In Funk's Corner
 

On July 10th, 2001 I received a message from Osamu Nishimura.

"Hello, Mr. Dory Funk Jr.. I am Osamu Nishimura.
I want to learn about traditional wrestling from you. I was Hiro Matsuda's boy. I really respect
you guys. I really want to learn from you."

To know Osamu Nishimura, you must first know something about his teacher in pro-wrestling,
Hiro Matsuda. In the mid 60's when Championship Wrestling From Florida was flourishing under
the leadership of Eddie Graham, the original franchise player for the territory was Hiro Matsuda.

He was born Japanese and trained in submission wrestling by Karl Gotch. Matsuda at 6' 2" tall
and 240 pounds became a consummate worker under the tutelage of Eddie Graham.

By the late 60's Hiro Matsuda was being groomed by Eddie Graham as the most likely candidate
to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Fortunately for me on February 11th 1969
my father Dory Funk Sr. secured a title match for me with then champion Gene Kiniski and rather
than Matsuda, I became NWA World Champion.

Hiro Matsuda became one of the owners along with Eddie Graham of Championship Wrestling
from Florida. Not only was he a top draw for the company, but Matsuda headed up the training
program for young wrestlers wanting to enter the business. The first challenge for any young wrestler
breaking into the business was time in the ring against Hiro Matsuda. Matsuda was tough. He was
a shooter and one of the best.
 
Osamu Nishimura was Hiro Matsuda's number one student of professional wrestling. I have met
him on many occasions and he always introduced himself to me in this manner. "I am a student
of Hiro Matsuda. Considering the respect I have for the wrestling style of Hiro Matsuda and his
wrestling style, this was enough for me to believe in Osamu Nishimura.


Hiro Matsuda applies a short arm scissors to Dory Funk Sr. (Tokyo Japan - 1969)


In the same match, Dory Funk Sr. working a headlock on Hiro Matsuda.