Japanese Exchange Students: Opportunities at SJSU Judo

January 27, 2016

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San Jose State Judo has a very rich history of collaboration with judoka from around the world. We receive visitors every year hailing from other continents and other countries. The uniting passion for judo creates lasting bonds and relationships that continue to spur exchange and growth. This tradition started with Mr. Uchida’s effort to bring judoka from Japan to work out at the SJSU dojo. As the SJSU Judo team learns more about judo from the visitors, the visitors travel, meet new people, and learn more about English and life in California.

Our most recent long-stay visitor is Ryugo Ide from Kumamoto, Japan. He is a graduate and judoka of Nittaidai University with very clean, explosive throws and tricky newaza. Ryugo and the staff and coaches at SJSU Judo collaborated to create this interview to offer insight. Those who might be interested in coming to SJSU to travel, do judo, and learn english, should take the time to read this interview and get in touch with the SJSU Judo team on the website or Facebook. 


Ryugo Ide


  1. What did you know about SJSU Judo program before coming to the United states? (渡米する前、SJSU柔道について何か知っていましたか?)

I heard that SJSU had strong judo in the U.S., and I heard that many medalists have been graduates from here. I also heard that the coach was Sensei Shintaro Nakano, who was very active in the judo community in Japan.


  1. How would you describe the SJSU Judo team and teamates?SJSU?(の柔道チームとチームメイトはどのような感じですか?)

They are splendid students trying to study and do judo. This is very hard and difficult. Although this is a team, each player is conscious of being an individual in an individual sport. I was shy, so I couldn’t speak to others on my own. But students were friendly and they were speaking to me one after another and made me practice conversation. Everyone really helped me. I am still taking advantage of this opportunity and I would like to overcome my shyness.



Ryugo training with Olympic Bronze Medalist, Marti Malloy.

  1. What is the practice schedule like? (どのような練習スケジュールなのですか?)

 Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Tachiwaza Randori, Newaza Randori, Uchikomi, Nagekomi
 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Uchikomi, Nagekomi, Practice drills, Weight training
 Sunday: Rest


  1. Did you find any differences in Judo style between Japan and the United States? (日本の柔道とアメリカの柔道の違いは感じましたか?)

One big difference I have noticed is that some athletes do not know how to be uke. Uke in Japan is basic and it comes from firm coaching. So I feel that there is not much teaching Uke in the United States.



Tower Hall, the center of SJSU Campus.

  1. What is your English school like? (あなたの語学学校はどのような感じですか?)

I go to Golden Gate language school (GGLS). The environment to study is very wonderful here. GGLS teaches grammar, conversation, pronunciation, reading, and writing class. The level is also divided into12 levels, and there even is an advanced class from the beginner’s course.

There are not many Japanese people at the school, so I think it’s a very good environment to learn English. I feel that the teacher is very wonderful in particular. You will learn English and it is pretty fun. This is also one of the charm.

私はゴールデンゲートランゲージスクールGGLS という所に通っています。ここは勉強の環境がとても素晴らしいです。文法、会話、発音、聴き取り、書き取りなどしっかりとした勉強システム があります。レベルも初級〜上級まで12レベルに分かれており、日本人も少なくクラスも少人数制で英語を学ぶにはとても良い場所だと思います。私が特に感じる事は、先生方がとても素晴らしい方ばかりなのでとても理解しやすくて楽しく授業が受けれる所も魅力の1つだと思います。

  1. Did you have any challenge learning English? (英語の勉強で難しかった事は何ですか?)

By speaking English, I have learned the importance of hearing and listening skills. I have learned a lot, but I must say that native pronunciation is completely different from what I expected.


  1. What is your life like in California? (カリフォルニアの生活はどの様なものですか?)

California life is very comfortable. The whole year is almost always sunny. Unlike Japan, the United States does not have a big bathtub (ofuro), and most houses have only showers, but it does not bother me much.



Kousuke and Ryugo skydiving!

  1. What are your plans for the future? (あなたの将来の計画は何ですか?)

I have two goals. First of all, would like to be involved in the work and preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in Japan in 2020. It’s best if I can work in the Olympics, which was my dream.

Secondly, I’d like to coach judo overseas. The Japanese culture of judo is very wonderful. I think judoka around the world need instructors to teach the Japanese style of judo, and I can offer that. I can share the pleasure and knowledge of judo using English, and maybe someday I can coach and train an Olympian.



  1. Would you recommend the SJSU Judo program to other International students? (SJSU Judoプログラムを他の留学生に推薦しますか?)

Yes. I would recommend San Jose Judo. They have a very good environment to study and do judo. Please come to San Jose if you are interested in living in the United States. SJSU is waiting for everyone.


12544642_800209156789886_591626068_oKousuke, Eri, and Ryugo with dedicated SJSU Judo sponsor Gary Matteoni.


Contact Info:

 For more info: Click Here