Oskar Münchow first arrived at Fale Dojo / NJPW NZ Dojo in 2019. Münchow travelled to New Zealand from Hamburg, Germany to chase his dream to become a professional wrestler. At 20 years of age and standing at 6 feet 5 inches, young Münchow immersed himself in the Dojo’s intense training regime for a full year, completing three consecutive intakes. During which time, Münchow underwent an astonishing transformation, applying his large stature and evolving his mindset to the ‘big man’ style which he learned directly from Toks Fale, Dojo Head Coach, aka the ‘Rogue General’ Bad Luck Fale of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Then shortly after, Münchow went to the NJPW Dojo in Tokyo to undergo further training.
Since returning to Hamburg in 2020, Münchow spent most of his time in lockdown due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This was much to Münchow’s surprise as he was unaware of the full effect of the pandemic due to his training.
“It was quite a shock for me to return home,” said Münchow. “My hometown went into partial lockdown. After being away for a year and a half, this hit me pretty hard.”
“I wanted to see my friends and family again, this wasn’t possible for a long time,” Münchow had longed to reconnect with his loved ones after being away. “I kept busy working out from home. The wonderful thing about the Dojo training is that you can do basically all the exercises from where you live.”
“Gym equipment isn’t required, although I must say that doing 1000 squats from home while screaming at the wall is a bit odd, but you gotta do what you gotta do,” he reflected while seeing the humour in his circumstances. “I stayed consistent and disciplined with my training, working as hard as I possibly could to maintain the shape that I had during my time at Fale Dojo; ready for that moment when the pandemic would be over.”
“While in lockdown I also worked a lot,” he continued. “To do my part in fighting the pandemic, I worked in a corona facility, testing people every day since the beginning of the year. In the last few weeks, things started to open, so wrestling was possible again. Aside from some minor exceptions, it’s back to normal. I’m in the gym every day making progress.”
Münchow began looking for places to test his craft. He approached Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), the premier promotion in Germany, for the opportunity to work out at their training headquarters. Due to Münchow’s initiative, more opportunities arose for the young lion.
“I contacted the wXw Academy to ask about training at their facility,” Münchow the Dojo graduate stated. “I travelled four hours to Essen where wXw is based and trained with them for a week in October before they booked me for my first show in Frankfurt.”
“It felt weird to wrestle in Germany, even though it’s home,” he explained. “For most of the time, I have been wrestling abroad, and it was the first time that I wrestled since the last Fale Dojo Exhibition showcase in December 2019.”
Münchow added: “Nobody knew who I was during my training at the Academy and when I made my entrance for my match; so it was exciting to see how the local fans would react to my style.”
Despite the unfamiliar settings, Münchow the fearless lion, equipped with his world-class abilities, embraced the challenge ahead.
“Discipline and intensity are some of the core values of my training from Fale Dojo,” Münchow spoke in detail about his skillset. “Whatever challenge is laid upon me, no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, I never give up. These values were instilled in me during my Dojo time in New Zealand.”
“Having a clear and positive mindset to withstand your challenges was also a crucial part of my time in NZ. This mentality helped me not just in my training, and in my match, but also in life,” he elaborated on how this particular attribute was relevant to his endurance in the ring and beyond. “The pandemic was extremely hard for me mentally; I struggled a lot during that time. But if I learned one thing in the Dojo it was to never give up and no matter how hard something seems, it will come to an end. Just keep going.”
“My mindset was shaped and moulded around finding my happy place, an emotional state which Fale-San and Tony-San [Kozina] always talked about,” Münchow revealed. “At first, I didn’t understand what they meant by finding my happy place, but I eventually found those places. They can help in any part of life; no matter how hard the situation, whether you’re trying to complete 3000 squats, or if you’re stuck in high school waiting to graduate, or if you’re applying for new work after losing your last job during the pandemic.”
Münchow continued: “Our Senpais also taught us that the only thing stopping us from achieving greatness is yourself. I set myself some good goals, and after having a lengthy conversation with Fale-San, his insight helped me to see the bigger picture and how to go about achieving these goals by taking smart and effective steps. I believe now that the higher you set your goals the more progress you make on the way there.”
Münchow is one of several Fale Dojo alumni to recently appear in the ring. Alongside other lions of Fale’s pride, Münchow is part of a growing movement of graduates that are emerging on wrestling’s international stage.
“It makes me so proud to see my fellow Fale Dojo graduates make an impact around the world,” Münchow expressed with excitement, having kept track of his cohorts. “Juicy Finau is making some serious waves in Major League Wrestling, Aaron Solo is seen on AEW every week, and Yuto Nakashima is showing his other Dojo brothers in New Japan what he learned at Fale Dojo. It’s just a matter of time before you’ll see more Fale Dojo graduates everywhere!”
“Fale Dojo teaches you the art of pro-wrestling and how to be a real fighter,” said Münchow. “Before coming to the Dojo, I was already athletic, but I had zero fighting skills. We were taught the basics of boxing, kickboxing, grappling, and catch wrestling. The physical and mental training certainly changed my life.”
“If you want to make it in the wrestling world, then come to Fale Dojo,” Münchow the proud graduate assured. “Fale-San, Tony-San, and the rest of the Senpais will teach you everything you need to know. Even if NJPW isn’t your goal, the world-class reputation of the Dojo will set you apart from the rest.”
Although Münchow’s odyssey has undergone a lot of growth, there is much more for this young lion to look forward to.
“My hunger for more training and matches continues to grow,” Münchow shared in closing. “Every day, I imagine myself in my happy place; stepping into that squared circle in Japan. I think of a quote from my favourite TV show, the Last Airbender which says: ‘Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel. You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving, you will come to a better place.’”
Credit Cover Graphic: Michael Richards, WWGFX