Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Anonymous

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-16-2002, 08:30 AM   #1
"Live-in (?)"
IP Hash: fc658de1
Anonymous User
Question Who's been an uchideshi?

I'm thinking about trying to become an uchideshi somewhere in the US sometime in the next couple of years.

So, open questions to anyone who's actually done it (whether for a month or a year or longer): what's it really like? And what should one have in mind when screening potential programs?

Thanks in advance for any replies. (I've posted this in the anon. forum because both negative and positive feedback would be helpful to me.)
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2002, 10:19 AM   #2
Paul Smith
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 59
Offline
Congratulations on considering a deep experience in furtherance of your budo. I was uchideshi to the late Fumio Toyoda Shihan for 15 months, 1996-1997. If you are looking for a current program, I would like to recommend the program offered by Aikido Shinjinkai, under the Direction of Keith Moore Sensei. (www.shinjinkai.org). Moore Sensei lived as Toyoda Shihan's uchideshi for several years, and ran the uchideshi program for several more. The lineage to Toyoda Shihan's style of Aikido is direct.

To say what it was like for me is impossible in this forum. I can say it was both more and less than I expected. More in that I was tested to the very fibre of my being, with each and every activity of my daily life. Toyoda Sensei's great gift was his ability to see deep into the self of each and every one of his students, uchideshi or not. As his uchideshi, he pushed, goaded, tested me in a way I would say was perfectly suited to my strengths and weaknesses, and he would not have done the same things with others. Others were tested in their own way; yet each of us (there were 3 others while I was there) were pushed to the limit. I can tell you there were times I thought I would crack, and I lived more or less perpetually with the Great Doubt - the deep questions which all lead to both a sense of utter failure, and a countervailing sense of perseverance to grab courage and push past the questions to a deeper, truer sense of self and of budo.

The experience was also less, for me, in the sense that there were no great, shining moments, no grand epiphanies, no "ah-hah! NOW I've got it!" Merely the next moment, under the intense tutelage of Toyoda Shihan. "Compassion," I learned, has many colors. It is not always gentle, but it is always true, and always resonates long past its first utterings.

To sum up my thoughts about the experience: to borrow what Chiba Sensei once wrote, Aikido training can be seen as a tree, with its roots and stems. Living as an uchideshi, I feel deeply, deeply honored to have gotten a selfless taste of the root of budo, as given by the gift of Toyoda Shihan. Though my Teacher has died, what he gave has forever changed me and will never die. Should you want to undergo this training, I believe you, too, will have this experience.

As to what to look for, the main thing I would ask myself is this: is the lineage clear? What I mean by this is that I feel it is important that the teacher offering the uchideshi training program has undergone this type of training in order to feel it, to know it, to be able to pass it on. There is no judgment on soto-deshi experience or training here. Indeed, as Chiba Sensei said, many people come to Aikido for many different reasons, and the "root" and the "stem" very much need each other to survive. However, the kind of day-to-day transmission of budo offered in the inescapable crucible of uchideshi life cannot, in my view, be replicated in soto-deshi training. So, if uchideshi training is what you are looking for, I would make certain the directors of the prospective program have this kind of training themselves.

Please feel free to contact me privately if I can offer any other thoughts. Of course, at some point, talk is useless. There is no way to know but to do!

Paul Smith

Paul Smith
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 01:24 AM   #3
"Unregistered"
IP Hash: 64145f33
Anonymous User
I like the analogy of the root and stem applied in this case. It removes some of the hierarchy from the equation...instructors and uchideshi aren't an elite, they are responsible for nurturing the branches - the general students.

I trained for a brief time in a dojo that had uchideshi (though, on reflection after reading your post, I don't think the instructor had ever had that training himself, which is an interesting point). I couldn't see what they did that was so special, except live in the dojo for free. It sounds like what you experienced with your sensei was special.

It seems that, because the word "uchideshi" is widely known in Aikido, that now everyone and his brother has an uchideshi program. Some seem to charge quite a bit for it, so I imagine it's a useful way to pay dojo rent! That's not to pass judgement on such programs, but I do wonder at what point someone is qualified to have uchideshi.

Maybe in that case the bigger question is this: is uchideshi training something informal, just an "I want to live in the dojo and train a lot" situation, or is it a formal, systematized program that requires some kind of training and experience to conduct? What do various Shihan say about this?

- Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 05:50 AM   #4
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
If one really wants to make such a commitment of time and effort, why not make the great leap to Japan and do it?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 07:31 AM   #5
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,076
United_States
Offline
Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
If one really wants to make such a commitment of time and effort, why not make the great leap to Japan and do it?
In and near Tokyo (off the top of my head) there are uchideshi programs at the Yoshinkan (actually the 1 year senshusei course), Kobayashi Dojo, Shindo Dojo, and Iwama.

I don't know much about the Shindo Dojo setup, but Iwama costs (IIRC) 75,000 yen/month, which gets you a place to sleep, bread and peanut butter. With Kobayashi Dojo the living accomodations are extremely bare-bone. Foreigners should probably do all right, but they tend to work the Japanese students as instructors pretty hard - so much so that they often don't get much time to train themselves. I don't know the pricing for the Yoshinkan course, but IIRC it runs about 6 hours a day, and you have to work in addition to that if you want to support yourself. Of course, the same would be true at Kobayashi Dojo or Iwama, and Tokyo is an expensive place to live. Depending on your nationality you may also run into visa problems, especially if you're not working full time (maybe because you're training all the time...).

OTOH, there are a great number of uchi-deshi programs in the US now, many with highly qualified instructors - in some cases just as qualified as you'd find teaching the uchi-deshi in Japan. Plus no visa problems and maybe cheaper living expenses/easier time finding work that fits your schedule. Of course, you miss out on a lot of the cultural experience, so I suppose you have to choose which situation suits you best.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 02:00 PM   #6
"Unregistered"
IP Hash: 25436748
Anonymous User
What could you tell me about the uchideshi program in Hombu Dojo Tokio?

E-mail me at: orolles@yahoo.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 03:52 PM   #7
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Offline
Question UCHIDESHI AT THE HOMBU (?)

Quote:
() wrote:
What could you tell me about the uchideshi program in Hombu Dojo Tokio?

E-mail me at: orolles@yahoo.com
KAMI : I believe you're asking about the AIKIKAI Hombu Dojo. As far as I know, there's no uchideshi program at the Hombu.

Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2002, 03:56 PM   #8
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,076
United_States
Offline
Re: UCHIDESHI AT THE HOMBU (?)

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
KAMI : I believe you're asking about the AIKIKAI Hombu Dojo. As far as I know, there's no uchideshi program at the Hombu.

Best
None that's really accessabile to the public. OTOH, you could just go and take 5 classes a day 6 days a week, which should be enough for most people .

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 03:38 AM   #9
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Offline
Wink Re: Re: UCHIDESHI AT THE HOMBU (?)

Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
None that's really accessabile to the public. OTOH, you could just go and take 5 classes a day 6 days a week, which should be enough for most people .

Best,

Chris
KAMI : Indeed But that would be just "intensive training", not "uchideshi training", in the strict sense, you know.

Good keiko

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 03:57 AM   #10
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
cleaning toilets

Uchi-deshi do not simply train intensively in waza. An important part of the process is building character by serving others.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 04:20 AM   #11
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Offline
Unhappy Re: CHARACTER BUILDING???

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Uchi-deshi do not simply train intensively in waza. An important part of the process is building character by serving others.
KAMI : Or perhaps that should be understood as slave labor since, in most cases today, so-called "uchideshi" are really paying for intensive training, usually not done by the master but by advanced students.

Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 05:55 AM   #12
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,076
United_States
Offline
Re: Re: Re: UCHIDESHI AT THE HOMBU (?)

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
KAMI : Indeed But that would be just "intensive training", not "uchideshi training", in the strict sense, you know.

Good keiko
Of course, but it does get you a lot of training .

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 06:04 AM   #13
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,076
United_States
Offline
Re: Re: CHARACTER BUILDING???

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
KAMI : Or perhaps that should be understood as slave labor since, in most cases today, so-called "uchideshi" are really paying for intensive training, usually not done by the master but by advanced students.

Best
Sad to say, that's more or less the case with the uchi-deshi at some places in Japan. In any case, there isn't anywhere that I'm aware of in Japan that really offers the old-style type of apprenticeship that existed before the war, for all that a lot of places have "uchi-deshi" programs.

The "character building by serving others" stuff is touted a lot in the martial arts, but it has nothing to do with martial arts, or even uchi-deshi training, really, it's just the way that they run things in Japan. You see the exact same structures among restaurant workers and beauticians, and in any large company. Doesn't seem to build much character there, when you see the same apprenticeship system at a hair stylist divorced from the romance of "tradition" it ends up looking like just another heirarchical power structure.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 06:36 AM   #14
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
freedom vs. enslavement

Personally, I like to work hard AND I like my freedom too. I'm quite happy to train in two or three different martial arts, seven days a week, morning and night. BUT, I also like to have the option to do other things, such as climb Mount Fuji or visit the temples in Kyoto if I should feel so moved.

I think live-in programs are for the very young and very broke, or for fanatics.

It would probably work out better for a foreigner in Japan to use their free time to earn some spending money teaching their native language, learn some Japanese, and see the sights.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2002, 08:23 AM   #15
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Offline
Re: freedom vs. enslavement

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Personally, I like to work hard AND I like my freedom too. I'm quite happy to train in two or three different martial arts, seven days a week, morning and night. BUT, I also like to have the option to do other things, such as climb Mount Fuji or visit the temples in Kyoto if I should feel so moved.
I think live-in programs are for the very young and very broke, or for fanatics.
KAMI : You are, of course, entitled to have your own thoughts...

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
It would probably work out better for a foreigner in Japan to use their free time to earn some spending money teaching their native language, learn some Japanese, and see the sights.
KAMI : If you say so...
From a "poor ignorant" foreigner...
Best
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Kami : 08-18-2002 at 08:25 AM.

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 06:56 AM   #16
"Live-in (?)"
IP Hash: 194ea9d6
Anonymous User
To Mike Lee, about why I don't just make the leap to Japan: a lot of reasons. Money, for one. But also, the Japan bug just hasn't bitten. I love aikido, but unlike a number of aikidoka, I have no particular desire to live in Japan - sort of like how I love Bach, but have no particular desire to live in Germany. And a few years of experience have taught me that living in a foreign culture, even a relatively homey, Western one with a relatively easy language, can be brutally lonely and difficult. (Rewarding and fascinating and wonderful, too, of course, but very hard.)

To all who posted here (and in wanderingwraith's "Who has and who hasn't?" thread), thanks very much for your replies. [Happily mulling and chewing my cud.]
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 07:09 AM   #17
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
Cool no guts, no glory

Sold my old car and stereo and flew to Asia on a one-way ticket with US$100 in my pocket on Sept. 28, 1987. Studied three martial arts, zen, and now have a very fat bank account. Young ladies e-mail me weekly. Just my experience, but maybe I'm merely an old fool.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2002, 02:31 PM   #18
"Live-in (?)"
IP Hash: 6d99fb18
Anonymous User
Your entering & blending skills must be way better than mine, then.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2002, 06:04 AM   #19
"Unregistered"
IP Hash: f1329bec
Anonymous User
Whilst our dojo is Aikikai, a student and friend with around 6 years training (he had never sat a grading) travelled to Japan around 18 months ago to attend the Senshusei Course. He's coming back this week on Friday as a Nidan and with the permission of our Sensei will be taking our class and giving us an insight into Yoshinkan. Not quite Uchi-Deshi but his commitment and stamina is quite an inspiration. COME ON FRIDAY!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2005, 04:25 PM   #20
mterebey
Dojo: Nippon Kan
Location: Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1
United_States
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

I am currently an uchideshi at Nippon Kan Aikido in Denver, Colorado. I cannot say anything about uchideshi programs in any other places, of course. It is very difficult training, but it is clearly not 'slave labor' since we are free to leave at any time. Homma Kancho takes a very close interest in the training of his uchideshi, but it's up to the student to make the most of his time here. In the beginning, I had thoughts of leaving, but now I'm happier than I can ever remember being.
I am not making an official response from our dojo, but personally if anyone is curious I will be happy to answer any questions to the best of my humble ability.
Good luck with your training.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2005, 10:09 AM   #21
Kevin Kelly
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Fernley, NV
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 64
United_States
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

Too bad the thread has been dead for over 3 years.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2005, 12:59 PM   #22
dj_swim
Location: STL
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 56
United_States
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

Is this type of thing even possible if you're married? Not to make it sound bad, but I'm not sure I know of any spouses (male or female) who would be down with their mate being gone for a year... let alone three.

Any married people out there been through this?

-Doug
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2005, 02:48 PM   #23
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 613
United_States
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

I can think of a number of people who trained intensively at Aikkai Hombu Dojo while married, at least one of whom is generally thought of as uchideshi. Whether the marriages lasted is another question.

Even in America, there's usually some difference between being a single student living on campus and a married student living off campus, even if both are extremely serious students. I imagine that would be somewhat more the case in this instance.

FL
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2005, 09:17 PM   #24
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
Location: On the road - UK
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
United Nations
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

Being a live-in slave, cleaning, looking after the whims of someone else, subject to intense pshysical demands, and often abuse, is too much for many people - that's why they get divorced and become uchi deshi! Boom-boom, thank you, I'll be here all life :-)
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2005, 12:14 PM   #25
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Offline
Re: Who's been an uchideshi?

Quote:
Mark Walsh wrote:
Being a live-in slave, cleaning, looking after the whims of someone else, subject to intense pshysical demands, and often abuse, is too much for many people - that's why they get divorced and become uchi deshi! Boom-boom, thank you, I'll be here all life :-)

Don't believe Mark: you can't trust people of his ilk. Why, when I went up to visit him at his curent uchi-deshi job: he was served by a cadre of six scantily-clad all-female ninja's who insured that he was well-stocked in clean gi's, (non-British) food, and daily shiatsu massages.

He just wants to scare away all the applicants who realize that he's got it, so good...



(...ok, just kidding)
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question about being a uchideshi hapkidoike General 5 05-24-2006 05:55 PM
Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience) Hanna B General 67 09-10-2005 07:37 PM
Uchideshi PeterR General 28 05-13-2005 08:40 AM
Hands off the Uchideshi? Anon Anonymous 6 12-12-2004 09:29 PM
Uchideshi for Tomiki style people? drbeat17 General 1 05-08-2002 07:33 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate