TSUKAHARA Mitsuo
Mens Artistic (Japan)
Last update: 05/09/2011


TSUKAHARA Mitsuo Japan
Discipline: Mens Artistic
Last update: 05/09/2011 Print
Status:
Licence No.: 00000551
Date of birth: 22/12/1947 Age: 67
Gender: Male
Height: Weight:
Place of birth: TOKYO

Hometown: TOKYO (JPN)
Marital status: Married
Children: 0 boys
0 girls
Occupation: Head Coach
Languages Spoken:
Start Discipline (year):
First Int. Competition (year):
National Team Since (year):
Current Club: Asahi Seimei Insurance Co. Club
Location:
Head coach:
Assistant coach:
Choreographer:
Personal website / fan page: Facebook page:
Twitter account: Other Social media account:
Creation date: 2000-03-15
More about TSUKAHARA Mitsuo:
An unlimited challenge !

Since defeating the formidable Soviet Union in the Men’s Team event at the Olympics in Rome, 1960, the Japanese captured the Gold in 4 successive Olympiads: Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972. Ascending to the throne, the Japanese Men’s Team set its next target for Montreal 1976, achieving a record-breaking 5 consecutive Olympic Gold Medals.

At the time of the Mexico Games in 1968, Mitsuo was selected a member of the Olympic team and Montreal became his third Olympic attempt. He was considered a veteran and thus felt greatly honoured to be on the team going for unprecedented challenge. The seven members of the Japanese team who cleared the severe selections were confronted with the extremely heavy Olympic pressure of keeping the throne and winning the 5th Gold. In the end, they overcame the difficulty by miraculously winning the Gold in a dramatic upset, thanks to the courage of Fujimoto, who competed with a broken knee and despite the absence of Kasamatsu, who was undergoing an appendix operation in Montreal ! A legendary victory long recorded in Japanese Sports History books.

It was indeed a heart moving drama which taught Mitsuo the following lessons: Never ending self-battle !, Winner or loser in a split second !,The limit of one’s ability depends on one’s confidence level !, Never give up !, Dream come true !, and Challenging to the end !.

The „Tsukahara“ element (a new vault created in 1970 as well as the 1972 horizontal bar dismount) brought him fame the world over. His vault in 1970 is universally recognised and used by both men and women. This feat changed the future direction of vaulting forever.

Presently, he is coaching his only son Naoya, 19 years old, who ranked 12th in the Atlanta Olympics. He was the All Japan Champion in 1996 and is considered the promising star of Japan. Mitsuo Tsukahara stands among the top 15 coaches of the Asahi Life Insurance team of 50 gymnasts and the Asahi Gymnastics school of 500 trainers. He will dedicate his whole career to the development of gymnastics by bringing up children in Japan. JGA/H. Fink.

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The Tsukahara
Named after Mitsuo TSUKAHARA (JPN), originally called the “Moon Salto” and first performed in the 1970 World Championships in Ljubljana (SLO). This movement was a full twisting double back Summersault, with a half twist performed in each Summersault. The movement as analysed doesn’t have the title full-in back out as performed originally by Eberhard Gienger (GER).
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Interview:

2004

Q: When did you start gymnastics and why?
I started gymnastics when I was 13 years old. There was a gymnastics club at the Junior High-School I attended.

Q: Which was your first international competition?
I participated in 1972 Mexico Olympic Game and Japanese Men’s Team won Gold medal. For Individual All-Around, I think I was 18th place.

Q: When did you become a member of National Team?
I became a member of National Team in 1968.

Q: What was your favourite apparatus? Why?
I like Horizontal Bar the best because I like the dynamic and magnificent performance of this apparatus.

Q: How many gymnasts have you trained?
I have trained so many since I have been coaching for more than 26 years. I mainly trained Women gymnasts. I think there are about 24 women gymnasts and including Naoya, there are about 4 men gymnasts who went to the Olympic Games.

Q: Do you have any experience in other sport?
Yes, I play golf. My handicap is 5. My best score is 68.

Q: How do you spend your day-off? Any hobbies?
Because I like to play golf so much, I usually make my day-off playing at the courses.

Q: What kind of a child were you? Did you have any dreams then?
I’m glad you asked this question. When I was a child, I find a high or tall fence or tree which nobody wants to climb. Then I would climb up to the top and walk or wave to friends and was proud of myself so I was a hasty boy. I don’t really remember what I wanted to be then.

Q: What was an incident which is most memorable doing gymnastics?
It was the moment when I won a Gold Medal in Munich Olympic Game in Horizontal Bar as an Individual.

Q: What is the reason for you being involved with gymnastics right now?
I never tried anything else but it is because I only know gymnastics. I been deeply soaked with gymnastics all my life and I don’t know what else I can do.

Q: Did any of your family member experienced in sports?
I remember my father used to be a champion in his village carrying a heavy straw bag which had rice in it. My mother used to do track and field athletics when she was a student.

Q: How do you analyse Japanese Men’s Team winning Gold medal this time (2004 Olympic Games in Athens)?
I think the main factor for the result is that the Japanese Team had more “Beauty and Stability” in their performances than other nations.
Date of Birth: December 22, 1947
Place of birth: Tokyo
Current address: Setagawa-ku, Tokyo
Marital status: Married
Children: Son 27 (Naoya)
Occupation: President of Tsukahara Gymnastics Center
Education: Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU)
Clubs: 1) Kamiya Jr. High-School, 2) Kokugakuin High-School, 3) Nippon Sport Science University, 4) Kawai Music Instruments Club, 5) Asahi Seimei Insurance Co. Club
Coaches: 1) Kojima in Jr. High, 2) Kouhei Sasaki in High-School

Q: When did you start gymnastics and why?
I started gymnastics when I was 13 years old. There was a gymnastics club at the Junior High-School I attended.

Q: Which was your first international competition?
I participated in 1972 Mexico Olympic Game and Japanese Men’s Team won Gold medal. For Individual All-Around, I think I was 18th place.

Q: When did you become a member of National Team?
I became a member of National Team in 1968.

Q: What was your favourite apparatus? Why?
I like Horizontal Bar the best because I like the dynamic and magnificent performance of this apparatus.

Q: How many gymnasts have you trained?
I have trained so many since I have been coaching for more than 26 years. I mainly trained Women gymnasts. I think there are about 24 women gymnasts and including Naoya, there are about 4 men gymnasts who went to the Olympic Games.

Q: Do you have any experience in other sport?
Yes, I play golf. My handicap is 5. My best score is 68.

Q: How do you spend your day-off? Any hobbies?
Because I like to play golf so much, I usually make my day-off playing at the courses.

Q: What kind of a child were you? Did you have any dreams then?
I’m glad you asked this question. When I was a child, I find a high or tall fence or tree which nobody wants to climb. Then I would climb up to the top and walk or wave to friends and was proud of myself so I was a hasty boy. I don’t really remember what I wanted to be then.

Q: What was an incident which is most memorable doing gymnastics?
It was the moment when I won a Gold Medal in Munich Olympic Game in Horizontal Bar as an Individual.

Q: What is the reason for you being involved with gymnastics right now?
I never tried anything else but it is because I only know gymnastics. I been deeply soaked with gymnastics all my life and I don’t know what else I can do.

Q: Did any of your family member experienced in sports?
I remember my father used to be a champion in his village carrying a heavy straw bag which had rice in it. My mother used to do track and field athletics when she was a student.

Q: How do you analyse Japanese Men’s Team winning Gold medal this time (2004 Olympic Games in Athens)?
I think the main factor for the result is that the Japanese Team had more “Beauty and Stability” in their performances than other nations.

Q: What do you think about comparing gymnastics at your time and gymnastics now?
I think the fundamental or the base of gymnastics has not changed much. Main difference is that the level of Difficulty Elements. The level went up so high and almost challenging the limit of human ability. Therefore the technical skill is really different from before.

Q: Many gymnasts performed or trying to perform the “TSUKAHARA” element with maybe some additional twists or turns. How do you feel about this?
I never really thought about that. Now that you’ve mentioned, I do realize gymnasts are performing.

Q: What made you create the “TSUKAHARA” element?
The reason for creating “Tsukahara” in Vault was that I was not really good at performing “Yamashita”. So I thought if there is anything else I can do and was playing (experimenting) different ways and by chance, I performed “Tsukahara” and decided to include in Vault.
The “Moon Salto” on Horizontal Bar was a different story. I was not very good at the sense of aerial (twisting / turning in the air) which was very important for gymnasts. So in order for me to overcome the weak aerial sense, I practiced Trampoline. Already in other gymnastics leading nations included Trampoline for training but it was rare in Japan in my days. I decided to get serious with Trampoline to improve my gymnastics ability. As I practiced, I ended up performing “1/2 in, 1/2 out” which was not familiar in gymnastics area and is the base of “Moon Salto”. Then I came to the conclusion that, Trampoline goes up about 5 meters and Horizontal Bar also let you up 5 meters. So, I thought I can do the same technique on Horizontal Bar and challenged. It took me about 3 months to make “Tsukahara” for the Horizontal Bar and about 1 year to complete it.

Q: What is your plan for the future?
I want to continue developing the environment for the Japanese Gymnastics to increase their level to the top of the world. But when I get old, gymnastics is too dangerous for elder people so I want to play golf. I want to challenge and see how long I can keep playing golf.(TY Aug.04)