Two students of Lithuanian Sports University are going to study together with other eighteen foreign students at the International Buddhist University of Japan. Gold winner of Lithuanian Junior, Youth and Senior Judo Championships, multiple winner and prize winner of international competitions, Baltic champion Miglė Julija Dudėnaitė and gold winner of Lithuanian Junior, Youth and Senior Judo Championships, winner of silver and bronze medals at European Junior Championships, multiple winner and prize winner of international competitions, European Cup champion and prize winner Rokas Nenartavičius are going to study in Japan for a year.
Miglė and Rokas had to go through a very strict selection. At the University of Japan, special attention was paid to the English language skills, the results of national maturity examinations and athletic achievements. To be enrolled, candidates had to have a black judo belt (first dan). In addition, a cover letter was required as if for an important job interview.
Although students are surprised and fascinated by the unusual for Europeans Japanese rituals of behaviour, they are not afraid of potential cultural differences. Miglė Julija Dudėnaitė says that she “will have excellent conditions for training and will be able to benefit from Japanese excellence, as well as have suitable partners for training sessions (and they are the most lacking in Lithuania) in order to be an equal opponent in European and World Championships.”
J. Dudėnaitė has already visited the Japanese University. She prepared for the European Championship there in September. During this time, she got acquainted with the environment and experienced cultural differences. R. Nenartavičius has been to Japan twice and feels there as at home.
Students are going to train at the International Buddhist University for seven hours every day. One hour will be devoted to general physical fitness, and six for workouts on tatami. Lectures will take place between the three training sessions. Every day students will learn Japanese for two hours, and other subjects will be optional. The lectures are intended to familiarize with the Japanese culture and traditions, and to study the relations between Japanese and Western cultures.
Judo coach Lolita Dudėnienė hopes to work more closely with the Japanese Buddhist University. Lithuanian Sports University has been presented to the International Relations Office of the Japanese University. The International Buddhist University collaborates with different countries, mostly from Asia, especially China and Korea. The University is especially liked by athletes who are preparing for world championships and other important events. In addition, the Buddhist University also trains athletes in other 6 martial arts.
“The Japanese would be glad to invite our basketball players before the Olympics; they appreciate our experience and achievements. And we want to go to Japan, because they are leaders in judo sports. The Japanese are always prize winners in all competitions”, said coach L. Dudėnienė.
If to compare the training conditions in Japan and Lithuania, L. Dudėnienė says that our university has one gym in which boys and girls can engage in training. The International Buddhist University has two separate gyms, one for boys and one for girls. One of them is about the size of the indoor athletics arena at LSU. And there are a lot of partners to train with, not just Japanese, as a lot of foreign teams arrive for short-term training, so there is a great opportunity to fight with athletes from different countries.
Students will be able not only to learn Japanese, but also improve their athletic skills with the best judo specialists. After their return, they will be able to share their experience with the training partners in Lithuania and use their knowledge in the future working as coaches.