The soft sound of bodies moving in thick cotton fabric and naked feet stroking the dojo floor is interrupted by loud shouts, causing a man passing by on his bike to turn his head. Through the large windows, he watches the children and adults as they punch phantom antagonists before of them.

A woman with a blonde ponytail and a black belt walks around the room helping the karate students perfect their movements. She is Ulrika Yui, born in Sweden 50 years ago. Yui is with her youngest daughter, who is wearing a yellow belt and has just practised a round of powerful strikes on her father, the group's teacher.

Yui and her husband, Satoshi, have run the dojo in Tokyo for 18 years. They met in 1989, when she came to the city to practice Kyokushin Karate under its founder, Mas Oyama, in whose dojo Satoshi was a teacher. Her plan was to stay a few months and then continue traveling to India and Nepal, but she wound up never leaving Japan.