The 2009 ADCC Japan Trial was held at Chuo-ku Sogo Sports Center. Under 66 kg, the division with the most number of entries, Kouhei Yasumi surprised everyone. He defeated a fourth place finisher of the 2007 ADCC at this weight class, Testu Hada-iro. It’s been nine years since Yasumi last competed in the World Championship.
Yasumi faced Hada-iro in the semi-final. This was a fast moving grappling action and neither fighter gave up any points and it went into the extra period. At the end it was Yasumi who kept on shooting in, scoring a couple takedowns and winning by points.
In the other bracket, Toida faced and defeated his ex-team mate Shioda, and came into the final. Yasumi said before the bout, “Today, my goal is to beat Keishu-kai (Keishu Gym)”, and that was the situation in the semi and the final! Yasumi took on two top Keishu-kai grapplers in a row.
Right from the beginning of the final, Yasumi took control against Toida. He fainted a couple shots in for take-downs. At one point Toida literally had to run away to not get into Yasumi’s rhythm. Even then Yasumi continued his attack and took down Toida more than a few times, but Toida switches his position to avoid giving away points. The bout went into the extra period. Yasumi shot in for a take-down, then got on the back but Toida somehow escapes. Then, back on their feet, Toida went for a single-leg. Both fighters didn’t score points so this one was headed for a double extra period. Then finally Yasumi nailed a beautiful take-down and took the side-mount. Toida was out of stamina. Yasumi moved in with a head and shoulder lock and it was all over.
For Yasumi this was the first time competing in under 66 kg division and finally he got his right to compete in the World Championship, “I don’t want to experience the same thing again. (Lost in the first round in 2000 World Championships). I chose under 66 kg to win in the World.”
Yasumi was always looking ahead into the World Championships…