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  1. #1

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    Training in Japan

    Here's some photos plus exposition

    Following a three week stay that included Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Kesennuma (a city near Fukushima that was hit heavily by the Tsunami) I'm back from Japan.

    Highlights:

    * For the ten days I spent in Nagoya I practiced at TS Gym, a Muay Thai and MMA gym run by Thomas Stanley. I was surprised to learn that he was both a student of Peter Aerts and Andy Hug who, besides his Muay Thai/Kickboxing credentials, holds dan ranks in both Kyokushin and one of its offshoots, Seidokaikan.

    * In Tokyo I visited the Sumo Hall/Museum, containing artefacts and a hall of fame.

    * Visited Judo class in Kesennuma. This was my third trip to Japan and after my time training Yoshinkan Aikido in Kyoto a few years ago, Judo in Japan had been on my bucket list. The class was made up of two instructors, one a third dan, the other a fourth dan. I made do with my limited Japanese and, whilst I didn't get to do randori with the other students, I did receive some personal tuition from the assistant instructor. On one level it was very much a typical Judo experience but what definitely stuck out for me was the emphasis on Kuzushi. That and the general technical proficiency. Didn't get any photos of the dojo, unfortunately.
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    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 3/25/2017 8:07pm at .

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aka-Tora View Post
    Here's some photos I took with breif exposition:

    Following a three week stay that included Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Kesennuma (a city near Fukushima that was hit heavily by the Tsunami) I'm back from Japan. Whilst there I managed to get some martial arts in. For the ten days I spent in Nagoya I practiced at TS Gym, a Muay Thai gym that also has an MMA program, run by Thomas Stanley, surprisingly a student of Peter Aerts and Andy Hug who, besides his Muay Thai/Kickboxing credentials holds dan ranks in both Kyokushin and one of its offshoots, Seidokaikan.


    In a Tokyo I visited the Sumo Hall/Museum, containing artefacts and a hall of fame.

    This was followed later in the trip with a visit to a local Judo class in Kesennuma. This was my third trip to Japan and after my time training Yoshinkan Aikido in Kyoto a few years ago, Judo in Japan had been on my bucket list.

    The class was made up of two instructors, one a third dan, the other a fourth dan. I made do with my limited Japanese and, whilst I didn't get to do randori with the other students, I did receive some personal tuition from the assistant instructor. On one level it was very much a typical Judo experience but what definitely stuck out for me was the emphasis on Kuzushi. That and the general technical proficiency. Didn't get any photos of the dojo, unfortunately.
    Did you get to eat some noodles?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Did you get to eat some noodles?
    I did eat a lot of ramen. Luckily I'm skinny. I'll just blame Steven Seagal if there's a noodle shortage.
    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 3/25/2017 8:15pm at .

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aka-Tora View Post
    I did eat a lot of ramen. Luckily I'm skinny, I'll just blame Steven Seagal if there's a noodle shortage.
    I really enjoyed ramen and the barbecue on a stick while I was in Japan. But especially the ramen.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    I really enjoyed ramen and the barbecue on a stick while I was in Japan. But especially the ramen.
    No one makes noodle soup like Japan. The ones I had in Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore just couldn't compare. The white sticky rice is also one of the greatest foods to ever grace the earth.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aka-Tora View Post
    No one makes noodle soup like Japan. The ones I had in Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore couldn't compare. The white sticky rice is also one of the greatest foods to grace the earth.
    I absolutely love Kim Chi, I don't mind bibimbap, I don't the mind the Korea version of sushi, but a lot of the standard Korea food is not my favorite world cuisine.

    And, I learned the hard way, never, ever attempt to keep pace with a group of Korean work colleagues who live and work in Korea, taking you out to go drinking in Korea.

    Holy morning after, Batman...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    I absolutely love Kim Chi, I don't mind bibimbap, I don't the mind the Korea version of sushi, but a lot of the standard Korea food is not my favorite world cuisine.

    And, I learned the hard way, never, ever attempt to keep pace with a group of Korean work colleagues who live and work in Korea, taking you out to go drinking in Korea.

    Holy morning after, Batman...
    The Koreans can be a lively bunch. The Japanese are generally more reserved culturally but can also like to drink. A Korean friend of mine who lives in Japan had a simplistic but pretty accurate analogy that was a useful summary- think of Korea as Spain to Japan's England. Whilst I wouldn't say the differences are quite as stark, she was right in the sense that the Koreans are more overtly passionate.

    Surprisingly high quality Jiu-Jitsu in Seoul actually.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aka-Tora View Post
    The Koreans can be lively bunch. The Japanese are generally more reserved culturally but can also like to drink. A Korean friend of mine who lives in Japan had a simplistic but pretty accurate analogy that was a useful summary- think of Korea as Spain to Japan's England. Whilst I wouldn't say the differences are quite as stark, the Koreans are more overtly passionate.

    Surprisingly high quality Jiu-Jitsu in Seoul actually.
    I could not find anybody among my counterparts while I was in Seoul that knew where Ssireum was practiced nor anybody who had practiced it.

    That being said, I was working with medical doctors.

    The only ones that did exercise of any kind lifted weights.

    They looked at me funny when I talked about martial arts, like the topic was quaint.

    Obviously, Korea has excellent Judo, too.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    I could not find anybody among my counterparts while I was in Seoul that knew where Ssireum was practiced nor anybody who had practiced it.

    That being said, I was working with medical doctors.

    The only ones that did exercise of any kind lifted weights.

    They looked at me funny when I talked about martial arts, like the topic was quaint.

    Obviously, Korea has excellent Judo, too.
    Folk wrestling styles are always interesting. The UK does has several folk styles, my home county has it's own, Cumbrian Wrestling, a style of backhold wrestling, that you might have heard of: https://youtu.be/2Vu7hBGNb-A. Cornish Wrestling is also worth a look as, like Judo, it's a form of jacket Wrestling: https://youtu.be/8xzW30VsRFE. I know that you're into your Wrestling so you've probably heard of that too.

    Korea does indeed have excellent Judo but I didn't get to visit any clubs unfortunately. Ssireum is definitely something I'd be interested in trying next time.
    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 3/25/2017 9:17pm at .

  10. #10
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    Was that last photo from Miyajima Island? I was there when the tide was out, you can walk right under that gate.

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