Sunday, 28 June 2009

U.S. Marines attend karate clinic in Okinawa (2009)

NAHA - U.S. Marines based in Okinawa kicked and chopped their way , as they attended a karate clinic on the southern Japanese island that has often been plagued with crimes committed by military personnel.
About 200 Marines from the logistics group based in the city of Urasoe were given lectures on the sprit of Okinawa-style karate and its basic non-contact ”kata” forms by a local group of artists, including the 2008 women’s world champion.
The clinic was the latest effort by the U.S. Marines and the local Foreign Ministry office to provide U.S. military personnel with the opportunity to help deepen their understanding of Okinawan culture and keep them from committing criminal acts.
”Karate is suited to build discipline, as well as mental and physical training, and I think there is no way for people in military service to miss it,” an official of the ministry office said.
Tsuguo Sakumoto, a professor at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts who served as a chief instructor at the clinic, said he was impressed with how quickly many of the attendees got the knack.
”They have natural aptitude, probably because they are well-trained (in the military), to the degree that I even want to give them a chance to train intensively with me,” Sakumoto said.
U.S. Marines in Okinawa have been involved in a number of criminal cases after World War II, ranging from raping schoolgirls to drunken driving and trespassing. (2009 Kyodo World News Service).