The Appeal of the RMU Dojo
It is finally April! The M.League has ended, but mahjong season has just started as each professional group’s internal leagues are coming up!!
However, we do not have the opportunity to watch the qualifying rounds of professional leagues on video. So what fans can do is check the updated score boards on the homepages of each professional mahjong organization and wait for the videos of the year-end finals.
You may think you would not be able to experience the tension of professional mahjong matches unless you become a pro. But actually, even amateur fans can participate in mahjong leagues with professional participants! Now, I would like to introduce the Open League held at RMU.
First, a brief explanation of RMU.
RMU is one of the Japanese professional organizations represented by an M.League player, Takaharu Ooi. They host official mahjong leagues and several title matches annually. They have three official game formats, A, B, and C.
Pro mahjong player Mai Hatsune, who won the world mahjong championship (WMC) in 2002, is at the reception desk!
You must become a RMU member to participate in the Open League. Apply for either the athlete course or the VIP course.
The athlete course is for those who want to become a professional mahjong player. The VIP course offers several benefits where you can participate in the matches as a supporter, priority tickets to watch the matches, access to the game records and related books, and regular social gatherings.
Any applicant has to be at least 18 years old and answer “yes” to any of the following:
・ I want to be better. I want to play with experienced people
・ I want to produce or become a professional player
・ I want to improve social status of mahjong
・ I want to produce or become a mahjong celebrity
Applicants take a written test to see how well they can calculate points and how they choose what tiles to discard. There is also a practical test where applicants play mahjong using the official game format A. And finally, applicants must also participate in an interview.
Since this RMU Open League started in 2007, five members have won the 1st place!
Pros from other organizations have been able to participate in the Open League since 2014, so you have a chance to play against them as well.
If taking part in the Open League is unfeasible, you can play competition mahjong at the RMU Dojo. Be sure to check the event schedule beforehand as the competition mahjong is available only several times a month. Since RMU affiliated professionals are present at each event, you can experience the competition mahjong in a professional manner. Dojo match scores are also tracked.
Suguru Miyamoto pro, who obtained the RMU Class B license in December 2018, is receiving a lot of attention because he is already seems close to obtaining the Class A license. All RMU professionals are very friendly. They play mahjong seriously, but after the games have finished, they will have friendly conversations and answer questions kindly.
From the Left Yamadai: 2015 RMU sprint 2nd place, Misawa: Hardworking skilled amateur player
Amateurs who come to the RMU really like competition mahjong! Here are comments from two RMU amateur members about what makes RMU attractive.
“You can play mahjong with pros in some other mahjong dojo or mahjong parlors, but RMU affiliated professionals are strong and cool. I really enjoy playing mahjong with them.”
“I used to play gambling mahjong at mahjong parlors, but now I am really into competition mahjong. Professionals here at RMU are open to small talk and questions after the matches, and they are really friendly.”
The RMU Dojo is a place where even amateur mahjong players can play competition mahjong with professionals! Please come and visit!
My father taught me mahjong when I was little. I've been searching for a place to play mahjong since I moved to the US in 2008, and I finally found LAPOM. Now I enjoy playing mahjong with many players who have gathered to LAPOM.