MMA, Judo and Japanese Rugby

When a Japanese forward turned to the pitch and bowed at half time, it occurred to me there’s a strong chance that at least some of Japanese rugby team who played so well against England yesterday have a martial arts background. So far, this FT article about Eddie Jones is all I could turn up, but chances are a fair few of his previous team are judo black belts given the sport’s central position in the Japanese school curriculum…. “Jones even found a way to address calls for a “Japanese” style of rugby, bringing mixed martial arts expert Tsuyoshi Kohsaka into his training camps. Japan’s players learned to stay low in contact, making it hard for burlier opponents to bring their size to bear.”