10/04/2009

Martial arts Venetian style




I wonder what gym space rental fees are like in a place like Venice, Italy? On a short three-day break in Venice recently, I came across at least 3 different types of martial arts gym - gojo ryu, okinawan karate and judo - all Japanese in origin. The photos above were on an advertising board outside an ultra-expensive cafe. (Very up-to-date marketing, if I may add). I didn't see any students, despite the enticing 30 degree heat, but I did meet with the gojo ryu master. He had faded pictures of Japanese masters all over his gym wall. He didn't speak any English, and with my Italian limited to only greetings, we only had one clear understanding of viewpoints - his mirth of taekwondo! I handed over my new business card, and the tone with which he read the word 'taekwondo' meant that he regarded it as quite separate from his gojo ryu. With a shake of the head he handed me back my card and I left for the airport. I'm not going to diss another martial art just 'cus I don't practise it.