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Experiences in Asia

Dining with the stars

JAPAN | Saturday, 23 June 2007 | Views [1051]

I am quite lucky to know a guy called Mike. Having lived in Japan for 15 years, he is my first port of call for any problem I might have. For example, only yesterday he gave me the proper document I need for transferring all my visas into my new passport - where the heck was he hiding that. Mike also calmed the stormy seas and made it relatively painless when signing the contract for my apartment. His Japanese is damn near perfect and he is always giving me pointers.....

However, the greatest thing about the lad is that he moves in celebrity circles - my sort of celebrities = the MMA crowd. Mike is close friends with Dan Henderson, the current Pride FC champion. And it was due to this connection that we were able to take dinner last night with another Pride fighter, and Yoshida pupil, Kazuhiro Nakamura.

Nakamura had been badgering Mike for a while to help him with his English, and so Mike set up dinner. At dinner, the conversation was soon flowing, but I am happy to say there was more Japanese being used than English, which was great for my own study. Kazuhiro-san had brought two of his Yoshida dojo, and fighting partners along to the night. I was astounded by the volume of food they ate! They said no to beers, preferring diet coke, but when it came to the full rack of ribs, sirloin steaks and chef's salads, there was no mercy. I recon Kazuhiro-san finished his lot in about 15 minutes. And then there was desert - nuff said!

We are all going to try and make it a regular thing, as the guys are always travelling to other places with Pride or UFC (only last week they were all in Belfast for UFC) - As long as I get some Japanese study in whilst mixing with the stars, I'm happy!

Tags: Friends

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