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Best type of Tefl job to fund training at Kodokan

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Hi, I would be really grateful for any help.
I am presently considering moving to Japan for a year or more in order to learn Judo at the Kodokan (I have trained for several years already but would like to train in Japan in order to further my knowledge, experience and understanding of Judo and Japan).

Now I hear that it is possible for some foreigners to find work teaching English as a foreign Language although with a BA Degree and perhaps a TEFL certificate.

I was wondering how much work one would have to do in order to get by on a shoestring, i.e. would it be possible to do a part time job and get by for basic living? And if so, what type of Telf jobs would be the best to work for taking this part time approach?

I also have a BA in Sound Technology from a famous performing arts college, so, was wondering if there would be any capacity to teach music / sound tech as well?
I was also wondering if any colleges ever combined Judo and learning English?

would be grateful for any help.
Thanks
 

Mike Cash

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If you come on a cultural studies visa to study judo, you're going to be limited to part-time work simply as a matter of immigration policy. Not sure, but you may also be required to show you have enough funds to finance your stay independent of any expected earnings. Either way, it could possibly be an issue if what you could earn working part-time turns out to not meet your needs.

If you come on a visa to work as a teacher, I'm not sure if you can get one for just part-time work.

In actual fact, I really don't know anything. I just hate to see you not get an answer and hope that someone will see this and tell you what you need to know.
 
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I believe visas are not issued for part-time work. Mike is correct about PT work being allowed for cultural visa holders. What's more, a cultural visa usually requires that you have a designated master to teach you the craft, plus some years of experience of your own to show that you really have the cultural interest. (You seem to have both.) Confirm with immigration or your local embassy/consulate.

If you get the cultural visa, you're just going to have to take what you can get for PT work. There are a lot of factors involved: when you come, where you live, who is willing to hire you, etc. I believe the way it works, you find a willing employer first, then apply for special permission to work (from immigration). You'll probably have the most luck finding something at an eikaiwa, so I wouldn't use words like "best type of TEFL job" which suggests high quality and/or pay.

If you apply for a work visa instead, you will also likely end up in an eikaiwa. They typically operate from noon to 9pm any 5 or 6 days of the week, including Sat & Sun. Your judo training could pose scheduling problems.

Your profile says you are 42 and from the UK, so that eliminates a working holiday visa.

No idea about teaching music or sound tech. What did you have in mind for each?

I was also wondering if any colleges ever combined Judo and learning English?
I'm confused about this. Please explain more. I work at a university, and martial arts is one of many clubs at universities, but nobody ever uses English in them.

I hear that it is possible for some foreigners to find work teaching English as a foreign Language although with a BA Degree and perhaps a TEFL certificate.
Why did you write "although"? Don't you have a degree?
 
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Hi Glenski and Mike.
Thanks to both of you for your time and effort in answering my questions.
I understand with regards to the complications. Perhaps I need to do more research.
I believe that the Kodokan do not sponsor foreign nationals for cultural visa's.
So I am unsure as to what options I have.

Just to answer your questions.
Firstly I asked if anyone knew of anywhere that combines learning English with Judo practice.
I understand that this isn't normal but I have previously read some adverts that were looking for teachers of Judo and English or Tae Kwon Do and English. These were in Korea however and also weren't standard. But I ask, just in case someone does need such a teacher.

With regards to the paragraph where I use although. You are correct, it doesn't make sense. Apologies. What I meant was that I am a foreigner who has a BA Degree and (will be) TESOL / TEFL certified.

Thanks for your help. Kind regards.
 
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Firstly I asked if anyone knew of anywhere that combines learning English with Judo practice.
I understand that this isn't normal but I have previously read some adverts that were looking for teachers of Judo and English or Tae Kwon Do and English. These were in Korea however
Well, with the limited audience here and the short time you've spent on this site, I think that's the best reply you'll get.

I am a foreigner who has a BA Degree and (will be) TESOL / TEFL certified.
Then you are minimally qualified to get the work visa for teachers, as are most initial applicants.
 
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I can add the experience I know from two of my Aikido teachers: As Mike suggested, they where living here on a cultural studies visa. This meant that they would had to practice six days per week and before renewing the visa, have the practice time confirmed by hombu dojo. After some years one of them changed to a working visa by choice while the other one was working too much and therefore was not granted the cultural study visa anymore and hence also had to change to a working visa. So I think it is possible to live and train in Tokyo on a cultural studies visa, or at least it was in the beginning of the 90s.
 
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Firstly I asked if anyone knew of anywhere that combines learning English with Judo practice.
I understand that this isn't normal but I have previously read some adverts that were looking for teachers of Judo and English or Tae Kwon Do and English. These were in Korea however and also weren't standard. But I ask, just in case someone does need such a teacher.



Thanks for your help. Kind regards.
Maybe try Okinawa. I once met an Israeli guy there who was studying Karate, and did some jobs here and there. I am not sure if this was legitimate or under the table. He was helping out at a bar, and I've also seen him selling hand made crafts / playing music on the street.
 
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Well, with the limited audience here and the short time you've spent on this site, I think that's the best reply you'll get.

Hello. Sorry, I don't understand. I am not criticizing or arguing. I thanked everyone who has helped. As I continue to. Thanks for your help.
 
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I can add the experience I know from two of my Aikido teachers: As Mike suggested, they where living here on a cultural studies visa. This meant that they would had to practice six days per week and before renewing the visa, have the practice time confirmed by hombu dojo. After some years one of them changed to a working visa by choice while the other one was working too much and therefore was not granted the cultural study visa anymore and hence also had to change to a working visa. So I think it is possible to live and train in Tokyo on a cultural studies visa, or at least it was in the beginning of the 90s.
Hi. Thanks so much for your help.
I think I am going to have to think about the best solution.
It funny as its a bit of a catch 22 situation in that Kodokan do not help people secure cultural visa's and for their white to black belt fast track Judo course, foreign students are required to commit for at least one year.
So I guess foreign students can only do the 1 years fast track white to black belt course if they are able to also work in a normal job.
There are other places that do offer specialist programs such as International Budo University,
where the students are required to also study Japanese and other subjects in order to train in Judo.
This college does sponsor students with a cultural visa but the recipients still have to prove they have 2 years funds plus the college fees. Which is harder.
 
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Maybe try Okinawa. I once met an Israeli guy there who was studying Karate, and did some jobs here and there. I am not sure if this was legitimate or under the table. He was helping out at a bar, and I've also seen him selling hand made crafts / playing music on the street.
Thanks for your help. ;-)
 
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It funny as its a bit of a catch 22 situation in that Kodokan do not help people secure cultural visa's and for their white to black belt fast track Judo course, foreign students are required to commit for at least one year.
Do you know whether they don't sponsor the visa or don't support it at all, not even confirming the lessons you have taken? As far as Aikikai is concerned, no sponsorship is provided but they are very familiar with the confirmation routine, so getting one's stamps into the documents is no issue.
 
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Do you know whether they don't sponsor the visa or don't support it at all, not even confirming the lessons you have taken? As far as Aikikai is concerned, no sponsorship is provided but they are very familiar with the confirmation routine, so getting one's stamps into the documents is no issue.
Hi. thanks for your reply and info.
I understand. I am not familiar with the process. I have just looked on the Kodokan website but can no longer find the information about their visa policy.
Starting to think perhaps I should go to live in France or somewhere else instead.
No wonder there aren't many Kodokan black belts anymore. if the Kodokan no longer encourage foreigners to train and help them make it possible. Goodness. Perhaps I should do BJJ instead!
 

Mike Cash

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Hi. thanks for your reply and info.
I understand. I am not familiar with the process. I have just looked on the Kodokan website but can no longer find the information about their visa policy.
Starting to think perhaps I should go to live in France or somewhere else instead.
No wonder there aren't many Kodokan black belts anymore. if the Kodokan no longer encourage foreigners to train and help them make it possible. Goodness. Perhaps I should do BJJ instead!
Read the comment from Reviling at Anyone with experience of training at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo? : judo
 
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Hi Mike,
thanks for your help. sure, I read that article / thread as well. although it doesn't explain about visas.

Also, there has been some changes with regards to how visa's work for foreign nationals, as well as changes with regards to how much work their is available for those native English speakers etc.
A friend of mine who I speak to some days spent a couple of years training in Japan in the 80s where he went to learn Shotokan.

He explained in those days finding work to teach English was fairly easy and so was obtaining a working visa that permits him to stay for longer.

I fear that with the economy in Japan dropping when compared to the 80s and with the amount of qualified English Teachers flooding the market in Japan, it may be harder to find work and thus obtain a working visa that allows the prospective student wanting to train for a year at the Kodokan fullfil their dream.

Still, I guess if a person is really keen, then they will do what they can and make it happen.
Thanks again for your input. Much appreciated.
 

Mike Cash

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You may be suffering from an inflated opinion of English teaching and the nature of the job and personnel. There is a constant turnover and demand for warm bodies to fill positions where you pretend to teach English to people who are pretending to learn it. The typical "English conversation" teaching gig is essentially just a sham, facilitating fleecing the flock for the "school" owners, who don't give a damn about education. The whole industry is, by and large, a scam and a racket. If you look, you will find a position with a place that will provide you with a visa and enough wages to live while you do your training. You needn't feel any less "qualified" than the rest of the herd. So long as you meet the visa requirements (you do), the rest is just a matter of looking for a job until you find one. I would be very surprised if you found nothing.
 
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[QUOTE="Mike Cash,.[/QUOTE]
Hi Mike, thanks very much for the info. All very interesting and positive (for me).

Hey, i wouldn't mind working in a sham of a job, i been doing crap jobs all my life and ironically due to the economic crisis hitting when it did, I have found getting work where i live harder after completing a degree and other qualifications than before.

The jobs that i have managed to get over the past few years, the wages have been around the same as I used to earn when I left secondary school with nothing more than very basic wages.

So, hey, if I can find a job that will allow me to pay my way so that I can train and live in Japan,
which isn't too hard or too physically tough, I would be happy as long as it is all legal. :)

Thanks again for your advice.
 
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I would think a physically tough job would be good for training.

I think you probably hit the nail on the head when you said that if a person wants to make something happen they make it happen.

Though I would personally feel like a complete jerk if I participated in an industry I knew was a scam. My ex girlfriend just recently completed her 'training' in some new age energy healing thing and my opinion is that she was robbed by charlatans. I don't say anything, and I support her because I believe anything she does to better herself emotionally is good, but I have nothing but contempt for the people who sold her a lie.

I would highly encourage you, if you wish to do this, to get truly proper training. You wouldn't walk into a dojo wearing a black belt you didn't earn, would you? You can't control how the system works, but if you choose to participate you can at least control the honor and respect you bring with you and show your students.
 
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I would think a physically tough job would be good for training.
.
Thanks for your reply.
Just to explain a little. The reason why I personally would like to stay away from physical work is because the Kodokan 1 year course is an intensive crash course that trains people from complete beginner to shodan level.

In order to achieve this, they require students to do x amount of hours training. Can't remember the exact number of sessions or hours, but I remember working it out to be at least 4 sessions of 1.5 hours a week.

This may not sound that much, but remember, Judo can be really strenuous especially if training with bigger, heavier, taller and even more advanced partners.

In Judo, there is also major elements of free fighting (randori) and competition. Such free fighting can be physically exhausting. I know, as I have trained in Judo for several years and do randori on a weekly basis and have done competitions in the past.

Tough physical training is ok for some, who are also able to do very physical work, however, these guys are often young and full of energy. Those who are older or who have health problems find it more difficult to do both.

I am now 42 years old and suffer from hypo-gonadism (treated with testosterone) and anxiety. This means that I get mentally and physically tired quicker than most people and require more time to sleep and recover. But I am still able to get kind of a balance in my training, as long as I do not over do it.

If I manage to get to Japan to attend the Kodokan 1 year course, then I will do my best to train as many days a week as possible. Ideally 6 days. As although I am already a black belt in theory (haven recently passed my black belt theory test for competition black belt under the British Judo Association) which in itself is an accomplishment.

I would really like to be a Kodokan Shodan as well, and do Judo every day for at least a year.
No disrespect to the excellent British Judo Association, I just think doing the Kodokan 1 year course would be extremely interesting, especially if starting with some experience (as this will help with taking everything in in such a short time).

But also to train for 6 days a week in such a top level club, even as a beginner would be awesome and sure would help escalate my understanding of the fascinating art of Judo and my skill level in the art.

As for TEFL, I am not so sure that it is a complete sham. I think that what may feel like a sham and may come easy to many (because it is natural), may actually be very constructive in reality.
I mean, if a Japanese person is able to pick up proper pronunciation, grammar and lingo from an English speaker by simply talking with them, then great.

Sure, may be easy money for the English person but quiet constructive for those who are learning.
I think that if I were learning another language such as Japanese, I would really like to talk with a native speaker of that language in order to practice and to correct bad habits.

Still, I guess I will have to wait and see. Thanks again for your feedback and input.
 

Mike Cash

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As for TEFL, I am not so sure that it is a complete sham.
I'm not saying TEFL is a sham. Far from it.

I'm saying the Eikaiwa (English conversation) schools are a sham. That is the segment of TEFL where you would find yourself.
 
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[QUOTE="Mike Cash, post: 774653,"[/QUOTE]
Hi Mike, sorry. My misunderstanding. I lack experience and knowledge in this area.
I think that where working is involved, I will either have to try and save enough money so that i do not have to work. Apologies for my misunderstanding.

Or I will have to find work where I get time the evenings off so that I can train at the Kodokan (if I am accepted).

I am not sure if I could handle a full time job in a Eikaiwa and be able to do the full Kodokan Course. (i think that the classes are 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm every day in Bunkyo Ku).

If I am unable to stay for 1 year, I may have to resort to training without instruction in the regular randori sessions. Which I am sure will also be amazing, but wont earn me a black belt from Kodokan. But will earn me a great deal of experience and knowledge.
 
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[QUOTE="Mike Cash, post: 774653,"
[/QUOTE]
sorry to bother you again Mike. But do you know of any other businesses that would employ a TEFL teacher such as myself but in normal working hours.

I read about GABA Corporate, which looks more flexible although they do appear to pay lower rates and I have also read about some people who worked there who had to wait on their premises for up to 40 hours a week even though they may have only 10 hours of paid work a week scheduled.

I was wondering if working in a bar (or other types of work) would be one way to make ends meet, as the hours may be better for fitting in around training. Although I think I may need to be able to speak Japanese in order to do this (my Japanese is presently limited to martial art language).

Thanks Mike
for your help. You are very kind/helpful.
 

Mike Cash

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Is there any special reason for staying only one year?

I quit working in the English teaching racket a long time ago so can't give any specific info. I don't think you can swing a visa based on working in a bar.
 
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Is there any special reason for staying only one year?

I quit working in the English teaching racket a long time ago so can't give any specific info. I don't think you can swing a visa based on working in a bar.
Hi Mike

no. I guess there is no reason for not staying longer. Apart from my folks getting older and more fragile with age. I also have a young 12 year old niece (my late brothers daughter) who I want to keep in touch with.
That's the only real reasons I have to not settle away from the place i was born.

I also am really into making / recording / producing music and have just spent the last year (part time) building a small isolation booth to record live acoustic instruments at home.

So not sure if I want to leave this behind at the moment at least without getting some of my moneys worth out of it. (as it will take a lot to rebuild such a facility, especially in somewhere like Tokyo which I hear has very high rents).

Also, want to stay in touch with the people at local Judo club. But apart from that.
Not much else to stay.

With regards to work in a bar. just thinking this would be a way to get by, not sure what other options are available to me at the mo. Not being able to speak Japanese is likely going to be a big obstacle in Japan apart from TELF type jobs.
 
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I fear that with the economy in Japan dropping when compared to the 80s and with the amount of qualified English Teachers flooding the market in Japan, it may be harder to find work and thus obtain a working visa that allows the prospective student wanting to train for a year at the Kodokan fullfil their dream.
The economic bubble in Japan burst in the late 90s, early 00s. Forget the 80s, that was almost 40 years ago! Times are much more different now.

Teachers are flooding the market here now, yes. Competition is steep by sheer numbers (certainly not by the quality of teacher wannabes). There is no "may" about it.

Still, I guess if a person is really keen, then they will do what they can and make it happen.
It depends on what you mean by "keen". We've seen lots of people on this forum and others, and many think only if they think positive thoughts and just be persistent, they will succeed. That's not enough. What do you mean by keen? What are you prepared to do to succeed?

Hey, i wouldn't mind working in a sham of a job, i been doing crap jobs all my life
I'm sorry, but you don't seem to have a realistic clue as to what Mike meant. Plus, having crap jobs in your home country is nothing like what you'd experience abroad, and I can tell you from years of experience that it can be a very miserable existence, sometimes emotionally disturbing, and sometimes to the point of having to go to court but not knowing what to do there.

I would be happy as long as it is all legal.
But that's part of the sham Mike referred to. You might think you're working legally, but in reality not. Or you might discover that you're being treated illegally, yet have little to do to get out of it. My advice is to be extremely careful about accepting any job. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

As for TEFL, I am not so sure that it is a complete sham. I think that what may feel like a sham and may come easy to many (because it is natural), may actually be very constructive in reality.
I mean, if a Japanese person is able to pick up proper pronunciation, grammar and lingo from an English speaker by simply talking with them, then great.
You just confirmed my fear. You don't know what you're facing here in the teaching world. Not in the slightest.

I am now 42 years old and suffer from hypo-gonadism (treated with testosterone) and anxiety.
Good grief! Anxiety problems/issues are something you shouldn't bring to a stress-filled environment such as TEFL, even in your own country, let alone in a foreign land.

Or I will have to find work where I get time the evenings off so that I can train at the Kodokan (if I am accepted).

I am not sure if I could handle a full time job in a Eikaiwa and be able to do the full Kodokan Course. (i think that the classes are 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm every day in Bunkyo Ku).
Once more you have shown that you know nothing about TEFL here. The vast majority of eikaiwas are open from noon to 9pm. They won't hire you if you can't work those hours. Your classes at Kodokan are during prime eikaiwa time.

sorry to bother you again Mike. But do you know of any other businesses that would employ a TEFL teacher such as myself but in normal working hours.

I read about GABA Corporate,
I just explained to you the "normal working hours" for eikaiwas. Also, stay the hell away from GABA! It is a horrible place with horrible conditions. Go to the ESL Cafe and talk to other teachers there to learn more about EFL in Japan. Seriously!!!

I was wondering if working in a bar (or other types of work) would be one way to make ends meet, as the hours may be better for fitting in around training. Although I think I may need to be able to speak Japanese in order to do this (my Japanese is presently limited to martial art language).
Bars pay only minimum wage, and that's probably not going to fly with requirements for a full-time work visa. It is likely banned from people on cultural activities visas, too.

not sure what other options are available to me at the mo. Not being able to speak Japanese is likely going to be a big obstacle in Japan apart from TELF type jobs.
This is the only thing you have said that makes sense. You have no other options in my opinion.
 
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