|Don't Say Hi|
When in Japan, don’t say hi.
Take it from me. For some reason during my time in Tokyo, I instinctively said “Hi” to Japanese folk as I crossed them when out and about. Getting on an elevator, crossing a hotel front desk, shaking a hand in a fight gym.
“Hi,” especially in the inexplicably Japanese accent I was saying it in, is basically how you say “Yes” or “Right (Correct)” in Japan.
I can only imagine what’s going on in locals’ heads when I greet them.
Probably something like this: No one asked this white guy a question. Why is he saying “Yes” to everybody?
|Read My Lips|
Wayne Phillips was feeling a bit under the weather in recent days. For much of his life, illness combined with warm temperatures means the cold sores are coming.
Phillips is used to the sores forming on his lip and then quickly hunting down ointment to treat them. Not so easy in a Japanese drug store, with its unreadable labels and box illustrations of sore body parts that don’t include lips.
Entering a drug store near Tokyo’s J-Rock Workout Studio, Phillips tries to explain to a man behind the counter what he’s looking for, pointing to his lip.
“Ah, herpes,” the man replies.
No, not herpes, Phillps replies, as if he knew that was coming.
“I’ve been hearing that all my life,” he said. “I’ve had these since sixth grade.”
As Wayne Phillips stepped one last time into the J-Rock Workout Studio, it sounded like he was feeling a hint of regret. Maybe it was the jet lag, his lack of appetite, his broken nose, but not until this day did he feel his best, capable of training as hard in Tokyo as he does back home in San Jose.
“That was probably my best feeling day,” Phillips said of Monday’s training. “I had the most energy and was able to start going more. Towards the end there I finally started getting adjusted.”
He sparred a bit harder with the likes of Ryo Chonan and Michihiro Omigawa, and got some honest work in. Saying farewell to the camp he spent most of his time with in Japan, Phillips tried to lock in a future chance to work with them again while shaking hands one-by-one and expressing thanks.
“I told them that they should come out to (American Kickboxing Academy) and come train real soon,” he said.
|Feeling The Pain|
Luke Rockhold rocked back and forth at the breakfast table in Tokyo, barely able to touch his food without feeling the pain.
A debilitating toothache set in towards the end of his training excursion to Japan with American Kickboxing Academy teammate, and seemed to get a lot worse after a night of bellowing karaoke. It was his birthday, so he felt cleared to take the edge off with several high balls, but that didn’t help either.
Ever resourceful, Rockhold had a translator write out a note in Japanese that basically said he’s got the worst toothache the pharmacist could imagine and he needs the strongest stuff he has. He returned with a box of painkillers that helped, but required a refill. After landing home in California, Rockhold, who had to pull out of an Oct. 9 fight due to a shoulder injury, was still hurting.
“I’m ready to check a dentist here pretty soon,” he said.