“One of the most heart-wrenching moments in my life was the loss of my dog during my primary school years. We grew up together for 12 years, and he felt like an older brother to me. Another tough experience will always be losing a judo match, but I used it as a chance to learn from my mistakes every time.
I spent two and a half years teaching judo in Japan after having practiced it for 20 years, which I started back when I was just 6 years old. My father and grandfather were also judo players but my mother was the person who encouraged me. I used to compete in the 81 Kilograms (KG) category. One of my biggest achievements was winning a silver medal in district-level judo during high school. Judo is all I know and if I stop Judo, I think I don’t have anything else I know. Sometimes, I long for Japan, especially its traditional dishes.
Due to COVID-19, I was not able to come to Bhutan and had to teach judo in Japan for two and half years. Currently, I’ve been working in Bhutan for a year and half, and plan to stay another 6 months or maybe more. The Bhutanese players are much like Japanese players, and they’re quite skilled.
Initially, language barriers hindered my coaching, but with time and help from my assistant coach, I’ve improved in connecting with my students. Currently I have more than 200 students with ages ranging from 5 years old to 30.
Life in Bhutan is delightful, filled with fun moments spent with Bhutanese friends during weekends and holidays. Recently, we participated in a tournament in Nepal in March where 8 of the 13 players won medals; 1 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
I’ve made changes to the financial management of the judo association, overcoming past instability caused mainly due to improper book-keeping and accounts. I introduced new training techniques and fostered unity by organizing hikes and picnics. Student satisfaction is crucial, unhappy students may lose interest in learning. And over the years we also witnessed a decrease of students in the Judo Association.
As a teacher and coach, the students have immense respect for me in Bhutan. However, there are cultural challenges and inconsistency in attendance due to family, personal issues, and a lack of student interest—a common concern in sports. Sometimes, commitment wavers among players.
One of my hobbies is cooking and baking because whenever I do that, I can drain down all my stress and tensions. I took the initiative to manage all logistics of my team back in Japan for 7 years, 3 years during high school and 4 years in university and that experience made me a confident man in what I do right now.
I wish for the growth of the Bhutan Judo Association, with more players excelling in tournaments. We are participating in the upcoming HANGZHOU 2023 Asian Games in China, which is like the Asian Olympics especially for Judo . We have 3 players participating in it. It will be very tough to bring good results since all the Judo world champions are from Asia but we are preparing like never before.
Financial challenges were a major hurdle, but a change in budgeting structure has provided some relief. Budget constraints limit our participation in programs and events.
Over time, I’ve grown fond of Bhutan. I have no other plans after Bhutan because I am really focused on the players here right now. The journey has expanded my horizons and deepened my connection to this country.”


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