’s attention.
“Jay’s story said it all,” stated Fale, reflecting on his initial meeting with White.
“When Jay was 18, he left New Zealand and moved across the world on his own to pursue his dream. That told me he was hungry for it.”
A bond quickly and naturally formed between the two Kiwi’s and Fale became a mentor and trainer to the young Jay White making him one of the first Fale Dojo graduates.
With Fale’s endorsement of his young protege, White was accepted to train at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo. The rest they say is history.
There are more graduates from the Dojo like Jay White, the most notable being Toa Henare the prized lion, Australia’s Robbie Eagles, Gino Gambino and Sho Tanaka (from the New Japan tag team, Rappongi 3K). These alumni are enjoying the fruits of their work due to the Dojo’s lessons and values that they’ve applied to their careers.
Earlier this week, Fale Dojo welcomed its biggest intake yet as 10 Young Lions arrived in Auckland from various parts of the world such as Australia, Germany, India, the United States and parts of NZ.
The Young Lions were selected based on the certain qualities they displayed at the tryouts. One of the key factors that Fale looked for in each student was the determination to pursue a placement and being aware of the world-class standard and the high expectation that is demanded when training at the Dojo.
“Basically, each one of the students showed that they wanted to train with us when they came to the tryouts,” stated Fale.
“Everyone knows how hard this course is, but they’ve turned up. The Dojo will show them the discipline that’s needed to break through barriers and reach beyond their potential.”
Our international roll call which also includes the first female trainee is a mixture of the who’s who in independent wrestling and some fresh new talent who are hungry to learn. Ironically their first day at Fale Dojo was shared with White’s win of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Our next two intakes for 2019 are filling up fast and we’re reaching the same numbers as our current class.
The staff at Fale Dojo are excited for Jay White and his success in becoming the first New Zealander to attain the IWGP Championship, and we are immensely proud of our association as a Fale Dojo alumnus. We also look forward to White’s first IWGP Heavyweight Title defence at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 6.
We are also grateful to our leader. Toks Fale has changed the face of pro wrestling in NZ and Australia and is making wrestling more popular and accessible. The Dojo’s international status and direct affiliation with New Japan Pro Wrestling bring more attention to Auckland as students have come from all over the world to be trained by Fale and his top-notch team of trainers. Without Toks Fale, so many people wouldn’t have the opportunities they do, from wrestlers to the youth, and to our growing community in Otahuhu, Auckland.