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Dear Sensei Saito, USJF, and The Global Arena,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity of going to Japan and seeing different styles of the art judo. Japan was a once in a lifetime experience. Without your help, I would of never visited Japan; thus, missing a glorious experience. Because of Japan, my technique has incredibly grown by learning different techniques from different nations. I worked out 3 hours for 2 days with the Japanese National Cadet Team. I have never gotten that tired in my life. I also competed in 2 tournaments, the Tasei Cup and the Sanix tournament. In these tournaments, I competed with players from different nations. Even though I won matches and lost matches, my techniques grew and i am thankful for that.

Japan has also introduced me to new friends. Because of Sensei Saito, USJF, and The Global Arena, I have made some new lifelong friends. We met team Netherlands before the Sanix tournament had started, and that was a blast. I also was introduced to Team USA, who I spent 2 weeks with. Together as a team, we endured the tough practices of Japan and the tournaments. Because of the hardships as a team we went through, I made some good friends.

In addition, Japan has given me a better understanding of how people life in different countries. We as a team, visited through Japan seeing various sites. We visited Shinto Shrine and a museum. It was fun seeing the difference from “ancient imperial” Japan and “modern” Japan. We also went shopping in Nagoya where there were blocks of little shops. After our shopping we went to eat at Denny’s. With us, we had some Japanese tour guides from the Tasei school. The tour guides could talk English and write in English. This gave me a understanding of how hard the schools are in Japan.

Thank you Sensei Saito, USJF, and The Global Arena for this wonderful and life-changing experience. My life would never be the same without this trip. Therefore, I am thanking you for your help in this trip.

Narek Manucharyan