Is Souichirou Izumi Based on a Real Martial Arts Master? Is The Takemiya School Real?

In the Netflix anime ‘Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf,’ the narrative finds the protagonist, Juzo Fujimaki, once the martial artist has renounced his training, determined not to use his deadly skills against another human opponent. Nevertheless, the world of martial arts still manages to find him, as an elusive lady— known only as Sergeant— compels him to enlist in the underground tournament, Kodoku. Thus, despite his reservations, Fujimaki ends up employing his skills, honed under Souichirou Izumi, Master of the unique Takemiya martial arts style, throughout the show to defeat his adversaries. Thus, as Izumi and his Takemiya Martial Arts School emerge to the narrative’s forefront with the progression of Fujimaki’s journey, fans must be intrigued by the same and wonder about these elements’ connections to reality.

Souichirou Izumi and his Takemiya School: Fictonal Elements within the Franchise

The universe explored within the anime show ‘Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf’ is based on the works of Baku Yumemakura, who penned the ‘Garouden’ series as well as its follow-up’ Shin Garōden.’ The novels revolve around martial arts-driven stories about different fighters as they embark on various adventures throughout their training. While Bunshichi Tanba remains the overarching protagonist of the original novels, the show focuses on Juzo Fujimaki as the central character. Consequently, Souichirou Izumi and his Takemiya school enter the story’s forefront.

Fujimaki hails from the Takemiya school, with the unique martial arts fighting style as his notable signature. Thus, Souichirou Izumi, the Master of the Takemiya School, continues to be an instrumental part of Fujimaki’s narrative. Although the show’s depiction of competitive martial arts remains based on Yumemakura’s writings— which were, in turn, reflections of realistic mixed martial arts culture— most of the details within the story are fabricated in service of the plot. Therefore, the Takemiya fighting style and school, alongside its Master, Souichirou Izumi, are rendered confined to the ‘Garouden’s’ fictitious narrative.

Within the franchise, Takemiya is a unique form of martial arts that combines Karate, Judo, Aikido, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and Jujutsu. Consequently, the fighting style has been passed down from generation to generation, with Masters often electing an official heir to symbolize the community. One of the most notable aspects of this fighting style emerges as the Tiger King move— defined by the attacker’s leg placement, with one on the back of their opponent’s neck and the other under their chin, allowing the window for an armlock.

The Tiger King remains a maneuver that each fighter can modify according to their skills and preferences. While under Izumi’s tutelage, Fujimaki hones his skills in that particular move and adopts it as his signature finishing move. As such, the Takemiya school becomes a crucial aspect of the protagonist’s backstory within the anime. In that regard, Izumi and his Takemiya school define the show’s depiction of marital arts culture, retaining central significance.

Nevertheless, the Takemiya mixed martial arts fighting style doesn’t exist in the real world. Even though it is common for mixed martial artists to adopt a blend of different fighting techniques to a style of their own, there isn’t a generational example of the same that can be compared to Takemiya. As such, since the fighting style itself is fictional, the school dedicated to the craft alongside its Master, Izumi, similarly lacks a basis in reality. Additionally, where these elements remain connected to Yumemakura’s source material, the show builds upon them, molding Izumi’s character and his educational establishment into its storyline under Atsushi Ikariya’s direction. Therefore, outside of contributing to the creation of the mixed martial arts culture in ‘Garouden,’ neither Izumi nor his Takemiya school has a tangible basis in real-life martial arts.

Read More: Who Does Saeko End Up With in Garouden? Fujimaki or Himekawa?