Park exercising its constitutional right to arm bears.

Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai City is home to a number of animals from monkeys to Malayan box turtles. And who could forget the big Guinea pig snack time event?

But among these stars a big up-and-comer can be found in Tsubasa, a four-year-old black bear that was born and raised in the park. Bears in general are pretty interesting creatures, but once they start training with traditional Chinese weapons there really isn’t much that can make you look away.

Thankfully, Twitter user Soramame Kinako (@shirokumaroko) captured one of its training sessions on video on 29 March. In it, we can see Tsubasa swinging the three-section-staff, a weapon similar to nunchaku and called the “sajiegun” in Chinese or “sansetsukon” in Japanese.

I’d say that’s pretty good for a bear, but truthfully, it’s pretty good for most people, myself included.

Japanese news site J-Town Net spoke with a park rep who said that they noticed Tsubasa take an interest in swinging sticks around as a young cub and figured if it could do that, why not let it take a crack at a three-section-staff?

It was given the weapon in the summer of 2018 and uses it regularly. However, as another video shows, Tsubasa still likes to swing around a good old-fashioned branch on occasion too.

When asked if the bear is really practicing, the park rep said: “I think it’s just swinging it around happily. But as a result it’s become very good at handling it and his posture has improved.”

Indeed, looking at the videos and getting past the fact that a bear is using weapons, it’s easy to see that Tsubasa’s incredibly nimble on its hind legs and its back is straighter than those of a lot of humans. It’s enough to make some viewers question whether or not this is really just a guy in a bear suit.

“He’s the Bruce Lee of the bear world.”
“I for one welcome our bear overlords.”
“There’s got to be a guy in there!”
“It made me nervous seeing him so close to the ledge. Hang in there!”
“One pandemic and the animals are already preparing to take over.”
“The bear handles those things better than me.”
“That’s the benefit of daily training. Look at that posture.”

Sadly, due to the pandemic Yagiyama Zoological Park will be closed until at least 10 May. However, that should give Tsubasa a lot of peace and quiet to hone its skills.

Perhaps during this time it’ll follow the true path of a martial artist and encounter a drunken chimpanzee master who forces it to do grueling chores until finally revealing his secret techniques.

Source: Twitter/@shirokumaroko, J-Town Net, Yagiyama Zoological Park
Featured image: Twitter/@shirokumaroko
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