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  • Kyoto Budo Center? Forget it!!!

    This summer I went in Kyoto. I flew 14 and half hours to fulfill an old dream: to visit Japan, and ocasionally practice some kendo. I talked to a police officer who was kind enough to show me where the Kyoto Butokuden is. I went there ask them if I could pratice kendo with them. The conversation was as follow:

    ME - Kendo keiko?
    GUY BEHIND DESK (GBD) - Hai, seven o'clock.
    ME - Me kendo keiko?
    GBD - No, you see.
    ME - I bogu. I kendo keiko.
    GBD - No, you see.
    ME - But I...
    GBD - NO. YOU SEE.

    End of conversation. I didn't even try to practice again while in Japan.
    Is it like this in Japan? Because I've practiced kendo (and other martial arts) in dojos all over the world and I've been wellcome everytime I did it. In Japan I expect everything: hard jigeiko, endless kakarigeiko... hell geiko, but this...

  • #2
    maybe you use the wrong way to etablish the contact?! no?

    i planified everythink 3 month before i went to japan , my federation needed to ask the european federation who need to ask the International federation who need to disside where i can go and "if" i can go...
    so maybe they don t accept someone who come like a tourist...?

    i understand you were not happy.

    regards

    Phil

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Usagi San
      This summer I went in Kyoto. I flew 14 and half hours to fulfill an old dream: to visit Japan, and ocasionally practice some kendo. I talked to a police officer who was kind enough to show me where the Kyoto Butokuden is. I went there ask them if I could pratice kendo with them. The conversation was as follow:

      ME - Kendo keiko?
      GUY BEHIND DESK (GBD) - Hai, seven o'clock.
      ME - Me kendo keiko?
      GBD - No, you see.
      ME - I bogu. I kendo keiko.
      GBD - No, you see.
      ME - But I...
      GBD - NO. YOU SEE.

      End of conversation. I didn't even try to practice again while in Japan.
      Is it like this in Japan? Because I've practiced kendo (and other martial arts) in dojos all over the world and I've been wellcome everytime I did it. In Japan I expect everything: hard jigeiko, endless kakarigeiko... hell geiko, but this...
      I used to practice there....Although the practice is open to the public...I think the policy was you dropped your 300 Yen (probably has gone up since) and signed your name on the roster......

      However, the Kyoto Kendo community is pretty close knit....it's usually the same core people that practiced there...Consisting mostly of high ranking Senseis, Kyoto Police, and a scattered number of students and Shakai-Jin...everybody typically knows each other...

      Instead of showing up unannounced or not knowing anyone......It would have been best if you had an introduction from someone local....even if it was from the most round-a-bout way...Once you are introduced, the Senseis will recognize you and you will continue to be invited to the practices...

      In fact, each time I went there my Sensei would take me around to introduce me or take me to greet each Sensei so that in the case that he were unable to go with me to practice, they would know who I was....

      amatsuda

      Comment


      • #4
        Not that I have any first hand experience with training in Japan (yet), but even here in Canada I would not think to show up at a dojo unannounced and uninvited without first contacting the resident sensei (or contract) and asking permission if I could practice with them. If you were to make arrangements first I am sure they would have been more than happy to have you to practice.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's right!!!!!!!!

          I second you all the way to Japan mannnn!!!

          Never go to a dojo without letting the sensei know first. It is consider

          RUDE....

          Comment


          • #6
            I am sorry that this happened to you. When I went to Japan, I walked into a local dojo and they were kind enough to have me hop right in the practice. However, there was a connection there. One of the people in the dojo knew I would be coming and either warned them in advance or spoke to the sensei to let him know I was serious about wanting to learn. It helps to make a connection and be invited for them to welcome you in sometimes.

            Also I would assume that they practice very seriously at the Kyoto Budokan. Duh, I know. There are exceptions, but often the sensei will expect some one to invite you or ask you to purchase something expensive, such as equipment for example, before you start practicing in order to show them that you are committed to it. Many times they are skeptical of gaijin committment because often times people will show up once or twice pretend to care, have it get too tough, and then quit and disappear. This creates stereotypes toward gaijin and their sense of commitment. Unfair generalizations, but you do run into them from time to time.

            Just some thoughts from my personal experience.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry, I cued in late, sorry for being redundant.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Usagi San
                The conversation was as follow:

                ME - Kendo keiko?
                GUY BEHIND DESK (GBD) - Hai, seven o'clock.
                ME - Me kendo keiko?
                GBD - No, you see.
                ME - I bogu. I kendo keiko.
                GBD - No, you see.
                ME - But I...
                GBD - NO. YOU SEE.

                End of conversation. I didn't even try to practice again while in Japan.
                Is it like this in Japan? Because I've practiced kendo (and other martial arts) in dojos all over the world and I've been wellcome everytime I did it. In Japan I expect everything: hard jigeiko, endless kakarigeiko... hell geiko, but this...
                I don't quite understand this conversation. He said 7 o' clock... were you late? Is it possible that you didn't understand him. I sometimes have trouble understanding people from Kyoto, especially old men.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You've obviously got the idea from other members on the board...introductions are the best, asking for permission ahead of time is also good. If you absolutely don't know anyone or are unable to establish permission before hand, particularly at such a location as the Kyoto Budo, ask your sensei to write a recommendation/introduction letter you can bring with you in person to present to the head instructor. Even this can be tricky though because once your sensei commits his signature to the letter, he is extending his personal capital to vouch for you to whomever reads it so you want to be sure your home dojo practice is the best it can be and your attitude is appropriately respectful.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    Hi, Sorry to come in late,

                    I was lucky enough to practice at the Kyoto Butokuden two years ago. We just turned up, asked if we could watch, they saw our bogu and told us to join in.

                    We had sort of planned to join in if they would let us.... but asked if we could watch, in order to test the water. We did have loads of other Dojo's to practice at whilst we where over there so it wouldn't have been the end of the world, if they hadn't let us practice. Sorry to hear you had a bad time of it. Everyone I met over there was really kind and pleasent, and as soon as they knew we did Kendo, couldn't help us enough.... We even got to watch a Kyudo practice whilst at the Butokuden.

                    I can only guess you had a bad experience because you spoke to the receptionist and not the Kendoka themselves. But having said that the best way to do it if you don't want to be disappointed or upset anyone would be to prearrange it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RUDE???

                      Excuse me, I wonder why there's less people, even in Japan, practicing Kendo and getting interested in, say, baseball.
                      So, you guys find absolutly normal that in order to practice one day, one time, in Japan, you have to get a recommendation letter, or know someone who knows someone that knows the secret handshake that opens... oh, come on, where does this leads? What a way to promote kendo. I'm I going to be more respectfull towards japanese senseis because some guy behind a reception desk shut the door in my face? AND I'M THE ONE WHO WAS RUDE? Rude? I was f***ing asking. I didn't show up there all dressed up for practice... and no, I didn't show up late. Man, my sensei is japanese, rokudan, not that young, he's going sixties, and he was surprised, even shocked, with what happened.
                      Rest assure gentlemen: if you ever stop by Lisbon and you want to practice kendo our door is allways open. Yes, I know we are not the Butokuden but hey, as we say here: "If you give all you have, no one can ask for more."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Usagi San
                        Excuse me, I wonder why there's less people, even in Japan, practicing Kendo and getting interested in, say, baseball.
                        So, you guys find absolutly normal that in order to practice one day, one time, in Japan, you have to get a recommendation letter, or know someone who knows someone that knows the secret handshake that opens... oh, come on, where does this leads? What a way to promote kendo. I'm I going to be more respectfull towards japanese senseis because some guy behind a reception desk shut the door in my face? AND I'M THE ONE WHO WAS RUDE? Rude? I was f***ing asking. I didn't show up there all dressed up for practice... and no, I didn't show up late. Man, my sensei is japanese, rokudan, not that young, he's going sixties, and he was surprised, even shocked, with what happened.
                        Rest assure gentlemen: if you ever stop by Lisbon and you want to practice kendo our door is allways open. Yes, I know we are not the Butokuden but hey, as we say here: "If you give all you have, no one can ask for more."
                        No reason to get all excited Mr. Rabbit, I was just trying to help you make sense out of the situation. Everyone here is just trying to help. Also AP has only just started kendo so I don't think he is that knowledgeable on the subject. His words do not hold that much weight *mannnnnn*. (I don't mean to present myself as anyone special, I am just saying....)
                        I know I'll probably get flamed for this but I think a good majority of the Japanese are extremely rude and I have no doubts thought you were treated poorly. I am sorry you had a bad experience and I hope this doesn't sour you on future endeavors.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Budo Center is free for all. You need no introductions. You need no appointment. That is the whole point of the dojo. It's where people from other dojos congregate to have a bash with people they otherwise wouldn't get to see. All you need to do is show up and pay 200 yen actually.

                          I have absolutely no idea what the transcript of that conversation means. Maybe if you didn't speak to the GBD in pidgon English, you would have established that you would have been more than welcome to train there. You only have yourself to blame.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alex
                            The Budo Center is free for all. You need no introductions. You need no appointment. That is the whole point of the dojo. It's where people from other dojos congregate to have a bash with people they otherwise wouldn't get to see. All you need to do is show up and pay 200 yen actually.

                            I have absolutely no idea what the transcript of that conversation means. Maybe if you didn't speak to the GBD in pidgeon English, you would have established that you would have been more than welcome to train there. You only have yourself to blame.
                            Of course. It's my fault if that people treated me like s**t. Stupid me. I'm sorry, sumi masen, sumi masen.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Usagi San
                              Of course. It's my fault if that people treated me like s**t. Stupid me. I'm sorry, sumi masen, sumi masen.
                              You've entirely missed the point mate. Has it occured to you that he wasn't actually treating you like excrement, but was trying to tell you maybe that the training was going to be held in the the old dojo, NOT the new one. Or maybe he was trying to tell you that you DON'T get changed into your bogu in the lobby, but in the dojo. Or maybe he was trying to tell you that as it is a free for all, they DON'T supply you with gear like they might in a private dojo. Or maybe he was pointing at a clock telling you it is NOT time for training yet. Or maybe he was trying to tell you that it was at 7:00 every day, but NOT on that particular day. NO could have meant a lot of things rather than "NO you can't train you stupid dumb-arse foreigner" which is obviously the way you took it.

                              Very sad. You missed out on a great training with lots of great sensei. Training at the Kyoto Budo Center? Too bloody right mate!

                              Comment

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