Japanese Wrestling Team Comes to Missoula Big Sky For Cultural E - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Japanese Wrestling Team Comes to Missoula Big Sky For Cultural Exchange

Posted: Updated:

For a group of wrestlers in Missoula, the joy of the sport is the same…the aches and pains are the same…and the dedication is the same…but what is different, is their surroundings. A group of Japanese student athletes are taking part in a cultural exchange with the Big Sky wrestling team, the first one to happen for the program in decades.

"When I first mentioned it, they thought 'what?' I explained to them what it was, and the values of it, and they're excited about it. The families are excited about it, and they help out a lot as well," says Big Sky head coach Lanny Bryant of when he told his team about hosting Japanese wrestlers.

The level of the young wrestlers from Japan is serious as well, with many of them nationally ranked in the top five of their respective ages and weight classes.

"They are really the top level kids in Japan, and I think they are ready for the adventure, but at the same time they are really nervous," says Japanese Interpreter and current Missoula resident Yoko Ichimura.

While they didn't appear nervous to be on the mats at all, as the Big Sky wrestlers met the Japanese athletes when they arrived at the airport, there was certainly some confusion as neither team spoke the same language.

"They showed up at the airport, and we weren't really sure what to do. It was kind of like 'we don't speak the same language, but let's try to communicate with each other," says Big Sky senior Luke Entzel.

"These Japanese kids come over here to America, and come to Montana, where they see all the cowboys Movies and stuff like that," adds Bryant with a smile.

For the Japanese team, there are some differences in training. In Japan, they practice for nearly four hours a day, which is substantially longer than the Montana kids, and they do so in a gym that doesn't have any air conditioning or heating, and the wrestlers themselves were impressed with the physical size of Montana grapplers.

"Coach was surprised the wrestling room was big, and the kids were surprised the (Montana) kids are tall and huge," says Ichimura.

Tomorrow, the Japanese wrestlers will take on some of the best athletes from Big Sky as well as surrounding high schools. While the quality of competition will be tremendously high, the high scholers know it's about more than just facing a different opponent.

"It's awesome to see something that our small town or our nation does is a world wide thing, and it's loved by people around the world, and people work hard around the world at the sport," says Entzel.

"Montana in general is really warm hearted. I think the kids are welcomed and hosted in the Big Sky kid's families, so great things are already happening," says Ichimura.

For multi-sport standout Luke Entzel, he's embracing the opportunity to be a part of a different culture, but he's also jealous of next years team, as they may return the favor and go to Japan for the next cultural exchange.

"At the same time, I'm glad it's my senior year, but I wish it was my junior year, because I think we're going down there next year, so to keep this going and keep the Montana/Japan connection I think is huge for the exchange and opening up our cultures," says Entzel.

**Due to MHSA rules, the Big Sky Eagles were not allowed to practice or train with the Japanese team, however they'll square off in an exhibition wrestling match Tuesday evening**


  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Name released of suspect in trespassing at Old Faithful at Yellowstone

    Name released of suspect in trespassing at Old Faithful at Yellowstone

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 4:02 PM EDT2018-09-18 20:02:16 GMT

    A crowd watching Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park was alarmed to see an adult man leave the boardwalk and stand on some of the park's most beloved - and dangerous - thermal features.

    A crowd watching Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park was alarmed to see an adult man leave the boardwalk and stand on some of the park's most beloved - and dangerous - thermal features.

  • New Online Virtual Consultation for Interested in Medical Tourism in Colombia

    New Online Virtual Consultation for Interested in Medical Tourism in Colombia

    Friday, September 14 2018 8:12 AM EDT2018-09-14 12:12:33 GMT
    Cirujano Plastico en Medellin Dr. Pedro Hoyos has defied convention in the Medical Tourism market with the release of its new Online Virtual Consultation for everyone interested in body or face enhancing procedures...
    Cirujano Plastico en Medellin Dr. Pedro Hoyos has defied convention in the Medical Tourism market with the release of its new Online Virtual Consultation for everyone interested in body or face enhancing procedures in...
  • Miss Montana USA crowned in Missoula

    Miss Montana USA crowned in Missoula

    Monday, September 17 2018 11:53 AM EDT2018-09-17 15:53:20 GMT

    Dozens of women grabbed their high heels and practiced their public speaking skills to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Miss Montana USA 2019 and Miss Teen Montana USA was crowned at Missoula's community theater on Sunday.

    Dozens of women grabbed their high heels and practiced their public speaking skills to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Miss Montana USA 2019 and Miss Teen Montana USA was crowned at Missoula's community theater on Sunday.

  • Marine veteran asking for public's help finding service dog

    Marine veteran asking for public's help finding service dog

    Thursday, September 13 2018 11:18 PM EDT2018-09-14 03:18:51 GMT
    Courtesy: Lynn DegadoCourtesy: Lynn Degado

    Ryan Jones is asking the public to help him find his service dog. Jones says his Masik, is dark-brown chow chow, was stolen from his car on Sunday. Jones suffers from Post Traumatic Stress disorder after serving overseas for the Marines. Masik helps bring comfort to Jones in public settings. "He really is special to me and he really helps me if anything else. I just want him to come back home," Jones said. Jones and his wife deliver recreational vehicles all over the U.S....

    Ryan Jones is asking the public to help him find his service dog. Jones says his Masik, is dark-brown chow chow, was stolen from his car on Sunday. Jones suffers from Post Traumatic Stress disorder after serving overseas for the Marines. Masik helps bring comfort to Jones in public settings. "He really is special to me and he really helps me if anything else. I just want him to come back home," Jones said. Jones and his wife deliver recreational vehicles all over the U.S....

  • Volunteers sought to stay at popular cross-country ski cabin

    Volunteers sought to stay at popular cross-country ski cabin

    Friday, September 14 2018 3:32 PM EDT2018-09-14 19:32:56 GMT
    WISDOM, Mont. - If you've ever dreamed of a free stay in a cozy cabin surrounded by gorgeous winter scenery and Nordic ski trails, the Forest Service has a gig for you. The Forest Service is seeking volunteers for the popular Gordon Reese Cabin, which serves as a warming hut for skiers at the Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski Area outside Wisdom. Tuesdays and Fridays are designated days when volunteers can help maintain the cabin, welcome guests, go skiing and stay overnight for free. ...
    WISDOM, Mont. - If you've ever dreamed of a free stay in a cozy cabin surrounded by gorgeous winter scenery and Nordic ski trails, the Forest Service has a gig for you. The Forest Service is seeking volunteers for the popular Gordon Reese Cabin, which serves as a warming hut for skiers at the Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski Area outside Wisdom. Tuesdays and Fridays are designated days when volunteers can help maintain the cabin, welcome guests, go skiing and stay overnight for free. ...
  • Lake County man charged with sexual assault of 4-year-old

    Lake County man charged with sexual assault of 4-year-old

    Friday, September 14 2018 4:41 PM EDT2018-09-14 20:41:44 GMT

    POLSON - Charging documents say a Lake County boy was airlifted to a Seattle hospital for treatment after the discovery of horrific abuse. Court documents say tribal officers responded to a home in Lake County on Aug. 24 after reports of severe abuse of a little boy. Witnesses said that the boy had a bed-wetting issue, and Keith Lee Michel, Jr., had been repeatedly taping the child's penis to stop him from urinating. A woman said she tried to stop MIchel from continuing th...

    POLSON - Charging documents say a Lake County boy was airlifted to a Seattle hospital for treatment after the discovery of horrific abuse. Court documents say tribal officers responded to a home in Lake County on Aug. 24 after reports of severe abuse of a little boy. Witnesses said that the boy had a bed-wetting issue, and Keith Lee Michel, Jr., had been repeatedly taping the child's penis to stop him from urinating. A woman said she tried to stop MIchel from continuing th...

  • Yellowstone bull elk attacks man in new video

    Yellowstone bull elk attacks man in new video

    Friday, September 14 2018 12:43 PM EDT2018-09-14 16:43:33 GMT

    A newly released video captured the moment that a bull elk knocked over a man standing in his way at Yellowstone National Park.

    A newly released video captured the moment that a bull elk knocked over a man standing in his way at Yellowstone National Park.

  • Rapper Ludacris goes 'glamping' in Montana

    Rapper Ludacris goes 'glamping' in Montana

    Thursday, September 13 2018 5:37 PM EDT2018-09-13 21:37:30 GMT
    Instagram @LudacrisInstagram @Ludacris
    Instagram @LudacrisInstagram @Ludacris

    Rapper Ludacris and his wife, Eudoxie Bridges, recently visited Montana for a glamorous camping vacation. 

    Rapper Ludacris and his wife, Eudoxie Bridges, recently visited Montana for a glamorous camping vacation. 

Powered by Frankly

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.