First off, I’m a first year ALT for new Noto-Cho, and I can only unfortunately provide information therefore on Martial Arts in Ushitsu and the surrounding area for now. However, if you happen to live in this area or travel through often, then you can stop by the 雄志館 (ゆうしかん) a small unmarked building next to Noto-Cho’s Ushitsu-Chuugakko 宇出中学校. Here you will have the opportunity to practice/learn your choice of Karate, Kendo, and or Judo from well qualified teachers who will all tell you how weak they are. The official address is
For the schedule and more info on other locations for martial arts, click more.
Note: the schedule changes on a semi-regular basis depending on whether other locations are booked, or there is a special event.
Kendo in Ushitsu
Saturdays: Children’s class: 6:30– 8:00 (Just changed as of September I believe) (Children’s class); Adult class ~8:00- 9:30 (Adult classes start as soon as children’s classes end). If you’re new to kendo, I recommend coming to the children’s class, it’s still plenty difficult and very fun. (It’s what I do.)
In Matsunami (松波町), they have a kendo a team at one of the middle schools, I think, that is relatively high ranked and practices everyday at the Kendo Arena in Matsunami.
Key People to Know
*There is a 5dan (5th level black belt) very nice lady who works at Matsunami Elementary.
*Terashita-san from the Noto-chou Kyouikuiinkai Board of Education (能登町教育委員会), who is super cool, and is an assistant teacher at the Yuushikan.
* There are 2 other teachers at the Yuushikan and a few at Matsunami as well.
*The coach of the Matsunami Middle school’s team is also friendly and speaks passable English.Karate:
Karate in Suzu
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30(recently they have been starting closer to 8:00) – 9:00, Saturday: 7:30 – 9:00 ish at 武道館 ぶどかん (Budokan) in Suzu 珠洲, across from the nursery school right before the bridge that goes into central Suzu. Those kanji are on the window, and there are also posters of a guy doing a high kicking. Also, I believe this is Kyokushin Style.
*The Suzu Dojo’s Master is this nice older gent, who also is a 4th dan (I think) in Jujitsu (for all you out there that are looking for it). He also has a lot of sparring in his classes and a fair amount of simply beating on each other. He will carry around a kendo shinai (practice bamboo sword) in case he thinks your slacking off. But I think it’s all for laughs, he’s a really a great guy. He will organize Jujitsu classes sometimes if your interested, stick around after class and try out more interesting techniques with him if you dare.
Karate in Ushitsu’s Yuushikan
Wednesday 7:30-9:00; Saturday 7:00-8:30 (a lot of students caught the cold recently so class has been starting closer to 7:30 on saturdays and going untill 8:45)
This is Shorinji Kenpo (Shaolin Kenpo based of Shaolin Kung Fu I think) classes for the most part.
Be prepared to be exhausted and sore from this, I’ve been doing martial arts for 6 or 7 years and my legs don’t like moving after class.
*Maki-san of the Noto-chou Kyouikuiinkai 能登朝教育委員会, she is really chill and also is one of the past reigning champs for Karate Kata (Forms). However, she no longer trains since getting married.
*The Mawaki Elementary 6th grade homeroom teacher is one of the Yuushikan Karate masters. He runs regularly with weights on his legs and like to break bricks with his bare hands. Despite how terrifying that is to see, especially when you’re just chillin at school, he is a pretty quiet guy, but real cool and serious about Full Contact Kumite (sparring) and oldschool pain training.
*The other Yuushikan teacher is a past UFC/Pride competitor. He runs a tight class, and you’ll be dying by the end, lots of calisthenics and kicking and sparring. He also throws in some pretty good self-defense/ real life fight technique stuff.
Note: There are a fair number of students of different ages. There are not many adults, but they are all really cool, nice, funny, and really strong.
Judo: Tuesday, Thursday, evening (probably same as above); Saturday: 9:00-10:30 or 11:00
* I’ve only met the teacher once and his name eludes me, but he’s short but incredibly wide and scary looking. BUT fear not, he is very very very friendly, and speaks passable English for those who don’t speak Japanese. He understands that as English teachers/CIRs, we all have difficult schedules and he doesn’t expect everyone to be there for every class.
The teachers and students often arrive 30 minutes to an hour before and stay quite a bit after as well. However in Suzu, that often equals 10 min. before class starts, and then class just starts late. So if you get there early and its locked all up, don’t worry, they are probably coming, unless the schedule changed and they forgot to notify the foreigners who of course wouldn’t realize the change.
Really key, please remember, that a large part of Japanese culture is centered on humility and being humble. So I hope you will keep that in mind when you enter the dojo. Almost everyone who trains in this area is actually a champion of their age/rank/weight division, so be respectful and just because they might not admit to being skilled, don`t underestimate them. They are all very strong.
礼 Rei, Respect.
In martial arts we strive to preserve a certain level of respect, not only for ourselves and our superiors, but to the art that we practice, the perfection we try to attain, the dojo or training hall we use, and all the people we train with. This is a big aspect of what separates Karate and styles like Taekwondo as a Martial ART from learning how to brawl. As such, here is a basic breakdown of Dojo Etiquette.
- When you arrive, of course take your shoes off.
- When entering the Dojo training floor, step on, then bow (some places may bow before stepping onto the floor
- If people are training, walk around the OUTSIDE EDGE of the room, training space. Do not cross through it
- At the beginning of class you will kneel down into seiza for most arts, and do some kind of initial greetings. In Karate this will be a quick meditation, and then a kowtow (the kneeling bow you often see in movies) and say Osu (Also spelled Oss), Onegai Shimasu (twice). In Kendo there is a certain way to place your sword and hold it as well. When in Seiza, the blade is to the side with the handle starting where your knees are.
- During practice, always bow or salute the person you are about to work with, and again when you’re done (for example if one person is holding a target, after your done your reps, you salute, say thank you, and then hold the target for them)
- At the end of class there is a similar seiza- closing ceremony. Then in Karate you will go around and salute (osu) everyone. Don’t forget someone, they will feel left out.
Most importantly, have Fun and relax!
changes to schedule as of 9/13/2010