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  • beginner with gi and hakama.

    been thinking.. wouldn't it make more sense to have beginners to get gi and hakama as soon as possible.. like on second lesson? this way, some of them will stick around longer since they made an investment into kendo. and as far as foot work, they can always tuck in their hakama leg thingy into the himo.

    also, this would make them feel more like part of the dojo and not just some strangers hanging around at the corner for attention.

    pete

  • #2
    Originally posted by bullet08
    this way, some of them will stick around longer since they made an investment into kendo.
    These people won't be coming back for their bogu classes anyway. Speaking of investment, better have one built upon sweat than cash.

    also, this would make them feel more like part of the dojo and not just some strangers hanging around at the corner for attention.
    I still hang around at the corner for attention sometimes...

    Comment


    • #3
      I think beginners will want to buy the proper gear when they have trained a little while and like it. If they have to spend too much at the start then it may put them off without trying.

      When I first started I was in tracksuit and t-shirt then I bought a hakama and used an old judo gi I had. Although it looked a bit odd it worked well.

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      • #4
        For many of us, buying hakama and gi of decent price and quality includes ordering from abroad. So getting hakama for the second lesson means they have to order on their first day, and then we have to get stuff from Japan shipped in less than four or five days. Not doable

        And I don't think people drop due to not wearing hakama and gi. They drop becuase they realize kendo is not their cup of tea. A piece of cloth is not going to change their mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bullet08
          this way, some of them will stick around longer since they made an investment into kendo.
          The purchasing of equipment is a sign of a certain dedication to kendo. It doesn't work the other way around, ie just because you have to buy stuff doesn't make you dedicated. Besides, I don't like to force people to spend money. If they're going to quit in the couple of months we make them wait, they will quite anyways.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
            The purchasing of equipment is a sign of a certain dedication to kendo. It doesn't work the other way around, ie just because you have to buy stuff doesn't make you dedicated. Besides, I don't like to force people to spend money. If they're going to quit in the couple of months we make them wait, they will quite anyways.
            Agreed.

            If people don't stick around, buying the kit wouldn't keep them anyway

            If a dojo has a retention problem- them maybe look at the syllabus?

            Like: what happens to those not yet in armour when the big boys get theirs on and start knocking hell out of each other?

            Are they left down one end, maybe with someone with minimal experience in bogu as a "target" to practise strikes?

            If so, is this counterproductive? After all, it is at the beginning stage that attention to form from an instructor who can offer appropriate feedback and training regime can be of greatest use (IMHO) as any bad habits ingrained then will have to be removed later...

            Is going into armour the be-all-and-end-all? Are those not yet in armour "second-class" members?

            OK, the training regime in Japan may be different. BUT... (1) most of us are not in Japan and (2) in the West newbies on the whole are adults not kids

            If dojos want to retain beginners, maybe a bit of "beginners mind" and seeing things from a wider perspective would help. Also, such an approach pays dividends- good basics now helps later. BUT- if the culture of motivation acts against this then basics will not be respected as IMPORTANT but seen as a chore...

            Just my half-pennorth.

            Comment


            • #7
              Kendo is a hard martial art for people to retain because it's not like Tae Kwon Do or Karate which are well known, progress is much more easily seen, and you get to wear the cool clothes from day one. In this respect, different things are needed to keep the people.

              Letting them wear the uniform from day one in order to keep people in due to spending the money might work, but then it would be for the wrong reason. You should be doing something because you like it, not because you put some money into it. Besides, as said earlier people would quit even after getting the expensive bogu.

              The main reason for holding off the uniform is because the hakama hides the positioning of the feet a bit. If you are just wearing shorts or sweats, then that can be corrected. Once it gets to the point where the sensei can feel that you know when your feet are correct or not, then the hakama can be worn.

              The best thing for retention would be to form a comodre with the new people as soon as possible. That way, less going to a class to learn something and more of practicing a martial art with your friends. Of course, I haven't been to every dojo, but it's an idea to get some things flowing. GreenArrow has a point. Sometimes, looking in the frame of mind for the beginners could yield interesting results.

              Comment


              • #8
                Kendo looks so easy and when you then have your first taste of it you get the shock it's harder then it looks. I think it would be bad to let beginners start with gi and hakama.

                Now I worked to the part of being allowed to wear them after the beginners class was done something which was good cause with the hakama on it seens also harde to correct footwork

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                • #9
                  i was looking at this dojo and it gave you a gi and hakama for free for just signing up. also i think that people would stay in longer if they got to wear a kimono from the start. I was watching this dojo and there was these 2 kids that weren't wearing a kimono and they (by how their face looked and how they acted) didnt look to excited to be their.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kendonoobie
                    i was looking at this dojo and it gave you a gi and hakama for free for just signing up. also i think that people would stay in longer if they got to wear a kimono from the start. I was watching this dojo and there was these 2 kids that weren't wearing a kimono and they (by how their face looked and how they acted) didnt look to excited to be their.
                    then its not kendo that they're after. Its about looking cool with the gi.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree. If people just want to look cool, putting on stinky armour, blisters and yelling like an idiot will really want to make them leave. Going up to a beginner and spending 2 minutes to tell them how you think they are improving will go miles in making them want to come back. The guys at my club were great like that, and I try to do the same to any girls that come to beginners classes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alison2805
                        I agree. If people just want to look cool, putting on stinky armour, blisters and yelling like an idiot will really want to make them leave. Going up to a beginner and spending 2 minutes to tell them how you think they are improving will go miles in making them want to come back. The guys at my club were great like that, and I try to do the same to any girls that come to beginners classes.
                        i have to agree.. pat on the back will go miles.

                        pete

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I still hold with my original premise: if people feel "part of it" and valued sooner they are more likely to stay.

                          OK, getting the outfit CAN be kind of "symbolic" of belonging... at least in part. BUT if the underlying attitude of any dojo towards beginners/a specific beginner isn't supportive for that person they will probably not stay- even if keen initially.

                          Nor do I think this is Kendo-specific- I think it applies to any activity where one needs to put in time and effort to become proficient. Where some stay and others go- well, some people need more support than others, and there are different approaches/styles that different people find helpful. Underlying all this is a teacher that really is interested in the new or developing person and makes it possible for appropriate support to happen for all students.

                          My experience in archery tends to bear this out. Some clubs/classes have very high retention rates- others do not. The common factor appears to be the support/teaching/coaching- not just during beginners course but also during that time for several months after, when new club members need support until they up to speed fully are learning mainly from the group activity and their own gathering experience.

                          So to summarise- I think concentrating on the outward symbols is not the issue, although at a certain point getting the kit/outfit (hakama/gi/bogu, or in archery the first own bow and the club colours) helps reinforce the support and help the feeling of "belonging."

                          If you see the issue of retention this way, then maybe it's obvious why people will drop out of Kendo even if they've just bought their bogu... and maybe why women are not so common in the activity.

                          OK, there is always an element of busting the fantasy bubble- but you know, I've seen a good archery club turn a really high percentage of Legolas wannabes into tidy and committed club archers...

                          I rest my case.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry mister Arrow, but I have to disagree here. If you have to buy a gi and hakama before you start taking lessons it will scare away possible students. Viewing a an art like kendo or iaido is nice and all but experiencing it give people a better idea if the art is something they are looking for. A decent quality hakama and gi are a pretty big investment (I'm a student remember, students are always broke). Before people want to commit to an art like ours, they need to know if it's really worth the investment.

                            Letting people train in gym clothes in the beginning let's them have a introduction, if they like it, let them order a gi and hakama as soon as they are sure they want to stick to it. As written before it shows commitment to kendo or iaido.

                            Besides, no one wants to be the owner of a uniform that you are never going to wear again (except during Halloween or to one of those wannabe samurai events (LARP?))
                            Last edited by Mr. T.; 23rd May 2006, 05:36 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mr. T.
                              Sorry mister Arrow, but I have to disagree here. If you have to buy a gi and hakama before you start taking lessons it will scare away possible students. Viewing a an art like kendo or iaido is nice and all but experiencing it give people a better idea if the art is something they are looking for. A decent quality hakama and gi are a pretty big investment (I'm a student remember, students are always broke). Before people want to commit to an art like ours, they need to know if it's really worth the investment.

                              Letting people train in gym clothes in the beginning let's them have a introduction, if they like it, let them order a gi and hakama as soon as they are sure they want to stick to it. As written before it shows commitment to kendo or iaido.

                              Besides, no one wants to be the owner of a uniform that you are never going to wear again (except during Halloween or to one of those wannabe samurai events (LARP?))
                              Mr. T...

                              You've missed my point entirely. I suggest you READ what I said before you reply so quick next time, eh?

                              Underlying my point was precisely that getting hakama and gi are not necessarily what keeps people there- so getting them to buy early will not make them stay! What will get them to stay is supportive environment. the rest can come later, when the person is ready.

                              Incidentally, I'd not necessarily say buying the gear shows committment to the discipline either- committment is when someone shows up week after week and works hard. If anything I take a flexible view- if they want to get kit first week- fine. If they do not- fine. So long as the dojo leader is cool about the thing, I really don't mind.

                              I just don't think that getting someone to buy hakama/gi early on will improve the chances of them staying, retention of new starters in any activity is about much more than that.

                              Incidentally, it's not "Mr" Arrow. If you want to be formal, it's "Dr." to you... and The Good Doctor who is the GreenArrow is not a man but a woman... I mean, didn't my sig make you suspect...?

                              Aren't assumptions such biased things...? Assume: Makes an Ass of U and Me.

                              The old ones are the best.

                              TTFN.

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