Uchideshi Program

Nippon Kan General Headquarters 2016 Special Uchideshi (live-in student) Summer Intensive Program June-Sept 2016
In keeping with the spirit and tradition of Aikido, Nippon Kan offers an Uchideshi Program for serious Aikido students. The Uchideshi program enables students to live and practice at the dojo. Long-term live-in student programs are available on a three-month semester basis. Interested students should write to Nippon Kan for further information. (Homma Sensei’s book, Aikido Sketch Diary: 365 Days offers an in-depth look at the Uchideshi Program at Nippon Kan.)

Click here to read a Way of the Warrior: Gaku Homma found his domo on the range, a Westord article about Nippon Kan’s Uchideshi Program

Click here to read an Aikido Today Magazine article about Nippon Kan’s Uchideshi Program.

Other articles on the uchideshi program:

1/30/06 Being an Uchideshi at Nippon Kan
1/30/06 Two months as uchideshi in Nippon Kan.

2 Monate als Uchideshi in Nippon Kan

What is an uchideshi program?

The word uchideshi translates in English to mean “live-in student.” A student who joins in anuchideshi program lives at a dojo not only to train—every part of his or her daily life becomes part of the training as well. Traditionally in Japan, this kind of training the martial arts has been available only to those students who were earnest about dedicating their time for serious practice.

Nippon Kan’s uchideshi program has been in existence since its doors opened in 1978. At Nippon Kan, uchideshi students practice Aikido daily—usually two classes per day plus special practices. Uchideshi training does not end on the mat, however, and live-in students also participate daily in various duties from dojo maintenance (including cooking and cleaning) to assisting in dojo operations and special projects. Presently, there are on-site accommodations to house up to ten uchideshi.

Most uchideshi practice and fulfill their other dojo responsibilites during the evenings, while attending school or working during the day. It is about a fifteen-minute walk from Nippon Kan to the Auraria Campus, which includes Metro State College, the Community College of Denver, and the University of Colorado at Denver.

Uchideshi who qualify are also eligible to join Nippon Kan’s cross-cultural exchange program as a sponsored intern. Students live six months to one year in a remote village on northern Japan where they are exposed first-hand to traditional culture as it has been passed down over the centuries. There is also an opportunity to practice Aikido in a traditional dojo setting.

Uchideshi at Nippon Kan practice on an average, about three times as much as regular attending students during the same period of time. Uchideshi usually develop a proficiency very quickly in their Aikido, while simultaneously learning teaching and administrative skills.

The challenge of life as an uchideshi is one that must be chosen by the individual. Accepting this responsibility leads to valuable development through training that is useful for a lifetime. Over 250 students from all over the world have participated in Nippon Kan’s uchideshi program.

For more information on Aikido Nippon Kan’s uchideshi program, Aikido Sketch Diary: Dojo 365 Days is recommended reading. It was written by Gaku Homma Sensei, founder of Nippon Kan.

Nippon Kan Overseas Uchideshi – United States Visa Policies:

Rules and Regulations

1. Applicants from countries that DO NOT REQUIRE a visa for entry to the United States.

For all overseas visitors to the United States it is illegal to work without a proper work visas granted by the United States Government.

If a visa is not required from your country of origin to enter the United States, once you have been approved for practice at Nippon Kan, Nippon Kan will provide an authorization letter of invitation and guardianship while practicing at Nippon Kan. The letter will be valid only during your stay at Nippon Kan for a three month period or less. This authorization will be voided immediately if an applicant seeks work of any kind, commits a crime, or is asked to leave for non-compliance. Immigration authorities will be notified immediately.

2. Applicants from countries that DO REQUIRE a visa for entry to the United States.

Applicant must obtain the proper visa in your own country to enter the United States before applying to Nippon Kan for practice. Nippon Kan does not participate in the US visa process.

Applicant must show proof of US visa (passport stamp) for Nippon Kan application approval.

Once approved, Nippon Kan will provide an authorization letter of invitation and guardianship while practicing at Nippon Kan. The letter will be valid only during your stay at Nippon Kan for a three month period or less. This authorization will be voided immediately if an applicant seeks work of any kind, commits a crime, or is asked to leave for non-compliance. Immigration authorities will be notified immediately.

U.S. Immigration

To whom it may concern:

If you are contacted by a visa applicant using Nippon Kan Culture Center as a reference, please contact our staff by email at info@nippon-kan.org for verification. Applicants from overseas require the proper visa authorization to visit the United States before applying to visit Nippon Kan.

Nippon Kan is not involved with United States Visa processes except for very special individual cases. Any person from countries outside of the United States that refer to Nippon Kan Culture Center in their visa application have been thoroughly scrutinized and vetted by Nippon Kan.

Nippon Kan Staff

Uchideshi Enrollment Qualifications

Joining the uchideshi program is not a way to run away from society or oneself. A positive attitude is required to be a successful uchideshi.

  • Both men and women are eligible.
  • Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years of age.
  • Healthy physical condition and the ability to train daily.
  • Individual health insurance in good standing.
  • Financial capability to support oneself for the length of the designated term.
  • Minimum education- high-school diploma (or native country equivalent) required.
  • Religious and other lifestyle preferences are private and should be kept to yourself.
  • At Nippon Kan we value and appreciate the fact that all members reflect a great level of diversity.

As a result, all members are expected to respect these differences and not act in any manner which might cause discomfort or offence to other members.

Nippon Kan reserves the right to refuse anyone from participating at the dojo in the interest of safety and welfare of other students and regular members.

Uchideshi Program Tuition

Each 3-Month Semester…..$900.00
Tuition includes private or semi-private lodgings, use of Kippon Kan’s facilities, all instructional feels, participation in cultural events, and seminar fees.

Meals and Personal Expenses

Lunch and Dinner are included There are grocery stores and laundry facilities withing walking distance from the dojo and kitchen facilities on the premises. Usually, the uchideshi share cooking responsibilities on a rotation basis. Other personal expenses such as laundry are each individual’s responsibility.

Uchideshi from Countries Outside of the United States.

Nippon Kan does not act as a sponsor for visa applications. Uchideshi applicants must obtain their own visas (if required) for their intended stay in the United States. All uchideshi at Nippon Kan must be in full legal status with US Immigration regulations.

A non-refundable deposit of $200 is due at least two weeks before your term begins. This deposit is applied to your tuition. The balance of your tuition is due upon your arrival. Three weeks before the end of the term you must re-apply for a succeeding term. Tuition is non-refundable once the student term begins.

How to enroll…

Occupancy varies throughout the year as individual terms do not begin at the same time. It is best to apply early for the time you wish to participate in the program. It is suggested to include a first- and second-choice of when you would like to begin your first term.

Please send a letter of request to enter the program that includes a personal resumé, starting dates, tentative length of stay, and a brief explanation of why you wish to enter the program. A photo is requested for our files. Your letter will be responded to promptly.

You may apply by email to info@nippon-kan.org or send your application, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, to:

Uchideshi Program
Nippon Kan
1365 Osage Street
Denver, Colorado 80201 USA