Everybody knows Jackie Chan, Bruce lee, Jet
Li, Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh. Their
death defying leaps, high flying kicks, lightning
fast punches and spectacular stunt antics thrill
movie goers around the world. Strong, fast,
and cool; these are the kind of people kids
(and adults alike) seek to emulate. Not too
many people will deny their desire to be just
like these silver screen heroes and heroines.
ETJ took a hands-on tour of Studio Tough- one
of this city’s premier martial arts studios,
located right in the Nagoya station area. With
a name like that, we knew we were in for a physical
enough, Studio Tough is solely for female clientele-
a one-of-a-kind in Japan. I asked the studio
owner, Mr. Hiroaki Kume, why he has made his
training program available exclusively for women.
are many women who feel uncomfortable doing
exercise with men. For example, working out
in a gym full of men can affect clothing choices
for women. Instead of feeling relaxed and able
to focus on working out, sometimes women become
the centre of attention, receiving stares and
comments which can heighten stress levels and
reduce the chance of them returning to that
gym. I want to provide a comfortable environment
where women can feel at ease with their bodies
and really focus on the work out.”
popularity of this type of lesson can’t
be denied. Studio Tough opened its doors for
the first time in June of this year and already
more than 600 members have joined. By catering
exclusively to women and providing first class
instructors, Studio Tough is really making its
mark in the Nagoya area. On the day that ETJ
visited, instructor Kozue, put this reporter
through her paces. Kozue has over 20 years experience
in kung fu and other Chinese martial arts but
to look at her, you wouldn’t think she
had the power to knock anyone onto their backside.
As soon as the lesson started, my perception
of this small, slender and friendly lady was
immediately dashed. It was as if I was watching
a real life kung fu movie straight out of Hong
Kong. As the lesson progressed I could feel
myself becoming stronger and as the techniques
came thick and fast, I could almost see myself
being airbrushed on the cover of an action DVD
release- you know the ones, anything with the
words ‘IMPACT’ or ‘LOW BLOW’
written in unapologetically large, red, 80’s
font. At the end of the lesson I was convinced
I was invincible and the surge of endorphins
experienced after any good physical workout
left me feeling somewhat indebted to Mr. Kume
and Ms. Kozue. I’ll be back and dare I
say that there could be another Charlie’s
Angels in the making.
some (but definitely not all) of the excitement
had subsided I had a chance to talk with Mr.
Kume about kung fu. I was interested to learn
that ‘kung fu’ (??) is a Chinese
noun meaning, ‘someone who is famous,
someone who has expended a lot of effort for
something or someone who is great’. For
Chinese people, kung fu is known more commonly
as woo shu (??)
asked Mr. Kume why he opened a fitness studio
primarily for kung fu.
have always liked kung fu movies and with my
long experience as an instructor, for both kung
fu and sports, I felt I would be in a good position
to pass on my knowledge to people interested.”
also asked about other programs currently being
held at Studio Tough.
also offer south fist and tai chi. These are
other types of Chinese martial arts which not
only improve general health and fitness but
are particularly effective in providing relief
for aching shoulders, migraine headaches and
to know more about Mr. Kume’s motivation
for opening such a unique fitness studio, I
asked what gives him the most satisfaction.
the customer says ‘Studio Tough is the
best place for me’, it makes it all worthwhile.”
Mr. Kume also has a message for foreigners in
in a foreign country is not an easy thing and
can be the cause of a great deal of stress.
Physical exercise is an excellent way to release
stress and one of the wonderful things about
sport is that you don’t need words to
participate. Please come and learn kung fu with
us- you won’t believe how much it can
improve your sense of well-being.”
really couldn’t believe how I felt after
Ms. Kozue’s lesson. Studio Tough was not
a place I could easily forget and as the fatigue
began to settle in, my mind wandered to Bruce
Lee’s ‘Enter the Dragon’,
which I must confess, I rented on the way home.
If you indeed have aspirations of becoming the
next action star or even if you just want to
become healthier, more flexible and more confident,
I enthusiastically invite you to give Studio
Tough a try.
1 lesson: 70 minutes
Trading hours: 10:00 –
22:00 Monday ~ Sunday
Please inquire for lesson types and levels.
Sample fee: ¥10,000 for
1 month of unlimited access.
First trial lesson
¥1,000 with a printout of the coupon GET
Please e-mail us if you would like to book a
trial lesson firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with Japanese speaking ability can call
us for trial lesson bookings (052-569-1166).