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Gracie News

Japanese Disaster Brings Jiu-Jitsu Brothers Togeth

August 29, 2011

Dear Ryron and Rener,

I'm back from Japan. I was in Iwaki, Fukushima for five days in total. Volunteering work I engaged was all non-stop physical work like removing/carrying/disposing of brick and rocks. People there still need a lot of help. I will go back there again whenever I have a chance.

As I told you I would do, I visited a jiu-jitsu/MMA dojo in Iwaki and gave them the classic poster of Grand Master Helio Gracie that you gave to me. They appreciated it very much and put it on the wall during the training.

Little about this club. This team is called "Iwaki K-3" consisting about 20 people training jiu-jitsu and MMA. Most of them participate either jiu-jitsu competition or amateur MMA events like Shooto. See their blog: Mr. Kida runs this blog, he was very kind to me while I was there.

When I visited them, although raining lightly, they started their training with cross-fit training outside (running, chin-up, push-up, rope skipping, etc). After about 45 minutes or so they went inside. They train in a judo dojo of a local junior high school. Some people who were lost in the tsunami and nuclear issue in Fukushima were students here. The training is not structured in a regular "class" fashion like we do but they rather split to three or four groups and each group train whatever they want to. I joined jiu-jitsu group and observed a lesson by Mr. Suzuki, a brown belt who used to train under Rickson Gracie. His instruction was very easy to understand and detail oriented. Passion of these people for jiu-jitsu and MMA are incredible and their training was very serious. Their training includes jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling, and kick-boxing, three hours non-stop, and they train five to six times a week.

After training, they invited me to have a dinner with them. That's what makes jiu-jitsu so amazing, you can become like a family after only one training session. Although the aftermath of the tsunami is horrible in the area, affecting everyone's life in many ways and the nuclear issue is still ongoing, they all looked very cheerful and generous. Doing martial arts may be helping them to maintain their positive attitude towards life. I look forward to hosting them when they come to California in the future."

Best regards,