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  • #46
    Well, I did hapkido for 5 years. I'll just leave it at that.

    For many reasons, in my personal experience its a no-win situation. If you say something, you end up sounding like a pompous ass. If you don't say anything, people less senior to that person get confused.

    My personal strategy is to get as many of my kohai and practice partners exposed to different kinds of kendo relatively early, for example by encouraging them to go to AUSKF affiliated events as often as possible, so they can match their techniques against people they don't know, and so they can experience what they're taught against someone else. Even at an AUSKF affiliated event, one tends to see wide variation in styles, manners, and lots of differences. Then when they come home they have a better idea of what their own kendo is, and whether or not its "valid" or "good", and they (and also their parents in some cases) can make their own evaluation as to whether their instruction is "good" (I hope that they decide that it is). Then in the dojo you end up getting some experience across all levels even with the mudansha, and no one in particular is "isolated" (i.e. solely dependent on what I or another person tells them is "kendo"), so if you end up getting a visitor or someone who does something very different, the dojo members can draw on their own experiences and make their own evaluation. So I can, in the end, say very little.

    Its a very delicate situation though, particularly since how a instructor develops the instructor-student relationship can lead to not so good things, especially if money or livelihoods are involved. I just hope that in those cases when someone like that shows up at the dojo, my kendo itself is strong enough and I know enough that my kendo itself can speak for itself, without having to use words.


    • #47
      I'll just share this:

      This is the kind of thing that CAN happen when you get a TKD school that professes to "teach kumdo/kendo" and the instructors themselves have not had any real, legit kendo/kumdo training...

      The video makes it patently clear.

      I mean, not only does the video demonstrate "legit stick fighting" but to use the "kendo" term in the title is beyond wrong... How many ways it is wrong? Ignore the actual "fighting techniques" used and look to this one example, at the very least: the 'referee' of the match gives a warning to the one guy (who actually appears to be a black belt? video is poor, so hard to tell) for "hitting the elbow" (a warning given not once, but twice....)

      Where in the whole realm of kendo/kumdo, regardless of how BAD it is, does there exist the notion of 'warning for hitting the elbow'??? Gimme a break.

      Obviously, that TKD school is in Nashville...
      It's not like there hasn't been a legit AUSKF-affiliated kendo club in Nashville for many years..
      The video above was downloaded in 2008... I presume it was shot in 2008.
      In 2008, the Nashville Kendo Club was being led by Yazaki-sensei (7.dan) and Imai-sensei (I think he was 4.dan then, but is now 5.dan)... and a few others in that 2.dan to 4.dan range.

      No excuses. NONE.
      Last edited by tango; 25th April 2012, 04:55 AM.


      • #48
        Yea, the video is pretty bad.

        Once when I was staying in line for the Phantom Menace (all day...), a news crew came by to film the cultural event, and the group in front of me in line was dressed in Star Wars costumes and had plastic lightsabers (in addition to a inflatable Darth Maul arm chair). So the news crew asked the costumed (cosplayers?) to do some lightsaber fighting, and the nice people obliged with a European fencing fight with plastic lightsabers. Sad thing I suppose is, they did a better fight than what's shown in the youtube video. But I've seen my fair share of really questionable fights on Youtube.

        But really, what can one say? There are actually a number of Youtube matches of me (for example) now online, from my old dojo, and maybe my new one, and I'm not a great player but anyone who had any sort of interest in doing kendo could find it on google. Any additional research could also easily find the "high end" online, like All Japan's or US Nationals. I think for the most part someone who did their research before walking through the door could make at least an educated guess that one dojo or the other is good or not so good. Maybe I'm too optimistic?

        I'm thinking that the people you tend to see in some of these questionable dojos are already "lost". I bet they started doing something "else", and then started kendo or whatever its called within the establishment they were already practicing at as something "new". And since they already had a pre-existing relationship with their instructor, they felt comfortable there and didn't really care about the authenticity or expertise of the instructor in question, or didn't have a good comparison. If they decide to venture to a new school or to a completely different federation, and they see something completely different, then it means they either have to reject the "new" thing they see, or break with their old sensei. That's not easy.

        I should also suggest, perhaps unpopularly, that there is also no iron-clad guarantee that an AUSKF dojo's instruction is competent either, if you think about it.


        • #49
          All depends on your perspective. You can show videos from the all-Japan championships to some HEMA guys, and they will pick them apart for not being what they expect out of swordsmanship. The guy from your video might show up at a kendo club, get clipped on the elbow or the armpit and get a terse "sorry" or maybe nothing at all, and leave all ticked off at how out of control and rude the kendo people were.


          • #50
            That's true.

            I suppose I'd have a harder time with people misrepresenting Kendo than Kumdo. In my personal experience there seems to be a much larger degrees of freedom when it comes to the interpretation of what Kumdo is versus what FIK Kendo is.

            But practice every day brings its own challenges, as I never really know who is going to walk through that door, so I've decided not to worry about "big picture" items anymore, and just deal with what can be dealt with. If I can practice, demonstrate, and maybe teach people good correct kendo on days I'm running practice, and everyone leaves tired, satisfied, a little more skilled, and without injury, its been a good enough day.


            • #51
              I'm not going on a witch hunt and going to his dojo to challenge them but I do warn people if they want to learn real kendo/kumdo to check out the AUSKF website or dojos/clubs that I know that have people from real kendo/kumdo backgrounds. Especially if the people offer private kendo/kumdo lessons which is not the norm. Some of the Kumdo dojangs that own their facility could possibly do it but someone offering private lessons at your home is strange.

              I had a beginner last year and she was very disappointed she paid good money for private lessons at her home. In addition the instructor was not very friendly but she had no previous experience in martial arts and relied on google. The problem is some people have no martial arts experience and unlike me who looked in Kendo: The Defenitive Guide and for a dojo they rely on google. Unfortunately the McDojos can pay to get better search results the AUSKF homepage. If you have no experience in martial arts, don't know what to look for, questions to ask, etc and your excited to start somewhere. Then you could possibly end up in a McDojo.

              Perhaps the AUSKF or local federations could pay a fee to google to get more/better hits but most likely it is expensive. Maybe an article on what to look for when selecting a dojo might help. Most of us aren't paid instructors and don't really run dojos/clubs like businesses so we focus on sustainment and mainly on instruction. As opposed to McDojos because it is their lively hood they make sure they have high visibility to recruit members.

              Unfortunately I don't think most of the areas besides CA devote much effort on promoting their dojos. You regularly see something online or even the WKC promotional DVD the AUSKF was circulating to news stations to try and promote kendo. Not that it would stop McDojos but some more effort with marketing and using the media would give legitimate dojos more visibility. Honestly if you watch the local or even daytime local news kendo/kumdo/iaido,etc is more newsworthy or has more entertainment value then some of the stories they have to fill time. You can see some of the reporters hoping something more newsworthy or bad will happen.


              • #52
                Bylaws and policy & procedures are definitely missing but has quite a bit of promotion information/regulations.

                Originally posted by R Stroud View Post
                Sounds like a good idea. But what I was really thinking about is having the AUSKF put the policies and procedures, bylaws, testing regulations, etc up on the website so that US kenshi could get information as needed.


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  Sorry Mr. Sullivan for writing ill of you and your instructor on this forum but you guys are not even real kumdo practioners.
                  No you're not. No need for you to sugarcoat anything.

                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  You are most likely some level of TKD practioners that started to try "kumdo". I've seen youtube footage of GM Hee Wk Kim and his kumdo/iaido wouldn't pass for shodan.
                  Couldn't tell you his story. Never got a straight answer from him. In any case, I would appreciate it if you would cease to say 'you guys', as I have not been associated with him for some time now, and would have disassociated myself sooner had it not been for a contract.

                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  You paid the instructor fee and took whatever class to be ceritifed by his fake federation. Because of your rank in TKD you were certified as 4th Dan in his federation and I have seen pictures of you with nito.
                  I have a fourth dan in taekwondo? That is news to me. The Kukkiwon website would tell you differently. My rank is not that high.

                  I signed up for 'kendo' classes at his school in 2004 and studied there until midway through last year. The school said 'karate kendo' on the door and I signed up for kendo with my kids because it looked like it would be fun. I had always wanted to practice kendo and was unaware of other kendo schools in the area when I signed up. I was graded on his grading schedule over the course of nearly eight years.

                  Little of my instruction in kendo came from Master Kim. He had another instructor there who said that he held an AUSKF grade of fifth dan. He parted ways with Master Kim before I did and he and I have remained in contact. It is him who I consider my sensei.

                  As for paying money, I paid my annual tuition fees faithfully and paid testing fees along with all of the other students. I was unaware that his federation consisted only of himself and his students until quite some time into it. He maintained the appearance that he was part of a parent federation.

                  I stayed with him way longer than I should have and did no research on the school prior to joining. Bad move on my part, and a costly one at that.

                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  Also you contacted me and most likely other AUSKF dojos to kind of get more information to look authentic and your students don't know better. I did see some of your students at the SEUSKF Tournament and my guess is not all AUSKF tournaments check or maybe require AUSKF membership.
                  If I contacted "you" (since I don't really know who "you" are; I'm pretty sure that you're not the actor), it was in earnest and not for the purpose you stated above. I am up front with those I contact. I did eventually conclude my contract with Master Kim and did find another place to train. I did a lot more research this time around and didn't get locked into any contracts.

                  As for 'my students' at a tournament, I don't know what you're talking about, as none of my students have ever competed in any tournaments. Also, my students are aware of my background and who I have trained with and that I am unaffiliated. I don't believe in lying to my students. The only reason that I have students is because some of those who were dissatisfied with the old school sought me out when I left. I have told my students that if they are interested in competing that they should contact the club in Rockville.

                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  In MD around the same area there are a couple MC Dojos and unfortunately not everyone is aware of the AUSKF when they are interested in starting kendo or iaido.
                  Probably more than a couple, and I will second your comment. I was certainly unaware of the AUSKF when I started practicing. Live and learn.

                  Originally posted by Toshiro Mifune View Post
                  I advise nobody to PM him on this forum or Linkled Kendo Professionals Group.
                  Wow. That was petty and uncalled for.

                  The only reason that I asked the OP to PM me was because I'm not going to say what I have to say about Korean Martial Arts, Inc. on a public forum.

                  Believe me, if it were some kind of glowing recommendation, I'd have just said it publicly.


                  • #54
                    I just checked Seuskf policy and it is 3 months after ikkyu, they can take the shidan exam

                    Originally posted by MikeW View Post
                    So according to SEUSKF regulations there is a minimum wait of 6 months after passing ikkyu before you can test for shodan as Page


                    • #55
                      Yes, I had forgotten that had been changed when we made the rule regarding ikkyu could not be taken without having prior rank I believe. The SEUSKF policies should be all posted on the SEUSKF web site. If the links are no good or if they are not present let me know so it can be remedied. Thank you for the post.


                      • #56
                        Actually they are all good !! Thanks as always !

                        Originally posted by MikeW View Post
                        Yes, I had forgotten that had been changed when we made the rule regarding ikkyu could not be taken without having prior rank I believe. The SEUSKF policies should be all posted on the SEUSKF web site. If the links are no good or if they are not present let me know so it can be remedied. Thank you for the post.