The 63-year-old, whose name was not disclosed, is a karate black-belt holder. He was fishing at a popular spot on the Jizo River in Gunma prefecture on Thursday when the 1.9m-tall bear suddenly appeared.
Yet rather than run from a snarling Asian black bear, one Japanese man chose to put his karate skills to the ultimate test.
‘Man fights off bear with bare hands!’ the Nikkan Sports tabloid wrote.
Despite being knocked to the floor, he managed to pick himself up and face up to his opponent.
‘The bear was so strong, and it knocked me down, ‘ Aoki told Tokyo Broadcasting System.
The fisherman was quoted in Singapore newspaper The Straits Times saying: “It came pouncing towards me when my eyes met the bear’s”.
“Its rounded ears were perfectly circular just like a teddy bear’s and its face was so huge”.
‘The bear had such, such great strength. It scratched me and bit me. “But in the end I managed to trick the bear, poked it in the eyes and it ran away”, he said.
Caught off-guard by the initial attack, however, the man suffered injuries to multiple parts of the body, and checked himself into a hospital located nearby in the town of Naganohara.
In scenes seemingly reminiscent of Leonardo Di Caprio’s epic tussle with an angry bear in the Oscar-winning film The Revenant – Atsushi Aoki was bitten and scratched repeatedly, including on his head.
After the attack on Aoki, Gunma police officials stressed that the best course of action is not to fight but walk away quietly and report the encounter to the police. But when a bear is attacking, experts will also tell you to fight back.