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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Osaka, Japan
Nickname Sexyama
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Yoshihiro Akiyama a.k.a. Choo Sung-Hoon in both Korean and Japan, is a fourth-generation Korean-Japanese MMA (Mixed Martial Artist), television celebrity and actor in both South Korea and his home country of Japan. Born to Korean-Japanese "zainichi" parents in Osaka, Japan in 1975, he was raised in the traditional martial arts from the age of 3 as his father was a judo instructor and his mother was a champion swimmer. His paternal great-grandfather, Choo Jeong-Won, was originally from Jeju County, on Jeju Island, now known as Jeju City.

During the Japanese Occupation of Korea (1910-45), his paternal great-grandfather, Choo Jeong-Won, and his family emigrated to Japan, and became permanent residents in the city of Osaka while maintaining their Korean citizenship and names. Choo, was born in Osaka in 1975, and starting from the age of three, began training in the martial arts under his father's tutelage, who himself was a Judo Champion too. As a middleweight Judoka, he climbed the ranks of the judoka system in Japan to become a Third-Dan Black Belt in Judo, later acquiring a black belt in gaidojutsu too. Before he embarked on his professional MMA career in 2004, he was already heavily trained in karate, kickboxing, wrestling and submission fighting.

His highest honors in his judo career include winning the Gold Medal at the 2001 Asian Judo Championships representing South Korea. He also won the 2002 Gold Medal in Judo at the 2002 Asian Games representing Japan under his legal Japanese name, Yoshihiro Akiyama, which he acquired after becoming a Japanese citizen at the age of 16.

In the 2003 World Judo Championships in Osaka, Japan, Akiyama reached the semi-finals in the 81 kg light-middleweight, but did not proceed further after losing two matches in a row and placing third overall.

In 2004, Akiyama switched from judo to MMA where he debuted in the K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite event where he defeated boxer, Francois Botha in the first round. As of 2010, his MMA record stands at 14 wins, six losses, and two no-contests. In 2006, he became the K-1 Heroes Light-Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament champion.

In 2009, he opened his own gym called the "Akiyama Dojo" in Tokyo, which teaches both judo and MMA.

In his personal life, Akiyama married Japanese fashion model Shiho Yano (stylized "SHIHO") in March of 2009, after a two-year courtship that began with being introduced by a mutual friend. They have since had one child, a girl named "Sarang" (Korean for "love"), who co-stars with them in the South Korean reality TV-show "Return of Superman" where cameras record the family's lives at their home in Tokyo and Seoul as well as at the grandparent's home in Osaka.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: H. Kim

Spouse (1)

Shiho (10 March 2009 - present) ( 1 child)

Trivia (4)

Yoshihiro Akiyama, aka Sunghoon Choo, is a graduate of Kindai University ("Kindai Daigaku", f/k/a "Kinki Daigaku" prior to April, 2016) in Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan, where he majored in Judo.
In the spring of 2018, Yoshihiro Akiyama (Sunghoon Choo) and his family (42-yer-old wife, Shiho, and six-year-old daughter, Sarang), moved permanently from Japan to the United States to settle in Hawaii. In the same year, his daughter, Choo Sarang makes her runway debut as a child model for 'Bonpoint' Paris collection fashion show.
In the spring of 2018, Yoshihiro Akiyama, aka Sunghoon Choo, and his family (wife Shiho and daughter Sarang) moved to Hawaii permanently from Japan. The reasons cited by his wife, Shiho, for their move to the United States were for their daughter's education, to spend more family time together and to challenge themselves, in that order.
After winning the Gold Medal for Judo representing Japan in the 2002 Asian Games, and having previously won the Gold for South Korea in the Asian Judo Championships, Yoshihiro Akiyama, aka Sunghoon Choo, switched to MMA fighting and turned K-1 Professional in 2004. In 2006, he became a champion in K-1 Heroes. In 2009, he debuted in UFC. Also in 2009, he opened his own gym called the "Akiyama Dojo" in Tokyo specializing in MMA fighting and Judo training. In the same year, he married Japanese supermodel Shiho Yano, aka "SHIHO.".

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