I’ve just arrived in Japan with some members of the Aussie national team. We are training at Budo University in preparation for the Oceania Championships (where I’m planning on making it three titles in a row!).
International Budo University was established in 1984 and is in the Chiba prefecture. It is a Sports University and the Judo program is headed up by Koshino and Kashiwazaki Sensei’s, both of whom are World Champions.
This is probably the 7th or 8th time I have come to Japan for this sort of training. It’s always the same sort of feelings beforehand. Excitement at being able to do randori (free sparring) for 6 hours a day with phenomenal Judo players, coupled with nerves about injuries. Thoughts go through my head, such as ‘am I fit enough to handle this’, ‘will I get thrown around like a rag doll’, etc, etc.
As they say ‘when in Rome’ so living in Japan means adapting to the local customs and culture. We sample local delicacies, leave our shoes at the door, wear lovely little slippers everywhere, buy every drink out of a vending machine, sleep on a futon on the ground and - oh yeah - EAT A LOT OF RICE!
The Budo is packed at the moment. Usually there are about 100 top Judoka around campus but the pre-season camp has boosted the numbers to about 600 Judoka, all wanting to whoop some ass.
Oh, I failed to mention the morning conditioning workouts. It’s so much fun running laps, sprints, circuits in the snow for 90 minutes!
Well, I’ll post again soon with an update on how it’s all going.