After using his martial art skills to survive a bear attack, Hiroto Miyagawa’s real nightmare has just begun.
Imagine if you will; you’re the head of a karate dojo who went out in the mountains one day to repair the fence to a wasabi patch. However, once you arrive you come face-to-face with a 1.6-meter (5.25-foot) bear.
The mighty beast swats its muscular arms down towards your head, but thanks to your years of training and lightning quick reflexes that comes with it, you block the blow by crossing your arms above your face.
Since the bear was standing when it attacked, its face had come down to about your midsection. Seeing this as your only chance to launch a counterattack, you thrust your left knee into the face of the animal and then follow up with a quick jab combo.
▼ A computer simulation of the incident
Taken aback by your fast and precise attack, the bear turns and runs away.
You are left alone with the wasabi now, and as the fear of the bear returning gradually fades with time, the feeling that you’re actually one heck of a badass emerges.
▼ What do you and all this wasabi have in common? You both pack quite a punch.
But then as you walk home, the bitter reality of your situation begins to dawn on you… You realize that no one would ever believe what just happened if you told them.
That’s exactly what happened to 68-year-old Hiroto Miyagawa, who heads the Miyagawa Dojo of the World New Full Contact Karatedo Organization, on 31 July in the mountains of Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture.
Well, it’s what happened, if you believe him.
Unfortunately Miyagawa is a victim of the philosophical question; “If a tree falls in the forest, does it really make a sound,” or to put it in the modern parlance, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”
Readers of the news were overwhelming in their disbelief of what happened in the wasabi grove that evening.
“You blocked a bear’s attack, did you?”
“Something is fishy about this.”
“You can’t block a bear’s paws. They have claws!”
“A 1.6-meter bear is about 100 kilograms [220 pounds]. A hit from one would be like a hammer.”
“Wow… That is…unbelievable.”
“Liar. A human punch would do nothing to the bear.”
“This never happened. This is just some story the guy told at the bar and it somehow became news.”
In defense of Miyagawa, he did visit the hospital which determined that he had light injuries to his head and a report was filed with the police. But it appears that would do little to sway most people’s opinions, so unfortunately he has to savor this victory by himself.
He simply recounted the events, telling the media that, “this was the moment I had been training for,” and stopped there. That was a classy move and much better than doing some cheesy reenactment on the news, thus throwing away what little credibility he was still clinging too.
Oh wait…he did that too.
That video certainly does Miyagawa no favors, but then again, anything can happen in this crazy world of ours, and karate fighters repelling bears is not unheard of. However, they usually suffer heavy injuries as a result. Miyagawa’s bear could have been sick or perhaps its heart just wasn’t in it that day.
But even if he’s lying, I guess we can give him this one tall tale. After all, he is bravely tending to our nation’s wasabi reserves, and for that alone he is a true hero.