Get to Know the Famous Japanese Mixed Martial Artist, Choo Sung-hoon

Meet the famous MMA fighter, Choo Sung-hoon

Choo Sang Hoon is a Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. His Japanese name is Yoshihiro Akiyama. He is famous in Korea for his MMA career, his physique, and his cute daughter, Choo Sarang. Let’s read more about Choo Sung-hoon on Channel-Korea, stay tuned!

Choo Sung-hoon’s Profile
  • Japanese name: Yoshihiro Akiyama
  • Korean name: Choo Sung Hoon
  • Stage name: Sexyama
  • Date of birth: July 29th, 1975
  • Place of birth: Osaka, Japan
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Height: 177 cm
  • Weight: 77 kg
  • Instagram account : akiyamachoo

Choo Sang Hoon is a champion Judoka and well-known for his Judo technique. He won a gold medal for South Korea at the 2001 Asian Championships and for Japan at the 2002 Asian Games. In the 2003 World Judo Championships, He defeated three opponents in a row to reach the semi-finals. His opponents protested that he wore a slippery judo uniform during the fight. He wore another uniform, but lost both the semi-final and 3rd-place fights. He had 2 wins and 5 losses in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest MMA promotion company.


Choo Sung Hoon’s family originated from Jeju Island. His great grandfather, Choo Jeong Won, immigrated to Japan and later adopted a Japanese name. Choo Sung Hoon acquired Japanese nationality in 2001. He confessed that, at the time, it was hard to win matches decided by Korean Judges. He said that due to his Japanese birth origin, he had no future in Korea. His comments caused outrage from Korean society. His parents and sister still retain Korean citizenship.

He married a famous Japanese fashion model, Shiho Yano, in March, 2009, after dating her for two years. They welcomed a daughter, Choo Sa Rang, who was born on October 24th, 2011. Father and daughter starred in the famous South Korean reality-variety show The Return of Superman.

Marriage with Yano Shino

In March, 2009, Choo Sung Hoon married Shiho yano, a famous fashion model and TV personality in Japan. They were married secretly, inviting only close friends and family. Seven months after their marriage, they held a wedding ceremony and announced their marriage to the public. Choo Sung Hoon revealed that his wife approached him and made the first move. Their first meeting was arranged by close friends.

Shiho Yano confessed that Choo Sang Hoon is a perfect man and their marriage is joyful and filled with beautiful memories. The couple shares similar interests in fashion and always looks elegant and trendy in public or on TV shows.

Choo Sung-hoon’s Beautiful Daughter, Choo Sa-rang

Choo Sarang was born in October 24, 2011. Choo Sung Hoon and Choo Sarang starred as original main members on The Return of Superman from 2013 to 2016. She was famous for her bowl haircut during the TV program. She followed in her mother’s footsteps by modeling for a children’s clothing brand and posting her activities in her Instagram account. Choo Sung Hoon and Choo Sarang occasionally appeared as guests on TV programs such as Please Take Care of My Refrigerator.

Their Appearance in Return of Superman

The Return of Superman is a highly popular KBS2 reality-variety show on Happy Sunday program. The original three episodes were broadcast as a special program during the Korean Thanksgiving holiday from September 19th to 21st, 2013. Choo Sung Hoon and Choo Sarang were original cast members and appeared from Episode 1 -122, 155 – 160, and 205 – 206. Choo Sung Hoon looked fearsome on the outside, but he was caring and a fool for his daughter on the inside.

Choo Sung-hoon in Law of the Jungle

Choo Sung Hoon appeared three times on the SBS variety TV program Law of the Jungle. He went to Vanuatu in 2012, Borneo in 2014, and Fiji in 2017. In the episodes, he showed his friendly and humorous sides. In August, 2017, He was cast as a veteran member of Law of the Jungle to replace the captain, Kim Byung Man, who was in recovery after suffering an injury from a skydiving accident.

Choo Sung-hoon in Knowing Brothers

Choo Sung Hoon appeared in one episode of JTBC Knowing Brothers with Yuri of Girls’ Generation in November, 2016. Kim Hee Chul, one of the main members of the TV program, dressed up as Choo Sarang and planned to tease Choo Sung Hoon. At first, Kim Hee Chul was confident but, upon making an eye contact with Choo Sung Hoon, he stopped and only shook his hands.

Choo Sung-hoon in Running Man

Choo Sung Hoon is among the strongest guests to have appeared on Running Man. Everyone was curious and waiting for the name tag battle with the strongest member of Running Man, Kim Jong Kook. It was a historical battle, lasting for more than five minutes, and everyone was satisfied with the outcome.

In the following challenge, Choo Sung Hoon again had to face Kim Jong Kook in a Korean traditional wrestling match. Being a professional MMA fighter and a decorated judoka champion, he easily flipped Kim Jong Kook and defeated him in the match.

However, in the last challenge, a ddakji flipping competition, he was easily outdone by Kim Jong Kook, the king of the flipping game. Kim Jong Kook praised himself, saying that after being defeated by Choo Sung Hoon twice, that in the end, he was the one who prevailed.

Choo Sung-hoon’s Sister

Choo Sung Hoon has one sister, Choo Junghwa, who was born on January 28, 1973. She is a musical actress and musical director. She appeared in several episodes of The Return of Superman. She announced her plan to marry a man five years younger than she is on one of the episodes. The news shocked her family, especially her father, but later he broke into a smile.

Moved to Hawaii

The Choo family moved to Hawaii in the early part of 2019. On May 24, 2019, on an episode of My Little Television, Shiho Yano and Choo Sarang showed the TV audience their beautiful seaside house. Their house had a spacious and beautiful interior, surrounded by glass windows. They could see coconut trees or the beach in every direction. The house reportedly cost $6.2 million dollars and the monthly maintenance fees cost around $3000. Shiho Yano said that the reasons for their move were her daughter’s education, family time, and challenge. She wants to care for her family and spend more time with them.

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Last month, in June, 2019, he competed in an MMA event, One Championship Legendary Quest, for the first time since 2015. He fought a young Malaysian fighter but, sadly, lost the fight.

Recently, he appeared on Channel A’s variety show TV program Sales King season 2, which was recorded in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He and other guests had to promote and sell Korean-related beauty products and Korean foods in order to be able to return home. He posted a scene from the TV program on his Instagram, where he gave a massage to another exhausted member.

That’s all about Choo Sung Hoon, the Japanese mixed martial artist. Cheer for him and his family, especially his cute daughter, Choo Sarang. Happy family life! Give your thoughts and comment below!