Flicking through Twitter is my daily morning ritual before getting on with work. Something intriguing caught my eyes, “RIP KID”, the tweet read. First thought that ran through my mind was KID FRESINO of FLA$HBACKS fame, since the death of FEBB was still fresh on my mind. However, as I scrolled down the timeline it revealed a shocking tweet. The legendary wrestler/MMA fighter NORIFUMI ‘KID’ YAMAMOTO had lost his fight with cancer.
By no means am I a huge MMA fan or martial arts in general, but KID was not just a hero in the martial artist circle, he was also a style icon of sort in the Japanese street scene. His KRAZY BEE apparel was always on point, and to me he was kind of like a Japanese ALLEN IVERSON. Baggy clothes, fitted cap, and tons of tattoos, but sans the durag. Basically, didn’t care for how others would see him at his age. Just letting his actions speak louder than words. YAMAMOTO would wear the latest sneakers and support local Tokyo streetwear brands, skateboard companies, and artists by rocking their gear.
One of his most impressive feat was the fastest KO in MMA above, where he knocked out his opponent in like 4 seconds. And the funniest part is that in the interview after the match he revealed that he thought of it while he was sleeping few days ago. He was cocky as any fighter should be, yet his mind was totally balanced and his actual accomplishments spoke for themselves.
You left way too soon, and your memories will live on.
You are the greatest Japanese fighter of our generation.
REST IN POWER KID
Photo: TAKUYA ISHIKAWA