- Title: JAPAN: Japanese military cadets punch it out in 'capture the pole' competition
- Date: 11th November 2012
- Summary: YOKOSUKA, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 11, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CADETS IN ORANGE UNIFORM RUSHING TOWARD OPPONENTS' POLE VARIOUS OF CADETS IN ORANGE UNIFORMS ATTACKING CADETS IN RED UNIFORMS ATTACKING OPPONENTS' POLE COMPETITION IN PROGRESS MAN KICKING OPPONENT'S FACE MAN TRYING TO CLIMB UP POLE COMPETITIONWITH RED TEAM'S VICTORY VARIOUS OF SPECTATORS SEATED IN RAIN (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 38-YEAR-OLD TOKYO RESIDENT AND MOTHER OF THREE CHILDREN SHIZUE TACHIBANA, SAYING: "The battle between men full of youthful vigour was really cool, and I was quite surprised." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 23-YEAR-OLD UNIVERSITY STUDENT SHOHEI NISHI SAYING: "I can say they're absolutely the military cadets after I see their extreme fights." SCHOOL OFFICIAL CARRYING STRETCHER CAMERA CREWS FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 54-YEAR-OLD PUBLIC WORKER AKIRA SAWADA SAYING: "They are the people sacrificing themselves for this country, and after watching today's competition, I think I can rely on them for the country's future." VARIOUS OF CADETS IN BLUE AND GREEN UNIFORMS STANDING IN FORMATION OFFICIAL ANNOUNCING THE START OF COMPETITION VARIOUS OF BLUE TEAM ATTACKING GREEN TEAM'S POLE MAN KICKING OPPONENTS' FACES MEN WRESTLING ON GROUND COMPETITION IN PROGRESS MAN PULLING TEAMMATE'S ARM SUPPORTERS CHEERING AS THEIR TEAM WINS BLUE TEAM'S POLE COLLAPSED SPECTATORS WATCHING COMPETITION IN RAIN CADETS IN GREEN UNIFORMS RUNNING INTO PLAYGROUND FOR FINAL MATCH CADETS CHEERING UP VARIOUS OF CADETS IN RED UNIFORMS RUNNING INTO PLAYGROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SOPHOMORE AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY RYUMA OYAMA SAYING: "Our offense will bring down the opponents' pole in a flash." COMPETITION IN PROGRESS VARIOUS OF MEN WRESTLING ON TOP OF THE POLE RED TEAM ATTACKING OPPONENTS' POLE MORE OF COMPETITION IN PROGRESS MEN WRESTLING ON GROUND GREEN TEAM'S POLE COLLAPSED SUPPORTERS WAVING JAPANESE FLAG VARIOUS OF RED TEAM CELEBRATING VICTORY PLAYERS CLAPPING HANDS
- Embargoed: 26th November 2012 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA5NJA7SD1IO5OA7OZP373QQ9MB
- Story Text: Hundreds of cadets at Japan's National Defense Academy demonstrated their fighting spirit on Sunday (November 11) in a bizarre game of 'capture the pole.' The game, called in Japanese, "Bo-taoshi," or "knocking down the pole" in translation, is a popular item on sports days at schools in Japan.
The military cadets upgraded the game to a level of battle featuring punches and kicks.
The four participating teams, each of which represents its battalion, are split into two groups of 75 offensive and the same number of defensive players to fight in a tournament.
They compete to see how fast they can lower the opposing team's pole -- twice as long as their average height -- while defending their own from the opponent's attack.
One of the nearly two-thousand spectators said she was overwhelmed by the vigorous fights.
"The battle between men full of youthful vigour was really cool, and I was quite surprised," a mother of three children Shizue Tachibana said.
"I can say they're absolutely the military cadets after I see their extreme fights," another spectator, 23-year-old Shohei Nishi said.
Some said the competition helped them trust the young military cadets for the future of Japan in a time the country is experiencing diplomatic feuds with neighboring China and South Korea over territorial disputes.
"They are the people sacrificing themselves for this country, and after watching today's competition, I think I can rely on them for the country's future," 54-year-old public worker Akira Sawada said.
The teams have been practicing for a month in a bid to bring the pride and honor of the most brave cohorts in the academy.
"Our offense will bring down the opponents' pole in a flash," said Ryuma Oyama, one of the supporters from the number one battalion, which advanced to the final to face the number three battalion. His wish was soon realized as his team in red uniforms brought down the opponents' pole 75 seconds into the match.
Despite the violent way of competition, the academy officials said only one student received minor injury during the whole matches.
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