sasuke underdog


This may sound silly, but I saw the Sasuke competition on

TBS tonight and really enjoyed it. For you that don't know

it, Sasuke is an athletic competition that incorporates

head-to-head tests of strength, speed, and agility in a variety of

event formats. They always invite famous Japanese and overseas

athletes to compete, and recently they have been upping the

number of entertainment industry "talents", especially comedians,

as well as troupe members from the "Muscle" musical show in

Tokyo. This time they also had a group of "normal people" that

won their way onto the show by winning local and regional

competitions: a university athlete, a shoe salesman, a former

sprinter who quit his office job to concentrate on Sasuke and train

while teaching aerobics at a sports gym, etc.   


I took a quick look online and found that Sasuke has a solid maniac

following in the  blogosphere. TBS also exports the concept overseas

and markets it under the name "Ninja Warrior." Good for TBS - but

with all that, you would think they could do something with that online

themselves? I gave up trying to find some good professional links to

show what the show is about - the best TBS has is a screen shot of

their program guide here.


Anyway, on the March 30th show they had this ridiculously hard 1st

stage obstacle course set up. Participants had to jump or swing from

island to island; run up and scale the wall of a giant half-pipe; spring

off a trampoline into a small crevice, catching themselves by sheer

arm and leg strength pushing horizontally on the walls, etc. At one

point 70 people had tried to get through it and only one had made it

on time to qualify for the second round. By the end, only a handful 

made it through to the 2nd stage: and the great thing was that there

was not a famous person among them. Not one Olympic athlete or

Samurai Japan handball player. Not one comedian or talent. Just a

Taiwanese pro rock climber (!?) and the local UNDERDOGS.

(If you don't know that term, it simply means "a team or contestant

not expected to win." But Americans of my age know it as the name

of the lovable cartoon dog pictured above - he always gets himself

into a bad situation, but beats the bad guy and gets the girl in the end!)

Everybody else ended up falling in the water and looking stupid.


So I spent the last hour or so of the show riveted to my set, rooting for 

one of these UNDERDOGS to pass through the even harder 2nd stage 

course (basically a climbing strength and endurance challenge - up and

down a stair-like structure, down an inverted plane hanging off of what 

looked like light bulbs, sliding across jungle gym bars supporting your

weight on metal rings, shimmying along the underside of a board tacked

onto the supporting structure above... You could just feel the pain in these

guys' forearms and fingers as the lactic acid flowed on and on... 

In the end, the Taiwanese pro rock climber, the university gymnast, and the 

sprinter-turned-aerobics-instructor were all in the water. Who went on to

the Final Stage? Only the shoe salesman. Classic.  


If the show were produced in Hollywood, there would have been a different

final stage ending. But Shoe Salesman then had to go straight up (maybe 50

meters total on this ridiculous scaffolding tower) via a metal ladder and a

simple hanging rope. He got all the way to the top (impressive indeed) but

timed out about 2 seconds too slow. The best part was his reaction after -

big smile, no regrets, rightfully proud of himself. And looking to come back

to try again, to see if he could get up the rope in time. Sometimes seeing

simple things like that really give me energy for my business - small and

not well known, we are a classic UNDERDOG. But sometimes the

Olympians get over confident, the "talents" are more concerned about how

their hair looks, and even the pro rock climbers slip and fall. So the

little guy who focuses on the work at hand, preps right, and executes

effectively can come out on top - at least for one stage. Good to see! 



jeffjapan at 23:51コメント(0)トラックバック(0)Management 


itv-japan interview

I recently did an interview for itv-japan in their new feature area "Training

for Success", hosted by fellow Tokyoite Bernd Kestler. The finished

version is a good summary of key points regarding the application of 

business simulations in corporations across Asia. Take a look and tell me

what you think!  

jeffjapan at 10:15コメント(0)トラックバック(0)SimulationsPeople 



先日のInternational Herald Tribuneには面白い記事がありました(IHTの記事)

米国の有名なマサチューセッツ工科大学Massachusetts Institute of Technology)の物理学科では、初等物理の教室にテクノロジーを導入し、新型総合教育手段を始めています。



1) 一クラスの人数をMAX80人とし、7-8人ずつの円卓に分けられる。

2) 各テーブルにネットワークコンピュターが用意されて、各自にリモートハンドセットをもたして、共有の画面で授業に対する回答、返信、質問などインプットできる仕組みを導入。

3) 「体験」や「演習」に重点をおき、学生に自由に動いたりお互いにディスカッションしたり、壁面に設置されたワイトボードに書き込んだりすることを奨励する。

弊社のマネ?と勝手に想像したいところもありますが実はこのTEALと呼ばれている             (Technology Enhanced Active Learning)を2003年より試行してきているようです。


jeffjapan at 15:48コメント(0)トラックバック(0)LearningInnovation