Anime | Fan Questions

What is Dragon Ball Jiu Jitsu?

If you have been into MMA for a while, you may have come across something called ‘Dragon Ball Jiu Jitsu’. If you were looking to find out more about what this is, then you came to the right place! In the post, I am going to discuss what exactly Dragon Ball Jiu Jitsu is, where it came from, and who practices it.

Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu is a style of fighting that was coined by former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton. It combines aspects of jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling, and boxing to create Newton’s unique fighting style. Dragon Ball is a Japanese anime series that Newton is a fan of, hence the name ‘Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu’.

Who is Carlos Newton?

If you happened to find this post, then chances are you were already aware of who Carlos Newton is. If you weren’t, then this is a good place to start. Carlos Newton is a former professional mixed martial artist from The Valley, Anguilla, who resides in Ontario, Canada. Newton started his MMA career at age 19, and made his UFC debut at the UFC 17 Middleweight tournament, making it to the final.

After the UFC he would go and fight in a few organizations, including Pride. With a record of 9 wins and 4 losses, he was chosen again to fight at UFC 31. At UFC 31 Newton faced Pat Miletich for the Welterweight Championship. Midway into the third round, Newton secured a bulldog choke on Miletich, and won the title via submission.

Carlos Newton doing his infamous Kamehameha celebration after winning the welterweight title.
Carlos Newton doing his infamous Kamehameha celebration after winning the welterweight title.

Funny enough, Newton did a Kamehameha impression in celebration of winning the title. A ‘kamehameha’ is a move used in the Dragon Ball anime series, the sries after which he named his style of jiu-jitsu. Newton would lose the title in his next fight, but continued his MMA career for several years. His last fight was in 2010 and he currently runs his own gym in Pickering, Ontario.

Creation of Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu

Carlos Newton’s fighting style is highlighted by his grappling ability, through which he earned most of his victories. Newton started training in jiu-jitsu at a young age, first training under Shihan Tom Sharkey. He began competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments in Canada and other parts of the world, even competing against Rodrigo Gracie at some point.

Newton initially trained out of a gym named Samurai Club, which was based in Toronto. However, when Newton’s training partner Terry Riggs opened an MMA gym named Warrior MMA, Newton started training there. Interestingly, Warrior MMA was Canada’s first official MMA gym.

Carlos Newton (right) pictured with long-time trainer Tom Sharkey.
Carlos Newton (right) pictured with long-time trainer Tom Sharkey.

Today, Carlos Newton is a 3rd degree IBJJF black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as a Warrior MMA black belt. He has immense grappling knowledge, including wrestling, judo, and MMA experience. The naming of ‘Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu’ is simply a reference to the Japanese anime, which he is a big fan of. Dragon Ball Jiu-Jitsu simply describes Newton’s unique and impressive grappling style in MMA.

Anime in MMA

Many traditional martial arts were started in Japan and East Asia, so it makes sense that a martial artist would also happen to be an anime fan. Various fighters have expressed that watching anime was a factor in creating their interest in martial arts, since many anime often feature martial arts in them.

I have written a couple of articles on martial arts and anime, one about martial arts used in Dragon Ball, and another on the martial arts used in Attack on Titan. So now, aside from Carlos Newton who we’ve already talked about, I am going to list some MMA fighters influenced by anime.

Marcus Brimage

Marcus Brimage is an MMA fighter who previously competed in the UFC’s Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions. Brimage gained interest in martial arts after watching the Dragon Ball Z series when he was young. He has been seen at official weigh-ins wearing a scouter, a device used in the Dragon Ball series to check a fighter’s power level.

Marcus Brimage wearing a scouter at the weigh-ins.
Marcus Brimage wearing a scouter at the weigh-ins.

Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres is a UFC fighter competing in the Featherweight division. He started watching Naruto when he was 15 years old, and went on to have his first fight at 20. About the show Caceres has said: “I grew up with it man. A lot of the things that they practice and preach are very real”.

Roxanne Modafferi

Roxanne is a UFC fighter competing as a Flyweight. She has fought for the inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight title. She is a Dragon Ball fan, and she states that Vegeta is an inspiration to her. In an interview she said, “Vegeta is always the second best, he can never be number one. So I kind of always related to Vegeta, because I fought for the Strikefore title and lost, I fought for the Invicta title and lost, I fought for the UFC title and lost. I was always number two.”

Israel Adesanya

Adesanya competes in the UFC’s Middleweight division where he is currently the Interim Champion, and is currently set to compete for the unified title against current champ Robert Whittaker. Adesanya is a huge anime fan, especially of the Naruto and Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

In fact, he has a tattoo of the Reaper Death Seal on his stomach, the seal which Naruto has in the series to keep the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed away. Adesanya is also adept at forming the hand seals used in the Naruto series, as seen when he performed the seals for the Summoning Jutsu just before his match with Anderson Silva at UFC 234.

Israel Adesanya weaving Naruto-style hand seals at the weigh ins.
Israel Adesanya weaving Naruto-style hand seals at the weigh ins.

Uriah Hall

Uriah Hall competes in the UFC’s Middleweight division and was a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 17. Uriah has a very flashy and explosive style, noted by his signature spinning heel kicks and his many knockout victories. Uriah credits his style to the Tekken fighting games. Uriah has mentioned than when he first started training, he would mimic the moves of the characters in the game, eventually forming his unique and flashy fighting style.

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey was formerly the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Ronda is a fan of Dragon Ball Z, having said that she had a childhood crush on Vegeta. She is also a big Pokemon fan, as she was the moderator of a popular Pokemon forum when she was 16.

To find more posts regarding Martial arts in Anime, check out the Anime page. Thanks for reading!

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