The Following is an excerpt from Megumi Fujii's Blog
"Seichou Special Needs School"
I went and volunteered at the Special Needs School,Siechou Special Needs School. I've worked a part-time job at an establishment for the autistic before. Because of that a former college teacher of mine, Nakashima-sensei, has invited me to this school several times.
4 years ago, I gave a Judo lecture there. People with mental disabilities, physical disabilities and autism attended. 8 years ago, Nakashima-sensei had been teaching Judo to these people, who aren't self-reliant, and he went to an academic conference and announced that he will be starting an association which he has now done for a long time both enthusiastically and sincerely.
Siechou looks like it is the only school in Japan where these people can go and take something like Judo lessons. Abroad there are a great number. It looks like a lot in Norway and Sweden. In Japan, a child with cerebral palsy has been learning the Judo art of falling safely for four years (of course there is support and aid) it also looks like they have learned to walk. You can exercise through running or with a ball, but to put on a Judo Gi and push, pull, grip, pin and fall with your opponent…these things stimulate your mind and your body and they have very good results.
In reality, if you come here you can see someone do a beautiful Osotogari (Judo Leg Throw) or a Taiotoshi (body throw). Plus there are many smiling faces.
In the beginning, there were many pupils who would take longer than 20 minutes to put on their Gis, now most of them can put on their Gis with their own hands in 5 minutes and also put their belts on. I think it is an amazing thing.These are things that are tied together with being able to go out into society or ones daily living at home. Nakashima-sensei has tied teaching Judo to these people with teaching them self-reliance, he wants more Special Needs schools to start including Judo lessons.
One more thing I'd like to say, Siechou Special Needs School is the only place like this in Japan, these people can't take Judo lessons anywhere else. Naturally one with a teacher's training is needed and it can take time.
In Judo you win or you lose, but it is not only a sport, through Martial Arts one makes one's way (of proper conduct/ morals). One forges their spirit and learns how to live a better live in society, it is to their advantage to to have a place to study,
What does Judo have, I spent a day yet again thinking about the relationship between sports and man and their true meaning.
I have gone down the path of martial arts and experienced it, what is called the 5 human senses, through the martial arts path I have opened my whole body and have had a clear experience.
Real 100%, I have experienced more than that, anyone can experience that, when I remember this, I think it is because of the Martial Art Judo.
I want to impart it to these little kids and wake something that is sleeping in them, I think about this often. What is the best way to show them. It is not good to end the conversation/discussion here.
At any rate, in one day my Sensei has truly left a deep impression and created a big response in me. At the same time, the day before yesterday at the World Economic Forum it got around that of the world's 136 countries, Japan was 105th,i it was shocking. This is related to society and sports, they are tied together.
I think about Nakashima-Sensei from the old days, I would like his vision to branch out.
He is my father's friend.
Always truly, thank you very much.
I look forward to the day that I can meet you again.