by James Mulligan
Fitness guru talks about judo, the YMCA, his TV career and his new physical conditioning center
Judo champion, fitness guru, television personality and fundraiser. Chuck Wilson is a busy man. And it looks as though he’s not going to slow down anytime soon. He’s about to open another fitness center and Tokyo Weekender caught up with Chuck to find out more.
Tokyo Weekender: You are Managing Director of Chuck Wilson Enterprises. How many fitness centers has the company been involved in building?
Chuck Wilson: Since we started the company in 1987, we have staffed and built 20 fitness and sports facilities.
TW: What will your role be at the new center?
CW: My primary concern is conditioning acumen that occurs in the facility. I’ll be supervising the staff, consulting with the personal trainers, and I’ll also be one of the eight available personal trainers.
TW: What’s on offer at the center?
CW: There is the latest fitness equipment available as well as a number of different exercise and dance classes. More importantly, we take a scientific approach to health and fitness, so there will be nutritionists and counseling available for members. Also, if you have a question about your health or you want to read more about fitness, we have a 5,000-article database. These are all taken from different fitness and medical journals from Japan and the U.S.
TW: Why do you think the scientific approach to fitness is important?
CW: It came to me a few years ago that we live in an ageing society in Japan. Diabetes affects one in nine people. High blood pressure affects one in seven. Bad diet, smoking, stress and drinking. They are all prevalent here. A large percentage of Japanese smoke and drink to excess. This could probably be attributed to the fact many are working too many hours and so are stressed. If someone comes to me and wants to change this lifestyle, we have to use nutritionists and counseling before they set foot in the gym.
We also offer free medical checks at Dr. Hirooka’s clinic in Shinjuku.
TW: How many members are there?
CW: There will be 800 members. We want to limit the number of members though, so we can offer a better service. We also want to offer an affordable membership.
TW: Apart from the fitness facilities Chuck Wilson Enterprises has built, you have been involved in lots of other things. Tell me about your television work.
CW: My television appearances were a fluke. When I agreed to do them, it was purely a business decision, and I didn’t think they would carry on. But they did. I’ve now been involved in television for more than 20 years, making a fool of myself on different programs. It’s been great fun and very rewarding for me personally and financially.
TW: What about your work with the YMCA Foreign Community Supporting Committee?
CW: We have a number of charity fun runs throughout Japan and the committee raises a lot of money. I’m on the operating committee along with Marco Crivelli (Asia Pacific), (Dean) Kirk Patterson (of Temple University), and (Dr. A.A.) Manny (Sultan, of A.A.S. Associates International). I got to know Corky Alexander from working together with him on the FCSC as well.
TW: On top of all this, you are a judo champion.
CW: Yes. I was in the U.S. Air Force – which brought me to Japan – and I spent most of my time doing judo. I fought all over the U.S. and, since coming to Asia, I have studied and competed in Korea where I lived for just over a year, and Japan. Judo gives you a moral direction, and this has helped me in my career. I needed it early in my life, when I was getting in trouble, and I have followed the philosophy since.
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Work Out World opens July 15 at The Prudential Tower, 2F, 13-11, Nagatacho, 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Tel: 3505-6710.