Training in Japan/Okinawa

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Ginga Ninja, May 25, 2006.

  1. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member

    To all Karate Ka

    I really want to go to Japan/Okinawa to train full time for a month or so. However finding a dojo on the internet has been very hard! I know the dojos are out there, but I dont want to just hop on a plane and see what I come across, I want it to be organised before I leave.

    So the question I have is has any body been to Japan to train and can they recommend a dojo?

    In an ideal world I would like one that can train and accommodate for my stay. Plus ideally a style similar to Seiki Juku or Goju Ryu!

    Any help would be great

  2. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    There was a guy at Kyu who had been to Japan - I don't know where though.
  3. koto_ryu

    koto_ryu Common sense is uncommon

    They have Mei Bu Kan Goju-Ryu right near the Camp Foster military base there. I believe Sensei Ikemiyagi Masaaki's dojo is still in Ginowan City.
  4. DAT

    DAT Valued Member

    Courtesy of

    Former students of Fusei Kise:
    Karate Students beware!

    Al Gagne (dojo's in the Rhode Island and Florida areas) who is one of “SMOKA-USA” members, and one of my students, and I just returned from a trip to Okinawa, Japan, November 12th, 2003.

    The weather was good with the exception of one and a half days of light to heavy rain.

    Our purpose for the trip was to visit Sensei Kise and to have Al see the birthplace of our style of karate “Matsumura seito”.

    First let me give you a little back ground; Al and myself (Jimmy Coffman) started trying to contact Fusei Kise and his son Isao, plus their Association, months before the trip to no avail. We tried to reach Kise through his Internet site, as well as by local mail directly to Kise.....No response from either after repeated tries. We decided to make the trip anyway.

    My last trip had been in 1994 to also visit Kise. That trip was made by Ed Marucci (my senior student) and myself, and turned out to be quite pleasurable.

    In 1994 we had arrived around the same time of year, where Kise will most likely be there during the whole month of November. In any case we arrived and called Kise. We met at his dojo located in Okinawa City, formerly known as Koza City. We went through the normal greetings, things went well, and next we presented him with $750 in cash as a gift. That night we then took him to his bar of choice and spent another $350. So here we have spent over a Thousand dollars (US) in a matter of hours. Things could not have been better; Kise is warm and happy with his $750 cash stuffed in his pocket. (Money, Money)

    Now this year, we once again arrive and contact Kise. He states he is busy for the next few days, so we do the Okinawan tourist thing, visiting the castles etc. which is also a very nice experience.

    During one of our visits, at the “First Chinese settlement on Okinawa“, Naha area, I excuse myself to go off to the men's room. Kise and a lady friend walk in the entrance. Al Gagne recognizes him, goes up to Sensei Kise bows, pays the proper respect and then states that he is one of Sensei Jimmy Coffman's student black belts. Kise says “where is Jimmy Coffman?” Al states that he is in the men's room and will be right back. Kise says he will be right up the path. I come out of the rest room two minutes later. Al informs me that Kise is in fact here, and has gone up the pathway. I tell Al that we will wait at the exit for him, so that we will not disturb his sight seeing. Now, there is only one way in, which is also the only way out. There is a wall built around the whole complex. So we wait, and wait, no Kise. We waited over an hour. When we started to see people that had come in well after Kise, and leave, we gave up. Kise must have turned around and left right away.

    Well, we finally get to hook up with Kise. One of his students, a Mrs. Sayoko picks us up at our hotel and takes us to Camp Foster, a marine base. We meet Kise about 11 am and he does all but ignore us. He does not shake our hands, does not greet us in any way whatsoever, just as though we were not there at all.

    Now one would think that one would be pleased, if not honored, to have two people travel “Nine Thousand miles” and spend all of that money just to come and see you.

    We had brought expensive gifts from America to be presented to both Kise and Isao as a token of respect and friendship.

    During the whole meeting I repeatedly asked Mrs. Sayoko to explain to Kise that I wanted nothing from him, I just wanted his friendship as a former student, as I had stated back in 1994. Kise would not even direct his comments to us, only to Mrs. Sayoko. I next asked Sayoko to ask Kise to simply state that if he did not want any contact whatsoever from me to just say so! If in fact that was how he felt. No response from Kise, he just short of blew it off, stating he was now an “Old man” (68) and wanted no conflict, he was retiring and that Isao was making all the decisions now. Kise stated that Isao was teaching “sport karate” and he was teaching traditional karate. Stating that any decisions would have to come from Isao. I stated that I was happy with staying the rank I hold for the rest of my life, but wanted a means for my students to go as high or higher than I. Sayoko said that we, Kise, Isao, Jerry and herself would meet after Isao's class on Tuesday and discuss how to work this out. Kise said he had a class and had to leave, once again not giving us the time of day. Sayoko said we should call her at 6pm to get the exact time for the meeting.

    We called a couple of times and finally we were told that they wanted to meet tonight (Monday) at 9pm. At 9:45 pm they came in as we waited in the hotel lobby. When I say they: I mean, Jerry (student of Kise that handles the Non-Okinawans for Isao's association.) Sayoko and her husband.

    No sign of Kise, No sign of Isao! No way to direct our questions directly to Kise, Isao.

    The meeting went like this; Jerry starts out by saying; “so you're going to retire?“ I say “No I'm not, at least for a long while.” Jerry then states that Isao says you have your own association and he sees no need to join our groups together. He wishes you well, thanks but no thanks, in so many words.

    Now I see how the meeting is going to go, so I give them the back ground on what has happened in the past. i.e.: Kise setting in a car at a Colorado seminar for one and a half hours refusing to get out until I leave, calling the police. Greg calling the police each and every time I went to New Hampshire to see Kise, etc. etc.

    Sayoko asks me how do I promote my students? I give out my own certificates, stating that I have been a 7th degree under/from Kise/Soken since 1977 (of which Sayoko asked Kise and he stated yes during our meeting at Camp Foster) and also having a license to teach the system since 1964 from both Soken and Kise, that is how I promote my students. Next I give an example that he has promoted Greg Lazarus (N.H.) to the same rank, 7th Dan, and that he did not even start karate until 1978, plus his first instructor up to Sho-Dan was in-fact Al Gagne sitting right here. Also I do not have a Black belt under me that cannot beat Greg.

    Jerry states that he thinks Greg is good, stating his kata looks almost like that of Kise, plus his change of body is good. I ask Jerry if he has ever sparred Greg or even seen Greg fight? He stated no. I asked if he has ever worked with Greg, again he states he has only seen him do kata and some change of body. (where no one is really trying to hit one another, because that is how they train).

    Jerry states he does not know what has happened in the past. He then states that Isao is, Quote: Building the association from the inside out, whatever that means? and that they are not looking for more members. Of which I took to least not our group. Ha.

    Jerry than stated that people think Kise is only teaching “Sport Karate” now, that is not true he states. Jerry says we are taught traditional karate first and than taught sport karate. Now wouldn't you think it would be the other way around? Teach the new students sport first, than after they have proved themselves teach them real karate!

    Next he states that Kise is upset with the Americans, etc., as they learn his karate, go to the States, or where ever, start up a dojo and do not send him money. Jerry stated that is why he does not teach them real karate any more. Now you would think by that statement, Kise was giving them his karate. Not that they paid him for it. Plus trained hard for their ranks.

    It's funny that it took this long for me to see the “Real Kise“. I have spent 40 plus years being loyal, defending him, honoring and respecting him. However I have reached the stage as many others, that he is about money and nothing else. His principles, his values and honor are a thing of the past. I'm finished with the new Kise. I only want to remember the Kise of old.

    In closing; To any and all former or future students, Beware! Money is the only driving factor. If you are not giving him money.... he has no use whatsoever for you, past or present. He and Isao both are about nothing but money.
  5. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member

    Well they seem to be the Senseis to avoid!

    Also goes to show that it is very hard to organise any training before leaving the country. I have spent many hours trying to find someone to train with, but with no luck. At least you knew who to try and contact and where to look.

    It is a shame that the world of martial arts is becoming corrupt, where the main aim seems to be to teach for the money! Do people not do it any more just for the love of the art?
  6. succubus

    succubus so hot right now

    specifically okinawa?
    most high schools do karate there. they have tons and tons and tons of dojos as well.

    here's an excerpt from an info page i've read:
    Okinawan karate: Styles include: Shorin-ryu (Kobayashi, Shobayashi, Matsubayashi), Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu / Pangainoon-ryu, Shorin ji-ryu, Motobu-ryu, Udun-ti, Ryuei-ryu, etc.

    There are too many schools to list!!! There are schools in every city, town, and village! Here are some community centers that offer Karate Instruction:

    Itoman City Central Community Centre (Itoman City)

    Naha Youth Working Centre (Naha City)

    there's a guy there named Erik Klinger who knows quite a bit about MA. i'll pm you his email address.
  7. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member

    Thanks for that!

    Looking to train in Okinawa or Japan. I'm sure its the wish of most martial artists to go and train at the birth place of their art, and thats something that I would love to do!

    Where did you find this info on all the different schools? I've not been able to find anything like that. It would be really interesting to look through it. Maybe you could post a link on here so that other people wishing to train in Okinawa/Japan can have a look!
  8. succubus

    succubus so hot right now

    well, it's just a website on the jet programme, that you saw in that "japanese speakers" thread. i just found this stuff on an okinawa jet website:

    when are you looking at going over? i'll be there from the 4th of August, so if you like I can have a look around for you.
  9. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member


    How cool i that! I post a thread on the MAP and then have a guy offering to look out for schools for me in Okinawa!

    Was planning to go end of summer but doubt I'll raise the funds for then, so it will probably be during the Easter vacation. So any help at finding a club would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
  10. succubus

    succubus so hot right now


    no... you don't have a *guy* looking for schools for you. :p

    easter vacation? so, like, april 2007?

    will keep an eye out. :)
  11. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    Could be a guy in a kilt?
  12. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member

    Opps... :eek:! My mistake, sorry! Just got a bit excited!

    And yep, around april 2007!

    Thank you!
  13. succubus

    succubus so hot right now

    *looks down*
    nope. i'm wearing pants, and last time i checked, i was female. :p

    heh. np. that's aaaaaages away. i'll find you something. ;) if not, i'll find you someone to talk to.
  14. TigerDude

    TigerDude Valued Member

    Quiz the folks at There is at least one english speaking member that is in Okinawa. I believe that you can actually train at the Jundokan (probably the most direct dojo from Miyagi Sensei).
  15. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Do some questioning among you Senseis. They should be able to trace you to some oversea's contact. I know that if I went to Okinawa I'd go to train with my Sensei's Sensei, Takeshi Myagi.
  16. Ginga Ninja

    Ginga Ninja New Member

    I know that my Sensei's Sensei has passed away. But yes that is a good idea, I will have a word with him to see if there is anyone else that he recommends training with
  17. lim125

    lim125 New Member

    is that realistic

    Hi,I'm an university student in Canada,but 3 to 4 years later,I'll graduate from school and I want to have a hard TRAINING for Karate,kobujitsu and kendo for about 4 to 5 years constantly in a high intensity,like in this time,training is just like going to school as a full time student for 7 to 9 hours every day and include daily accommodation.Then after that,I want to reach almost the rank of the karate athlete or even higher.How much do u think I should pay every year and can I apply for some other jobs related to martial arts and military in Japan after that?
  18. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Woah, slow down there. Take the time to clearly and calmly state what you want!

    Now, in case anyone in the future sees your post, I'm going to give an answer now so it doesn't have to be entertained again: Keep dreaming. Very few schools even offer that much training time, and as a foreigner you will not get into the Japanese Defense Force.

    By the way, what would a martial arts related job even be? And what is the 'rank of a karate athlete'? Before saying you want to do something like this you should first learn more about the activities. Most cities have US cities (and I'm sure Canadian ones too - I know of at least two Shorin Ryu organizations in Canada) have Okinawan and Japanese karate schools either in them or not far away - train at one of them to get yourself started. Then, they should be able to point you in the right direction if you were to really want to move to Japan (which is not an easy feat, they are not friendly to immigrants) so that you are not blindly searching for any martial arts school. That would be silly.

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