Japan Tour 2019
Japan Tour 2019
December 01, 2019
This week our young champions travel to Japan to compete in an official K-1 kickboxing event. Keep up to date on their developments and hear from the young champs themselves as they will be writing and posting pictures to this blog over the course of the trip.
Last training session at the ProKick gym before off home to pack...travelling in a couple of hours
Months in the planning for, Grace, James & Jay from the ProKick Gym, the time has come, the travelling begins. Dublin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kumamoto and then Osaka.
First leg, on the bus to Dublin - all present and correct 🚌👍
Team has just got on board for our flight to Amsterdam. We are all excited to be one step closer to JAPAN!
The team have arrived in Amsterdam airport. Time to refuel before our big flight to Tokyo.
We are on the plane and excited to get going! A long flight ahead but it will be more than worth it. Can’t wait!
We made it! After a long flight we have arrived in the land of the rising sun. We are all well rested and ready to make our first stop in Tokyo!
Just off coach and arrived centre of Tokyo at Shinjuku station. Walking to hotel to freshen up after a 24 hour travel to get here. Our whistle-stop tour of one night in Tokyo begins 🇯🇵
They are ready for this weekend’s event- ProKick Samurai Warriors
Met former WKN European Champion Mark Bird for Sushi in downtown Shinjuku-now off to meet a top promoter/matchmaker at the Kourakuen hall
Day1 done & dusted , Just to summarise:
Nearly 24 hours from leaving Belfast to arriving in Shinjuku, Japan. And so far it hasn’t disappointed our ProKick teens
From acting the part of a Samurai to eating real authentic Japanese sushi to seeing the weird and wonderful sights Tokyo has to offer.
Tying up with our ProKick former WKN European Champion Mark Bird as he give us a guided tour of his new home of Tokyo for Sushi in downtown Shinjuku - to meeting up with a top Japanese promoter / matchmaker at the Tokyo Dome Hotel & Kourakuen hall.
I can’t thank everyone back enough for making this trip possible for three of Northern Ireland’s finest, true ambassadors of our great country. Roll on day 2 with our team in Japan 🙏
A-Team happy at breakfast on the Grand Hyatt Hotel🙏
Running to breakfast
Breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Shinjuku
One of the best in the city. Refuelled ready for the next adventure- heading for training with Doi-san and his famous Ernesto Hoost gym in Nagoya.
Any chance they get💤💤
team fuelled up for a training session in Ernesto hoosts gym
Fuelled up in the hotel after a good run with the team this morning. We are all getting ready to travel this morning to Kumamoto to meet our friends from Prokick Gym Japan!
Running through the streets of Nagoya and getting to know the city early This morning !
Ready to start a new day in the land of the rising sun.
Curry for breakfast today.....👌
Team Prokick fought here in Nagoya on the 1st Hoost cup...9 years later its a huge event!
Fire whole 4000🔥
Does exactly what is says on tin🌶♨️🥵🌡
Day 2, a summary:
After a super first day in Japan, could it get any better? You can be the judge of that one;
Training started at 7am through the back streets of Shinjuku we ran - we cut through into a park to find a group of the older generation (much older than me) practising the ancient Chinese art of Tai-Chi Chuan - being cheeky (in a nice way) the team joined in and when finished, said our thanks and good-bye and ran into the run-rise.
Must be the one of the best breakfast in Tokyo - I had the pleasure of experiencing breakfast at the Park Hyatt on a few occasions and wanted the team to try it out. Like most things in life there’s normally a hefty price attached - but not this time as very generously this time, it was all courtesy of Mr & Mrs Braniff. It cost was close to £200 for the 5 of us. Saying that if you ever find yourself to Tokyo and fancy one of the best breakfast in town then try the Park Hyatt Shinjuku - even if you’re not stay there. 'THE TEAM LOVED IT’.
Back to our hotel, we were all packet up so off we trudged to the busiest train station in the world - the Shinjuku Station (Tokyo) which handles a staggering 1.26 billion people yearly, yes you read that correctly.
It was all aboard for the Shinkansen (bullet train) destination Nagoya - we were off to the world famous, Ernesto Hoost gym, Nagoya.
After arriving in Nagoya, we made our way to our next hotel, checked in and went to explore this great city. Hungry we were and away we went for a traditional Japanese meal which everyone embraced thus far.
We finally made it 'Hoost's Gym.' The first time we visited here was for the inaugural Hoost Cup nearly 10 years ago. That’s when we brought 11 fighters from the ProKick gym to face an all Japanese team and the fights were held at the same gym. Now, the Hoost Cup is one of the most prestigious events in Japan featuring some of the best fighters from across the world and audiences of 1000,s televise.” added coach Murray.
It was close to midnight when we got back to our hotel on this whistle-stop tour. We sat and recapped on the session and on day two of our ProKick team in Japan 🇯🇵
Thank you each and everyone of you who kindly contributed to helping three of Northern Ireland’s talented sporting teenagers.
Having a blast💥
enjoying the Hiroshima museum 😎
Johnny clearly shocking Hiro with his story !
Hiro clearly enjoying Johnny’s story !
It was our great pleasure to train at our Friend Hiro’s very own kickboxing school in Kumamoto last night and showing our skills to his pupils! A fantastic experience for all!
Team ProKick Kumamoto
Eating like sumos tonight
Our first glitch on the travels across Japan.
On route to our final destination, Osaka. That’s where we’ll meet back up again with Hiro after being split from him en-route to Osaka from Kumamoto. We will also meet Mark Bird who travelled in from Tokyo to join the team.
We departed Kumamoto at 6am (japan time) this morning with Hiro Mochizuki, (ProKick Japan). Unfortunately we had the wrong ticket for our trip to Osaka, I asked to up-grade as we accidentally were on the wrong train heading for the same location as Hiro which was Osaka. The conductor showed the up-grade price on his ticket machine - WOW, it was a ridiculous £580 odds (but that’s the price for the Super Express) Oh hello! Sorry, we’ll get off thank you very much. Off we got, chanced platforms and in within 15 mins were on the right train. When we arrive in Osaka on the right Shinkansen we were just running 45 mins behind Hiro.
We finally made it to our final destination, we starting travelling from 6am and arriving at 5pm - another tough travel but an exciting one. We are all stocked up with food at our traditional Japanese style house (weirdly) largely enough for 20 people.
All settled, resting for the big day tomorrow Sunday 8th Dec which is FIGHT DAY! The UK is, minus 9hours behind us here in Japan.
Heading to the official weigh-ins for the K1 event in Osaka. Our team/your team are ready for this next challenge. #HardWorkPaysOff
Weigh-ins 11am local time - uk GMT is minus 9 hours
Event starts 2pm local time
"I'm turning Japanese - I really think so! That’s what the ProKick team were saying after a successful week-long tour which seen them travel the length and breadth of Japan to enhance their skill-set and knowledge, finishing off at a K-1 tournament in Osaka.
Thanks again to anyone who contributed in anyway, no matter how big or small. This trip would not have be possible with you!
A huge thanks to Mark Bird, who is living and fighting out of Tokyo.
Also to Mr. Hiro Mochizuki for all his help and hard work in Japan.
Last day of our ProKick Japan tour 2019 - today Monday 9th Dec was a free day. As demarcates we took a vote with a few options on the table, and unlike our Brexit fiasco back home. Universal studios won, hands down, the youths vote!
It was a great day, especially, to see our teenagers finally relax and have some fun and for the first time show their ages, after a this manic six day whistle-stop tour of Japan.
More on this later....
That’s it! Nearly the end of our six day epic exciting ProKick Japanese tour 2019.
All getting ready, final checks being made before we relive a 80’s classic featuring the late, John Candy in ....
‘ Planes Trains & automobiles,
Lots more photos & video to be posted
See you on the other side, HOME👍🙏🚂🛫🚖
Landed in Amsterdam, hit the ground running 🏃♂️ to make next connection for last flight to Dublin - then it’s on the final furlong, the bus Home to Belfast Yeeha!