Friday, 18 July 2014

Permanent Residency Application Submitted

Click to enlarge to see chart of submitted items.
As of July the 9th I've lived and worked in Japan for a whole 10 years. Big pat on the back for me, I'm officially one of those tired looking gaijin slumped at the bar in Golden Gai. People have been surprised that I can use "chopstick" about 3,500 times and I finally understand after being told 400 times that Japan has 4 seasons.

So to make housing loans easier down the line I decided to get my 永住権 or permanent residency.
I looked up the new points system chart and can see that I have enough points to meet the 70 required.

40 pts: from being age 38 and earning plenty of money
20 pts: from working in Japan for 10 years
10 pts: from having a degree

Here's what I submitted this morning at the Shinagawa middle of nowhere immigration centre:

1. Application form
2. 1 photo attached to application form with tiny bulldog clip
3. Certificate of residence (住民票)
4. Residence tax proof of payment certificate for the last 3 years
5. Proof of your guarantor's income for the last year.
6. Certificate of employment
7. 3 years of certificate of income and withholding tax
8. Letter of guarantee, signed by guarantor (wife).
9. Letter of recommendation written by hand - not required, but helpful.
10. Copy of your bank statement - not required, but helpful.
11. Colour copy of property deeds
12. Colour copy of degree certificate
13. Colour copy of residency card from and back
14. Colour copy of passport
15. Colour copy of all family member passports on one sheet

NOTE: Certificate of 'registered matters' (外国人登録原票記載事項証明書
gaikokujin touroku genpyo kisai jiko shoumeisho) was recently discontinued with the introduction of those new residency cards and now the 住民票 will do.

NOTE: I never got around to the 'Letter stating the reason you want to apply, in Japanese.'

NOTE: I was going to submit the family register 戸籍謄本 too, but I forgot to pick it up yesterday. What's on that that isn't on the 住民票 anyway?

NOTE: There are points if you have the Japanese proficiency JLPT level 1. I probably should have submitted proof of Japanese ability.

NOTE: I should have submitted proof of all volunteer work I've done. Japanese blogs say that stuff helps.

NOTE: Kuyakusho told me income tax payment certificate 所得課税証明書 / shotoku kazei shoumeisho is the same as 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho and wouldn't give it to me. So I only submitted 3 years of 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho.

NOTE: For bank statements I copied one 通帳 from Mizuho bank showing dates as 2004, and another recent 通帳 from SMBC showing the massive loan for a house we just got in 2014, ten years later. Shinsei bank that I use for my monthly pay is internet only, and totally awesome for a regular bank because they have free bank transfers, good forex rates, and free ATM withdrawals.

NOTE: My wife was my guarantor, she has no current employer so no certificate of employment.

NOTE: Did not supply map to my house.

NOTE: Permanent residency application submitted on Friday, July the 18th 2014.


1. Doors at the middle of nowhere Shingawa immigration centre open at 8:30am. At 8:30am there's usually a queue of about 50 people all after different things. When the doors open everyone runs in different directions to where they need to be. Be near the front of the queue and run upstairs to counter B.

2. Counter B is for all visa application stuff. Get to the counter before 9am and you collect a number.

3. With any luck you have a low enough number to be in the first flight of people being served. Write your address on a postcard, say thank you and you could be out of there by 9:10.

*** 2014/12/05 UPDATE ***
Got a letter from the immigration centre asking for:
1) Wife's Kosseki Tohon (戸籍謄本)
2) 3 years of tax statements including this year.

I'm sure I sent this stuff in the July application, but asking for this stuff rather than just failing the application is a great sign. Went straight down to the ward office, got the requirements, and sent back.

*** 2014/12/15 UPDATE ***
Phoned up the immigration centre to ask how the application is going. Bloke said: "Daibu susunde imasu ne, kongetsu-chu ni kekka ha deru to omou". Very promising!

*** 2014/12/22 UPDATE ***
Getting impatient so phoned up again. Bloke said: "Shinsei ha saisyuusteki na joutai desu. Koko ha 26nichi made kedo, girigiri nennnai ni todoku to omou"

*** 2014/12/25 UPDATE ***
Went to take the wrapping paper rubbish out on Christmas Day, and what a Christmas present in the post box! Postcard telling me to come to the immigration centre to pick up my permanent residence arrived!

*** 2014/12/26 UPDATE ***
Picked up my permanent residence card:
1) Arrived at the immigration centre at 11am
2) Got 8,000 yen's worth of revenue stamps at family mart
3) No queue so handed postcard, passport and gaijin card straight in at the counter
4) 5 minutes wait
5) Picked up old gaijin card with hole in it, new gaijin card with "永住者" on it, and passport.

1) So now what happens if I leave Japan? The permanent residency is held in my gaijin card. But when you leave Japan you have to hand that in.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Arttu Summer 2014 Strength Cycle

After the The Arttu Winter 2013 Strength Cycle yielding modest gains in strength numbers, and the open over, it's time to embark on the 1st of 3 more strength cycles up to Christmas.

The target is to get 5kg on the backsquat per cycle and achieve bodyweight (80kg) snatch before the year ends.

Strength training 3 days a week, with a Sunday snatch/clean and jerk weightlifting session.
Strength training will begin with an olympic lift, then finish with back squats.
Back squats will vary from heavy low rep to build strength, to medium weight medium rep, to light weight high rep to build muscle.
Every 4th week is a deload week.

Beginning stats on 20140420 (Sunday)

Back squat 114kg Snatch 74kg Clean 97kg Jerk 91kg
Clean and Jerk 87kg Deadlift 145kg
Bench 88kg OHS 101kg Press 62kg Front squat 102kg Weighted pull-up 26kg and weighted dip 38kg

End stats on 20140719 (Saturday) after 12 weeks.

Back squat 121kg (+6kg) Snatch 75kg (+1kg) Clean 100kg (+3kg) Jerk ??kg
Clean and Jerk 90kg (+3kg) Deadlift 1??kg
Bench ??kg OHS 101kg Press 58kg (-4kg) Front squat 1??kg Weighted pull-up ??kg and weighted dip ??kg

Friday, 31 January 2014

Kie's Predictions for the Crossfit Open 2014

After my predictions for the 2012 Crossfit Open two years ago, and my predictions for 2013, I'll have a shot at predicting what to expect this year. I am a crossfitter who is a fan of all the games dating all the way back, and know all the open and regional workouts. Again, this is just for fun:

Prediction Workout 14.1 -
7min AMRAP
Hand release push-ups
Double unders
Wall Ball
3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21

There's a ladder every year.
Like all years it's all inclusive, everyone get's some of their $20 worth.
Ladder format has never been applied to more than a couplet.

Prediction Workout 14.2 - 
10min AMRAP 
Grace + Isabel

Reason: Beginners will remain included but struggle with Grace, average guys will struggle with Isabel, and it's a met-con for the elite. Good way to separate things out on week 2. One barbell makes it logistically easy and everyone knows the benchmarks.

Prediction Workout 14.3 -   
10min AMRAP of:
60 Bar-facing burpees
30 Overhead squats 55kg
10 Muscle-ups

This is the comparison workout for 2014.
3 years of difference so HQ can brag about how everyone is getting stronger etc.
Overhead squats have had too much of a hiatus.
There has to be a workout in the format of 13.3 with a horrible buy-in, some skill, then fatigued muscle-ups.

Prediction Workout 14.4 - 
18min AMRAP
9 Toes-to-bar
12 Sumo DL Highpull 100lb
15 Backsquat 100lb

There's usually a long one.
A controversial movement for 2014 - "That barbell wasn't up to clavicle!"

Prediction Workout 14.5 - 
7 Thruster 100lb
7 Chest-to-bar
Score is number of reps up to their incomplete round.

Last workout is always 100lb thrusters and CTB in some combination.
Not sure if this is the right guess because some elite guys will go forever.

1. Overhead squats haven't been in since 2011. They weren't in 2013 either, that's too long.
2. 2012 and 2013 tested the heavy snatch, this year is likely to be the year of the heavy clean & jerk and snatch will only be used in a light power form if it's in.
3. Pistols and HSPU might come up, but they didn't last year after I worked on them so I'll leave them alone and have healthier knees for it.
4. There was so much controversy/hassle with box jumps last year I reckon they'll leave them alone this year.
5. I'll update this post after the open with the actual workouts and a review.

Update - Here are the actual WODs






What the 2014 CF open would look like if I planned it:
1 muscle-up
500 OHS at 90kg from the floor

10 minutes to find
1RM Hang snatch

30min AMRAP

10 minutes to find
1RM back of neck split jerk

One arm dumbbell snatch ladder

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Shroom TECH Sport - Review

About 6 months ago I listened to Robb Wolf on the Joe Rogan podcast discussing Onnit Labs products. Joe Rogan was asking Rob about what he thought of the ingredients in some of the Onnit labs products. To sum up Robb Wolf said they were all natural so he saw no reason not to try them. Joe Rogan said they are all amazing products and he loves them all.

Then last month, the owner of Onnit Labs was a guest on the wodcast podcast. He explained his products very well and the one I was interested in most was "Shroom TECH Sport". There's lots of explanations of what it does on the internet but basically it gives you 50% more oxygen while working out. To me this sounded too amazing not to try because I'm always gassed during workouts.

It arrived last weekend so I decided to test it.

Test Plan

8 hours sleep the night before
Paleo food the day before
Train fasted
Train at 7am (1 hour after waking)
Leave one day rest between workouts

Train the below workout:


Three rounds for time of:
Row 1000 meters
50 Burpees
50 Box jumps, 24" box
Run 800 meters

The reason I chose the above workout is because I know it gasses me out, it's long so any differences would show up in a big way, all the movements require little skill, and my rowing is very consistent.

Control Result

Time: 52 mins 42 seconds

Test Result
( 3 Shroom TECH Sport pills were taken 45mins prior to workout start as per instructions on the bottle )

Time: 51 mins 34 seconds


Does nothing.

I did not feel any different between workout 1 and workout 2. When I do the same workout back to back I always improve my result so a 68 second PR in such a long met-con is normal for me. Had no feelings of being energised and my recovery between rowing, burpee sets, box jump sets, and 800m felt no different.

Irrelevant information: I did the workouts with a friend who got around 45 mins

This was a pity because I really wanted this product to work after reading a lot of bad things about Aubrey Marcus (WarriorPoetUS). There are a lot slandering comments about him on the internet related to phishing scams and people lose respect for him because he has another company that sells vibrators for men.

I also wanted this product to work so I could train harder. I will not be using it again and will make use of Onnit's refund policy. I'll update this blog post with how the refund goes later.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Arttu Winter 2013 Strength Cycle

I'm following Arttu's strength cycle to the letter, doing no other work in the gym. I'll go in the gym, do the menu, and get out to rest/recover. The only other things I'll do myself is mobilise before, stretch after, eat clean and sleep well. I've no idea what he has in store, and that's the best way if I'm going to follow blindly. All I know is that we'll do it until Christmas, then test maxes again.

Pre Cycle (3 weeks)
Before we start focusing on increasing strength, I want to know your strength goals, where are you looking to be at and what kind of weights you wanna be throwing up? Also what is your biggest weakness (as in what is your weakest lift)?

Let's spend the next few weeks finding your PR's on all the big lifts and movements.

Back squat, front squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, OHS, press, bench, weighted dips and chins. I want these spread in to a span of 2 weeks or even 3 weeks, I want you to wake up in the morning and have the feeling that today I can lift some heavy sh*t! You have to be physically and mentally ready when hitting your 1 rep maxes. Once we find your 1 rep maxes then will start to focus on increasing those numbers and attacking your weaker points. The way I want you to divide them (whatever day you start on): Day 1: Back squat Day 2: Snatch Day 3: Clean Day 4: Deadlift & Bench Day 5: OHS Day 6: Press Day 7: Front squat Day 8: Weighted chins and dips This does not mean to go 8 days straight I want you to have at least 1 rest day in between. Result
Day 1: Back squat 110kg Day 2: Snatch 73kg Day 3: Clean 92kg Day 4: Deadlift 145kg & Bench 88kg Day 5: OHS 95kg Day 6: Press 62kg Day 7: Front squat 92kg Day 8: Weighted pull-up 26kg and weighted dip 40kg

Week 1
Plan is to take the 1RM numbers found in the 3 week pre-cycle and work on building lifts at 85% of that. Increasing numbers until 10 reps at 85% of pre-cycle 1RM is accomplished.

Irrelevant to the strength goal, but so as not to lose all cardiovascular ability. There will be short, 4-8min met-cons thrown in.

Day 1: 3 Pos Clean 70%/75%/78%/78%, 3-3-3-3 Jerk 3-3-3 FS

Day 2: Hang Pwr Snatch 55%/65%/75%, Snatch Pull 80/85/90, OHS 3x5, Snatch Press 4x5
Day 3: Clean 55%/65/75/85, Spl Jrk 75/80/85, Clean Dead 80/85/90, HPwr clean 5x10
Day 4: 20 min met-con

Week 2

Day 1: Hng Sq Snatch 65%~85%, Hang Sq Clean, BS 80%~90%
Day 2: Pwr CL/FS 65~85%, Clean Dead 5x3, Spl Jrk 65~85%
Day 3: Pwr Sn+3OHS 55~65%, Cl Hi Pull 3x2, Sn Pu-press 3x3, BS 90% 1x5

Week 3

Day 1: Sn Pull + Sn Hi Pull + Pwr Sn 55~65%, Pwr Sn x2x4, Sn Dead 3x3, BS 70~90%x2
Day 2: Long Met-con
Day 3: Cl+2 jerk 65~75%, FS 85% 2x5, Good Mornings 30%(BS) 8x4
Day 4: Long Met-con
Day 5: Pwr Sn 75% 1x8, Pwr Cl 75% 1x8, OHS 65~75% 3x4, Bent O Rows 40%(dead) 4x4

Week 4 - deload week
Plan this week is to not go above 55% of maxes and to do all eccentric movements fast. fast out of the hole, fast bar movement off shoulders etc.
Day 1: Push Press 55%, Met-con Day 2: 3 Pos clean 55%, Push Jerk 55%, FS 55%, Met-con Day 3: 3 Pos snatch 55%, Snatch Pull 55%, OHS 55%

Donnie Shankle Seminar Lifting

Day 1: Snatch 69kg Day 2: Clean & Jerk 83kg PR

Week 5

Day 1: Snatch, C&J, back extensions 5x10 Day 2: Snatch, OHS 1RM, Good Morning 4x10 Day 3: Snatch, C&J, BS, Snatch Dead


It was a massive undertaking to write all exercises and weights and sets on here as well as on my BTWB page.

All together this cycle lasted for 3 weeks pre-cycle and then 13 weeks, here are the results.


Back squat 114kg Snatch 74kg Clean 97kg Deadlift 145kg & Bench 88kg OHS 101kg Press 62kg Front squat 102kg Weighted pull-up 26kg and weighted dip 38kg


Back squat 4kg Snatch 1kg Clean 5kg Deadlift untested & Bench untested OHS 6kg Press -3kg Front squat 10kg Weighted pull-up untested and weighted dip -2kg

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Protein in easy to Use Packets

Which one is the healthiest?

Labrada Nutrition, Carb Watchers Lean Body Hi- Protein Meal Replacement Shake 

Price per packet: $2.683
Protein per packet: 40g
Carbs per packet: 12g
Fat per packet: 4.5g
Price per gram of protein: $0.067

Strawberry Ice Cream: LeanPro (cross flow micro ultrafiltered whey protein isolate, cross flow micro ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate [non-GMO]), natural & artificial flavors, EFA Plex (sunflower oil, creamer [high oleic sunflower oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, mono- and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, tocopherols], MCT oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil), Fiber Plex (polydextrose, Fibersol 2 Fiber, cellulose gum, oat flour, rice bran), vitamin & mineral blend (di-calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide, electrolytic iron, zinc oxide, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper gluconate, riboflavin, vitamin A acetate, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid, potassium iodide, cyanocobalamin), beet juice powder, salt, sucralose, acesulfame potassium. Allergen Information: Contains milk, soy.

Conclusion: Contains too much sh*te.

EAS, Myoplex Original Shake Mix

Price per packet: $2.339
Protein per packet: 42g
Carbs per packet: 22g
Fat per packet: 4.5g
Price per gram of protein: $0.056

Whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, milk protein isolate, dairy creamer (sunflower oil, sodium caseinate, mono- and diglycerides, potassium phosphate, soy lecithin, tocopherols), oat fiber, natural and artificial flavor, calcium phosphate, vitamin and mineral blend (magnesium oxide, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, ascorbic acid, niacinamide, ferrous fumarate, zinc oxide, calcium pantothenate, manganese gluconate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, boron proteinate, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, biotin, chromium citrate, potassium iodide, molybdenum amino acid chelate, selenium amino acid chelate, cyanocobalamin), potassium phosphate, medium chain triglycerides, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, xanthan gum, carrageenan, acesulfame potassium, whey protein isolate, potassium citrate, sucralose, l-glutamine, taurine, egg albumin, sodium phosphate and beta-carotene. Contains milk, soy and egg ingredients.

Conclusion: Not buying the oats and n6 oils.

22 Days Plant Protein Power

Price per packet: $3.60
Protein per packet: 22g
Carbs per packet: 9g
Fat per packet: 1.5g
Price per gram of protein: $0.164

Organic whole grain brown rice protein, organic natural flavor, organic guar gum, sea salt, organic stevia leaf extract.

Conclusion: Too expensive and I'm not read up on rice protein. Nothing against rice but I like animals.

Vibrant Health, PureGreen Protein, Version 2.0

Price per packet: $2.776
Protein per packet: 20g
Carbs per packet: 4g
Fat per packet: 1.6g
Price per gram of protein: $0.139

no ingredients listed

Conclusion: Can't choose this one because the ingredients weren't listed. Sorry Vibrant health.

Tera's Whey, Organic Whey Protein

Price per packet: $2.865
Protein per packet: 21g
Carbs per packet: 4g
Fat per packet: 1.5g
Price per gram of protein: $0.136

Organic dairy whey protein concentrate, organic vanilla, organic stevia leaf extract, organic soy lecithin.
Gluten free, rBGH free, non GMO
Packaged in a plant that handles, stores, and processes dairy, egg, soy, and wheat.

Conclusion: Cleanest, endorsed by Jeremy Goldstrich

Garden of Life, RAW Protein, Beyond Organic Protein Formula

Price per packet: $1.92
Protein per packet: 17g
Carbs per packet: 3g
Fat per packet: N/A
Price per gram of protein: $0.113

Brewer's yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae), lactobacillus bulgaricus, natto.
Contains (fermented) soy.
Contains no filler ingredients, artificial colors or preservatives

Conclusion: Where is the protein coming from? Yeast?

Now Foods, Sports, Whey Protein Isolate

Price per packet: $1.91
Protein per packet: 23g
Carbs per packet: 3g
Fat per packet: 1g
Price per gram of protein: $0.083

Microfiltered whey protein isolate (providing ß-lactoglobulin, a-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins and glycomacro peptides), natural flavors, creamer powder, organic turbinado sugar, betterstevia [organic stevia extract (stevia rebaudiana) (leaf)], sea salt, xanthan gum, purified stevia extract (stevia rebaudiana) (leaf) and soy lecithin (<1 font="">
Contains milk and soy.

Conclusion: Very cheap and ingredients look as solid as it gets.

Champion Nutrition, Ultramet

Price per packet: $2.795
Protein per packet: 41g
Carbs per packet: 20g
Fat per packet: 4g
Price per gram of protein: $0.0682

Peptol EX (proprietary blend consisting of: whey protein isolate, calcium caseinate, milk protein isolate, potassium caseinate, egg albumen, whey protein concentrate, whole milk powder, sodium caseinate, L-glutamine, taurine, and calcium alpha-ketoglutarate), maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavoring, fructose, vitamin-mineral blend consisting of: (dicalcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, potassium phosphate, potassium citrate, choline bitartrate, potassium chloride, vitamin E acetate, ascorbic acid, ferrous fumarate, beta-carotene, boron proteinate, biotin, niacinamide, zinc oxide, manganese gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, molybdenum amino acid chelate, copper gluconate, folic acid, vitamin D3, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, chromium polynicotinate, selenium amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, cyanocobalamin), canola oil, salt, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, aspartame*, CitriMax (garcinia cambogia extract), medium-chain triglycerides, carrageenan, bromelain, borage oil, acesulfame-potassium, mono- and diglycerides.
Contains milk, egg, and soy*Phenylketonurics: This product contains phenylalanine.
Allergy Warning: Produced in a facility that processes milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, wheat, and crustacean shellfish derivatives.

Conclusion: Currently buying cos all flavours taste great and 42g protein. Changing because it contains fructose, canola, soy and traces of other crap.

Jarrow Formulas, 100% Natural Whey Protein

Price per packet: $1.573
Protein per packet: 17g
Carbs per packet: 6g
Fat per packet: 1g
Price per gram of protein: $0.0925

100% Ultra-filtered Whey Protein from milk, fructose, natural flavor, lecithin (from soy), guar gum, Fibersol-2 (resistant maltodextrin), and lo han guo (momordica grosvenorii).
Contains: Milk and soy.
No wheat, no gluten, no egg, no fish/shellfish, no peanuts\tree nuts.
Contains NO artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners.
This product contains no added L-Tryptophan.

Conclusion: Trying to get away from fructose.

Jay Robb, Egg White Protein

Price per packet: $2.49
Protein per packet: 24g
Carbs per packet: 4g
Fat per packet: 0g
Price per gram of protein: $0.1037

Egg albumin, xylitol, natural flavor, xanthan gum, lecithin, stevia, citric acid, and red beet powder.
(Allergen Information) Contains: Eggs and soy (lecithin). This product is manufactured in a facility that processes other products which may contain soy, dairy, wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, peanuts, and eggs, and may contain traces of all of the above.
Jay Robb Egg White Protein contains None of the following ingredients:
  • No MSG
  • No Acesulfame-K
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • No Artificial Colors
  • No Aspartame
  • No Sucralose

Conclusion: Egg protein is interesting. Could try a box of this to find out.