Waitakere Gardens proudly claims that they are the first club outside Japan to be affiliated to Sport Fukiya Japan Association. The sport of Fukiya, is essentially blow darting. This conjures up images of Ninja fighters, but the sport today
is a Japanese martial art, with grades similar to Karate and other martial arts. There is a strict "form" to be followed, and this form encourages abdominal breathing to enhance wellbeing.
In February 2018 two Japanese sensai (a 6th
Dan and a 5th Dan) visited Waitakere Gardens so that our players could be graded. We now have players ranging from 2nd Kyu up to 2nd Dan. The sport is an enormous benefit to those with impaired lung function, and is beneficial in many other ways.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays the sport is played from 1:00-3:00pm in the Events Centre. A small charge of $2 is payable per session so that we can import the necessary replacement targets and equipment from Japan.
The article printed in The
Western Leader reads as follows:
The slow motion used to blow a dart is not what one might expect of a game born out of ninjutsu.
Players of the Japanese sport of fukiya must adhere to the correct form, which includes
breathing out for nine seconds while moving the long pipe slowly down before taking a shot.
Adrian Roberts brought fukiya to a West Auckland retirement home a year ago, the first club of the sport in the country.
people say to me "Why don't we just aim and shoot, do you have to do all of this movement?" But it prepares you to shoot well - to focus on what you need to do. It keeps your time, it keeps your focus, and it keeps your consistency
- which is the hardest thing in any sport.
On Wednesdays, about 20 shooters practice at the retirement home, some with hip operations sitting down and still hitting the targets, Roberts said. Our oldest player has been 90 and quite capable
of shooting from six metres.
Two Japanese masters visited Waitakere Gardens to grade New Zealand players for the first time on February 5. Roberts, now a 2nd Dan, said he was working to expand the sport in New Zealand - to other retirement
villages and also for children who might enjoy the sport. They might not be put together to play rugby or soccer - but something like this could give them good discipline and focus.
The website fukiya.nz has
been set up for those interested to get in touch. Despite only having been going for 20 years in Japan, the sport there has 30,000+ members, Roberts said.
The Greenhithe resident won a prefecture competition in Matsuyama, Japan in 2016,
scoring 206 (from 6 metres) out of a possible 210. He also came second in a bigger competition in Kochi, mid last year. "Kiwis go over there, and that's not supposed to happen. It gave them quite a fright, he said.
said he started the sport about two years gao when he billeted a Japanese master at his house for something else. I also was recovering from pneumonia - so this helped me no end to get my lung function back. I like it as a form of
stress relief for me. You can't think of anything else and hit that target.
The fukiya darts are lightweight plastic with a small ball bearing end, and not the poisoned ones once used, he said.