The day at the NZ Dojo house began with Dan Puru enjoying a morning boogie while his new roommate Mitch Schoemaker clapped along. However, the household was not aware of the bad luck that was headed their way.
Coaches Toks Fale and Tony Kozina arrived at the Dojo house bringing with them an empty cardboard box. The trainees quickly rushed to the front door to greet their Senpais. Fale told the trainees to grab their tracksuits.
Kozina expressed his disappointment and disgust in the trainees: Reminding them of Fale’s message that if they wanted to be on the docuseries then they would have to move to the NZ Dojo facility in Otahuhu. Rather, the trainees went against Fale’s instructions and brought the film crew to the house.
“I heard you guys don’t want to break the laws, but you’re willing to risk somebody else’s life to come and film you. How smart does that sound?” Fale questioned the trainees.
“All I hear is excuses,” Fale added. “Of course, it’s going to be hard, I told you guys. The easiest route to where you want to go is the hardest route.”
After Andrew Villalobos and Jake Taylor announced that they were moving to the NZ Dojo, the remaining trainees had to decide on their next move going forward.
The trainees gathered back together under one roof, at the NZ Dojo.
Fale was pleased to see a full class as everyone would get the chance to work with others with different energy and sizes.
Matters of the Heart
Sebastian Matters shared about his mind being in two different spaces. Though he missed his family back in Australia’s Gold Coast, he was determined to make the most of the time that he had left in NZ.
This is Matters’ third time at the NZ Dojo. His initial training, in 2018 concluded with him being accepted into the NJPW Dojo in Tokyo to gain further training. But within 8 days of being in Japan, the entire experience became overwhelming, and Matters returned to Australia. Upon reflection, Matters found that he was not mentally prepared to undergo such an enormous task.
As he has since gotten older, and reacquainted himself with the Dojo system, Matters expressed his hope to make it back to Japan.
Dinner With the Pros
Fale and the trainees sat down to a meal while watching a New Japan event on the NJPW World streaming platform.
The trainees were pleased to see Yuto Nakashima (a NZ Dojo graduate) appear on screen while he was performing ringside duty.
Fale shared Nakashima’s remarkable journey of leaving his native Japan to train in NZ, just so he would be accepted to the NJPW Dojo.
Fale addressed the trainees about the amount of drama that had occurred throughout the intake. Baffled by the tension, Fale reminded the class that they were there to work and do business.
The unnecessary behaviour that Fale alluded to was notorious in the independent scene where everyone was out for themselves. While in major settings like New Japan Pro-Wrestling, such pettiness did not exist because everyone was working together.
Kozina added the importance of having light humour which was necessary for breaking the tension and stress. Kozina also advised everyone to focus on what was in front of them and avoid distractions that were too distant to identify.
Richard Mulu also called on his fellow trainees to put behind any issues and start fresh. He encouraged the class to use the time they had left to finish strong. Prior to the lockdown, Mulu was working full-time in the evenings in a role that required a lot of physical activity, and he would head straight to the Dojo to train during the day.
However, Mulu’s role at his work was non-essential and the opportunity allowed him to put his entire focus into training. The challenges that Mulu had faced during the intake soon disappeared and he began thriving, as well, he emerged as a strong leader.
Matters shared openly about the self-esteem issues he experienced since he was a high school student. It did not help that later in life people would laugh at his aspirations to become a professional wrestler.
But since being at the NZ Dojo, his confidence grew while being around the right people. Matters is confident of his potential to one day become a pro wrestler on an international level.
Over the last couple of evenings, the police visited the NZ Dojo to interrogate about the activities going on. During the 2020 lockdown, NZ Dojo reached an agreement with the local council to have the Dojo act as a residential address, particularly for the international students.
The police expressed new rules and regulations that were put in place, but neither the local council nor the NZ Dojo was made aware of the rules before the recent lockdown occurred.
Watch Lion’s Roar Episode 10 on NJPW World