I have long wanted to spend some time in Japan. Recently, I started studying Japanese, then I thought about studying Japanese in Japan. Then I thought, why not study Japanese and Aikido in Japan? (I bought and read "Angry White Pyjamas" yesterday and it didn't put me off.)
Does anyone have any recommendations for where (or whether) I should do this? I have heard that there are "sport colleges" that might combine Aikido and Japanese courses.
Any contacts, pointers, or experiences would be useful.
I have enrolled to take part in the sensusei course with the Tokyo Riot Police in 2002. It has taken a great deal to arrange, and apply to the course. Im now saving for accommodation etc etc.
1) sort out where your going to live really early when your in japan. Its the most expensive place to live in the world.
2) If your from Australia, or New Zealand great, as apparently its easier for you to obtain a work permit. For us brits its quite hard. PLus ill have to leave the country for at least 1 day, to renew my permit.
3) The yoshinkan sensusei course, is in my opinion the best bet in japan, for hardcore training, as the dojo, is in a good area, plus you get a instructors certificate at the end of the year.
4) Best source of income, for foreighners is teaching english out there. Dont worry you dont have to speak japenese , you get paid for pronounciation and correcting essays, etc etc(most of the time). Try and get some sort of teaching qualification before you go, to increase chances of getting the job. Bar work is much lower paid in japan.
5) sort out medical insurance, on the yoshinkan course before you start. As it takes alot to get seen in emergency's if you dont have the paper work. The yoshinkan course is no longer residentual thus youve gotta find your own flat etc.
6) get as muck nookie with your local girl friend at home, as when your on the course you havent got the energy or privacy in japan to ''get some''
7)sorry ive got to go to training, e-mail any queries to me, as I know lots who have done it.
Some food for thought:
I suppose my question upon reading your post would be:
Why do you feel it necessary to train in Japan?
Do you feel as though you would be training harder, or in a tone of more serious environment.
Or perhaps you feel as though your training at your local dojo is inadequate or The gaining of new and fresh experience.
(my personal favorite)
You may want to ponder these for your own benefit to ensure your desire comes from a valid (valid only to you of course) mindset.
On the issues of travel,Indeed the last poster was quite right. Make your travel arrangement early.As for income, keep in mind that teaching English is usually available, but note one thing.It is usually long, hard, and you will get paid very little, and worked extra hard, not to mention that you will fall into the general category of being looked down upon secretly by Japanese society for the most part. But hey, it will pay the bills, or most of them, anyway. Bar tending is also available, but also of low status. In most cases a company or school will offer you a contract to work
for about a year or less. If you do decide to go, you will find it probably the most rewarding experience overall, however, it will not be a cake walk by any standards.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for your replies.
Tomu, my main reason for going to Japan is to experience Japanese culture, starting with the Japanese language. Aikido is just an extra thing I'd like to do while I'm there. It's an important extra thing, because I do love Aikido, but it's not my reason for going.
Matt, I'll probably want to continue with my Aikikai style training, and won't want to put the hours in to do the Riot Police course. Do you know people who've wandered from dojo to dojo, or have been to a "sports college"?
I lived abroad for a while elsewhere (Chicago, actually) and after a while I knew I definitely didn't want to stay, but it was still very worthwhile going. I expect to feel the same about Japan. I suppose you have to be something of a masochist in this way to do martial arts training in the first place.
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