Andy Minamino, the “Lone Fighter,” Reveals the Legend of the Strongest Fighter in the World
Teenager who spent his days chasing bikers on a moped and getting into fights alone. Arrested a convenience store robber, rescued survivors from a house fire, and even served as a bodyguard for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the request of the Osaka City and Tenma Police Departments. ...... Currently, at the request of the Osaka City and Tenma Police Departments, he works as a "patrolman" in Kita-shinchi. Currently working as a "patrolman" in Kita-shinchi at the request of the Osaka City and Tenma Police Departments.
Who would you say is a “legend on the street”?
Young people of the YouTube generation will answer “Mirai Asakura,” but delinquents in Osaka in their 20s and older will surely mention this name.
Andy Minamino, 43, is a martial arts gymnast from Daito City, Osaka.
He runs a martial arts gym in Daito City, Osaka, and also patrols the Kitashinchi area for crime prevention at the request of the Osaka City Government and the Tenma Police Station. At night, when Andy walks downtown, the ruffians and vicious touts run away as if scattered by spiders.
The neighborhood association was unable to cope with the increasing number of touts. So three years ago, they asked me for advice, and I decided to take on the job. I asked the chief of the Tenma Police Department if someone like me, who had been in fights all my life, could be involved in crime prevention activities, but he said, ‘Please do your best.
The reason why the local government and police asked Andy to patrol the area was, of course, because he is the most powerful person in the area and is no stranger to the community. As a teenager, he rode a battered moped and chased down bikers hanging out in the streets to pick fights with them.
He says, “I just wasn’t very good at talking to people. I have a desire to get along with someone, but I don’t ……. When you’re a kid, you intentionally do mean things to kids you like. Like that, all I could do was beat them up (laughs).”
It didn’t matter if there were 15 or 20 opponents. It didn’t matter if there were 15 or 20 people in the group, he “beat the hell out of” all the well-known local biker gangs. Eventually, the local delinquents would make a U-turn and flee the road whenever they saw Andy.
His life of fighting changed when he was 25 years old.
A childhood friend died in a motorcycle accident. Unlike me, he was as bright as the sun, and about 300 of his friends came to the funeral. Seeing that, I started practicing talking with people. Around that time, I started a martial arts gym, and I thought that in order to deal with customers, I had to be able to talk.
Even after he quit fighting, there was no shortage of “legends,” and about six years ago, he happened to walk into a convenience store where he encountered a robber who grabbed all the cash he had and ran away. Andy immediately gave chase, subdued the robber with a box cutter knife, and turned him over to the police. In ’18, a house across the street caught fire in his hometown of Daito, and he rescued the survivors from the burning house.
In the ’19 election, I was a bodyguard for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who came to Osaka to make a speech. I gathered about 20 young kids from the gym and put them on guard duty.
Since Andy took charge of patrolling, the number of tout groups in Kitashinchi has plummeted from five to two. He is now active as a YouTube star and plans to launch a martial arts event in the future.
I’m thinking of holding a fight-like event called ‘KANSAIKING. There will be sponsors, and the total prize money will be 10 million yen. There are many martial arts events, but I will never lose. I have that kind of network.”
The legend of the strongest fighter is likely to be renewed in the future.
From the December 2 and 9, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kei Kato