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(photo credit: Ronen Shnidman)
Imagine embarking on a bullet-speed journey from Tokyo to Bangkok to Haifa with
your 14-year-old son over the course of a little over a week. It would be enough
if the trip were just a vacation, but say you had to take everything you could
carry along with you and leave the place you called home for the past 25 years.
What if you were leaving to escape the disastrous aftermath of a terrifying
series of earthquakes, a lethal tsunami and subsequent radioactive fallout
caused by several leaking nuclear reactors? It sounds like the plot of a
blockbuster thriller, but it is just another mercurial year in the life of
Israeli martial arts expert Avry Gottesmann and his Japanese-born son,
Ness.Gottesmann began his long and fateful sojourn in the Far East over
40 years ago, when the then-six-year-old son of Hungarian Holocaust survivors
living in Haifa began studying karate and judo with local martial artist Avichai
Cohen. Even then, the training and discipline of the Asian-style martial arts
appealed greatly to Gottesmann. With the encouragement of his late teacher,
Gottesmann hoped to learn one day from the Japanese masters.
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