Rare North Korean pro-wrestling event open to curious tourists
PYONGYANG, North Korea – Japanese politician and pro-wrestler Kanji “Antonio” Inoki’s Pyongyang wrestling event is open to tourists who wish to travel to the isolated country to watch a once i
PYONGYANG, North Korea – Japanese politician and pro-wrestler Kanji “Antonio” Inoki’s Pyongyang wrestling event is open to tourists who wish to travel to the isolated country to watch a once in-a-life-time martial arts and wrestling extravaganza.
A limited number of foreign guests are able to visit the two-day event, due to be held in the North Korean capital late next month.
“This is a rare opportunity to allow tourists to spectate at a one-off rare sporting event alongside local North Koreans,” said Michael Spavor, CEO of Michael Spavor Consulting, who has been granted special permission to invite a limited number of tourists to the event.
Spavor organized several delegations from NBA hall of famer Dennis Rodman, culminating in an internationally-renowned basketball game this January.
“I wasn’t there in 1995 for Inoki’s first event, ‘Collision in Korea’, but judging from some of the video clips online, the North Korean people were both shocked and entertained by this event,” said Spavor, who also released the names of the eight Japanese and nine international wrestlers due to appear at the event from the U.S., Brazil, France, Finland, China, Canada and the Netherlands on the michaelspavor.com website. Some of the headliners will include; Bob Sapp (USA), Bobby Lashley (USA), Miss Meiko Satomura (Japan) and Michael Majalahti a.k.a Starbuck (Canada/Finland).
Politician and pro wrestler Inoki has organized the unusual event with the International Martial Arts Games Committee (IMAGC), the North Korean Ministry of Sport, the chairman of North Korea’s International Martial Arts Games Committee and the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).
Crowds are set to gather at the Chun Doo Hyun Gymnasium in downtown Pyongyang, where Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters wowed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the world at a similarly exclusive event.
The event will take place in the late afternoon on Saturday and Sunday and feature pro-wrestling matches, as well as Taekwondo, Ssirum (traditional style Korean wrestling), the Japanese martial art Akido and Mixed Martial Arts events, demonstrations and competitions.