At my karate club people call me Sensei, and my friends just call me Richard.

2010/09/20

Richard's AsaGaku newspaper interview! 毎日小学校新聞インタビュー

Last week I was interviewed by AsaGaku newspaper, also known as the Everyday Elementary Newspaper (Mainichi Shogakkou Shinbun). The article came out on September 15. Here's my rough translation of it below. It is a nation-wide distributed newspaper.

先週、僕は毎日小学校新聞のインタビューを受け、記事は9月15日版に載りました。 下記が僕の簡単な翻訳です。

To develop the spirit of the Karate means to have control over oneself,

Seiritsu Gakuen Junior & Senior High School's Junior High All Sport's Club is a system that can allow junior high school 1st year students to choose sports that they want to join by trying two or more sports in their first year. I have been teaching Karate to all junior high school boys for three months. One's manner in Karate is very important, as there is a saying "It starts from the bow, and end it ends with a bow". The budo spirit of courtesy, modesty, respect, and martial arts are begun to be taught.

My motto is 'Focus, Fitness and Fun'. The 3F's. "Focus = martial art's spirit"(as well as properly learning one's martial art), "Fitness = a healthy mind & body", and "Fun = the want to do train" (enjoyable, but also even things that are difficult can be enjoyed).

While Karate has the image of being severe, we play Karate games and learn English conversation which leads to creating an environment where we can enjoy Karate with others. Even the beginner can do easy Karate kata after three months. We also finish each class shaking hands. It's my desire that the students come to appreciate the importance of respecting others.

Although Karate can be difficult and severe, there is saying that "If one can do Karate, one can do anything', and 'If one can achieve a first degree in Karate, anything can be achieved". Internationally, top Karate athletes also tend to be strong in academics. And the junior athletes on Japan's junior national team members are also strong in school. I think there is the same desire to be better at both Karate and studying. Through the passing of time facing off against opponents one improves their abilities through the strengthening of their will power.

When the junior high school students study or practice, I think they should be intently using their time to become better at both things.

At the high school level that I also coach at, the students become aware that even though Karate is an amateur sport, the university Karate league is the best in Japan. It is necessary to take a university examination to enter university if one wants to continue improving at competitive Karate. Therefore, all high school students in the Karate club study hard. In the future students may also want to go abroad to places like Europe to see what Karate is like there.

If one tries hard at both studying and sports then their results that follow will be very satisfying.

While the school will support each student in both their studies and sports, the students can enjoy working hard at Karate together, through which I hope they develop the strength to do things on their own.

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