Anyone who’s participated in soccer, baseball, or any other team sport knows the lessons and values they instill, namely dedication, persistence, and teamwork. And while the concept of synchronized walking seems odd from a Western perspective, those tenets all come into play as well.
Part sport, part performance, Shuudan Koudou was invented nearly 50 years ago at Nippon Sports Science University in Tokyo. Today, the university produces many of Japan’s physical education teachers, trainers, and coaches, as well as Olympic gold medalists in gymnastics, swimming, and sumo wrestling.
Students who participate in the annual Shuudan Koudou performance train for months, racking up hundreds of miles as they work to perfect formations that resemble the fluid movements of a military drill team (minus, of course, the rifles). Though initially open only to men, the sport was finally opened to women in 2011.
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“People say Japanese youngsters these days lack the ability to work collectively in a group, but we just proved that we don’t,” said Keiko Suzuki, a former team captain. “We all mastered this highly disciplined training and made it our habit to stick to strict rules. I believe this experience will be an asset as we enter into the job market.”
In the video below, dozens of performers dressed in suits execute their routine with absolute precision, resembling birds in flight as they move across the floor in unison. Watch and don’t forget to share to spread this unexpected talent!
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