Tateki Matsuda was born and raised in Tokyo and used to play baseball for my life. After years of playing baseball, he made a big decision to study sports science in U.S where he could study more advanced sports science than in Japan. In opposite of his passion and dream of contributing to the Japanese sporting world, he was uncertain of what to do physically after the last season of baseball in his high school senior year.
While studying English and preparing for studying abroad, one of his friends gave him an opportunity to put boxing gloves and train in Karate/kickboxing at a school classroom. Without facilities and Martial arts coaches, he truly enjoyed training and was absorbed in martial arts. When he first came to the U.S, he didn't think he would take up martial arts. Meeting Kru Mark DellaGrotte was just start for a long journey in U.S. “It was like the karate kid in reverse,” joked DellaGrotte. “He was the Asian guy with the busted accent and I was the teacher. I knew right away the type of person that Tateki is. He's the type of student that I look for – hard worker, dedicated, very traditional, and very loyal.”
How I train
I was supposed to learn the importance of “teamwork” and “appreciation” from baseball, which is a team sport, however I learned those lessons through martial arts. At first glance, fighting appears to be a one-on-one sport. I am alone competing in the cage, but I always feel like I am representing the team and supported by teammates, sponsors and fans. MMA gives me a lot of lessons and opportunities of life. My fighting and training experiences in Thailand and Brazil gained my abilities to speak different languages and multicultural experience, and most importantly I made many friends all over the world. What ultimate means to me is growing together. I am a challenger fighting in the world of victory or defeat, however, my victory doesn’t only belong to me, but my family, supporters, sponsors, teammates and fans. I would like to learn and grow as a person, as well as professional MMA fighter through my MMA career. I always fight with them in mind and am proud of who I am and my people.