Part of the experience for uchideshi (live-in students) that graduate from the uchideshi program at Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver is to participate in over-seas internships. Senior students that are regular members of Nippon Kan are also able to participate in this program under special circumstances. This year, Nippon Kan sent two-term graduate uchideshi Mariusz Ferenc and senior student Kazumi Yoshimura to Nepal to assist in teaching Aikido and to experience the culture of Nepal on a local first hand level. Kazumi, was the second woman student that has been sent on an extended stay as part of this international internship program, and the first woman that has been sent to Nepal. Both Mariusz and Kazumi lived in a homestay situation, and their role has been to support the NAC (Nepal Aikido Club) with organizational and teaching training and to participate in other local dojo related activities. Airfare for both students was sponsored by AHAN, and upon successful completion of their internships, expenses for lodging and meals will also be reimbursed.
When sending students from Nippon Kan to other countries, especially third world countries that do not have the material amenities that are available to most students in the United States, the most important advice given to students is not look down upon or quickly judge the people in the country that the student will be living in. Choosing to compare oneself with others before having a chance to learn the culture and the customs and the hearts of the people of these new lands tends to lead to a disastrous experience by all parties. This kind of moral superiority is not tolerated in the Nippon Kan International Internship program and must be agreed to before any student is allowed to travel under Nippon Kan or AHAN’s direction. The purposes and philosophy of AHAN and Nippon Kan cannot be accomplished with this kind of attitude. Students involved in the Nippon Kan Internship Program must also completely sustain from use of drugs, alcohol to excess and any interpersonal physical relationships with native women or men. Any violation of these rules will result in the immediate removal of the student from the internship host country and immediate expulsion from Nippon Kan. If instances of indescretion like this occur, it takes a lot of time to repair the damage done.
Nippon Kan Junior Vice President