Judo and kendo are part of law-enforcement training in Japan, and many police officers continue to study the martial arts throughout their careers. In most cases, the toughest dojo in a city in Japan is a police dojo. Civilians who have gone there for martial arts training or who are hardy enough to become members tell some harrowing tales. “I would go to the dojo some nights, wondering if I was going to make it out alive,” one kendoka said of his training at a police dojo in Kanagawa. “I’d get hit so hard on my forehead that even wearing a helmet, my knees would buckle.” “In other judo dojo,” recalled a young man who trained at a police facility while teaching English in Osaka, “they would back off when you were thrown and let you get up so you could take a grip and continue. Here, they’d be standing over you, and when you tried to get up, they’d grab you and throw you again. It just kept going until you learned to get to your feet a second after you’d hit the mat.”
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