Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Going Home

At long last I am on my way home from Japan not going to be pleasant, had to leave our room at 11am and go to aeroport. Can not put cases in till 6pm as flight leaves at 9.15pm then 8 hour flight to Dubai, 4 hours at Dubai then 6 hour flight to Gatwick by the time I get home to dear old blighty I will have been travelling for 30 hours. The business class seats are good but they never make anything to fit men my size, so the likely hood of me sleeping for any length of time is remote.

Was the trip worth the effort Yes I think so would I do it again definitely NO. The Japanese people are very polite but communication has been extremely hard, harder then any where I have been in the world. Japanese are in the main very slim and healthy looking there diet is a lot to do with that. The Country is scrupulous clean and you do not get the low life as we do in UK. I never saw any druggies, drunks, misfits, chavs and any teenage mothers in fact most children were accompanied by both parents. You were never pestered by beggars charity collectors every one dressed smartly although there was a separate dress code for the young. As for prices we were warned it was very expensive well we did not find that in fact everything was on par with the UK with the a exception to cameras, TV etc these were sometimes 30% cheaper. It was a great experience but I will be glad to be home in the bosom of my good lady wife Valerie 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Japan Good and Bad

Tomorrow we fly back home can't say I am sorry to go, been high and lows. The Hotel was OK but miles away from any were like any Aeroport Hotel better transport should have been laid on. Tokyo as I mentioned was a disaster and the language barrier has been the worst have ever encountered, maybe you do not expect the general public to understand English but an International Hotel you take ii for granted they would be fluent.
The highs were the excellent run World Sambo Championship, old Narita town where the Temple was this was what we expected of Japan and its traditions. Here nearly all the shop keepers spoke english, myself and Russell visited the place 3 times. Today it was pouring with rain but we got into a taxi to visit a traditional restaurant you can see details on the movie clip. Lastly the food was excellent I have put some photographs so you get some idea of the food.

Click Link

Menu for you to study



Ginger Chicken with Sticky Rice

These were pickled fish 1/2 the size of a Gold Fish they were delicious

Clear Soup not sure what the round things are but tasted alright

Russell Made a Friend

British Open 2015





This Years Worlds will be in Casablanca November  Europeans in Croatia May which are affordable destination for our British Team. The team will be selected from the British Open Results. There also maybe another Presidents Cup in the UK in 2015

The event will be for Sport Sambo 
Children 8 years to 11 years-12 years to 15 years
Intermediate 16 years to 18 years
Senior Men and Women
Veteran Men and Women

Combat Sambo Senior Men 18 years and above

There are other Internationals in Belgium and Holland in March plus competitions in Germany and France. All members of BSF Associations are welcome to take part

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Last Day of Worlds

Last Day of Worlds in Japan next year Morocco 
Barry and Matt warm up

Last day of the World Championships in Narita Japan and our hopes of a medal were pinned on Matt Clempner in the U90k Combat Sambo. His first match was against Libebe (FRA) who has medalled at several World Tournaments and is rated in the top 4 in the World. Matt a previous World Sport Sambo Bronze Medallist tactics were to take the fight to the Frenchman to get in close and use his throwing skills to the best of his ability. The Frenchman countered his attack with a superb 4 pt throw, Matt eventually lost by 12 pts. His next fight was against Japan this fighter was a major worry to us as he only lost to the Frenchman by just 1pt but Matt surprise us all be annihilating him by 12 clear points. The Bronze medal fight of was against Uzbek sadly Matt was well beaten he was caught with a 4 pt throw, held down for a further 4 pts and then was picked up of the floor and thrown with another 4 pts to finish the contest. This last throw proved somewhat controversial with Barry Gibson and Russell Dodds who attended a referees seminar in Russia in October 2013, they were told this manoeuvre was to be disallowed, another rule change that has crept in was on the Hold downs. In the past if hold was given the time could pass the Match Time this has now changed and the Hold time must be in the allotted time zone of the match.

This years Worlds were once again of the Highest standard but it was good to see other countries outside the Eastern Block getting into the medals, shows the sport is growing. Of course there were a few moans, There was no end of Worlds Banquet something we have come to expect and the teams were spread through 4 hotels which did not let all participants to gather together on a social side where you create a bonding something I feel is important. The equipment checks were not 100% I saw players with White Gloves and Robin saw someone with either Black or very dark blue shorts, to some this maybe a minor problem but I do not think so as rules should be adhered, Yet after all that the Tournament was well run without any hiccups and the Japanese Sambo Federation should be congratulated for that

I was somewhat disappointed with Japan as I had this idea of seeing lots of traditional houses and people in traditional dress but Japan is a modern Western Country so the past become a museum piece. Tokyo is a modern city and all cities now look the same throughout the world

The food was excellent in Japan as you can see how Russell shows of using Chopsticks, I used fingers and Robin's cousin  must have used a shovel or he is training to be a Sumo Wrestler

Ladies attending a Wedding at the Hotel. What I expected of Japan

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Visit to Kodokan what a waste of time

Today we decided to miss the World Sambo and visit the Kodokan in Tokyo the birthplace of Judo and what a mistake that was. A one way Taxi fare was £180 so we decide to go by Train the cheaper option but was a palaver changing trains took 2- 5 hours to get to the Kodokan.

What a disappointment that was it was just like an Office Building and the Dojo was big but had no Character, there is more character and a sense of History at London's BudoKai and my own Dojo.

Kano's Statue

The saving grace was they had a Kata competition in progress with many high grades present I have included the Ju No Kata demonstrated by two high grade Ladies. The journey back was even worse 3.5 hours, the trip was a waste of time and money should have stopped at the World Sambo Championships.


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Friday, 21 November 2014

World Championships Start

The World Championships have started and have to admit am some what disappointed with the Venue after being spoilt with last Years Worlds in St Petersburg and the Presidents Cup in Dartford. The location is a large stadium outside the town and its refreshment area are a few burger vans outside the building.

Opening Ceremony for all these competitions are in the evening of the first day of competition always found that strange calling it an Opening Ceremony. This year we had a traditional drum opening on the drums, I found this to be quite a unique experience the effort put into this by the drummers was quite extraordinary, this was followed up by lots of boring speeches by the various dignitaries. Eventually we got to the first day of the finals .

This years I believe there was over 90 countries competing and was quite amazed to meet some representatives from Afghanistan, it seems that there must be an improvement in that country if people are beginning to participate in International events. The competition standard get higher every year and I think the overall results will show some interesting places from countries not always associated with Sambo.

Our only fighter from GB was Barry Gibson and his fight lasted just 15 seconds, he was competing in the u100k Combat Sambo class and was matched against a Ukrainian fighter. Barry is the current Commonwealth Champions in this weight and at 40 was to have this as his last competition. You only have to look at his Facebook to see that he was in excellent physical condition. So what happened?  Instead of the normal start to this fights where the fighters try and feel each other out, Barry and his opponent got straight into the action. Barry made a round house kick to his opponents leg and at the same tine the Ukrainian smashed into Barry's supporting leg, this took Barry to the floor . The referee in my opinion gave the right score of 2 points but was over ridden by the all powerful Mat Chairman who gave a Total Victory to the Ukrainian much to the disgust of Barry and the audience even his opponent put his hands up on disbelief. Showing great sportsmanship the Ukrainian went over to apologise and through an interpreter said he did not want to win on such a spurious decision

Let me explain what the Total Victory is in Sambo which a sport based on true Combat, the logic is if you are on your back on a battle field and your opponent remains standing you are a dead man. So in Sport Sambo if you throw or trip your opponent on to their back and remain standing you get a Total Victory. The Rules of Combat Sambo apply but as you can kick and punch it adds another dimension to the discipline for example if you can kick your opponents legs away and he lands on his back you get a Total Victory but his was "my opinion" not the case in Barry's situation his was more of a stumble to the ground there was no clear big throw and bang but the all powerful Mat chairman saw ii differently. Sometimes the Mat Chairman should awe to caution these players had travelled thousands of miles and at extreme cost, to lose on a very debatable decision into just seconds of a fight is deplorable. The Ukrainian lost the next round so Barry was out of the tournament, I hope this explains what happened and Barry is not judged to harshly. Sunday we see Matt Clempner in the Combat Sambo u90k class

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

More on Japan

With the FIAS Congress due for the afternoon we spent the morning going to the local Shopping Mall not a great deal to say as they are the same the World over but I was amazed in a Non Christian Country how they going full out for Christmas which in some respect is good and some bad. Good that everyone is enjoying the Holiday, Bad because they forgetting it is a Christian Festival the celebration of the birth of the Son of God and the clue is in the name CHRIST MASS Christmas.

We were warned that things were expensive here but on the whole I found them reasonable even the Beer and Russell bought a Camera for £80 in the UK it would have cost £150

While sitting a Restaurant in the old part Narita a young couple walked in with a push chair, nothing unusual about that except inside was a Pug Dog that was treated like a baby. That dog stories did not finish there as a few minutes later a man rushed in with a holdall with a lot of barking come from inside he vanished upstairs. One thing is for sure if we had any leftover from a meal I would not have asked for a Doggy Bag
Love Japanese food but unusual way to advertise choice. Wonder food doesn't slip of plate

FIAS the World governing body is going from strength to strength and the Congress gets bigger and bigger a full report will be given later . I, Martin Clarke received a special Plaque for outstanding organisation  of President's Cup and Worldwide Development of Sambo.

With FIAS President Shestakov

I look quite slim?


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

start of trip to Japan

My trip to the World Sambo Championships in Narita Japan Champion has started and what a trip 24 hours. I decide on using Emirates Airline which is a 2 part trip fly to Dubai then to Tokyo. This was my first time in Business Class and have to admit had a very good service. It was enjoyable to try Japanese food on the second flight was delight but 6 hours on the first flight and 8 hours on the second was  long haul I watched 6 movies. The seat in Business class stretch out to a full bed but they did not cater for someone my size, the same as the Taxi in Japan. The cost here is quite frightening a Taxi to Tokyo from the Narita View Hotel was £185 that was 45 miles and even the train fare was £20  and then you had to have a taxi to the aeroport where the railway station was at extra cost of £15 so total cost £35 compare that with a trip to London at £17.50p of peak.
Myself Russell and Robin ended up visiting Narita a traditional Town where there was a Monastery, this is exactly what I expected of Japan and we enjoyed the walk about although the steps did give my knees some stick. The hotel room left a lot to be desired especially with the smell of stale tobacco but the first breakfast very Japanese was excellent and very healthy. mainly fish fresh or pickled veg.
Trying the local cultural Beer Sake and peas in the pod they give you these instead of peanutts
I Have travelled the world and although I could not speak the language you could get away with using some simple English words for example Centre or Centrum Not in Japan those who could speak English had little grasped of the language and pronunciation. For example I ask for Sambo no one understood I showed them a picture and the word they smiled and said the word Sambo emphasising the BO. Camera are very reasonably priced if nothing else is