This information is brought to you by Greg Rammit, one of our KumAExplorers!
Kickboxing/Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Kumamoto has a small but active fight scene. With the popularity of the UFC growing, so to are the mixed martial arts gyms around the city. There are usually around 5-10 fighting events held each year in Kumamoto alone. The majority for Kyushu are held in Fukuoka. If you are keen to try them out, there are many that can offer diet classes, fitness classes and beginner to pro level courses. It’s recommended that if you want to get the most out of your gym and instructor you should aim towards the beginner to pro courses and fighting in the ring at some stage. Amateur class allows you headgear, shin guards and bigger sized gloves than the pro classes. Even if that’s not your personal goal, it would mean that you are not pushed into the corner during the training sessions. One more tip would be to grab a friend and head down to partake in one of the free sessions before deciding to join.
Depending on where you live in Kumamoto, there should be a gym close by. Even if there are no gyms, you will find some groups meet at a local school gym to train. Ask your teachers and they should know someone to point in you in the right direction.
Kumamoto has a small and passionate rugby scene. Games are played from September until February. Unfortunately with the decline in playing numbers, the amount of games have been reduced. Some schools have a rugby team and most universities have one.
Depending on your playing ability, there are three leagues to choose from.
The first is a top league team called ‘Sundays’ that plays other teams from around Kyushu for a chance to see who progresses to the All Japan Tournament. If you were to join this team, you should expect to travel to Okinawa depending on their game schedule.
The second is the Kumamoto League and is played amongst four teams. If you are an ALT you can play for the ‘Teachers’ team. The skill level is not very high, but very fast.
The third is the Challenge League and consists of five teams. This would be perfect if you have always been interested in playing rugby, but were unsure of your ability or size.
Games are 30 minutes a half and played at KK Wing or Yatsushiro, depending on the schedule. There is a 7’s tournament at the end of March and various teams enter different mini competitions around Kyushu.
For more, visit http://www.kumamoto-rugby.jp!