Take A Chance Synopsis

Sometimes you have to travel halfway around the world in order to find yourself. TAKE A CHANCE, based on a true story, follows a wayward Japanese teenager’s journey of survival and self-discovery in the American South.

When we meet Masataro, he has been rejected by all four colleges he has applied to. Like many young people, whenever he faces an obstacle, he looks for an escape or change of direction. He tells his father, a highly successful business owner, that he wants to go to music school instead. But his father, who wants his son to wake up and find his own path, has a much different plan in mind.

Shihan Oyama, the father’s former Karate master, had moved to the United States over 40 years ago. He now runs a traditional Karate dojo in Alabama. Young men from across the globe continuously seek him out for his reputation as a disciplinarian, and his success in training Japanese full-contact Karate world champions. In keeping with historical tradition, he also takes in Uchi Deshi. Masataro’s father tells him that if he wants to go to music school, he has to first complete 100 days as an Uchi Deshi.

Before leaving Japan for the United States, Masataro’s only image of America is one taken from movies. He thinks about big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and places like Disneyland and Times Square. He imagines his time in America will be like a vacation, but it turns out to be anything but that.

When Masataro arrives, he meets the Uchi Deshi who are already there— Rikio, Yuzo, Takeshi, and Karl (an American). For Masataro, the traditional Uchi Deshi lifestyle, characterized by hard training, sweat, and sacrifice, feels like a step back into some ancient lost world. At every turn, he must face himself, his weaknesses, and somehow find the will to persevere.

Along the way, he meets Cynthia, a student at the dojo who is in a rocky relationship with Antonio, also a gifted martial artist. Antonio has a bad boy reputation and antagonizes Masataro at every opportunity. Antonio is just one of the many obstacles Masataro must overcome to discover who he really is.