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Busy Britain is full of families trying to find time for each other.
But could sharing a once-in-a-lifetime experience
solve their problems?
Four families have travelled to Japan
to immerse themselves in the ancient culture
and learn karate...
..a traditional martial art that teaches discipline and respect.
But will the intense regime bring them closer together?
It's one of the first things I've done with my dad.
-I love my dad loads.
-He's everything you'd want from a kid.
Or will the gruelling challenges force them further apart?
-Communicating is part of respect.
-You're always going on!
This is going to be tough.
Three weeks ago, four British families
flew to the Japanese island of Okinawa
to learn the martial art, karate.
They've undergone intensive training and have impressed their teachers.
But tonight they face one final challenge.
The Kata Battle.
This is a contest to find out which family has the strongest bond.
But how will the senseis decide the winner?
In their pairs, the families will perform a routine called a kata.
Allow the Grand Master to demonstrate.
Each family pair will attempt this routine in unison.
Senseis will judge how well they perform together
and their ability to work as a team.
So, who will win the battle?
To answer that question, we need to start at the beginning.
Once upon a time, there was a world-famous karate master
called Morio Higaonna.
He's a rock, stronger than anyone I ever met.
He agreed to help four families grow closer together
by teaching them karate.
You see, karate is about respect.
And commitment. Exactly what they need to improve their relationships.
Come on, Daddy!
But the Grand Master wasn't going to make it easy.
You have under three weeks before you partake in a belt grading.
If you are successful,
you will have the privilege to partake in
the World Karate Championships.
It was a tall order for eight complete karate novices.
We're desperate to go to the World Championships after so much pain!
And the senseis were hard to please.
No-one's taking it seriously. It's the World Championships.
The world will be watching!
When it came to the crunch, only the kids and one of our adults made it.
They gave the performance of their lives!
Then everyone grew closer through the experience.
The 20 of us were together. So important.
But it takes more than a few hugs to satisfy the Grand Master.
He wanted to see if the families had really changed.
You will face your most important challenge yet. The Kata Battle.
You will perform in unison against the other families.
Whoever wins the contest will become life-long members
of the Grand Master's dojo,
their names carved above his door for eternity!
It's the morning of the Kata Battle.
The families are all desperate to win
and prove they are close enough to perfect the routine.
It comes down to who has the best attitude, gives it all they've got.
Anyone can win at this stage!
So how are they doing?
Brent Sensei is on his way to find out.
First stop, Chloe and Sandra, who've been bickering as usual all morning.
If you're going to clap for yourself, do it yourself.
-I do it in my head.
-I'm just doing it to help you.
Mum's doing all right. Not great.
I'd love to win tonight so badly because I'm very competitive.
But to win the Kata Battle,
they're going to need to work on their communication skills.
Chloe was very clear about why she brought her mum.
Mum's really dowdy and boring.
Since they arrived, they've squabbled like geese!
'It's natural for me to get moody sometimes.'
Chloe is the best at karate.
But the Grand Master doesn't like her attitude.
Winning the final challenge is all down to Chloe.
She needs to coach her mum, but so far, she's hardly lifted a finger.
You should have helped. It shows a weak spirit.
-It's hard teaching your own mum.
-Make yourself a better person.
Will they put their differences aside?
Or will Chloe give up on her mum?
-How's teaching your mum?
-I'm being patient, not giving up on her.
That's the first step.
I am getting frustrated, but I'm not showing it. Just carry on.
I'm trying to be a stronger spirit, being more patient with my mum.
If these two can keep a truce until nightfall,
they might just find themselves the winners.
Down by the sea, it's a different story.
As the only pair to both get their yellow belts,
Joe and Phoebe look like the perfect combination.
I think we're really confident we're going to win this.
Mentally we're there. We're tuned in. We've got the same rhythm.
The Kata Battle is theirs for the taking.
But it wasn't always like this.
Phoebe brought her dad to Japan for one particular reason.
He is like one big kid. It would be great if he was more like an adult.
Things didn't start very well.
You look absolutely ridiculous.
But as the training got tougher, Joe rose to the challenge.
I still want to be a joker and a kid, but I want to be a dad, too.
And, when it mattered most,
he was there for Phoebe.
It's all about her.
Joe has finally started to act his age
and was the only adult to gain a yellow belt
and perform at the world tournament.
Can the most qualified pair conquer the Kata,
or will Joe shirk the responsibility?
From what I've seen, it looked like you were growing stronger together.
We think we're going to win. We've succeeded in quite a few things
so I think it's kind of motivated us
just to get the last prize, just to be the best.
We've got to be prepared. If we're not prepared, we'll fail.
-Are we going to do it, Phoebs?
Over in the woods, Mikey and Mark are struggling.
But at least they're having fun together, at last.
I'm enjoying this. It's one of the first things I've done with my dad.
Music's all we have in common.
Write them off at your peril.
They've never had such a close connection.
Things didn't start well for these two,
who hardly knew each other.
I don't see him that often.
The last time I spent some time with Mikey was seven years ago.
Mark could have made more of an effort with his son and his karate.
"Mark must be more passionate."
And Mikey followed his dad's lead.
They struggled to bond and failed at every challenge.
Wrong move. You're out.
You're out of time!
But all they really needed was to spend some time together.
The last few days, we've got into hugging and bonding.
They turned their relationship round
and Mikey turned round his karate.
I'm going to put absolutely 100 per cent effort into this.
Will they fail again?
Or will their new-found bond give them the edge?
How do you think you guys are doing?
-We know the moves. It's just...
-We're getting the unison.
I want to know my dad better.
I want to win something with my dad cos I haven't won anything with him.
And this is the big one.
I'd like to see Mikey help his dad step up
Well, if Brent sensei thinks they can do it,
who am I to argue?
If Paul and Jedd are to win today,
Jedd needs to get his dad up to speed.
I really want to get this kata right with my dad
cos he hasn't won anything yet.
Three weeks ago, Paul would never have thought
that Jedd would be the one to lead the way.
The ballet dancer came to Japan with a point to prove to his boxer dad.
My dad doesn't think you have to be sporty
to dance, but I proved him wrong.
And he didn't waste any time.
Beat you, Dad!
Jedd excelled in the karate challenges.
I got another one!
While Paul lagged behind.
I let him down a bit.
The more Jedd succeeded, the closer they grew.
I love my dad loads.
But Paul couldn't keep up with his son.
-I've let him down every single challenge so far.
Can they win the Kata Battle?
Naturally, we probably have the best relationship
and I hope that'll shine out.
Or will Paul disappoint Jedd again?
I think we're working really well together
because we've got quite a strong bond.
He's teaching me as if it was dancing.
If that gets me through,
that's up to you, boy, I'll tell you!
Well, they reckon they're in with a good chance.
But what does Brent think?
Paul still doesn't seem to be treating karate itself with respect.
He's talking about it as a bunch of dance moves
It's 6.00pm, and with just an hour to go until the Kata Battle,
the families are feeling the pressure.
I've lost my bearings. I lose my bearings. I've lost my bearings.
-You're missing out a lot of stuff.
Everyone except for Joe and Phoebe, that is.
The favourites are nowhere to be seen.
Joe and Phoebe?
(They're the only pair with a double yellow belt.
(They think they've won so that's why they can sleep.
(They're in for a bit of a shock. Other people are very competitive.)
(They're sitting on their laurels
(like the tortoise and the hare. Who won the race?
# Pushing down on me
# Pressing down on you
# No man ask for
# Under pressure #
With 15 minutes before they leave for the battle,
tensions in the group are rising.
Oh, and so are Joe and Phoebe.
Phoebe seems to think we've done enough.
I do remember all the moves.
It's just a case of whether we can do it in sync.
As the sun sets over Okinawa,
the moment has finally arrived.
It's time for the ultimate karate duel - the Kata Battle.
You all came here for a reason.
To spend time with your families.
Tonight, you will not be judged on your individual ability.
You will be judged on how you perform as a team.
The winner will be the family who has the most fighting spirit
and shows the strongest bond.
Are you ready for the Kata Battle?
It's a knockout competition.
Two families will be randomly picked to perform against each other.
The winners will go through to a final showdown.
So, who will do battle first?
Sandra and Chloe versus Paul and Jedd.
Will the others leave the stage?
Paul and Jedd, you will perform first.
SENSEI SPEAKS JAPANESE
Will Jedd's hard work pull his dad through?
Time to find out.
An almost perfect display from the ballet dancer and the boxer!
Next, it's Chloe and Sandra.
Has Chloe done enough to help her mum perfect the routine?
They made it through the routine. But who will get to the final?
Will the vote be red for Chloe and Sandra?
Or white for Paul and Jedd?
Paul and Jedd are through, two votes to one.
Mum did know the kata and practised it so much.
It just didn't go very good.
I think I went wrong cos I was very, very nervous.
Felt a lot of pressure on me.
I didn't put any pressure on you.
No, but that's how I am.
That's how I feel I interpret things.
Who will meet Paul and Jedd in the final?
Mark and Mikey?
Or the only family to both get yellow belts, Joe and Phoebe?
A very tight performance.
That's going to be tough to beat.
Mark and Mikey, you're next.
Mark and Mikey have only just discovered they make a good team.
But will it show now?
Mark was clearly out of time. Surely the senseis won't miss that?
Will they vote white for Joe and Phoebe,
or red for Mikey and Mark?
Joe and Phoebe are in the final, two votes to one.
-Uh, go on, Dad.
-I think our bonding's back to square one!
Isn't it, Mikey?
-You're rather cross with me.
I did my best, but it wasn't good enough, unfortunately.
Paul and Jedd, Joe and Phoebe, return to the stage for the final.
This is it.
The final of the Kata Battle.
Whoever shows they have the strongest bond
will become life-long members of the Grand Master's dojo,
an amazing honour.
Paul and Jedd, you're first.
The dancer and the boxer have come a long way.
Do they have the closest bond, or will they fall at the final hurdle?
I came here thinking I'd have to look after him,
and he's been the solidest one out of the pair of us.
We've found out a lot about each other we didn't know.
I love my dad loads.
Another solid performance.
But will it be enough to beat the favourites, Joe and Phoebe?
I think Phoebe and myself are stronger together now.
I feel I understand Phoebe better than I did before.
I know that Dad understands that he needs to be responsible at times.
Sometimes he's got to be serious.
So who showed the greatest connection?
Which family makes the best team?
Was it Paul and Jedd, the whites?
Or Joe and Phoebe, the reds?
Only one pair will be crowned champions of the Kata Battle.
It's a whitewash!
Congratulations, Paul and Jedd. You are the winning family.
You showed the most fighting spirit
and clearly you have the strongest bond.
All the others, join the stage.
I like to win for him, cos I was struggling, not getting anything.
My dad's felt like he's let me down the whole journey but he hasn't.
It's the first time we've done something together
-and worked as a team.
-Yeah, first time. Hopefully not the last!
Congratulations, Paul and Jedd.
SPEAKS IN JAPANESE
For working so hard and showing they make a great team,
the Grand Master awards them one of his very own champions' medals.
This medal means you are life-long members of Sensei's dojo.
Your names will be written and hung on the dojo wall for eternity.
But Paul and Jedd aren't the only ones going home with a medal.
Mikey has gone from bottom of the class to star pupil
and the Grand Master is obviously impressed.
You have received this award
because your attitude has changed the most on this journey. Good job.
Use what you have learned in karate and apply it to your everyday life.
Remember, respect each other,
be humble in victory and courageous in defeat.
Tots never give up.
For our families, it's been the most amazing three weeks of their lives.
They've achieved a level of karate which usually takes months.
More importantly, their relationships have been transformed.
Chloe thought her mum was dull.
But Sandra has proved her wrong.
This journey to Japan has showed me
that there is a lot more to know about my mum.
I wanted her to see that I am a human being.
Not just her mother, but a real human being.
Mum can be fun.
She can laugh.
I'm really happy that I came here
and I wish I could do it all over again.
Phoebe thought her dad was a big kid.
But Joe has shown that he is a responsible father.
I feel I understand Phoebe better than I did before.
I feel I'm a dad, but in an understated way.
I'm really proud of my dad because he's been working really hard.
He understands that he can't always joke around.
Sometimes he's got to be serious.
Mikey hardly knew his dad.
But spending this time together has started to make up for lost years.
I didn't see him much and yet I was arguing a lot with him.
But this trip's changed that completely.
We've got a much better bond together,
much more like a father and son
as opposed to being two separate people.
I think this is a real opportunity to start afresh
and refocus on trying to be a much better dad to Mikey.
He does really like us to be really close together
and I really, really don't want that to slip away.
And Paul and Jedd?
The boxer and the ballet dancer have gone from chalk and cheese
to the best of friends.
I've loved learning loads about my dad.
And finally we have a thing to do together.
It's something that comes once in a lifetime.
We'll grab it with both hands, give it all we can. Savour every moment.
It is life-changing for us to have such a strong bond
in such a short time.
I couldn't wish for a better kid, to be honest.
I wouldn't change him for the world.
Relationships aren't easy. People don't always get on.
But our families have realised
you can overcome almost anything with a little fighting spirit.
SPEAKS IN JAPANESE
-Life is a battle.
If you keep a fighting spirit inside you,
you can achieve anything you want.
A fighting spirit is thinking about others
and respecting others.
And don't think about yourself all the time.
Think about other people around you.
I think I'm more humble. I'm very patient.
That's what the experience taught me.
I kept thinking, "My dad's got to change on this trip.
"It's him who's doing it wrong."
But in fact, sometimes it was me in the wrong all the time.
I've gone back to school and Dad's gone back to work,
but he comes to pick me up from dancing
and we spend a lot of time together.
Now I've started karate in England,
I've decided I'll never find a teacher as good as the Grand Master.
Tots never give up!