Part 3!! Niko Niko grappling/volunteer trip to Kamaishi
recap: Friday night bus to Tohoku’s “Kamaishi City.” Built a park. Handed out food. Drinking party that night.
(btw click to enlarge pics)
I didn’t really mention much about the distribution on Saturday.
After we made the park, we 30 people split into smaller groups of 4. We carried 3 or 4 lb bags of rice, bottles of tea, coffee, and instant packages of curry and Chinese food. We knocked on the door and Ota-san did the talking: “Excuse me! We’ve come from Tokyo to do the Niko niko martial arts grappling competition and volunteer work. We are handing out some goods, so it would honor us of you accepted them!”
We actually went around twice.
We got various reactions. A few people’s faces erupted in smiles and they said, “Oh my, thank you!” happily took stuff, and briefly engaged us in conversation. A few people stared at us blankly, wordlessly took the stuff, turned around, and went back inside. O_O; Brittany told me that one of her occupants just shut her eyes and burst out crying and wailing. :O whoa…
holy crap, I just found this video….and I recognize the place! ;o; This is a video of the tsunami wrecking the town- very disturbing, so only watch it if you don’t mind being sad.
It’s long, so I skipped to different parts.
Okay, I just wanted to explain that.
Now moving on to Sunday…
AFter breakfast at the hotel buffet, we bussed it past the coast line, where we got to see mountains of rubble again. Everybody on the bus seemed to be unsure if it was right to take pictures or not… a few people did. I didn’t. I don’t want a picture. 🙁
Everybody looked pretty well recovered after the previous night. I was kind of surprised. LOL So it was a small competition: about 25 fights, only one-matches because there weren’t enough to make divisions. I fought some man from the Graaca team!
(pic by Zest Fight Club’s Ota-san)
Brittany and I were the only foreigners! Her fight was a draw! Nice try! And my guy was physically strong. He tackled me…! I thought I sprawled but something happened and I soon found myself on my back, sinking in the triangle choke. I locked it in! He rolled, but no problem. Someone was screaming, “Head! Head!” Pulled down the head and got the tap. YAY. My first time to beat a man in a grappling competition!!! 😀 So excited.
Frankly, I don’t want to know anything about him. I don’t want to know how long he’s been training or where he came from. The division was “super,” so not beginner….so if someone were to say, “Oh we couldn’t find you a match so he’s a beginner” I would have been sad. So I didn’t ask questions. I’m just pleased with myself.
Then they had a “triangle” fight. IT’S THE BEST THING EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR~! So three people have a grappling match simultaneously! It’s a Battle Royal! 😀
just in case that didn’t work, here’s a link:
So that was fun. Super fun.
It lasted from 9 AM to 12 PM.
Then, we cleaned up…unfortunately, it started to rain kind of hard. People set up tents and had a BBQ! We hired local businesses to set up booths and we invited the people from temporary housing to come!
This guy from an internet TV station interviewed me and Brittany (my new best friend! I’ve mentioned Brittany, haven’t I? HAH) 😀 I translated for her! We gotta work on our team-translating skills, honey. You’re supposed to say like two sentences, pause for me to speak, and then keep going. hahahaa <3
After that, we took the bus home, drove all afternoon and evening, and arrived in Yokohama at 1 AM. Many of us missed our last train, so we ended up spending the night in the dojo. Hah, as if people would sleep.
People cracked open beers. I was anti-social and tried to lay down and sleep. I may have dozed. When I woke up at 4 AM (Monday morning), people were sprawled out, sleeping. I left and caught the first train home.
It was really an incredible experience. I’ve auctioned my fight shorts and given the money to Enson Inoue, who also went up there to deliver goods, but always wanted to do something with my own two hands. Now I can say I have. Meeting people was amazing. Getting to know my teammates better was wonderful.
(Brittany (top) and my new Groundslam bracelets! Thanks for the gift, my friend!)
Thanks, everyone, for your support. Please spread the word about this… we’ll be doing other Niko Niko grappling tourmaments (mainly for beginners) to give those people a chance to compete, and also doing other charitable work. …Details