When I first got there I was very cold. But as soon as my mom and I got the room heated up we were good.
The first day of practice was very hard. We had 20 rounds of randori and 12 rounds of newaza 3minutes each. There were about twice as many Japanese people as there were foreign people so you always had a partner. We had a good warm up and the Japanese people were very flexible they could do multiple flips across the mat. My teammates were great they were really funny.
The next day we had one practice in the morning we did more randori and newaza but not as much as the day before. The afternoon practice we had a technical clinic with Kosei Inoue. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Japan. He was very good.
On Saturday we had a lighter practice because the tournament was coming up. We had more randori in the morning and a technical clinic in the afternoon. It seems to me that the randori did a lot of good for me.
I learned a lot about the Japanese and how their technique is and their style of judo. I got some good throws in but most of the time I felt like a rag doll. The Japanese people were so nice and very polite. I liked them very much it was fun to practice with them. The day before the tournament we went to the smaller dojo and practiced. It was pretty cold in there.
We had to give them our judo gis because they were going to put the back patches on them. When I got my gi back the patch was super cool.
Then Monday was the tournament. Our team had seven players and we had to fight to get a spot on the team. The tournament went very efficient. Sadly we lost our first round and we out of the tournament. We stayed the whole time and watched the whole thing. Then we got our judo gis back on and went to bow out for the closing ceremony. It was not a surprise that the people who won were a Japanese team. I was very surprised because in California when I fight and my brother Chance fight at local tournament and bigger ones. We are usually the last to fight and get out of the tournament very late. In Japan were got out at 3 o’clock and there were more people there.
My favorite part of the Trip was the next day when we had practice matches. Those were really fun because you fought a lot of different teams and it didn’t matter if you won or not. It was for your own benefit. We didn’t have enough American girls to make a team so one Australian girl was with our team and a tiny Russian boy who didn’t want to fight with the big guys was on our team. He was very good; he won almost all the lightweight matches. The rest of us lost most of the time but it was really fun. We lost all of the matches except for two.
That night the coaches took the whole team and parents to the restaurant upstairs and it was all you can eat buffet. It was really funny because Cooper had at least 10 platefuls of crab legs. The second to last day we went back to Fukuoka to train with another dojo and do some more practice matches. Then after that we went to a big hotel and had lunch. The lunch was very good. Then we went to see a really cool temple where the god of knowledge was. Then we went shopping and my mother bought judo porcelain dolls. We went to this gigantic mall after we went to the temple and shopped there for a little while. We then went back to the global arena. The next day we went to the airport to leave.
On the whole experience I had an awesome time. I learned so much and got to meet so many new people. A learned a lot about Japanese style of judo and their culture. I loved my team and my coaches they really helped me learn a lot; Sensei Wee, Sensei Shepard, and Sensei Saito. At the time I was there I was cold and tired but now that I look back on it I realized that I had an amazing experience. If I could I would definitely go again. Maybe in my life I will try to go back to Japan and learn even more about judo. I’d like to thank you for the opportunity you gave me going to Japan. Thank you for supporting me I learned so much.
Thank you so much