Saturday, November 13, 2010

Internship applications now being accepted for 2011!

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We are still accepting applications for our 9th intern at the Shiramizu Karate Club in Japan.

The application deadline for those wishing to be Intern #9 is January 15, 2011.

The 9th internship will run from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, with the possibility of an extension.

The intern teaches English at various locations to earn money while training at the dojo almost everyday. Each month they participate in tournaments, seminars and other events. In addition, they assist with foreign guests, contribute to the 'Intern Blog' and help out wherever possible in the dojo. Interns also study Japanese at community center language classes run by volunteers. Lastly, they are responsible for training the next intern over a two-week shadowing period at the end of their own internship.

Shiramizu is located in Sugito City, Saitama Prefecture, which is an hour north by train from central Tokyo. It is a full-time dojo with over 450 members run by the popular Takamasa Arakawa Sensei. Shiramizu is one of the most active karate dojos in Japan, and it has warmly accepted previous interns who have all had once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

There is a small furnished apartment for the intern near the dojo. The income earned from teaching English covers all basic living expenses. Interns are encouraged to use their free time to expand the list of English classes and private lessons while utilizing the dojo for personal training.

A few Shiramizu members meet the new intern at the airport (Narita or Haneda) upon their arrival to Japan and they'll also see them off at the airport at the end of their stay.

While the internship accepts applications from anyone regardless of karate experience or style, JKF Wadokai members will be given preference. In previous years, several non-Wadokai members have been selected.

We are looking for someone who exudes positive enthusiasm, who would like to get involved in as much as possible here and who is going to enhance the internship program further.

Upon completion of the internship, we are hoping to see the graduate continue to further their karate development upon returning to their home country, hopefully working towards being an instructor themselves.

All applicants should understand that if selected they must be able to commit to the full internship time period of 12 months, no exceptions.

Applicants must possess a native level English ability since the selected intern will work as a professional English teacher.

Minimum requirements:

Age: Between 20-30 years old (the legal adult age in Japan is 20yrs old therefore the internship is set from age 20).

Education: Minimum English-as-the-main-language high school graduate. An applicant with some post-secondary education of any type is preferred, while recent university/college graduates are ideal.

English language teacher training is an asset. If an applicant has none, then at least they should be willing to take a short (1-2 days) ESL/EFL instructor's course in their hometown at their own expense prior to coming to Japan.

Work experience: Experience working with children. Actual English teaching or tutoring and /or coaching sports experience is a bonus.

Karate experience: Any level of karate experience is ok. As mentioned previously, when two applications are similar, Wadokai members will be given preference.

Non-black belt holders should feel encouraged to apply because being a black belt holder is not a requirement.

If the selected applicant for the internship is from another karate style, they may of course feel free to attend another dojo of the same style in Japan, but they have to commit to going to the Shiramizu dojo to train twice a week to maintain the internship program's interaction with Shiramizu members.

There are about 6 main tournaments in the year the intern will be registered for through Shiramizu. Participating in tournaments and seminars is part of the internship experience.

Previously visited Japan: Due to Japan being quite different from other countries, it will be an asset for applicants who have visited or lived in Japan.

Visa: There are two options.

1) If the selected applicant is from a country in the
working holiday program (English-speaking countries are Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland), then that visa will be used, the person has never had a working holiday visa before. The Shiramizu Director will guide the selected applicant through the application process which they apply for by themselves to their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in their home country where their passport is issued.

2) If the selected applicant is not from a country in the working holiday program (for example, the USA or South Africa), or they have already had a working holiday visa, then Shiramizu will apply for a
cultural visa (bunka katsudo visa) for the new intern and upon receiving a cultural visa letter of eligibility from Japanese immigration, the dojo will mail this document to the applicant to take to their nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. Then that embassy/consulate will make the final determination whether or not to issue the visa, and if everything is ok, it will be stamped into their passport prior to coming to Japan.

Both visas take a few days to weeks to process. Upon being stamped into the applicant's passport, the applicant needs to enter Japan within 3 months to activate the visa or it will expire.

Of course, applicants with legal status already in Japan may also apply.

Final application procedure: While highly unlikely, due to the chance the selected applicant may be denied a visa for some unknown reason (i.e. inability to acquire a passport in time or criminal record in their home country), a runner-up for the internship will also be selected and informed of their runner-up status. The first selected applicant must apply for their visa just under the 3 month mark prior to coming to Japan, so that if they are denied, the runner-up can be informed with enough time to prepare to apply for a visa while getting their things in order to come to Japan.

This procedure makes it fair for everyone applying, while also keeping the internship going. This internship has many responsibilities, for example the various English teaching commitments, so it is important the internship program doesn't fail to keep these commitments going.

Therefore, if you are seriously interested in this internship, please follow these instructions.

Please note that all correspondence with our office will be considered as part of the application

process. Also, should someone be selected as the runner-up or make the short-list, it is important

to understand that should this person apply again the year after, their application ranking will be

higher as determined by the selection committee.

We require;

1. A one-page cover letter. This cover letter must emphasize how you fit the requirements of

this position and what it will mean to you to become an intern.

2. A one-page resume. Please list educational achievements from high school onwards,

experience working with children, any teaching ESL certification, relevant skills for this

internship and any karate experience. Plus please include two references listed on the

bottom of the page including telephone and email contact information.

3. A ‘passport-style’ head and shoulders photograph. This is standard for all job applications

in Japan and it can simply be taken with one’s own personal digital camera. This

photograph will be used to announce the selected intern to the dojo and English schools.

Please only send small file size documents! For example, do not send any large picture files!

The use of proper English is reviewed for all aspects of this application!


A short-list of selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview, or an in-person

interview for those in Japan. The selected intern and the runner-up will be announced prior to

January 25, 2011.

We look forward to hearing from interested applicants. The sooner people apply, the sooner interviews and reference checks can be done.

The selected applicant will receive a detailed handout prior to arriving in Japan explaining everything related to the internship.


Richard, Internship Director

email: karateintern at gmail dot com

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