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I Live and Train Here

December 17, 2008

This Tokyo Subway Map is kinda like Tokyo itself
Bright, weird, confusing, and kinda makes sense after awhile

Fighter Chris Horodeki had an opportunity to come to Japan, which he says is “the Mecca of Martial Arts.” He wrote about his experience and posted it on I was especially delighted to read about his take on Japan – otherwise know as compact-cutesy ninja-attack land.

We took off to Japan on a 12 hour flight a few days prior to the tournament. I was able to sleep for most of the flight there. Once we arrived, it was the biggest culture shock ever. Gardens in the airport, pictures of cartoon rabbits and cats on the walls, sumo wrestling bouts playing on big screens. We went straight to the Shootboxing Gym in Tokyo for interviews, pictures, and a training session. There we quickly realized how compact everything is in Japan. No room was accessible without a stairwell and tiny training rooms were packed tight. After training, we went and checked into our hotel and went for a walk in the city. Packed streets, neon lights, arcades, bloated fish in aquariums in front of restaurants, and many beautiful girls were the scene. Trying to find food that wasn’t too different from my normal diet before the fight was quite difficult as no one spoke any English and English menus were not common.

Chris is totally not making anything up. That’s exactly how Japan is in the eyes of a first time visitor. And that’s exactly how I felt when I arrived here in Japan over four years ago, soon to be five years. Yikes!

From time to time I still feel that way, but at least now I can point to the picture menus and ask, “That’s not still alive, right?”

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