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#164027 - 07/05/05 01:31 AM Training in Japan (or wanting to)
Shidokai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Fukuoka, Japan
Having had the privilege of coming to Japan and training, I am currently looking at ways to make this available to people across the world. My hope is to be able to help non-Japanese come to Japan and study the martial arts that they love, and get help in finding dojo that will train them. I've known several people here in Japan who have had trouble finding what they wanted to do, or even come across excess hostility, which drove them from doing what they wanted.

My idea is to set up a place for people to stay and help them find friendly places to train here in Japan. I was able to get aid from certain foreigners when I first came here, and this is something I would like to pass on and make available to others.

Is this something people would be interested in? Would you want to come to Japan and get additional instruction in your art? I'm trying to gauge interest and not trying to sell anything, so please either respond to this message or PM me if this is the kind of thing you'd enjoy doing.
_________________________
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. - Teddy Roosevelt

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#164028 - 07/06/05 10:12 AM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: Shidokai]
JayJay Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 241
Loc: Kanagawa, Japan
I train in Japan and Ive never had any problems. Ive had some friends who do Judo or Kendo have had problems but I think thats because (no offence to any political views) those are considered right-wing sports here.

Everyone I know whos studied Aikido has had a positive experiance, myself included. The only obsticale is language but you can get around that usually, through study of nihongo and demonstation.

I fully recommend studying in Japan. Im only 6 kyu and I cant compare to the West but teh Japanese seem to me, to have a very different attitude toward martial arts than us.

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#164029 - 07/06/05 04:44 PM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: JayJay]
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Training in Japan would be a dream come true. I'm about done with college, and have been thinking about getting involved in some sort of English teaching position over there, but I hear that the programs (like JET) can be rather exclusive and time consuming, which would be frustrating seeing as the real reason I would be over there would be to study aikido.

In a related question, how do your various styles view uchi deshi training, particularly in light of non-Japanese speaking Westerners?

Domo,
Joe

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#164030 - 07/12/05 12:17 AM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: Joe Jutsu]
JayJay Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 241
Loc: Kanagawa, Japan
For most English teachers, martial arts in Japan is not only tolerated, its encouraged. There are few better ways to make REAL Japanese friends (keep in mind the Japanese are very shy, and befriending them isn't easy) and get used to the culture. Also, while difficult, its really helps your Japanese ability.

As for how easy it is, I really don't know. I've only trained in one dojo, my Japanese dojo, so I can't speack for others, japanese or western. However a few of the black belts at my dojo speack pretty good english (I live near Yokohama, this would be different out of the Tokyo area), though I try to get them to speak Japanese as much as possible. A couple of older European guys (very high black belts) drop in from time to time, they say training in Japan isnt too difficult.

My feeling (and I am only 6th kyu, so I dont really know what Im talking about) is that compared to other martial arts Ive done, Aikido is difficult to understand from an explansion anyway, and demonstration and practice seems to be the best way to learn.

As for feeling guilty about not coming over to teach, forget about it. Basically nobody comes here to teach English, we all have our selfish reasons and to come over to study Aikido is a more noble excuse than most.

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#164031 - 07/12/05 04:05 AM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: Joe Jutsu]
Shidokai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Fukuoka, Japan
The JET program is a good way to have the time and money to train regularly. The problems are that it's starting to get phased out, (it's a huge sucking money hole that's posting very limited returns) you might get posted in a town where your choices are children's sport Judo and adult's sport Judo, and you probably won't be training as often as you want. There are lots of challenges that will stand in the way of your training, but you'd run into those in America as well.

As for other teaching jobs - if they don't offer a schedule up front that finishes at 5 pm most days, don't take it. Remember, they can't say it's a possibility - they have to put it on paper in writing as "work ends at 5 pm," because otherwise, they're blowing smoke. If you work for one of the big companies, you most likely won't have time to train. That's what happened to me my first year, and I was training maybe once a week, and the rest of the time struggling to stay in shape because the schedule was reaking havoc on my system. Don't go with the language schools if you want to do martial arts. There are exceptions, but for the most part, it's hard to do.

re: Uchi deshi: They are exceedingly rare, even among Japanese students. The closest thing that I know of is regular private instruction - to be taken in as an uchi deshi is like being adopted. Think about the last time your parents were willing to adopt a new child and teach them from the start - that's about the level of commitment that the teacher would put into an uchi deshi, and the returns from that student would have to be so significant that they would agree to take on this student. It could happen, but it would be almost prohibitively difficult.

That said, you'll probably have no problem finding a decent Aikido dojo most places if you're willing to travel a bit. The good dojos are sometimes a few towns over, but the bus or train trips are good times to study and catch up on reading. Or sleep. Which is what I'm about to go do on my way to the dojo...
_________________________
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. - Teddy Roosevelt

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#164032 - 07/12/05 06:30 AM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: Shidokai]
JayJay Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 241
Loc: Kanagawa, Japan
Very true. Im lucky, I live in Kanagawa (Yokohama area) so when it comes to martial arts, Im spoiled for choice. Same would be true for most of Kanto (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto) areas. Out where the JET program is likely to send you, the opinions are likely to be more limited. In the big cities now, most schools hire from dispach companies (I work for one, not JET).

Shidokai is also right about the big "eikaiwas" or converstaion schools. While I worked for NOVA, I tried to continue TKD (which I did back home) but because of late working hours, I simply had no time. Now I work at a public school and I not only have time for one martial art, I have time for two (aikido/Shorinji Kempo).

I do think coming to Japan is a good idea but I wouldn't expect to get the best situation for studying Aikido straight away, unless you're lucky. Same as moving to any new country I guess.


Edited by JayJay (07/12/05 06:33 AM)

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#164033 - 07/12/05 09:54 AM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: JayJay]
Shidokai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Fukuoka, Japan
Well, this is kind of the point of what I'm trying to do. If people want good training in the arts they've been doing or want to pick up, my goal is to put people in the right places. I don't know that I can promise that, but that's the goal, anyway.

Heh...it sounds a lot like we're in the same boat. I'm not a JET either. I do the dispatch thing too because they hire from within Japan while JET won't (talk about an organization filled with dumbass policies AND wastes of money...that's Japanese government for you...) Which one are you with? I'm under the Interac umbrella.

If you're in Kanagawa area, look up a guy named Joe Swift. He's done a bunch of articles here, and he's a really capital guy. Helped introduce me to my teachers, actually.
_________________________
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. - Teddy Roosevelt

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#164034 - 07/12/05 12:17 PM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: JayJay]
kusojiji Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 648
Loc: kokokokokoko
Quote:

For most English teachers, martial arts in Japan is not only tolerated, its encouraged. There are few better ways to make REAL Japanese friends (keep in mind the Japanese are very shy, and befriending them isn't easy) and get used to the culture. Also, while difficult, its really helps your Japanese ability.

As for how easy it is, I really don't know. I've only trained in one dojo, my Japanese dojo, so I can't speack for others, japanese or western. However a few of the black belts at my dojo speack pretty good english




You're not an English teacher, are you?
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#164035 - 07/12/05 12:18 PM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: JayJay]
kusojiji Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 648
Loc: kokokokokoko
Quote:

(keep in mind the Japanese are very shy, and befriending them isn't easy)





That's a bit of an overgeneralization.
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#164036 - 07/12/05 02:09 PM Re: Training in Japan (or wanting to) [Re: kusojiji]
PierrePressure Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 173
I'd be very interested, Shidokai! And I know you'd be helping alot of people, because I think there are lots of martial artists out there who would jump at the chance to train in Japan, but they don't know what school to look at (and, of course, not many traditional schools have websites, and if they do, they would probably be in Japanese, so there's really no way to research). Great idea!
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"If life gives you lemons, you blow those lemons to bits with your laser cannon!" - Brak

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