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kenshi07
12-20-2008, 12:51 PM
I've had some things go not so right this year and may have to leave college. I love Aikido and want to continue my training (currently 6th kyu) I've also always wanted to go to Japan whether for Aikido or not and it kind of got me wondering. I think I need to go out and do some soul searching I guess. I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. If I went to Japan, how could I continue to train in Aikido? Would they be receptive to a gaijin like me? I don't have a degree so supporting myself might be a little hard as well. Whats the best advice you guys can give me?

Tony Wagstaffe
12-20-2008, 04:00 PM
I've had some things go not so right this year and may have to leave college. I love Aikido and want to continue my training (currently 6th kyu) I've also always wanted to go to Japan whether for Aikido or not and it kind of got me wondering. I think I need to go out and do some soul searching I guess. I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. If I went to Japan, how could I continue to train in Aikido? Would they be receptive to a gaijin like me? I don't have a degree so supporting myself might be a little hard as well. Whats the best advice you guys can give me?

Do you really want to do soul searching in Japan first? Maybe you need to sort out want you need to do in college or out of it .....like get employment first if you have not already done so?
Save enough money to survive on for at least a year, and enough put by for your air fare (and return) just in case it doesn't work out? Learn to speak and understand at least a basic command of "Nihongo" and get yourself an introductory letter to whichever dojo you wish to enrol in?
Looking at the economical crisis worldwide at present I would say that getting a "job" in Japan would be pretty difficult if not impossible at present according to my recent correspondence with Japanese friends......
If I were you I would think about retraining at college and get yourself a decent degree or whatever field would suit you first...... Then maybe go to Japan........
Just my thoughts....
Take care
Tony

Voitokas
12-20-2008, 04:22 PM
I doubt that you'd have trouble finding a dojo full of welcoming and friendly people. Supporting yourself in Japan, though, would be more than a little hard. Really! I spent some time "in the middle of college" starving (no, seriously) in Spain, having gone there with no real plans and not much money, and that was an easy country to live in (and work illegally in) at the time. Illegal work is risky, and unless you know people who know people, that's what you'd have to count on. And Japan is expensive.:eek: I think Tony's right that you'd need a year's worth of savings socked away. Like $20,000 at least!!! Could you take some time off from college maybe, then get really good grades for two semesters and apply to study abroad in Japan? That might be the best way, and you could find some Japanese grad students to do some language exchange with in the meantime. It can take a while to figure out what you want to do... I hated college the first time around! I went from Literature to Economics and finally got a degree in Philosophy (which doesn't mean much in the world). It took years for me to finally go back and get another degree - this time it was in Biochemistry, which it turned out that I loved. Who knew? It took me until I was almost thirty to figure out what I wanted to do with my life (and I'd already made so many mistakes by then...) I guess my point is to think it through very well and ask your family for advice. Good luck! :)

Peter Goldsbury
12-20-2008, 05:57 PM
Hello,

I advice you not even to think of coming here to stay, without some kind of qualification that would enable you to find some stable employment.

Without this, the only alternative is a short spell here as an uchi-deshi (but, without a degree, probably without the means of financial support). I believe that the dojos in Iwama run some kind of uchi-deshi system, as Yasuo Kobayashi Shihan--and there is always the Senshusei course at the Yoshinkan, if you can be accepted.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

I've had some things go not so right this year and may have to leave college. I love Aikido and want to continue my training (currently 6th kyu) I've also always wanted to go to Japan whether for Aikido or not and it kind of got me wondering. I think I need to go out and do some soul searching I guess. I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. If I went to Japan, how could I continue to train in Aikido? Would they be receptive to a gaijin like me? I don't have a degree so supporting myself might be a little hard as well. Whats the best advice you guys can give me?

mathewjgano
12-20-2008, 06:14 PM
I've had some things go not so right this year and may have to leave college. I love Aikido and want to continue my training (currently 6th kyu) I've also always wanted to go to Japan whether for Aikido or not and it kind of got me wondering. I think I need to go out and do some soul searching I guess. I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. If I went to Japan, how could I continue to train in Aikido? Would they be receptive to a gaijin like me? I don't have a degree so supporting myself might be a little hard as well. Whats the best advice you guys can give me?

I like the study abroad idea, but I know that is usually contingent upon having good grades, tuition, etc. I'm guessing you're still an undergrad, but if you've got a typical 4-year degree, you can apply for the JET program (a great program by the way!).
It really is an expensive country though. I was only able to visit through a series of fortunate coincidences, so I know how hard it can be. Best of luck!
Matt
ps- not that you need cheering up, but if it makes you feel better: it took me 10 years to get my 2-year degree. My best advice is to form a plan and work very very hard. Again, best of luck!

oisin bourke
12-23-2008, 07:45 AM
I would recommend anyone considering an extended training period in Japan to first read Patrick Auge Sensei's piece on being an Uchi Deshi in Japan. It's available on the Aikido Journal website.

I have re-read it frequently over the past five years and it really contains a phenomenal amount of information, wisdom and advice from someone who's been there and done it.

Just like a well made Kata.

If you honestly follow the advice given, you won't go far wrong.

IMO

John Matsushima
12-23-2008, 09:08 AM
You could join the military and get stationed here. Worked for me.

Mato-san
12-25-2008, 11:02 AM
don't be misguided, get your ugly ass over here and slap some mat, it is awesome...but yes you need a job

GeneC
12-25-2008, 01:19 PM
You could join the military and get stationed here. Worked for me.

Same here, but much to my chagrin, I studied/practiced Shotokan Karate the 2 yrs I was there ( Oh if I'd've started way back then, but I didn't even know about Aikido, but then, my mind wasn't on that, I wanted to get as close as I could to JKD[ and yes, I was analytical/critical of Shotokan then too]).

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 06:43 AM
Aikido is your realm.... surprise you can get super instruction everywhere..... You like BJJ you have that too...
enjoy your stay on me...

Aikido is touch and feel my friend...and if you feel aggressive, you gone my friend......I will softly dispose of you and your ass

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 06:46 AM
keepin real here... Happy to give a phone number and a place!

Tony Wagstaffe
12-26-2008, 07:55 AM
keepin real here... Happy to give a phone number and a place!

Yeah and watch the surfboard Tannan!!

ken zen ichii
12-28-2008, 05:22 AM
I've had some things go not so right this year and may have to leave college. I love Aikido and want to continue my training (currently 6th kyu) I've also always wanted to go to Japan whether for Aikido or not and it kind of got me wondering. I think I need to go out and do some soul searching I guess. I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. If I went to Japan, how could I continue to train in Aikido? Would they be receptive to a gaijin like me? I don't have a degree so supporting myself might be a little hard as well. Whats the best advice you guys can give me?

Hello,

Try surfing the net for English teaching jobs here in Japan. They give priorities to native speakers. If you are lucky enough to be hired and be assigned in Tokyo, it will not be difficult to be accepted at the Aiki Kai or other Dojo's. If you will be assigned in other prefectures, there are local dojo's that offer reasonable price for training. Try it, who knows, you might be lucky.

Happy new year.

Mato-san
12-28-2008, 09:45 AM
Yeah and watch the surfboard Tannan!!
Yeah that is fun too

Larry Cuvin
12-29-2008, 10:13 AM
Living in Japan IS expensive! Win a lottery or something similar before you go. I have been stationed there and have done a few deployments and unless you have a good income to support your needs, stay here, train here where almost everybody understand you.

Japan is a beautiful place though, very courteous people (in my experience).

John Matsushima
12-29-2008, 11:17 AM
Hello,

Try surfing the net for English teaching jobs here in Japan. They give priorities to native speakers. If you are lucky enough to be hired and be assigned in Tokyo, it will not be difficult to be accepted at the Aiki Kai or other Dojo's. If you will be assigned in other prefectures, there are local dojo's that offer reasonable price for training. Try it, who knows, you might be lucky.

Happy new year.

From my experience, many of the English teaching companies won't even consider you if you don't have some kind of degree. Also, many of them won't hire you if you already live here. I got turned away from Nova because they said they would only hire me if I applied from stateside. Good thing they didn't too. But then if you do get hired stateside, you have to go teach where they tell you which could be in the middle of a rice field somewhere, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest dojo or izzakaya. Another thing to consider is that a lot of these schools want people to teach at night after people get off work, which is when most dojos have practice, unless you can go to a big dojo like the Aikikai Hombu.

Another idea would be to consider a foreign exchange program.

A lot of people say Japan is expensive, and it is if you're visiting, but if you are here living on the economy, I think its not bad at all.