It all began when Pat Sandora, a trainer from the Boston Red Sox Organization called Sensei John Paccione, owner of Kodokan Judo of Cape Coral. Mr. Sandora wanted to set up a couple of sessions with the kickboxing class to give the guys some diversity in their training schedule. Welcoming the opportunity, Sensei Jennifer Paccione and her assistant instructors gave them training with the intensity they were looking for. The classes consisted of techniques and drills taken from judo, jujitsu, karate and boxing with a focus on speed, strength, agility, balance and coordination.


Among the players who were brought to the dojo was pro-pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka #18 who was accompanied by his translator and press team. While they were observing, they took note of a photo of Sensei John Paccione and Sensei Yasuhiro Yamashita, Olympic Gold Medalist and 4x World Champion. They were so impressed that they took pictures of our framed photograph and also noted other honored guests and dojo achievements.


Daisuke Matsuzaka adjusted quickly to the workout due to his martial arts training in Japan. Drake Britton, who is known for his fastball-power curve, partnered with Chris Hernandez and learned competitive jujitsu techniques. Chris Balcom-Miller was inspired to continue martial arts training in his spare time. While there were many other talented athletes who attended, there are just too many to list, however, each and every athlete gave it 110%! There was lots of sweat, battle cries and laughs.


Traditionally at the end of a martial art class you bow as a sign of respect. An exception was made and the dojo was happy to accommodate the baseball tradition of high-fives. Sensei Jennifer and her instructors could not have asked for a better crew to train and look forward to them coming back to visit when they are in SW Florida!