Message from the Board Chair

 It all started in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture where there is a strong Yakuza presence. I was a mischievous six-year-old when my parents took me to a judo dojo. I often wonder what would have happened to me if I had not been taken to the dojo at that time. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to put up with the sensei’s strict instructions at that time, or if I hadn’t been able to continue training. My excess energy might have gone in the wrong direction. I may have troubled people by getting into fights. Along with myself the people around me had bad tempers. I was surrounded by troubled youths who wore baggy pants and said “If you back off, you lose”, “Don’t be looked down on”, and “Fight until you win”. I was in an environment where people thought it was cool to be a strong fighter. I think the environment that you grow up in has a huge impact on the way you develop as a person. I wonder what would have happened if I had made a mistake in that environment.
 When I started going to the dojo, I didn’t know anything, so I just did what sensei told me to do. I paired up with sensei, and he taught me a throw. I followed his instruction and then he was in the air and landed with a big bang. I was told to try again, so I did, and was able to throw him again. It gave me a tremendous feeling of success. At school, if I threw my school mates, I would get in big trouble from teachers, but at the dojo, no matter how many times I threw my training partners, no one scolded me. I was hooked on judo. I’m very glad that I found something I could devote myself to everyday. My mischievous excess of energy was directed into judo. I continued to do judo in junior high school, high school, university, and even after I graduated. In the process, I met wonderful coaches. Maybe I was lucky. I was blessed with coaches who taught me not only how to win, but also how to use my energy effectively for a good purpose “Seiryoku-Zenyo”, how to live and prosper together “Jita-Kyoei”, and how to help each other and give to each other “Sojo-Sojo”. These are the words of Judo’s founder, Jigoro Kano. I won’t go into the details of the words here, but they are great concepts. You can learn these terms here (Seiryoku-Zenyo, Jita-Kyoei) if you’re interested . I am now thinking about how I can contribute to more people. My feeling is especially strong for contributing to children’s learning.
 This is the value I found from sport. If I hadn’t been able to meet wonderful coaches in judo, I might have lived my life with a mindset of only considering my own interests and not caring about causing trouble for others. But there is a different me here. I don’t know if there is a value in sports itself. However, I have come to realise that the value of sports is created by the people involved in them. The Olympics were held in the midst of the COVID-19 spread and the value of sports has been questioned.
 I don’t think telling people “The value of sport is ◯▽◆◆ #▲□,” will help them understand the message. We want more people to realise and experience that there is value in sports. The NPO Sport Coaching Academia will create value in sports through people.

NPO Sport Coaching Academia
Board Chair
Takanori Ishi