What is the Aikido Mugenjuku Kenshusei Course?

The 2016 Mugenjuku Kenshusei course begins in April and runs for 11 months.


The Mugenjuku Kenshusei course will take students, regardless of previous Aikido experience, all the way from the beginning basic movements to advanced techniques and jiyu-wza (freestyle). For students with no previous Aikido experience, it will be possible to reach black belt level. For those with previous experience, it will be possible to increase in rank. However, more than just teaching forms and movements, the students will also learn about the relationship between a strong center line, strong balance, and timing. They will learn how to use those together to create extremely powerful techniques. Mugenjuku Kenshusei course Students are expected to always behave in a proper manner showing the proper respect for teachers and other students. Aikido is not a competition and this course is not designed to pit you against other students in a competition. Rather, it is designed to help the student challenge oneself to find their limits and learn how to work past them.

Aims of the course:

  •   To give an understanding of the basic principles of Aikido and budo
  •   To provide an environment where committed students can do “real” training
  •   To cultivate individual personal desire to train
  •   To cultivate an enjoyment of Aikido and Aikido training
  •   To teach all the basic techniques of Yoshinkan Aikido
  •   To recreate physical and mental limits

Qualifications and Course Guidelines:

  • Application deadline March31st
  • A letter of recommendation from either a teacher, business associate, friend, or family member.
  • A letter explaining why the student wants to participate in the Instructor Course and what they hope to achieve.
  • A passport sized photo
  • A completed application form.       Download Application form link or complete an online application

Dojo Mailing Address:

604-0091 Nakagyoku Marutamachi dori
nishi notoin higashi iru
Umeyamachi 171. Kamanza Bldg
Kyoto, Japan

  • The applicant must be 18 years or older
  • The applicant must be in good health
  • Students must abide by Japanese Law at all times. (Those who do not will be expelled from the course)
  • Students must follow dojo rules and etiquette at all times and always show the proper respect for instructors and other students.
  • Some events will require formal dress( suit / dress ).
  • No previous Aikido experience is necessary.
  • There will be a course orientation approximately one week from the beginning of the course, attendance is mandatory. Students who are accepted to the course will be given full details at a later date.

*    The first two months of the course will serve as a probationary period for all Kenshusei. Mugenjuku reserves the right to expel any student during the two month probationary period. After the probationary period, Mugenjuku may be able to provide assistance with applying for a Visa and Visa Sponsorship.

**    See the “Preparations before coming to Japan” section

Typical Day:

The students will arrive at the dojo one hour before class time to clean the dojo and prepare themselves to begin training exactly at the class start time. The training will run for 4 hours separated into two 1.5 hour classes and one 1 hour class, with breaks in between, and end in the early afternoon so the students may work at a job that starts in the afternoon. Training will be held 5 days a week.

Getting around:

Getting around in Kyoto is extremely convenient. Most people do just fine riding a bicycle around the city as it is very logically laid out and all streets run north / south or east /west. For rainy or snowy days, the bus and subway systems are quite extensive and efficient. Mugenjuku instructors will help students find out how to get to each dojo and will help with finding the correct buses / trains, however; it is the student’s responsibility to arrive to each class on time.

Preparations before coming to Japan:

It is recommended that the applicant be in good physical health as the course will be physically taxing for even those who are in the best condition. Training intensively 5 days a week for one year is likely going to come as a shock to most people, especially in the beginning. It is recommended that the applicant begin a course of exercise before leaving for Japan. Please consider carefully your commitment to completing the course before you make the commitment to come to Japan. If a student becomes sick or injured during the course, the student will still be required to attend class and watch. If attendance is not possible, a doctor’s note will be required. If a student becomes severely ill or sustains a chronic or other serious injury that does not allow the student to complete the course, they must drop out. When the student has recovered, the student will be able to join the next available course.

You will need to check with the Japanese Embassy in your home country for specific details about immigrating to Japan and make sure you are clear about everything before coming. Mugenjuku will not do this for you.

It is also recommended that the prospective student study Japanese before coming. It is not at all necessary to be fluent to take the course, however; throughout the daily training and dojo activities, students will encounter situations where it will be helpful to speak and understand some Japanese. The student will also find their time outside of the dojo much more enjoyable if they can handle everyday tasks by themselves.

You are able to stay in Japan for up to 90 days on Tourist visa. After that, you must change your visa status to one of following options:

  1. Working Visa – the most common type for foreigners is the “Instructor” visa which allows you to teach in one of Japan’s many language schools. However, if you are unable to speak English fluently or do not hold a bachelors degree then finding employment may be difficult. We advise you to find employment or at least arrange interviews before coming to Japan.
  2. Cultural Visa – If you are able to fund yourself throughout the course then it may be possible for Mugenjuku to provide Cultural Visa sponsorship for those students who have completed the two month probation period on a case by case basis.(With this visa it is possible to apply for a working permit that allows you to work for 28 hours per week.)

*This is not a guarantee that Mugenjuku can and will sponsor your Visa.

**Students who stay beyond their 90 day visa and do not change their status to a more permanent visa will be considered to be in violation of Japanese law and will be expelled from the course.

Living costs in Japan are relatively high and health insurance is mandatory. We estimate that even on a tight budget you will need around ¥150,000 / month to live. Please note if you apply for a working visa you must have employment that pays at least ¥250,000 / month.


Course Fees:

One month tuition for the program is 30,000 Japanese yen. Students may also pay their tuition all at one time.

Fees that are paid monthly but must be paid before the beginning of the next month. Students who fail to do this will be expelled from the course. If any financial difficulties arise, the student must inform Mugenjuku immediately.

Accommodations / Employment

If you apply early enough to the course, you may be able to get a spot in the Mugenjuku Apartment. On this year’s couse (2014), there are 5 students living in the apartment. The cost is approximately     300 USD per month.

If Mugenjuku is able to sponsor you for a cultural visa, then it is possible that you will be able to get a work permit which would allow you to work 28 hours per week.

If you need help finding accommodations or employment, please contact us and we will try our best to help you.

Also, please check the following websites regarding the above:





Part-time Kenshusei

In addition to our full time Kenshusei course, Mugenjuku also offers a Part Time Kenshusei course. This course, which consists of two 3.5 hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, is similar to the full time Kenshusei course in many ways but is less physically challenging and requires less time commitment, however, it requires the same dedication. The part time Kenshusei course is entirely taught by Jacques Payet Sensei and runs for 9 months beginning in April of every year. The course focuses on understanding and strengthening one’s balance, strengthening the lower body and center line both internally and externally through the basic movements and techniques of Aikido. This course is recommended for those who are interested in becoming an officially recognized Yoshinkan Aikido instructor as well as those looking to push their Aikido to the next level but cannot commit the amount of time necessary to participate in the full time Kenshusei.

A maximum in six participants will be accepted so we recommend that anyone interested apply early.

Mugenjuku reserves the right to alter course content and qualifications at anytime without prior notice. For further information please contact us at aikido.mugenjuku@gmail.com




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