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View Full Version : What are good uchi deshi programs in Japan?


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Eric in Denver
07-04-2011, 09:41 AM
One of the students in the dojo where I train wants to train intensively in Japan for a year or two or three. I am familiar with Iwama and Yoshinkan programs. What are some other ones? What do you like about them? If it could be more specific than" he should train with so and so, they have great aikido" that would be really helpful.

Also it doesn't necessarily have to be aikido. He would probably also enjoy Daito Ryu or koryu.

Adam Huss
07-04-2011, 10:57 AM
At the Daito Ryu place, I am pretty sure you need to speak Japanese...I could be wrong though.

I would reccomend the Senshusei Program, or they also have a regular uchi-deshi program at the Yoshinkan. It is probably one of the more well documented overseas programs.

I think Ando Sensei has an uchideshi program in Japan as well.

I would say go to the Yoshinkan honbu, Aikikai Honbu, and I heard good things about Iwama..though that is one of the organizations I have no perosnal experience with.

There are also places in the US and Canada as well. There is a school a couple hours from Denver that has a big uchideshi program, I think it's Gaku Homa's school (apologize for any misspelling). The AAA historically has a good uchideshi program, which is in Chicago. I did it in Canada at a Yoshinkan style school.

Best of luck to your friend...its a great thing to pursue!

phitruong
07-04-2011, 11:37 AM
dude! if i am in colorado, and i am not at Hiroshi Ikeda dojo, i would be heading to Toby Threadgill and beg to be his student. why waste money and time go to Japan when top instructors are in your backyard?

Nicholas Eschenbruch
07-04-2011, 11:41 AM
I know you did not ask for it, but still: there are uchideshi possibilities in Europe and the US that I would strongly suspect are not second to the ones in Japan. Would your student be at all open to that? What is their emphasis - technical, spiritual, Japanese culture, being abroad, a combination of some of those?

PS: well, and what Phi says...

Eric in Denver
07-04-2011, 12:30 PM
Thanks everyone for your opinions. My question, however, is specific. I am looking for information on uchi deshi programs in Japan. I am well aware of who is in my backyard and what they offer and do not offer.

grondahl
07-04-2011, 01:01 PM
It should be noted that there are several different uchideshi-programs in Iwama.

Chris Farnham
07-04-2011, 07:02 PM
From what I know of the uchi deshi scene in Iwama thsese days, your main options are Hitohiro Saito sensei's dojo and the Aikikai Ibaraki Shibu Dojo(which is O Sensei's old Iwama dojo). I don't know anything about Hitohiro Sensei's dojo but I have stayed at the Aikikai dojo several times(though never longer than one week), and Inagaki Sensei who is in charge of the dojo and uchi deshi training is excellent. As long as you are a member of the Aikikai, anyone is welcome for a day, or a year. It is also your only real option if you wish to experience uchi deshi training at Aikikai Hombu from what I hear. It is very difficult to become a Hombu uchi deshi unless you have the right connections, but most students who stay at the Iwama dojo for an extended period of time, are expected to spend two weeks at Hombu. If you want detailed information on the Aikikai uchi deshi program in Iwama I suggest sending a PM to Carl Thompson who is a member of Aikiweb and a student at the Ibaraki Shibu Dojo.

I don't really know of any other programs in Japan besides the the ones that you have already mentioned. Sawada Shihan in Nagoya, who I train with whenever I have the chance accepts foreign uchi deshi, but I don't think he has an official program.

Joe Bowen
07-05-2011, 07:45 PM
Eric,

Have your guy look into the Uchideshi program with Kobayashi Dojos in Japan. It is good Aikido, and Kobayashi Sensei, is one of the few still living Uchideshi of OSensei. There are some rather strict requirements though. You cannot just send them an email or show up at the door and expect to be accepted.

Regards,
Joe

Eric in Denver
07-06-2011, 12:26 AM
Thanks everyone for the tips!

Adam Huss
07-06-2011, 10:44 AM
Hey, let us know what happens. Its always fun to hear these kinds of stories. A guy from our school whis in Japan for a month to be a kind of uchi-deshi....not sure whay they are calling the program. I think its for people who can't afford to stay for an extended amount of time, or be away from family, etc. Anyway, best of luck to your friend!

grondahl
07-06-2011, 01:46 PM
Hiroki Nemoto also has an uchideshi-program in Iwama.

http://www.nemotosensei.com/pages/en/index.html

Chris Farnham
07-07-2011, 06:27 PM
Hiroki Nemoto also has an uchideshi-program in Iwama.

http://www.nemotosensei.com/pages/en/index.html

My understanding is that Nemoto sensei isn't currently taking students at Aiki house but, I heard that in April, so perhaps he has started again.

gates
07-08-2011, 01:12 AM
Hi,
I have been to Iwama under Nemoto Sensei twice as an uchideshi (3 months and 1 month). If you have a particular interest in Aik-Ken and Aiki-Jo then you will most likely get as many hours training Bukiwaza than you will anywhere. Nemoto Sensei is simple great. You also get the chance to train at the Shibu dojo most evenings too. The uchideshi program at Shibu dojo is also very, very good, Inagaki Sensei is a true gentlemen, as I am sure Hitohiro Sensei's is too (You cannot train at shibu dojo under Hitohiro Sensei).

Going to Iwama also has a special significance as the Aikido Spiritual Birthplace and you can spend many hours cleaning the grounds, and chanting kototama at the Aiki-Jinja !!

Bear in mind should you decide to chose an instructor in Iwama you are fixed (for life).

If you want to know more PM me, I can point you to some clips or give more info. Any decision will be a good one !!

Carl Thompson
07-09-2011, 02:52 AM
Hello my friends

Just to clarify a few things:
...but most students who stay at the Iwama dojo for an extended period of time, are expected to spend two weeks at Hombu.
Chris is correct in that a number of long term uchi deshi have been sent to experience a couple of weeks training in the hombu but I don't think it should be viewed as a way to become a hombu uchi deshi.
My understanding is that Nemoto sensei isn't currently taking students at Aiki house but, I heard that in April, so perhaps he has started again.
As far as I know, Nemoto Sensei never stopped taking uchi deshi.
Bear in mind should you decide to chose an instructor in Iwama you are fixed (for life).
That has not been my experience.

Regards

Carl

Chris Farnham
07-10-2011, 07:36 PM
Hello my friends
Chris is correct in that a number of long term uchi deshi have been sent to experience a couple of weeks training in the hombu but I don't think it should be viewed as a way to become a hombu uchi deshi.
I never meant to insinuate that the Shibu dojo was a back door to become a Hombu deshi. I was merely referring to an earlier post where someone suggested looking into Hombu programs, and wanted point out that it was my understanding that that wouldn't be possible unless one were being presented by a high level Shihan with close ties to Hombu dojo. Sorry if it appeared that way.

As far as I know, Nemoto Sensei never stopped taking uchi deshi.


Since I thought I heard that from you I'll retract my statement and chock it up to my own imagination.

Carl Thompson
07-10-2011, 11:35 PM
Since I thought I heard that from you I'll retract my statement and chock it up to my own imagination.

No worries Chris. I just wanted to keep the record straight since there are already plenty of strange rumours and weird sets of rules about Iwama without us inadvertantly adding to them. I remember saying there were no uchi deshi at Aiki House and that I thought there wouldn't be for a while. You can blame the rest on my accent.

Btw. Today marks exactly four months since the Great Tohoku Earthquake. A lull in deshi is obviously nothing given the scale of the disaster and we can be grateful that things are gradually returning to normal.