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Sue Mayuzumi

Health and Harmony One Member finds physical and mental well-being in an eclectic mix of recreational classes at the Club. by Nick Jones

18 June 2009 iNTOUCH

he world of finance in New York could never be described as unhurried or predictable. And it was while working in this environment of multimillion-dollar deals and long, stress-inducing hours that Sue Mayuzumi began to feel that something was missing from her life. “The lifestyle in New York in the financial industry is so fast-paced and a lot of things are superficial,” she says, sitting in the Adult Lobby one weekday morning after a workout with personal trainer Koichi Uesaka. “I started not wanting to answer the phone in my own apartment. I’m a very friendly and outgoing person, but not wanting to answer the phone and screening calls, I just thought, ‘I must be really, really tired psychologically for not wanting to take my friends’ calls. My soul must be craving for something.’” Finding salvation just a few doors down at a martial arts dojo, Mayuzumi began studying Shorinryu karate and was immediately hooked. “I just felt I needed some inner peace,” the 45-year-old says, “and I really like the culture of martial arts where you have to respect certain things and they uphold discipline.” It wasn’t a realm completely unknown to her, though. Her father was an accomplished kendo exponent and Mayuzumi tried her hand at the highly disciplined sport as a youngster. But since she disliked having to lug around the heavy protective gear and bamboo stick, she eventually opted for tennis— another popular pastime of her family. Practicing karate for two years, Mayuzumi stopped when she moved to California. Joining the Club, however, has allowed her once again to indulge in her passion for the Japanese art of kicks and punches. She now takes the Recreation Department’s Gojuryu karate class once a week with her 5-year-old daughter. Although a different style of karate, she says Gojuryu’s fundamentals are similar to those of Shorinryu karate. Her American husband, Robert Shiroishi, meanwhile, prefers aikido, an enthusiasm not shared by Mayuzumi, who regards the relatively modern martial art as too “passive.” So when she heard about the Club’s kickboxing classes, she wasted no time in signing up. “I wanted to do something that was close to karate,” she explains. “It was fantastic, so much fun!” She completed a semester of classes. “I would like to do it again,” the fan of the fighting sport K-1 adds, “but it doesn’t really match with my schedule and the classes fill up very quickly.” But the gregarious mother of two’s interests don’t lie entirely with how best to beat an opponent. For the past few months, she has been putting aside thoughts of elbow strikes and side kicks for two weekly sessions of Zumba—the Latin dance-infused fitness craze. “I was reading the TAC magazine and I read about it, and I love it, I love it,” she enthuses, “and you get a great workout.” The high-energy aerobics-like fad, which has its origins in Miami, Florida, helps satisfy Mayuzumi’s passion for dance. She also takes hula lessons with her daughter in Tokyo. Although performed at a

iNTOUCH June 2009  

Tokyo American Club’s monthly magazine, iNTOUCH

iNTOUCH June 2009  

Tokyo American Club’s monthly magazine, iNTOUCH