Kendo: Japanese Fencing

Have any of you ever heard of Kendo? It has a very catchy name and you would be surprised what it is when I tell you. It is what they call fencing in Japan. They call it this because when translate this Japanese word into English, it mean the way of the sword. I would not have found a more perfect name. Kendo is not as famous as other sports in japan but it sure as hell still has a lot of fans and the chivalry of the sword is not yet gone. If you have always dreamed in engaging in sword fight but obviously did not want to die, then there is no better sport for you out there than this. When you are a beginner, you will start of with a bamboo type weapon, which in japan is called a shinai. You will practice the techniques and try to master fencing with a bamboo until you are ready to use a real sword. This sword for fencing is called a katana blade. Sounds pretty intimidating, but if you know all the techniques and you have a swift hand, you would not have a problem at all. In fencing, it is not all about trying to hit the person with the sword it is also about how to keep your guard so you would not get stung. In this game, every opponent is just looking for the right opportunity. You should always be careful because every kendo player always has something up his or her sleeves. They might try to imitate and take you for a ride then just suddenly sting you and get point. You have to be smart in this game aside from being fast. You should see how your opponent moves and always have the right timing. One wrong move and you are done. This game is for everyone and practice can help you be as good as everyone else. Have you ever tried this? I would recommend you do when you go to japan, even just the bamboo one because you might be surprised to find it very enjoyable, especially if you are against someone you know.

 

Soccer

Do you want to know how soccer started in Japan? Is it not so odd that this sport did not originate in Asia but then the Japanese are so good in the sport? When we think of soccer Brazil comes into mind cause many kids love to play soccer there and sometimes those less fortunate ones are the ones that get really good and make it big. Soccer has been something that has gotten really popular in Japan and there is no stopping how popular it gets. Time and time, people fall more in love with it, especially when it’s the fifa season and everyone follows it like basketball since the cup only happens once in four years. People love watching it in bars while having a beer and go crazy when a team goals that they want to win. This is also the culture in England, so It would not come as a surprise that it was an Englishman who brought Soccer to Japan in 1873. His name was Lieutenant Commander Douglas of the Royal Navy. When he started it off it was not too famous yet, not until there was a league because its always fun and healthy to compete and you can have bragging right and not to mention the popularity it comes with. Everyone loves soccer players, especially women. They find that very attractive about a man not to mention you can make so much money by playing soccer in the big leagues. In Japan, the first league that kicked off soccer in the country was the J-League. This league was launched in 1993 and the popularity of soccer in japan just insanely grew since then and now people play it as often as other sports there. Despite their culture, soccer seems like a universal sport enjoyed by all. In the 2002 world cup, Japan and Korea hosted jointly and now the fans from there are insane about the sport. It is a really good feeling to cheer for your team and support them all the way in hopes that they might be champions and prove that even Asians can be as good in the sport of soccer.

Karate: The Black Belter

Everyone dreams to be a black belter in karate so you can always keep you and your loved ones protected. Aside from that they want it for the fame and to be the toughest guy on the block. One person that has inspired us all when it comes to karate is Bruce Lee. He was just the epitome of what everyone wanted to be. The ultimate action star that everyone looks up to everyday is Bruce Lee. People want to be him from kids until adults. If you were a black belter, you would be the coolest kid or coolest dad. Usually in school or in work the toughest one is the coolest one and people want to be friends with that person for protection. Imagine if Bruce Lee was your friend? Everyone would want to be your friend as well. It would be so cool to watch and still is what people can do in karate and it is so amazing because it really make you wonder how come they do not get hurt? Or maybe they are just holding in the pain just to show off. It is also possible that they have done it so many times that they are numb to it. For example, have you ever tried breaking a piece of wood with your hand? Bruce Lee can do it with a half an inch punch. I cannot even do it even if I used all my force. So how do they suddenly have super strength? They say that karate is not only power and conditioning it has to also do with the mind. I used to think that was complete nonsense because how can people control their mind and Japanese people seemed so good at it. But after seeing karate in real life, I saw how these people were so set on what they do and serious about this. No wonder they get to do the impossible. There is a saying that when you put your mind to it, you can achieve it. Now, I know that is not nonsense but makes all the sense in the world. Karate is one fine art and sport in Japan that should get more popular.

Judo: The Art of Grappling

I remember in college, my individual physical fitness class was judo to my surprise. I was unaware this could even be a physical fitness class. So I entered the class not knowing and suddenly my professor for that class was a judo master and he was already briefing us on judo. I did not know whether to drop the subject or not because it might be very challenging and I might get hurt. In this class there were also women and they as well were going to do judo with other girls. I told myself to accept the challenge and if I did get hurt which was highly possible, I would just be exempted from the class the whole term so it was a win win situation I guess. Little did I know that this was going to be a crazy roller coaster ride. We were told to buy judo gees because this would make the grappling easier instead of a normal t-shirt and this is really the uniform for the sport. So then and there when I wore it to class, I already felt like a judo player, but there is so much more to it than looking cool in the outfit. We started the class with a prayer and having to bow to the Japanese guy who created the game as a sign of respect. I found it odd but that is how it is in japan. To start of the training, our professor made us run back and forth for warm up and do cartwheels and tumble until the end forward and backward. It was more intense than I even imagine and to think, that was just warm up, what was in store after? After we started learning grappling techniques, well the easy ones first, then we learned how to fall properly. Because if you are grappled and thrown, you should land a certain way so you will not get hurt. They call it break fall. Judo is very popular in japan and it definitely is a journey to go through. I would recommend anyone to give it a try.

 

Canoeing the Rivers of Japan

Canoeing is a very fun and could be very relaxing at times. River rafting is the one that is more daring because you have maneuver yourself and work as a team to be able to go through the rapids. Imagine all the strong current of the water and you just trying to get through with an adrenaline rush if you are going to fall or not, or maybe even get hurt. That is why it is such an achievement when you get to complete the river rafting challenge. There are many of these in japan but we are focusing more on is canoeing which is a very chill and relaxing sport done by the friends, families, or couples. But when you do go canoeing, make sure to put sun block because that is what I forgot to do and got a really dark t-shirt tn afterwards. A canoe ride is something everybody should try because not only are you journeying across the calm water and seeing different aquatic creatures but the view is spectacular. Japanese rivers go through forests that are very well preserved, hence why tourism is high there. If you want a nice nature trip where you want to just appreciate all the beautiful trees and birds, this would be perfect for you. The nice thing about canoeing is you can control the boat and make it go slower when you want. When you are tired, you can also just stop paddling and make the calming current take you. No trip to japan would be complete without seeing their rainforest. They have a very diverse set of tress and flowers that can only really be found there. All different colors and sometimes when you are on the canoe by day, there is a chance you can see a full rainbow. I am telling you now that whoever you do this with, you will have an unforgettable experience with that person or people. I will never forget each canoe ride I had because the experience was always different each time. So the first thing you do when you go to japan is to make sure you try canoeing because it is better if it is planned.

Beach Volleyball in Japan

Who does not like beach volleyball? Men and women love it. We usually see women play the sport more than men but it definitely does not make you less of a man if you play volleyball especially not in Japan. In japan, all from kids to adults enjoys it at any given time. You would see families playing and even close friends who went out on a beach trip together. It really is a game that involves a lot of teamwork and I salute the person that invented it. Beach volleyball is a sport that is so easy to learn aside from it being really fun. It is popular around the world and in almost all beaches; it is a must to have a volleyball net on the beach. Sometimes, volleyball hurts the arms though because of the impact of the ball and hitting it many times. Some things guys love is just watching women playing volleyball and enjoying. You can see how powerful women can be in sports when they are playing volleyball. The volleyball players can really jump high and when they spike that ball, you definitely do not want to get in the way or be caught in the crossfire. They are also so serious when they are playing and the volleyball matches get very intense that is why people enjoy watching it. It also amazing how players get to dive and still be able to return the ball to the other side or just how good their teamwork is where they read each other’s minds and just go for the play. Have you ever played volleyball with your friends in the beach? If you have not, I recommend you go on the phone and encourage them to try it because it is going to be really fun. You do not have to be in japan to do it but people there enjoy it. If your friends are not game then you can just go to the beach and just ask to join in games of other people since there are many friendly people out there especially in japan.

Art of Aikido

What is Aikido really? Is this karate? Well it is definitely not that Mr. Miyagi karate we saw on the television when we were kids. They say that aikido is the way of the harmonious spirit so in a way it is like karate but then a chiller kind of karate where you try to understand the opponent and move gracefully knowing what the next move he is going to do next. It actually is a mix of not only karate but also judo and kendo. It is a non-body contact self-defense kind of sport, which would be really nice to learn because the Japanese people really enjoy this and respect this. Imagine if there was a European who could also do this sport very well, this would be really amazing and touch the hearts of the Japanese. Their outfit while doing this sport is very respectable. Some people think it looks like a long skirt for women but I think it is very nice and I honestly would love to learn the sport and wear that outfit. Watching this sport is so amusing because they make it look so easy and graceful. Imagine if you were to get into a fight and suddenly they do not know you do aikido and you just gracefully kick the asses out of them in front of people but do not even look like you are putting that much effort. This may not be one of the really old type of martial arts, its actually fairly new compared to the rest, but it has got my vote. I would like to learn this martial art first before the rest because it already is a mix of everything so after learning this it would be so easy to learn judo or karate if you want to get into those as well. Aikido is cool because they do not use weapons. Their only weapons are there hands and their minds. How fast their hands are, make it so good to watch. Being good in this sport takes a lot of practice and determination so if you want to get good I advise you start practicing and learning it.

The Japanese Golfing Experience

Golf is not a sport you see everyone do everyday yet it is very enjoyable and relaxing. It is a very respectable sport and it is always best to start practicing this sport while you are young because it takes a lot of skill. Imagine being so far away and having to hit a ball precisely to shoot in hole that is just twice the size of the ball. There are different ranges for these holes and I am sure it is the best feeling in the world to get a hole in one because the probability of that is quite low when you do the math. Some people like Tiger Woods were born to play the sport and have a lot of hole in ones in their career. There are different kinds of golf clubs for different ranges you want to reach. When you play golf, there is also a certain attire that golfers wear and shoes. It is a very sleek attire and perfect for the sports weather. In Japan, there are a lot of good golfing ranges and golf courses that people would always be very honored to play in and enjoy. If you go to Japan, you should definitely try to play golf there or get beginners classes before heading to japan for vacation because it is going to be one fun adventure. Golfing is popular in japan because in the opinion of the Japanese it is good practice for respect and discipline. You also make a lot of friends and good connections for business in golfing because it is a sport enjoyed by the people that could afford it. Japan being a rich country that just keep growing in terms economically. In golf tournaments, there are very big cash prizes, which make up for how much you spend if you have the skill and are hardworking enough. There are Japanese open golf tours and many more, but you just need to qualify and show you have what it takes. Golf is not only a sport but an art and game where you need to strategize but can be fun at the same time. This is also certainly a better past time than spending all of their time and energy in US comfort women and booze.

 

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