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Punishment for latecomers?

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  • At my first dojo, we weren't singled out directly, but as a group, the beginners were given a stern talking to at one point for not all of us being there to clean the floors on time. Because I make my living as a freelance performing musician, and as a private music teacher, I have to take gigs/students whenever they're offered and on the schedule of whoever's hiring me for either type of job. I had a student on the beginner's practice night, and it wasn't possible for me to get to that dojo on time. The overall dojo culture made me feel uncomfortable as a beginner showing up late or leaving early. However there was someone more senior who was late for every single practice, I think because they either had to work, or maybe didn't like doing warmup/footwork/kihon, and the sensei would personally come over, do some hayasuburi with them, and tell them to get in line for jigeiko.

    At my current dojo, it is extremely relaxed, and they are understanding. I've had a family illness recently, and work's been busy, but if I've shown up late, I just mokuso, stretch, do a some suburi and jump in as soon as I can. My sensei told me by email (he's quite approachable in person, and by email) that family and work have to come first, then kendo. For kids if they're late, sometimes they have to do pushups. The only time I was punished at my dojo was when we were all too slow putting on our bogu, and both sensei's were done way before us. 150 hayasuburi in bogu,...I'd never done hayasuburi with my men on before. We normally do 100 or 200 as part of our warm-up , but I found this really tough, especially with my brand new men. Needless to say, I'm the fastest person at my dojo now at getting on my bogu.

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    • late is punishment

      While, as already mentioned, being late is itself a kind of punishment since
      we miss something...or lots of somethings! If it's a standing time-crunch (job etc.), out of politeness to the Sensei we should let him/her know the situation.

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