Martial arts Japan

Bully1

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Hi all
I’m new to this!!

I’m at the point in life where I can visit Japan of course when we can, and would love to practise some martial arts whilst there.
I’ve been practicing Japanese Jujutsu for around 4 years and would love to do some out in Japan If possible. I would be travelling alone too.

any ideas anyone ???

thanks
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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What is your question? Are you asking if you should go to japan to train, or what style you should train there, or a good jjj school there? And where in japan are you going?
 

jks9199

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Hi all
I’m new to this!!

I’m at the point in life where I can visit Japan of course when we can, and would love to practise some martial arts whilst there.
I’ve been practicing Japanese Jujutsu for around 4 years and would love to do some out in Japan If possible. I would be travelling alone too.

any ideas anyone ???

thanks
Does your school have a connection to Japan? They should be able to give you some guidance, connections, and appropriate introductions for your visit.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I’ve been practicing Japanese Jujutsu for around 4 years and would love to do some out in Japan If possible.
Something to consider - if you have been practicing an art you refer to just as "Japanese Jujutsu", it is almost certainly a modern hybrid art developed in the West, most likely from some mixture of Judo, Karate, and Aikido. You most likely will not find the same art in Japan.

Jujutsu is a wide-ranging family of martial arts which has spread around the world and diversified considerably in the process.

If you go to Japan, the arts from the jujutsu family that you can find would include the following:

Judo. If I were spending time in Japan I would love to visit the Kodokan. I believe international visitors are welcome, but you would want to research the procedures and requirements in advance.
Aikido. There are plenty of Aikido dojos in Japan.
Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. This is the parent art of Aikido and can still be found in Japan. There are several Daito Ryu organizations. I don't know what is required to visit one of their dojos.
Bujinkan/Genbukan/Jinenkan. The "X-kans" are known for their original marketing as "ninjutsu", but some of their component arts are arguably members of the jujutsu family. The Bujinkan is pretty open to visitors, I don't know about the others.
Wado Ryu Karate. This art was designed as a hybrid of karate and jujutsu. The name originally included "jujutsu" before it was changed for political reasons.
BJJ. There is actually a thriving BJJ community in Japan now. Not sure why you would want to travel to Japan for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but it's there.
Various koryu (old school) jujutsu arts. These are the old traditional systems such as Takenouchi Ryu, Tenjin Shin-yo ryu, etc. If you were practicing one of these, you would have introduced yourself as doing so and you would have (through your teacher) the information and contacts necessary to visit one of your dojos in Japan. Joining one of these arts is an involved process and they generally don't welcome casual visitors.

I've probably missed an option or two, but if I have I'm sure someone will chime in.
 

wab25

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I would also spend some time researching and learning the proper etiquette. The culture in Japan is very different than here in the west. Some folks have taken advantage of that to pad their resume... Most others have been well meaning, but may have inadvertently offended the host school or instructors... something you don't want to do. Take some time to learn the proper behavior and what the expectations are for whatever dojo you plan to visit, in advance. An extra dose of humility could help you avoid awkward situations or doors being closed... Especially when that is not your intent.
 

isshinryuronin

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If you plan to be accepted as a guest student, I cannot stress enough that you follow the suggestions of wab, and Tony above. In fact, I would say to take them as "warnings." I don't know what kind of dojo you've been attending, but chances are the ones in Japan will put the concepts of formality, discipline and etiquette into a whole other level. Be prepared. Learning some basic Japanese (especially that relates to courtesy and MA) will go a long way as well.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi all
I’m new to this!!

Welcome aboard.

I’m at the point in life where I can visit Japan of course when we can, and would love to practise some martial arts whilst there.

Cool.

I’ve been practicing Japanese Jujutsu for around 4 years and would love to do some out in Japan If possible. I would be travelling alone too.

any ideas anyone ???

thanks

Yeah.... as Tony went into, there's a lot of ground to cover... the very first thing would be to look at exactly what you're looking for, and what you've been training in (under who etc).

Does your school have a connection to Japan? They should be able to give you some guidance, connections, and appropriate introductions for your visit.

This. The last part (introductions) is a big part of your whole question.

Something to consider - if you have been practicing an art you refer to just as "Japanese Jujutsu", it is almost certainly a modern hybrid art developed in the West, most likely from some mixture of Judo, Karate, and Aikido. You most likely will not find the same art in Japan.

This is my thought as well. In this case, there will be a number of issues to overcome if you want to do any training in Japan... both internal and external.

Jujutsu is a wide-ranging family of martial arts which has spread around the world and diversified considerably in the process.

If you go to Japan, the arts from the jujutsu family that you can find would include the following:

Judo. If I were spending time in Japan I would love to visit the Kodokan. I believe international visitors are welcome, but you would want to research the procedures and requirements in advance.
Aikido. There are plenty of Aikido dojos in Japan.
Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. This is the parent art of Aikido and can still be found in Japan. There are several Daito Ryu organizations. I don't know what is required to visit one of their dojos.
Bujinkan/Genbukan/Jinenkan. The "X-kans" are known for their original marketing as "ninjutsu", but some of their component arts are arguably members of the jujutsu family. The Bujinkan is pretty open to visitors, I don't know about the others.
Wado Ryu Karate. This art was designed as a hybrid of karate and jujutsu. The name originally included "jujutsu" before it was changed for political reasons.
BJJ. There is actually a thriving BJJ community in Japan now. Not sure why you would want to travel to Japan for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but it's there.
Various koryu (old school) jujutsu arts. These are the old traditional systems such as Takenouchi Ryu, Tenjin Shin-yo ryu, etc. If you were practicing one of these, you would have introduced yourself as doing so and you would have (through your teacher) the information and contacts necessary to visit one of your dojos in Japan. Joining one of these arts is an involved process and they generally don't welcome casual visitors.

I've probably missed an option or two, but if I have I'm sure someone will chime in.

Ha, not bad, Tony... you've missed a few modern off-shoots, mainly from arts such as Daito Ryu (Hakko Ryu), including Jigo Ryu, Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu (a modern branch of Hontai Yoshin Ryu, itself a relatively recent re-structuring of Takagi Ryu), which are what I would describe as quasi-koryu (Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu is arguably still classed as a koryu, being a modern branch founded by a Menkyo Kaiden holder of Hontai Yoshin Ryu, depending on the criteria applied...). You may also include arts such as Shorinji Kenpo... oh, and in Japan, Wado Ryu is still often described as "Wado Ryu Jujutsu Kenpo", particularly in formal embu... Wado Ryu Karate is more of a "shorthand" name, and used dominantly in the West.

When it comes to accessibility, ideally joining in a session of Judo or Aikido would require some prior experience, and ideally rank in the art(s)... with Judo, it's probably a bit easier, as, in a real way, all Judo is Kodokan Judo, whereas Aikido has a number of streams, such as Yoshinkan, Tomiki, Iwama, and Aiki-Kai (the "main" group). There's a lot of cross-over, and you may be able to attend practice if you are unaffiliated, depending on the dojo itself. In some cases, you would need to be affiliated with the group at least... in others, provided you're not affiliated with any of the others, you can likely join in, even as a beginner (ideally with some basic skills already developed, though), so it gets highly dependent on the circumstances.

As far as the "X-Kans" are concerned, the Bujinkan is pretty happy provided you pay the fee (ha!)... and, while they're likely to ask your affiliation, provided you're upfront, there's typically little issue. The Genbukan is more closed off to non-members, but with the right approach, might be open to having a visitor, and the Jinenkan is almost an open-door approach.

Wado Ryu and BJJ... yeah, as you say, less likely that these are what's being searched for, so I'll leave those.

Koryu.... okay.... while koryu are always happy to have interested people, most of the time the groups are small, and having visitors for short times, particularly those who aren't actively members of the ryu itself, creates an interruption to the training of members there... so such visits aren't always an option. In many dojo, you may need to visit a few times and watch before being invited to join in on a trial basis... so a short trip might not allow for such offers. The modern variants/off-shoots I mentioned might be similar, or more open... although I'd be more sure of the former.

If you plan to be accepted as a guest student, I cannot stress enough that you follow the suggestions of wab, and Tony above. In fact, I would say to take them as "warnings." I don't know what kind of dojo you've been attending, but chances are the ones in Japan will put the concepts of formality, discipline and etiquette into a whole other level. Be prepared. Learning some basic Japanese (especially that relates to courtesy and MA) will go a long way as well.

Hmm... maybe not, honestly. While reigi (etiquette) is a large part of Japanese culture, to the point that the language itself is highly stratified based on the relative social level of the participants, and understanding proper behavioural expectations permeates all parts of Japanese life, it might be surprising how that is expressed in a Japanese dojo... Many of these "pseudo-Japanese" Western versions of such arts often steer heavily into the idea of almost military-style "discipline" and formality... which simply isn't the way it's done in Japan itself. In a Japanese dojo, etiquette is definitely there... but it's, to a degree, relaxed, and simply part of the overall culture of the dojo and art. Honestly, most of the Western iterations, when compared to actual Japanese arts, are quite laughably over-done and aping...

So that takes us to the idea of what to expect, and what you'll be actually experiencing in Japan... as mentioned, the idea of "etiquette" will be a part of it, but exactly how it is expressed varies a fair bit. Interestingly, the more modern the art, the more regimented and "military-like" it'll be... arts such as Aikido, for example, can be far more formal in their classes than classical arts... despite the fact that many expect that such strict formality would be in the older arts as well, if not more emphasised. The method of training can be something unexpected as well... particularly if you're used to a modern, Western approach, which often looks to a variety of "techniques" (an array of strikes, throws, chokes, locks etc), often with some form of "sparring"... Japanese arts, especially classical (koryu) or related arts, tend far more to kata-geiko... a method of training in a tactical approach with pre-arranged sequences, often with an attacker and a defender (meaning that, instead of learning x-throw, you learn approaches of applying x-throw in a combative sequence, which will then often have a number of variations giving more applications and concepts).

So, depending on the type of training (and art) you're used to, you may find that there's something similar in Japan, or that there's not... that doesn't mean that there's no value in training somewhere in Japan... but most schools will require an introduction first, as mentioned by JKS, especially any older, more traditional school. When visiting Japan to train in my own arts, I still needed to be introduced by my teacher, and to send through a request to my dojo there. So check with your instructor, and see if there's actually a connection to Japan... or if they have any contact there who they can offer an introduction to.

All the best with your search.
 

WaterGal

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I think you've gotten some good advice on here. Another thing to keep in mind is that Japan is currently not allowing any international travel into their country. So it may be a while before you're able to make this trip.
 

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