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  • Bad attitude

    Hello guys...
    So I've been doing Kendo for several months now, and there is one thing at my dojo bugging me.
    It's my sempai. Whenever our sensei tells us to practice together with the bogu-kendoka (i'm not in bogu yet) this sempai makes some annoying gestures, like, he acts annoyed, shakes his head... "uh..." You know...
    He just simply seems to hate the beginners, because they "slow him down" in his Kendo. So basically he just thinks of himself and disrespects us Kohei. His whole aura in jigeiko is messed up too... He's like a mad demon trying to kill his opponent...
    I've been planning to tell my sensei about his messed up attitude. (or even tell him in person)
    Because it's just not fun to practice with someone who doesn't want to.

    What should I do?

  • #2
    When you practice with him show you are better than him by not letting that effect you and maybe smile when he hits you when you are in armour to show that you are enjoying yourself?
    Hopefully that makes sense and isn't complete nonsense.

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    • #3
      Drop a deuce in his men jk..

      Don't let it bother you too much. People like him drop out of Kendo eventually.

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      • #4
        Well that happens sometimes.. as a senpai he should be learning more responsibility but it seems he isn't ready for that or can't accept it. Unfortunately it impacts you but I wouldn't really worry too much about it. As Badger said just try to concentrate on doing your best kendo despite the distraction. If it gets to a point where you are starting to feel like dropping out because of him you might try talking to some of the other beginners to see if they feel the same way. If they do then perhaps you can talk to the sensei but I would try to deal with it by just working on your own kendo first.

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        • #5
          Hard to say not being involved and all, but he's still your sempai and I'm sure there might be a couple things you could learn from keiko with him.

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          • #6
            Hey, we all run in to guys like this. Fuck 'em. Badger was right on. Smiling will totally piss them off, and it makes you feel good because you didn't do anything inappropriate. Your sempai has a common problem that can be found in many dojo. There are many more sempai, and sensei that are good people. You can stick around, and possibly let it bother you 'till you don't feel like doing kendo anymore, or if you have another dojo within a reasonable distance, you might want to see what the atmosphere is like there. You should always be able to enjoy kendo, and if someone is preventing that, you might want to go somewhere else. Talking to your sensei is an okay idea, but if he doesn't do much about it, what then?

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            • #7
              As in all walks of life, in kendo you will encounter individuals with whom you would rather not practice because of bad attitude or bad kendo (later on you will learn that these two things are pretty much the same) on the part of the other person etc, etc. It is extremely difficult when there is an individual who seems to like nothing better than tread on others desire to learn.

              You've probably been told or thought of other solutions, such as find another dojo, but that may not be an option if you want to continue.

              Does the sensei condone or encourage the sempai's behaviour? Does the sempai seem to beat everyone up, or is it just you? Is there someone in the dojo in whom you can confide who has some influence in the dojo? Is there a high number of beginners who quit after their first encounter with the sempai? Answering these questions will help decide your course of action. In kendo you can expect to be knocked about, but on the other hand it's not right to be mistreated either.

              In the longer run, if the sempai's attitude doesn't change, his kendo will stand still, and you will ultimately surpass him. That's the ultimate solution. There are awkward individuals out there, and learning to deal with them in kendo means that you are learning from them.

              Kendo is about persistence and the development of human dignity, and when taken in that light everyone can be a teacher, including yourself!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sasaki View Post
                this sempai makes some annoying gestures, like, he acts annoyed, shakes his head... "uh..." You know...
                He just simply seems to hate the beginners, because they "slow him down" in his Kendo.
                Couple things. Is it clear that he's really getting upset with the beginners or maybe he's upset and mistakes he's making? Do you really know what's going on in his head or are you possibly misinterpreting his behavior?

                I ask because if it seems that obvious to to, I'd think a sensei would have also noticed it and maybe had a private word with this sempai.

                The other thing, like others have said, you'll meet lots of folks like this throughout your life, and not just in kendo. Learning how to deal with them in the safe environment of the dojo can help in other areas of your life also. So, just view it as a training opportunity.
                Like my daddy always said, "it builds character." Damn, I just hate it when he's right.

                sean

                edit - damn you reiver.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Aside from giving off a bad vibe, does he do anything to disrupt your practice? I assume he's just acting as a target dummy for you. So long as he lets you hit him, disregard all the other stuff. You're getting what you need from him.

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                  • #10
                    I agree...
                    there's really not much else you can do... it's either practice or don't practice...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sasaki View Post
                      . .. ...sempai makes some annoying gestures, like, he acts annoyed, shakes his head... "uh..."
                      That's not "bad attitude", it might be "discouraging" but it shouldn't affect you. Let's see how you might actually react when you've been telling your kohai to do something the correct way for the Nth time and they still do wha they want to do. Of course this may or may not be what you are doing. But being sempai isn't easy.

                      Originally posted by Sasaki View Post
                      disrespects us Kohei.
                      Respect, reiho is more than just outward appearance, what would you do to something who just doesn't let you know what you are doing wrong. Is that disrespect? looking down at you?

                      Originally posted by Sasaki View Post
                      His whole aura in jigeiko is messed up too... He's like a mad demon trying to kill his opponent...
                      Would you rather him be a teddy bear that smothers you with love and fuzziness? It's kendo, what else should be do?

                      Originally posted by Sasaki View Post
                      I've been planning to tell my sensei about his messed up attitude. (or even tell him in person)
                      yes do tell your Sensei, but what are you going to do say if your sensei was the one giving the bad attitude? Don't answer, that's a rhetorical question. Just think about it.

                      Kendo is more than just reiho, shinai kendo, and talking about doing kendo.

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                      • #12
                        When I had just "graduated" to junior's grade and was allowed to wear bogu, I was extremely happy to be able to practise with all the more serious seniors. We'd keep rotating and I'd often be paired with high kyu grades, and at times, some dan grades. That just felt awesome.

                        This one time though, I had a jigeiko with a dan grade, and he pretty much beat the poop out of me. I was absolutely helpless. He was aggressive, was hitting really hard, and would pretty much just run right into me when he attacked, and I of course was just getting pushed around and bullied. It was absolutely humiliating, and frustated the butt out of me. I nearly cried on the way home, just because it felt so "unfair". For a while I really disliked this guy, I just thought that he was just being needlessly mean to someone who wasn't even graded.

                        Months later, I fought the same guy again, but that time I managed to hold myself better. Perhaps he was holding back, I don't know, but I'm guessing I've gotten a bit better, or at the very least I could control my emotions better. I still lost (for obvious reasons), but I felt like I did my best, so I was content. After the training, to my surprise, he went up to me and said "hey! Good shiai today!" and gave me a thumbs up.

                        Ever since then, he's always helped me with my Kendo. Footwork, posture, shiai tactics, he'd occassionally come up to me randomly and give me advices. So I was completely wrong about him being a "mean bully". Maybe he had a bad day that time and was channeling his frustation through training. Maybe he noticed I had a bit of an attitude and wanted to fix that. Maybe he simply wanted to "kill my spirit" to train my mental Kendo. But in the end, it was really my fault for judging him wrongly based on just a few minutes of being smacked around. I do admit he can be pretty harsh in shiai, but he really is a cool guy who does like helping people.

                        My point is, don't be too quick to judge people, I think sometimes it's good to find an obstacle in your training. Everyone is different, some people are extremely nice in and out of the dojo, but there are people who play really rough and pushy during shiai. I don't mind that so much because, you know, those are probably the kind of people you'll fight in competitions.

                        I have brought up this very same subject to my teacher, about getting frustated during a fight with specific people. They seem to just "bully" me to the point where I can't even concentrate and perform right. His advice?

                        "Worry about your own Kendo, not theirs".

                        Which is what a couple of people have been saying in this thread, so I fully agree with that. Just forget about it and have fun!

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                        • #13
                          meh...

                          Sometimes sempais are supposed to be tough and mean. I am sometimes.

                          I thought my sempais were when I was just starting, many years ago. Now I can see that they were just trying to get me used to doing Kendo.

                          I face mad speed demons often during practice, and I've learned to smile and laugh when I do. It wasn't always like that. But what are we supposed to do if we find ourselves facing a mad demon opponent trying to kill us? Raise our hands and complain to the ref?

                          Do your best to throw his attitude back in his face. Scream in his face to show him you're not afraid. The loudest scream you can muster. Scream in his face to force him to pay attention to you. Make yourself matter. Attack him with everything you have to try to break his ego. Make him lose.

                          Its either that and win, or lose and give up and go home.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tsunemori View Post
                            Maybe he had a bad day that time and was channeling his frustation through training. Maybe he noticed I had a bit of an attitude and wanted to fix that. Maybe he simply wanted to "kill my spirit" to train my mental Kendo.
                            Maybe he had his own things to work on, like becoming a true badass in shiai, showing strongs uchis and zanshin?

                            Being beaten up by other kenshis is part of the course!

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                            • #15
                              Sasaki, please take into account all the different opinions here. Yes, being tough with people is perfectly normal (and usually helps), but from the way you describe the person, I can definitely picture the genre of kendoka he falls into. To me, it sounds like our friend Sasaki is dealing less with the drill sargeant type of sempai, and more with the "This is a waste of my time, I'm hot shit, I should be doing jigeiko with only san dan and up kendoka" types. I mentioned an instance in the "Nurturing the newbs" thread where I caught a couple of guys stepping out of rotation, and trading places in rotation so they could avoid practicing with a few mudansha who were down the line from me. I think this might be the type of guy we are talking about here. Hopefully, Sasaki has access to more than a few yudansha, whom can help him with his kendo. Even if they aren't as high of a rank as the guy in question, he'll probably learn more from someone he can respect. If the person we are talking about truely behaves like I just mentioned, I think Sasaki has every right to be offended, but how he handles it is what is most important. Don't let anyone stop you from doing kendo, Sasaki...hang in there.

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