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Three sumo wrestlers standing in the ring, with formal aprons.
Sports Year
  1. Two National Soccer Tournaments
  2. Ekiden Road Race
  3. Rugby Football Games in Winter
  4. Skiing and Skating
  5. Sumo
  6. Midwinter Training and Traditional Martial Arts
  7. J League Soccer
  8. Mountain-opening and Beach-opening
  9. Fishing
  10. Motor Sports
  11. High School Baseball
  12. National Sports Festival
  13. Japan Baseball Series
  14. Viewing Autumn Leaves and Hiking
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Four men without shirts, stand knee deep in a river, practicing martial arts
These men hone their martial arts skills during midwinter training.
Photo from Nihon Goju-ryu Karate-do Website.
Midwinter Training and Traditional Martial Arts
Many Japanese traditional martial art clubs and schools require their members and students to get together for training early in the early morning in midwinter. This midwinter training is traditionally called kangeiko. Many clubs and schools of karate, judo, aikido, kendo, and kyudo do kangeiko every winter. It is almost an annual ritual. Some clubs and school do kangeiko even in fields of snow or at the cold, windy seaside. Kangekgo can be unpleasant, even painful for participants, because the cold air makes the skin very sensitive to any physical contact during martial arts practice. But it is believed that if the participant focuses on training very intensely, such problems can be overcome. It is said that training in the cold winter morning improves participants’ mental strength. Indeed, for Japanese martial arts, mental strength is considered to be more important than physical strength. That is why they do kangeiko. However, some clubs cook hot Japanese soup such as oshiruko and butajiru, and participants enjoy it after the training. Some participants may join kangeiko to enjoy this fun part of midwinter training.
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