April 21 only

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. He tells his father, a highly successful business owner, that he wants to go to music school instead. But his father has a much different plan in mind.  Shihan Oyama, the father’s former Karate master, 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.

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. (Dir. Shihan Oyama. 92 min.)

Starring:  Sonny Chiba, a martial arts film legend. In his illustrious career, he has appeared in over 125 films and television shows in Japan and in Hollywood, and has produced a number of films as well.  Mackenyu Maeda, a rising star in Japan. In Take a Chance, Mackenyu not only played the lead role of “Masa,” but he acted for the first time alongside his father, legendary action star Sonny Chiba.  Also featuring, Alex Heartman, Masashi Odate, and Cassie Scerbo.


This movie is based on the true story of my last Uchi Deshi who came from Japan. In telling it, I leave behind my legacy for today’s new generation and future generations. The world in which we live, surrounded with technology and information, lures us into a life of passivity; it seems that much can be accomplished with little effort. Nevertheless, we still are beings with a physical body. My whole approach to teaching Karate and making this movie is the idea that people must push themselves physically to unlock their true potential. They must challenge themselves to push beyond discomfort, fatigue or injury. Only then will they be able to come face to face with who they really are.

–  Director Saiko Shihan Y. Oyam (9th Degree Black Belt and Director of the World Oyama Karate Organization.)


TAKE A CHANCE: Upcoming Showtimes