|Born||Enson Shoji Inoue|
April 15, 1967
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
|Other names||Yamatodamashii (大和魂)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||204 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)|
|Rank||Sixth degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
Fourth degree black belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu
|Years active||1995–2004, 2010|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Notable relatives||Egan Inoue, brother|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Enson Shoji Inoue (Japanese: エンセン井上; born April 15, 1967) is a Japanese-American jiu-jitsu practitioner and retired professional mixed martial artist. A professional competitor from 1995 until 2010, he fought for the PRIDE Fighting Championships, the UFC, Shooto, and Vale Tudo Japan. He was the first and only Shooto Heavyweight Champion, and was a finalist in the Lightweight category at UFC 13.
Born and raised in Hawaii, he has resided in Japan since the 1990s. He is sometimes known by the moniker "Yamatodamashii," a Japanese phrase meaning "the spirit of ancient Japan." His brother, Egan Inoue, is also a martial artist and a professional racquetball competitor.
Inoue was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, to third-generation Japanese immigrant parents, making him a Yonsei (fourth-generation Japanese-American). He attended University High School, and began practicing the martial arts Hapkido and Taekwondo in order to defend himself from bullies. Inoue also played Football, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, ran in track and field, and also excelled in racquetball, alongside his brother Egan.
Inoue began learning Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He and his brother were awarded black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by John Lewis. He subsequently demoted himself to purple belt in July 2016 citing that BJJ has moved on since attaining his black belt. He also holds a yondan (fourth degree black belt) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu..
Mixed martial career
Inoue competed professionally from 1995 to 2010, retiring with a 12-8-0 record.
His first professional bout was against Shingo Shigeta at Shooto: Vale Tudo Access 3 on January 21, 1995, which ended in a victory by total knockout. He won the Shooto Heavyweight Champion against Joe Estes at Shooto: Reconquista 4, on October 12, 1997.
His other achievements include a victory over UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, and giving Frank Shamrock one of his toughest matches. His final bout was against Antz Nansen on April 25, 2010, in Tokyo, which he won by submission.
Inoue runs several MMA gyms located in Japan, Saipan, and Guam under the name Purebred. He also has affiliated gyms located in Thailand, Canada and the USA.
He appeared in the 2008 martial arts film Redbelt as a cameo role, and was featured in the documentary film Rites of Passage: The Rebirth of Combat Sports.
Inoue has a stepson (Erson) and is the brother of Egan Inoue, a mixed martial artist and a two time racquetball World Champion player. He was married to the sister of Ultimate Fighting Championship Bantamweight fighter Norifumi Yamamoto. He took in and trained Norifumi in mixed martial arts after an incident with the Yakuza. Enson has asserted that he is "not Yakuza" but admits to doing business with members of Yakuza.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Enson travelled to northeast Japan to directly help the victims.
In 2020, news broke that the IBJJF had refused to recognize Inoue's official rank as a BJJ black belt, despite him competing at the highest levels of the sport as early as 1999.
Enson is married to Sarah Jane McCann, who is from New Zealand of Māori descent.
In October 2008, Inoue was arrested in Tokyo for marijuana possession and spent 28 days in prison before being released on November 14, 2008. He was charged with a two-year suspended sentence with four years probation. During his probation period he was not allowed to leave the country.
Championships and accomplishments
- Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Mixed martial arts record
|20 matches||12 wins||8 losses|
|Win||12–8||Antz Nansen||Submission (armbar)||Astra: Yoshida's Farewell||April 25, 2010||1||2:10||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||11–8||Tommy Sauer||TKO (punches)||SB 35: SuperBrawl 35||April 16, 2004||1||4:14||Hawaii, United States|
|Win||11–7||Soichi Nishida||Submission (choke)||FFCF 1: Fury Full Contact Fighting 1||January 10, 2004||1||1:00||Guam|
|Loss||10–7||Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira||Technical submission (triangle choke)||PRIDE 19||February 24, 2002||1||6:17||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||10–6||Heath Herring||TKO (knees)||PRIDE 12||December 9, 2000||1||4:52||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||10–5||Igor Vovchanchyn||TKO (doctor stoppage)||PRIDE 10||August 27, 2000||1||10:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||10–4||Mark Kerr||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE Grand Prix 2000: Opening Round||January 30, 2000||1||15:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||10–3||Soichi Nishida||Submission (rear-naked choke)||PRIDE 5||April 29, 1999||1||0:24||Nagoya, Japan|
|Win||9–3||Randy Couture||Submission (armbar)||VTJ 1998: Vale Tudo Japan 1998||October 25, 1998||1||1:39||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||8–3||Frank Shamrock||TKO (punches)||VTJ 1997: Vale Tudo Japan 1997||November 29, 1997||2||7:17||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||8–2||Joe Estes||TKO (submission to punches)||Shooto: Reconquista 4||October 12, 1997||1||1:06||Tokyo, Japan||Won the Shooto Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||7–2||Royce Alger||Technical Submission (armbar)||UFC 13||May 30, 1997||1||1:36||Augusta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||6–2||Rei Zulu||TKO (elbows)||Shooto: Reconquista 2||April 6, 1997||1||0:45||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||5–2||Mushtaq Abdullah||TKO (submission to punches)||Shooto: Let's Get Lost||October 4, 1996||1||0:38||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||4–2||Igor Zinoviev||TKO (punches)||VTJ 1996: Vale Tudo Japan 1996||July 7, 1996||1||0:44||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||4–1||Joe Estes||Decision (majority)||Shooto: Vale Tudo Junction 3||May 7, 1996||3||8:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4–0||Andre Mannaart||TKO (punches)||Shooto: Vale Tudo Junction 1||January 20, 1996||1||3:20||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||3–0||Ed de Kruijf||Technical Submission (armbar)||Shooto: Complete Vale Tudo Access||July 29, 1995||1||1:40||Japan|
|Win||2–0||Rene Rooze||Submission (rear naked choke)||VTJ 1995: Vale Tudo Japan 1995||April 20, 1995||1||6:41||Japan|
|Win||1–0||Shingo Shigeta||TKO (punches)||Shooto: Vale Tudo Access 3||January 21, 1995||1||1:10||Tokyo, Japan|
Submission grappling record
- ^ "Enson Inoue".
- ^ "But Enson has trained in the Bujinkan arts with myself and Anthony Netzler now for at least 9 years. I gave him his Yondan in the Bujinkan. ""'Enson Inoue and the Bujinkan,' Kutaki no Mora". Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- ^ "Interview: Enson Inoue & George Sotiropoulos (Part Two)". total-mma.com. 2008-05-02. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ^ "Purebred USA". purebredusa.com. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ^ "Purebred". Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ^ "Purebred Canada". grizzlygym.com. 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- ^ "Inoue On Red Belt MMA Movie, R-1 Training & More". mmanews.com. 2007-05-31. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ^ "Hawaii Martial Arts News & Rumors - Dedicated to Hawaii-Specific Martial Arts News & Rumors". www.onzuka.com.
- ^ Hody Jae Huh. Up Close and Personal with Enson Inoue Part I
- ^ "Enson Inoue Discusses Charity Work". mmafighting.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- ^ "IBJJF Refuse to Recognise Enson Inoue as a Black Belt". 30 September 2020.
- ^ "MMA pioneer Enson Inoue a new man after 26 days in prison". November 30, 2008.
- Professional MMA record for Enson Inoue from Sherdog
- Official blog
- PRIDE profile
- Enson Inoue at UFC
- Information on inoue grappling, I
- Information on inoue grappling, II
- NERDSociety - Interview with Enson Inoue
- Chris Leben interviews Enson Inoue
- Official Enson Inoue Tee KO Merch
- 1967 births
- Living people
- American male mixed martial artists
- Japanese male mixed martial artists
- Mixed martial artists from Hawaii
- Light heavyweight mixed martial artists
- Heavyweight mixed martial artists
- Mixed martial artists utilizing ninjutsu
- Mixed martial artists utilizing collegiate wrestling
- Mixed martial artists utilizing Muay Thai
- Mixed martial artists utilizing Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- American ninjutsu practitioners
- American practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- Japanese practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- People awarded a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
- American Muay Thai practitioners
- Sportspeople from Honolulu
- American sportspeople of Japanese descent
- Ultimate Fighting Championship male fighters