Call us  (510) 237-0607

11165 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

1/10 – Ann checks in from Tokyo, Japan

(Editor’s Note: On Monday, January 8, Sayaka, Ann and Molly left for Tokyo, Japan to spend the next two weeks training at Nihon University. (Nichidai) Nihon University is the home of Sensei Jun Konno – a long-time friend of EBJI, who spent a year here in 2000 studying English. Attached is an update from one of our competitors, Ann Shiraishi – who is also the instructor of the Saturday morning kids class)



Hey everyone…

It’s early in the morning and I just woke up a few hours ago. Here’s an update on our first judo practice…

Last night was a tough practice.  We went to Nihon University and they had a 3 hour practice. ALL Randori.  We started out with a really tiring warm up for 15 minutes,  newaza uchikomi and 10, 3 – minute rounds of randori. Then we did tachiwaza uchikomi and randori.. 10 5-minute rounds followed by 5 3-minute rounds.  CRAZY! We survived too. All the girls that we practiced with were 57kg and up!  None of them were our size.  One of the 78+ girls was trying to kill me! We were doing drills in which you throw your partner and start randori from there and she would fall right on top of me.* To our surprise, we weren’t dying from jet-lag at practice.  And right now, I’m not as sore as I thought I was going to be. After practice, Sensei took us out for dinner.  Then we came back and crashed! The other day, we accidentally went to bed at 6pm; to go to bed around 10 was late for us!

This afternoon we are going to the Kodokan for a session of the under-21 All-Japan camp. I was told that the practice is only 2 hours long, but there will be TONS of people to work out with which will be nice.

The surrounding area of our apartment is really nice.  We are a 2.5 minute walk from the dojo, there’s a park a block from here and the grocery store is maybe a 10 minutes walk.  The train station is also a 10 minute walk away too; it’s right next to the grocery store.  It’s really nice here… except there’s construction going on at the apartment complex next to us.. so it gets a little loud at times. but other than that, I like it. It feels like we’ve been here for weeks already but it’s only been a few days! The weather here is COLD! I’m always bundled up in a sweatshirt and my big jacket. This is definitely not shorts or T-shirt weather.  Thankfully, our apartment has a laundry machine, because now we can wash our clothes on a regular basis and not struggle to stay smelling good.. We’ve done 3 loads since yesterday.

Since we’ve been here we haven’t done much besides judo.  The first full day we were here we did some exploring; we timed the train ride to the Kodokan, which came out to be about an hour trip. Then we did some shopping for essentials…frying pan, bowls, ohashi, etc.  The apartment where we’re staying doesn’t come with cooking supplies or dishes. We ended up going to the hyaku-yen (100 yen) store, which is like the Dollar Tree back home. When we got back to the apartment after shopping for food and everything, Konno Sensei brought over everything we’d need!! So now we have more.  It’s okay though…better safe than sorry. So, we’ve been cooking for ourselves and everything which is pretty cool because it cuts down on costs.



(*Sayaka and Ann both compete in the -48 kilo division, and roughly weigh 110 pounds. The girl she is speaking of weighs more than 170 pounds. That is a really significant size difference!)