Jordan Allan-Wright – The First of Fale’s Pride

When the Fale Dojo facility opened in 2016, a core group of students helped establish the foundation of the three-month professional wrestling course. Jordan Allan-Wright was part of the first class. Wright has been in several integral roles over the years and has witnessed Toks ‘Bad Luck’ Fale’s vision come to fruition. In this article, Jordan Allan-Wright – the first of Fale’s pride, shares his journey during which he saw the Dojo’s growth from it’s infancy to becoming NJPW New Zealand Dojo, an official part of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling training system.

“I first came to Fale Dojo when I was 19 years old,” said Wright. “I was invited with a group to take part in a kickboxing class and I had spent two years wrestling on the local scene.”

“To be honest I didn’t know much about New Japan Pro-Wrestling or Fale Dojo,” he added. “That all changed when it was shared to us how pro wrestling, particularly Fale Dojo was a career path to New Japan.”

Wright continued: “I went home that night and watched NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12. I was enthralled by the intensity and the different style. Plus I liked how the Japanese culture treated wrestling like a celebrated sport.”

“This left a huge impact on me so much that I decided to get the proper training to become a wrestler. From there on I started going to the Dojo regularly.”

Excited about his new plans, Wright told his friend Vik Pawaar about the Dojo and brought him along to train. Together, Wright and Pawaar became the first young lions of Fale’s three-month course. The first day required Wright and Pawaar to do 2000 squats, 200 lion push-ups and 2 hours of technical wrestling training. The wrestling aspect was a huge rude awakening for Wright.

“Training at Fale Dojo was a huge eye-opening experience for me. The bad habits that I picked up while wrestling on the local scene was exposed,” he revealed. “Fale-San spent two weeks re-teaching me the proper techniques. He was brutally honest with me, rightfully so.”

“Fale-San broke down every move, every facial expression and how everything had to happen for a reason,” Wright explained. “I became obsessed, all I wanted to do was to keep coming to the Dojo to learn to be a better wrestler.”

“The three-month course was designed to improve your body and mental toughness. Fale-San would always say, ‘If you can learn about mental toughness, then it will make things easier when you go to Japan.’”

The word soon spread about the Fale Dojo three-month course as students from all over the globe were wanting to take part in the programme. In order to meet this demand, the Dojo relocated to a larger facility in September 2018.

“The move to the new building was a massive step as more and more students from abroad were wanting to train with us,” Wright recalled. “So far, the Dojo has attracted students from all over NZ, Australia, India, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the UK and the United States.”

With a larger facility housing a growing number of students, Fale Dojo introduced the first Exhibition show in March 2019. This allowed students the opportunity to have wrestling matches in front of a live crowd while putting what they learned into practice.

Wright was a regular on the Exhibition shows; his most memorable encounter was against his much larger opponent, Richard Mulu. Together, Wright and Mulu delivered an intense and physical match up that had many spectators concerned for Wright’s physical well-being. However, the finest detail about this 10-minute contest was that it was not choreographed beforehand. Rather, the two students were tasked to wrestle on the fly. This is standard practice for every NJPW match up.

Wright remembered with fondness the crowd’s reaction: “Every move and facial expression taught to us mattered. These intimate details got our crowds hooked at every show!”

“The NJPW strong style took many by surprise at first, though they were quick to embrace it,” Wright continued. “Strong style actually resonates with New Zealanders more than they realise. If they’re watching rugby and MMA, then they would enjoy Fale Dojo / NJPW because Kiwis love to see a full-contact sport.”

It was at this stage that Wright had begun adding more muscle to his build to complement his striking ability.

“I grew up doing MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so when I joined Fale Dojo, I was fascinated to learn that you could integrate it into wrestling,” he shared. “I continue to learn about it and apply it to my craft, and I’ve learned that less is more – less flashy stuff, and more strikes and shooting.”

Wright’s greatest highlight to date came in December 2019 when he took part in the Liger Down Under show in Sydney, Australia. This event was part of the farewell tour for the retiring Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. Wright, an aspiring Junior Heavyweight and fan of the legendary Liger was star struck and thrilled to share the experience with his fellow lions.

Jordan Allan-Wright – Liger Down Under – 2019

“Wrestling on the Liger Down Under show was the most nervous I have ever been, it was a great experience,” Wright shared. “Getting to meet Liger-San and witnessing one of his last matches was a highlight, as well as repping Fale Dojo with Mark-San, Andrew Villalobos, Michael Richards and Patrick Schischka.”

This past February, Fale Dojo reached another major milestone becoming an official part of New Japan-Pro Wrestling’s revered training system and taking on the name NJPW New Zealand Dojo.

“This was a truly defining moment,” said Wright. “To be recognised as NJPW training alongside the NJPW Dojo and LA Dojo is a huge honour. It’s also a nod to Fale-San, Mark-San and Tony-San for their hard work and dedication to making New Zealand an international destination for professional wrestling training.”

Jordan Allan-Wright takes pride in being the first of Fale’s pride. Wright credits Toks Fale’s teachings which helped him develop attributes that have shaped and transitioned him from a teenager into adulthood. But of all the attributes that Wright is known for, the one in particular that stands out is his love for his Fale Dojo community. Bringing along Vik Pawaar to the Dojo on his first day, for example, to share in his exciting discovery, also applying his skills and experience to help bring out Richard Mulu’s strongest qualities during their match, and his enthusiasm in wrestling on the Liger Down Under show with his fellow lions. These special instances are what makes Jordan Allan-Wright an integral member of Fale Dojo. Furthermore, these qualities will serve Wright well as he pursues future goals.

“I’ve learned so much at Fale Dojo, and not just wrestling and drills; the values of the Dojo can feed into your personal life,” Wright endorsed. “The most important lesson I’ve learned is patience! It’s not easy going through the Dojo system. You have to be patient, do the work and follow the rules. If you can do the work, you will see the results.”

“By the time I turn 24, I want to be competing in New Japan’s Young Lion Cup, and the Best of the Super Junior tournaments,” he shared. “But the main goal that keeps bringing me back to Fale Dojo is to sign with NJPW and be the first New Zealand born IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.”

Wright concluded: “I encourage anyone who truly wants to be a full-time professional wrestler to invest in yourself and join one of the Fale Dojo intakes.”

Fale Dojo