Keirin school!

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
You can sign up for two different schools here in Japan. The first is much easier and is at Shuzenji Continental Cycling Centre. It's a 1 or 2 week course and aimed a teaching you and getting you certified to race on Velodromes and isn't just Keirin but teach you all the different types of racing on the track.

The other is actually through the Keirin Association Japan :

A daily schedule of training is found here: http://bg.keirin.jp/en/depth/school/index.html

There are actually a few pro Keirin riders from outside of Japan, I'm not entirely sure how you can actually go about joining a school and I do know the schools have a massive failure rate in thier boot camps.

Tomity is the best guy to talk to as he is a retired Pro.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,002
176
83
Tokyo
#3
I don't think the question was about joining the school, but the info on the two week course is spot on.

Joining the school is possible until you are 30, there are yearly tryouts. Target times are not published in advance, but rather the top percentiles are chosen. To this day, no foreigner has ever been enrolled in Keirin school this way. There was an American guy in Osaka who wanted to and would have likely been fast enough, but was discouraged because of his advanced age and singular career track.
International pros like Shane Perkins (YouTube) that are invited yearly, are undergoing a crash course at the Keirin school, how much their curriculum is the same as Japanese pupils I don't know.

The school is quite isolated and purposefully so. That means that you need an in by one pf the officials there to see any training in person and the most exposure possible is watching a trial race from the rafters.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
381
56
48
Fukushima
#4
Yeah, I was referring to the Keirin Association School where they train professional riders.

I wouldn't want to actually join. I'm too old, too fat, too slow, hate public bathing, can't live without alcohol / freedom, and I don't want to be a keirin rider. But I would think taking the exam for shits and giggles would be fun. I am curious if the students have to pay room and board. I know the kyotei (boat race) school costs about a million yen to attend, but I think there's more money in keirin, so maybe it's free.

I wonder if you have to have your own official keirin bike to take the test? Or do they lend them out?


I saw some of the students there looked pretty darn chubby for cyclists...

It sounds like the most surefire way to get in shape, which is what interested me.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
I'm pretty sure the JK take their courses (and training) very seriously. And as such, dedicate a huge part of their life to it. They are very selective and careful about whom they accept into the course. Also, like FE says, there is a generalized course for riders there - and also a Juniors UCI course (which you are too old for). One of my track buddies (also a semi-retired Keirin Racer) told me that to even participate in tryout it really depends on getting a 'stable' to sponsor you. It's a fairly extensive interview process, and again, they don't want time wasters involved in this serious program.

Don't confuse 'Keirin' with Track Racing! They are completely different animals! It's like you going to a major horse racing track and asking if you can take one of the thoroughbreds around the course and learn to be a Jockey in a day!

If you want to get into shape, why not get a decent bike and do what alot of the <real> Keirin riders do - start long riding Arakawa. Then get to know some riders and eventually get invite to some open track sessions. From there , more doors may open.



Yeah, I was referring to the Keirin Association School where they train professional riders.

I wouldn't want to actually join. I'm too old, too fat, too slow, hate public bathing, can't live without alcohol / freedom, and I don't want to be a keirin rider. But I would think taking the exam for shits and giggles would be fun. I am curious if the students have to pay room and board. I know the kyotei (boat race) school costs about a million yen to attend, but I think there's more money in keirin, so maybe it's free.

I wonder if you have to have your own official keirin bike to take the test? Or do they lend them out?


I saw some of the students there looked pretty darn chubby for cyclists...

It sounds like the most surefire way to get in shape, which is what interested me.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#6
Don't confuse 'Keirin' with Track Racing! They are completely different animals! It's like you going to a major horse racing track and asking if you can take one of the thoroughbreds around the course and learn to be a Jockey in a day!.
Very true, one of my training buddies is a S-Class Keirin rider Yamada Shinichiro and he was telling that Japanese Keirin and IOC Keirin are again very different animals and one of the reasons why you will never see Chris Hoy in Japan or a Japanese rider male and female from Japan win a gold medal at the Olympics as these guys and gals will race 3 or 4 events in a day, sometimes back to back.

Again as Tim mentions, its a business and they stables really don't want time wasters or sightseers wasting time and resourses - if you want a feel for what it's like for a UCI Pro rider, go sign up for the track camp at Shuzenji. They can supply your with pretty much everything as long as you are under 170cm and ride anything under a 54cm frame. :D

I actually want to do the track camp at Shuzenji as some of the junior riders from Champion System attended last year before the Asia games and said it was absolutely brillant and they have English speaking staff for those not able to read or speak Japanese.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#7
Yeah - their UCI camp is really a hidden jewel. It has alot of funding and they try to reach out to other Asian countries to populate it. It's part of the mandate of their sponsorship to UCI, btw. I do think that program is limited to U23, though, as they are trying to pump up Japan Cycling a bit more in earnest for Olympics chance. I'll have to check again - it was noted in some of the UCI communiques that come across now and then.. I'll be visiting one of the JK board members on Thursday - I'll ask him about it as well.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
381
56
48
Fukushima
#8
Very true, one of my training buddies is a S-Class Keirin rider Yamada Shinichiro and he was telling that Japanese Keirin and IOC Keirin are again very different animals and one of the reasons why you will never see Chris Hoy in Japan or a Japanese rider male and female from Japan win a gold medal at the Olympics as these guys and gals will race 3 or 4 events in a day, sometimes back to back.

Again as Tim mentions, its a business and they stables really don't want time wasters or sightseers wasting time and resourses - if you want a feel for what it's like for a UCI Pro rider, go sign up for the track camp at Shuzenji. They can supply your with pretty much everything as long as you are under 170cm and ride anything under a 54cm frame. :D

I actually want to do the track camp at Shuzenji as some of the junior riders from Champion System attended last year before the Asia games and said it was absolutely brillant and they have English speaking staff for those not able to read or speak Japanese.
I'm 180 cm and ride a 56...hehe

How much does the Shuzenji camp cost?

One thing that I couldn't find on the national keirin school's website is how long the school lasts. If I had to guess, I'd say about six months. Does anyone know?
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#9
As far as I know it never ends. The pro riders I know attend 'class' continuously. They have multiple training camps during the year, are under constant coaching and also required to sempai younger riders. Once accepted, the rider is in guild for life, basically.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#11
S class riders make MILLIONS! But as Tim points out they also live a monk like exsistance and a day prior to races have a complete media blackout and are not allowed to contact anyone, family members are also not allowed to attend any races.
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
381
56
48
Fukushima
#12
Yeah, I was aware that the top (like any sport with big money involved) make millions, but I wonder how much the people at the bottom and middle make. In tennis, for example, bottom 500 and lower barely eak out livings through small pro tournaments with prize money in the hundreds, because travel, coaching, and hotels cost a fortune. People in the top 250 might make typical full time wages, but even a career prize money in the millions doesn't mean millionaire. To really make pro athlete money you have to break into the top 100.
 
Jul 26, 2011
98
5
28
Tokyo
#13
Are you guys talking about the UCI CCC at Shuzenji? I don't think that's limited to U23...maybe we're talking about different things.

Oh, and the Shuzenji velodrome (which is incredibly impressive; 45 degree banks!) has amateur races every few months. Next one's in September, and yes, I'm definitely considering going/signing up.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#14
Pedal Strike, yes I am talking about UCI CCC, there is no age limit as its the Asian Centre of Excellence and the course is for everyone that wishes to take up or learn about track racing in any discipline.
 
Likes: GSAstuto
Jul 26, 2011
98
5
28
Tokyo
#16
I have no clue what they are doing now (which is why I'm meeting with one of the JK guys tonite). Even the website hasn't been updated for a year ... http://www.csc.or.jp/ccc/

@PedalStrike - does that mean you'll be joining us this Sunday for some track workout?
Sunday? WHERE????

My track bike has been collecting dust for the past 2 years, and it needs work, but I rode it on a track in NY and want to try improving my 200m FTT.

Let me know about the UCI CCC thing. I know a pro cyclist (I think?) who took one of the training courses. I thought it was only for people who were invited to do it?
 

baribari

Maximum Pace
May 28, 2010
381
56
48
Fukushima
#17
I looked it up on the Japanese Wikipedia and it seems that graduation takes between six months to a little less than a year, depending on the individual. The school doesn't cost anything but you have to pay for clothing, equipment, and food. But you can borrow the funds from JKA, and it will be taken out of your prize money if you become become a pro, and this apparently costs at least a million yen).

Just got off the phone with the Keirin office in Sendai... apparently the next entrance exam will be in October/November, with an application deadline in August, and information will be online soon.

If I'm still in Japan I think I will apply...just to say I did.