METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
LIFE IN JAPAN
Jeff Libengood

Jeff LibengoodOccupation:
Strength / conditioning coach
Time in Japan:
14 years




I first came here with the US Air Force living a very different life to the one I now live as a civilian. So much was done for you. For example we used to receive what we called "rip-sheets"?slips of paper generated by the computer giving us instructions like, "You' be at the dentist on Tuesday at two o'clock. You'll be here Wednesday at five o'clock" things like that. That kind of lifestyle doesn't allow a person a lot of room for self-growth and the motivating factor for most people is just getting your next stripe. I was fortunate in that I had a lot of success in the air force, careerwise and with athletics, and achieved more than most, but I knew there was more and that really motivated to do well in civilian life too.

Coming out of the air force into civilian life was a real shock; completely different. I knew nobody?I had a girlfriend, but other than that I didn't know anybody?I didn't know the language and I didn't know the customs. But what I did have were two things that nobody could take away fro me: desire and heart, and I believe that if you have the desire, then you will do whatever, wherever, whenever to get a job done.

I've always known that my life would revolve around sports, athletics and fitness but I was never sure in what capacity. Obviously, fourteen years ago I didn't know half of what I know now and I've had to study a lot, but I knew where I wanted to go and I knew that I wanted to be successful. I love working with people, so that was a contributing factor in deciding what I wanted to do, and also, while I may have a physique that's muscular, I wanted to destroy that stereotype that says, because you have muscles you have the IQ of plant life or you chase parked cars or something. To get where I am today I have had to maintain a positive outlook throughout, and this, in my opinion, is the most important thing in ensuring success.

I would say that in the time I've been in Japan, and really we're talking about the ten years since I left the air force, there have been quite a few changes, though many are so gradual that you barely notice them. I've mostly been involved in the fitness industry and I've seen some changes there, many of which are negative. Also in the sports world there used to be a lot of backward thinking about training; the coaches had an attitude that was like, "Well, we did it like this, so you're going to do it like this" but some of the younger athletes perhaps are more open to new ideas and that's maybe true in society too.

The best thing about living in Japan is...sushi without wasabi. No, for me in terms of business, it's been the opportunity to excel and be a real catalyst in the fitness world. But if I could change one thing about life here then, without a doubt, I would pass a law that would make it illegal to smoke in restaurants and public places. They did it in California and I see no reason why they shouldn't do it here.

As for the future, well, I'm going to set up a very scientific high tech state of the art fitness company here. I'm going to be linking up with hospitals and sports programs and things like that and then setting up my own little private physical therapy and kinesiology place within the Riviera Club. Of course I want to continue being successful in business, but my strongest desire is to help people and be the absolute best kinesiologist and strength and conditioning coach that I can be.

Jeff Libengood can be contacted at the Riviera Club in Minami-Aoyama. Call 3746-3330.

Jeff Libengood spoke to Richard James.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at editor@tokyoclassified.com

LIFE IN JAPAN:
248.9: Safia Minney
Founder of Global Village
247: Dimitri Herskovits
Marketing Consultant and Artist
246: Simon Setter
Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist
245: Jett Edwards
Music Producer
244: Yukiko Leitch
Illlustrator
243: Ranjit Wickremasinghe
Journalist
242: Fr. Jacques F. La Pointe
Franciscan Priest
241: Kyle Sexton
Baker
240: Stephen Mansfield
Photojournalist
239: Darren Friend
Aikido Instructor
238: Didi Ananda Krsnaprema
Meditation and Yoga Teacher
237: Jason Angove
Fire Dancer/Professional Dancer
236: Susan Pompian
Writer
234: Jon Lynch
Music Promoter
233: Paula Terry
Singer and Recording Artist
232: Nikita Deo
Student
231: Amy Chavez
Writer, Humor Columnist
230: Marco Bosco
Musician
229: Rick Kennedy
Author/Content Editor of Tokyo Q
228: Traci Consoli-Korenata
Artist
227: Ray Belscher
Computer Contractor
226: Robert Garside
Running the World
225: Thomas Paul
DJ, Dancer, Rapper and Party Organizer
4: Dr. Chieko McKinstry
Cosmetic Surgeon
223: Philip Harper
Kurabito
222: Paul Davies
Writer
221: Anna Livia Plaurel Belle
Writer, Literary Review Editor
220: George Williams
MTV VJ, InterFM DJ
219: Eve Howard
Joint Owner Amphora Aromatics
218: Dr. Allen Robinson
Counseling Psychologist
217: Steve McClure
Writer, Tokyo Bureau Chief
216: Karen Wenk-Jordan
President, Wenk-Jordan and Company
215: Russ Veillard
Writer/Narrator
214: Dru Robertson
"Sponsorship Evangelist"
213: Warren Arbuckles
Managind Director
212: Guo Liang
Qu Gong Healer, Tai Chi Teacher
211: Gerald Genteman
President and Executive Creative Director
210: Michelle Dorion
VP Asia Pacific Marketing
209: John Robinson
DJ at Velfarre
208: Jeff Libengood
Strength/Conditioning Coach
207: John Shelley
Illustrator
206: James Myers
Marketing Officer
204: Raj Ramayya
Musician
202: William Swinton
Membership Manager
201: Richard G. Roa
Representative Director
200: Cathy Bernatt
President of Wanderlust Adventures

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