Visiting and Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Japan (Kyoto and Osaka) Part 1

Land of the rising sun, anime, and vending machines, Japan is a definitely a place you should visit if you ever get the chance.  My girlfriend and I spent about a week visiting Kyoto and Osaka, each city having its own uniqueness. Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, has maintained a lot of the traditional Japanese culture and historical sites whereas Osaka looks slightly more modern (but has retained a lot of the old culture as well). It was a great experience overall and I hope to come back to visit other cities in Japan sometime in the future. Since this will be a long post, I decided to make it into 2 parts. Make sure to check out part 2 as well!

The BJJ Experience

Unfortunately I only trained in Kyoto due to an MCL Injury. But even being able to train once in Japan was a blessing. I decided to visit Ground Core BJJ, a school run by Takeshi Morimoto Sensei. The school is located to the West of Kyoto, the best way to get there is either by train, bus, or by taxi. Although Takeshi Sensei spoke very limited English, the environment was very friendly and welcoming. Class started 7:30pm, with the usual warm-up drills and then went right into technique. After going through 3 to 4 positions, we did positional sparring. At 9:00pm, the rolling started. Ground Core BJJ has a lot of mixed belts. Everyone there is super tough so be ready for some hard rolls. 

The school has a small changing room but does not seem to have showers. Overall it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend stopping by if you ever get the chance.

Website: http://www.ground-core.com/

Schedule:

Tuesday 19: 30 ~ 21: 00 Jiu-Jitsu 21: 00 ~ 22: 00 roll

Thursday 19: 30 ~ 21: 00 Jiu-Jitsu 21: 00 ~ 22: 00 Roll

Friday 19: 30 ~ 21: 00 NO GI 21: 00 ~ 22: 00 Roll

Saturday 20: 00 ~ 21: 00 Jiu-Jitsu 21: 00 ~ 22: 00 roll

Key Information For Your Trip

  • Make sure to carry cash. Japan, despite being a “first world country”, is still extremely cash based. Only big companies and some tourist areas will take credit/debit card. Also if you need an ATM, your best bet would be to go to the local 7-Elevens, open 24/7.
  • Make sure to walk on the left side, both on the escalators and on the streets.  (Osaka is the only place you walk on the right, for some reason)
  • Don’t need to tip
  • Subways are not 24/7 and it gets difficult to find a taxi in the later hours of the night, so plan accordingly

Check out part 2 of this post! Go into my details about where to go, how to get around, and what to eat!

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