If you happen to encounter a wild boar in the woods in Japan here is what you do

trail in japan

I saw big ugly mama boar down on the trail in front of me.

So I was about 20-30 minutes into a hike here in Fukuoka and having a good conversation with myself when I heard some noise in the woods.

I stopped, looked and listened.

Then below me on the hillside I saw something moving. Was it a squirrel? Was it some sort of muskrat? No, I suddenly saw it and it was a wild boar.

He was pretty small and brown, but there was more noise and then I saw another run along the hillside below me. And then I looked down the trail in the direction I was heading and there was a big ugly one there staring at me.

For a second I felt spooked then I put my hands up in the air. He barked and ran off down the side of the hill.

So what they say works with bears and other wild animals works with wild boars and I didn’t even have to use my judo or jiu-jitsu^^

Perhaps that’s another form of jiu-jitsu.

First time I saw them in person. I’ve seen their marks and spots where they dig up the forest. And I even saw a skull of theirs once.

I see cages sometimes where they try to trap them so they might be a nuisance in Japan.

There’s a picture of one here. I think the big one I saw had tusks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_boar

 

Cheesy yoga on the beach in Japan

This was a hot summer day from a few months ago. I rode my bike out to Nishijin in west Fukuoka and went to the beach. I like it out there.

I then decided to do some yoga.

Here we go. Hmm, my posture is not perfect…


This was actually the second time in the same day. Sometimes I do that. But I usually do yoga in the late morning.

I did a judo competition in Japan called “shodan shinsa” yesterday

This test for judo is called “shodan” shinsa. Shodan is the first level of the black belt in judo. I did this test in Fukuoka, Japan yesterday.

In America and at least where I started judo at CCSF there is a different ranking system for belts.

white>green>brown>black

And brown belts have 3 degrees. And then of course black belts have varying degrees going upwards of maybe 9 or so degrees.

But in Japan there is only:

white>black

There are no colored belts between white and black.

And…

To get a black belt or even the next level of black belt you have to do a test. And this test varies for adults and children. For adults you have to compete and fight against others who are also competing for a black belt.

It’s a single elimination competition which means if you lose once you’re out. And you have to accumulate enough points and your first time that is 4.5 points which means you have to win like 4 or 5 times in a row.

If you don’t you can try again at the next competition.

I did this in Fukuoka yesterday. I probably wouldn’t have but my dojo where I got the cultural visa to stay in Japan encouraged me to do so.

As you might expect it was a bit scary like other BJJ competitions that I did. This was the first judo one that I did.

I get a lot anxiety and anticipation and all the fears like: getting hurt, this isn’t that important, why should I do this, I am going to lose, I’m not good enough – all those fears that other people get.

But amongst all those negative thoughts and feelings – actually most of the time it’s a feeling – kind of like public speaking or a performance if you have ever done that.

But I try to inject into my mind some positive thoughts too like:

“You’ll probably win or learn something” which was true.

But when the fight starts the feelings are gone and you are in the moment.

I did win two and I did learn something about the rules and about how I can work on my tani otoshi counter.

Getting a black belt isn’t the ultimate goal. The goal is to learn and have fun doing so. Although I am not sure it’s always fun, but 99% of the time it makes me feel better.

Like the competition it would have been easier to just say no I don’t need to do this because I have done that before with jiu-jitsu competitions, but I knew that if I did it I would feel better.

It’s just about pushing through those fears and discomfort.

I am also happy that I got a couple of throws because I am better on the ground and have about 4 times the amount of experience and hours doing BJJ than I do judo tachi waza (throws).

There is another competition like this in November and I will probably do it because I started it so now I feel like I have to finish it.

Occasionally some people will win 4 or 5 matches in a row and get the black belt, but my friends tell me more often than not it can take 2-3 times.

I know one that said it took 7 times as a teen, another 4 times and another who actually won 6 in a row on his first time for shodan, but then said for yon dan (4th degree) it took him 3 or 4 times.

Judo is actually called “the gentle way”

Haha… really?

Yep, but it doesn’t look or feel gentle most the time. But what is meant by that I think is finding the opening for a move or submission or where the opponent is off balance for a throw. Like in the pic above in the thumbnail to this video.

I threw that guy with an osoto gari.

He was stronger, probably weighed more, more aggressive and a bit spastic, but I found the path of the least resistance and threw him there and that’s judo – finding and seeing the openings and then capitalizing on them.

A day training Kosen judo at Kyushu university in Itoshima, Japan

Lucky me. In a previous post I got to see a kosen judo competitiion here in Fukuoka, Japan. This is a rare style of judo that emphasizes newaza (ground techniques) so it’s similar to BJJ or is it that BJJ was inspired from kosen judo?

Hmmm…

Here’s a picture from then.

You can see me above in the back right and to my left is Tsukamoto-san and second in the back left is Amamiya-san. Those two I train with often at Sekiryukan in Hakata. They are 3rd and 4th degree black belts.

Anyways…

Last Saturday I went with a couple of my dojo members from Sekiryukan to Kyushu university to practice Kosen judo from about 9:30 to 12:30.

Here are a few clips from the lesson.

And then after I went to a beach in Meinohama, Fukuoka. I went for a swim and it was nice. I also saw a lot of feral cats.

Tony & Moly Sharehouse – My experience

*Update. I originally wrote this a few months ago. I am happy to say I don’t live in a sharehouse anymore.


I hate sharehouses. It’s 4:30 and I can’t sleep. Starting around sometime around maybe 2am until after 3am I hear the manager banging shit around and making noise.

First I’ll tell you the good.

It’s in a good location – Otemon. It’s near Ohori park and in between that subway station and Akasaka.

Compared to another sharehouse I stayed in it’s in better condition. This is not a Japanese house it’s in a small cement apartment building, but the interior walls aren’t cement.

Everyone staying in this sharehouse at this time is either Taiwanese or Chinese. Most everyone I met staying here was o.k except for one annoying guy who always cooked onions and slammed his door.

Although I wonder why everyone here is Taiwanese or Chinese.

Oh yeah, there are 2 apartments in this building for the sharehouses. I live in one, with another Taiwanese girl and Taiwanese guy and then another person came later.

Now I am going to give this place some criticism.

Why?

I probably wouldn’t have had the “manager” – hehe (I hate managers by their very nature), not complained about water on the floor and later leaving the trash can lid open.

Criticism:

  1. Cigarette smoke
  2. Noise (floor noise)
  3. A NO SEX rule
  4. You have to pay for parties
  5. A little pricey considering
  6. There’s a business in it
  7. The manager

Now I am only staying here because I didn’t really have another option without a permanent visa.

I don’t really like to complain and this is, but I think they should change some things.

1st smoking

They do go out and smoke on the porch so they say, but sometimes I think they smoke in their room – the manager and the owner, but they leave the doors open and the smoke comes in the apartment.

And I hate cigarette smoke. It’s not all the time, but still cigarette smoke is annoying.

Noise

It’s not noisy all the time, but the floor makes noise and the walls are cheap thin wooden walls and the sound travels through them. The room I stayed in 2F room 103 which was the smallest is right next to the entrance and kitchen and the room where the landlord operates their business.

103 sucks because of the noise, no air con, no screens, and it’s not worth 50,000.

A “no sex” rule

This is the stupidest rule yet. And I knew it ahead of time. Like WTF?! Why do you have this rule in place? The manager said to “go to a hotel.”

Dude, I am paying you money to stay here and this is my home now and my room and it’s not your business what I do in my room.

Maybe if I was being noisy having sex in the room it would matter and I could understand if someone didn’t like it.

Maybe it’s a cultural thing like he said, but I lived in China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan and this is the first time I heard about a “no sex” rule in any hostel, hotel or anything like that.

You have to pay to party

They have parties sometimes on the 5F sharehouse apartment for new guests and whatever. But he told me I didn’t have to pay since I was a new guest but next time I would.

That was weird and I said that.

I kind of see it like a “managerial” tactic to manipulate and that is why I hate managers. Like other people will pay to attend your party but if you don’t pay to attend someone else’s party then you feel kind of quilty or the other people might think you are not cool or something.

Like I understand if you have a party to bring something maybe like I brought a little wine and sake when I had my party.

But just seems like the dude is trying to make money off of you too.

The manager

First off I don’t like managers or being managed.

I am an independent person and if you meddle with my affairs try to tell me what to do or control me then chances are that I won’t like you.

He seemed kind of alright and positive at first. But I was just waiting for some shit to come up. Like I said the money for the party thing, the no sex rule (is that his rule or the landlord’s).

He speaks Japanese, Chinese and English so that’s cool.

Come towards the end of my month here he was like do you want to stay and like someone else wants the room too – which I doubt since there is another free room.

He told me when I moved in that he would make the price for the room cheaper then when I brought that up he had nothing to say about it except that the price of the room was going to go up when they get an air conditioner.

So I guess that was a little lie.

The dudes young like 28 so yeah.

He’s a little hyper about stuff too like l forget my clothes in the shower room sometimes cause there is no door to the shower room really and just a high shelf to put your stuff on.

And then I got some water on the floor (not that much) and he came and asked me to clean it up. That is what actually annoyed me and prompted me to write this.

There is a rule that everyone takes turns cleaning the common areas too which is understandable. And when it was my turn I know I did a way more thorough job than those before me because I cleaned a lot of mold of the walls in the bathroom, cleaned the toilet, vacuumed, and basically did a lot more cleaning than others did.

It also seems slightly weird to me that everyone else that lives here including the manager is Taiwanese or Chinese. That seems slightly selective.

It’s not that cheap

I pay 50,000 for that little room 103. Like I said the location is good, but the room is small and it’s a little noisy.

I know that I can get a room – a studio in the same area for like 35,000 no problem ( I pay 30,000 now for my own studio) but I need a visa.

There’s another business in it

On the 2nd floor there is a uber eats business that landlord is starting in one of the empty rooms right next to mine.

It’s not too big of a deal, but between like 10am and 2-3pm some days of the week this guy is like making and selling food in the kitchen. And he walks really hard too. You can really hear him trudge along the floor.

That’s my review.

I am still here at the moment, but I just don’t like this whole sharehouse thing. This is the second one I stayed in. It’s not for me. So if you have a visa I would just go and look for a place on your own. I can’t see what the advantage is of staying in a sharehouse.

It’s random and you don’t chose your roommates.

Yesterday I took a bike ride to Imazu beach in Western Fukuoka

On Saturday I went to Itoshima to train Kosen judo at Kyushu university. Along the way I got to see some beaches. So I went back yesterday.

I found a spot on the map that didn’t look too far and headed out. It was pretty nice. There were few people there and the water was pretty clear.

It took maybe an hour and 20 minutes or so to get there.

I just checked on the map and it said it was 12km from Fujisaki station. Roundtrip was 24km so about 14 miles. Sounds like a lot but most of it was a nice ride.

I got a cultural visa to live in Japan and practice Judo

…for a year!

Cool eh?

I am excited.

So I came over here to Fukuoka, Japan about 5.5 months ago. I started off training a lot of jiu-jitsu and tried to get a visa through that school, but it didn’t work out.

Probably cause it was “Brazilian” jiu-jitsu. There’s not much of a difference between judo newaza and BJJ as BJJ was derived from judo.

And…

I tried to explain to the immigration officer how there were only like 5 teachers between me and Jigoro Kano – founder of judo. Yet, it didn’t work.

But that’s o.k. because I was planning on training judo too.

Ironically there are more places here to train BJJ than there are judo. Judo is popular in the school system, but after school it’s not that popular. I only found like 2 places in all of Fukuoka where adults could train compared to like 5 or more places for BJJ.

Anyways…

It cost me $40 to get my residence card after I received my COE (certificate of elgibility). I had to do a second application that looked almost identical to the COE, but was for a a change in residence status.

It took about a month to process after my application was submitted. I didn’t have to leave the country to get a new visa like I had to in China, Korea and Taiwan when I taught English there. I heard you could get these for karate or aikido too. And maybe for stuff like: archery, tea ceremony or other Japanese cultural things.

Anyways, it doesn’t permit you to work. You need your own money and you need to show them your accounts.

Then you need to find a school that wants to help.

How did I do it?

  1. Come over on a tourist visa
  2. Find a school and a Japanese cultural activity
  3. Fill out the application and have your school enter their info
  4. Create additional documents including your experience that is related like for me that was practicing judo and BJJ in the USA (photos of me in competitions and getting promoted in both BJJ and judo)
  5. Bank balances and or proof of income outside of Japan
  6. Submit and wait

Sharehouse Fukuoka

sharehouses in fukuoka

Are you looking for a cheap place to stay in Fukuoka, Japan? Have you thought of staying in a sharehouse? WTF is a sharehouse? Is that like a guest house? What’s a guest house?

So…

Based on my experience it’s like a hostel/apartment – somewhere in between. They can vary in quality and building type. Some are in old creepy houses with freaky looking ghosts like above and some are in newer apartment buildings.

What are the advantages of staying in a sharehouse?

  1. short term housing
  2. fewer move in fees or non at all
  3. you don’t need a special visa – a tourist visa will work
  4. you can meet people that you might like
  5. you’re lonely and you want to talk to someone… anyone… you don’t care

A sharehouse can be a good way to get started cheaply in Japan if you want to teach English in Japan or if you want to do something else.

Some have weird rules too.

Like…

  • you have to pay for guests
  • no sex
  • only girls allowed
  • you need a “Line” account… like what? can’t you live without your damn social media account?
  • forced sociability

Negative reviews of share houses in Fukuoka…

“I hated that motherf***er. He acted all tough and I just tried to keep cool, but really I was imagining breaking his arm or blowing out his knee… but if that dude touches me I’ll really damage him and then what will happen? He’ll cry, call the cops and the owner and pretend to be all innocent.”

“Man, are all Japanese this anal? Or maybe it’s an Eastern Asian thing.”

“I hope that jealous fat b*tch chokes on her rice.”

“They lied to my face.”

“This place is a sh*thole. If an earthquake hits this place it will be a goner.”

But don’t mind the negative reviews.

You might loooove Sharehouse Fukuoka…

Oh, I should mention that some of these sharehouses have flaws like:

  • noise
  • dirty toilets
  • mold
  • no doors or maybe a curtain separating your room
  • old tatami mats which might have dust mites
  • stupid f**ks that are managerial types. Like why do you need a manager in a house?
  • pro-social types
  • anti-social types
  • old and dirty houses
  • cats that might shit in your room
  • off the beaten path places. Some places that are far from anywhere you want to be.
  • drunks
  • random people

How much do share houses in Fukuoka cost?

I paid:

  1. My first room was 30,000 plus 12,000 a month in utilities
  2. My second room was 35,000 plus 12,000 a month in utilities
  3. My third room was 50,000 a month for everything
  4. I visited a share house with cats and a whole lot of shoes that was 42,000 a month
  5. I saw one online that was like 40,000 something for a dorm room (what?!) and like 60,000 something for a private
  6. You are looking at about 35,000 for the cheapest and 60,000+ on the high end for your own room

Are there contracts and fees involved?

Sometimes…

  • cleaning fees which are questionable when no one appears to clean the damn place.
  • a 6 month contract in one
  • no contracts in others
  • 3 months in one
  • 1-3,000 to have a guest spend the night
  • one month deposit in one
  • no deposit in others

What’s the best sharehouse in Fukuoka?

Best for what? It doesn’t exist in my experience.

If you don’t mind interrupted sleep, general dirtiness, being pro-social, living in rickety old house that won’t survive an earthquake, living under a sexually oppressive roof – which means NO SEX, and living with random people then Sharehouse Fukuoka might be for you.

Hehehe, this post was part fiction, but a large part truth.

The abdominal workout that I do at Axis jiu-jitsu (5 exercises & 500 repetitions)

This is at Axis jiu-jitsu in Fukuoka. On some of the weekdays we do an abdominal workout with about 5 different exercises and on this day it totaled about 500 repetitions.

The larger the class the more sit ups we do.

It’s a really awesome core workout.

I think my stomach actually got a little more cut from this, the intermittent fasting I do, and the exercise I sometimes do when I am fasting: jiu-jitsu, riding my bike 12km a day, working out, etc.

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