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  • New club at Georgia Southern University!

    I am happy to report that I am starting a Kendo club at GSU in Statesboro, GA. Practice begins this fall. Our instructor will be Kazunori Sakakibara (3rd Dan) and he is flying in from Japan on the 30th of July. I feel greatly blessed that I have even managed to get this far.

    I've known about kendo for years but I've never had the opportunity to try it because of location. I started going back to school this past summer and decided that the only way I'd be able to do it is if I did it myself. I wanted to do it the right way though, so I set up some meetings with the Student Government Organization and the Director of Recreational Intramural Sports and they've given me the go ahead. So far role call has 5 people, and I haven't even started advertising yet. I just got flyers today though, so hopefully that number will be jumping very shortly. Anyway, those two people mentioned above put me in touch with a student from Japan who had tried to start a club in the spring but wasn't very successful. I had to convince him that the Kendo club at GSU is very doable and he decided to come back to GSU for another year.

    So after all that, I will finally be able to start my journey through Kendo!

    Wish me luck and I hope to see some of you at a tournament sometime!

    Johnny Smythe
    js05406@georgiasouthern.edu

  • #2
    Congratulations, and good luck! I applaud your effort, and I hope you get from kendo what you are looking for.

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    • #3
      Outstanding effort.

      An example to all the backyard Samurai out there!

      Comment


      • #4
        sweet!

        thanks for your support! no longer will i be forced to fight in the SCA and to beat the crap out of my friends with padded swords! mwhuahahaha!!!

        ahem. anyway, I'll try to keep you all posted on how it goes, but so far it is on track.

        the higher ups are in the process of reviewing the constitution of the new club and i'm supposed to meet with them on friday (tomorrow).

        that's all for now!

        Johnny Smythe

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        • #5
          Congratulations, always good to see another college club start up. I helped establish and run my college club so I know how hard it is to go through the student government and related groups, especially when it came to securing practice space. Best of luck to you!

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          • #6
            still alive and kickin'

            Again, thank you to you all for your support.

            You are right, it is very, very difficult with all the hoops you have to jump through and all the meetings you have to set up and stuff. you have to do what you have to do though. it's all part of the game. sigh....

            in any case, my sensei will be arriving in georgia from a flight from japan late on the 31st and i can't wait to meet with him face to face!

            i'm already very nervous about it! lol

            if anyone has any advice for new college clubs starting out, i'm all ears!

            on a side note, the practice space was the easiest to get!

            Johnny Smythe

            Comment


            • #7
              Jhawz, good luck on getting your club going; I know how hard it is to deal with the meetings, paperwork, time on the phone, and acquisition of space and funding. My club is small and I pretty much run it alone, but it is a great experience. Don't let the usual problems with starting a small club get to you. The only advice I have to offer is to get as many dan ranked members as possible, and work hard in your own training to become more skilled. People may not know much about Kendo, but I do think that they might be able to tell whether someone is experienced or not. You'll get more members if they know they have skilled teachers.

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              • #8
                Just some advice based on my own experience running a college club. Stay on top of things and don't be afraid to divide duties amongst your club officers as things will get done much faster. If necessary, make sure all members sign a waiver of sorts or at least have one ready in the event you get non university related visitors. If you're seeking any kind of club funds from the student government or other university group, stress the safety and longevity of the investment (if you're buying club bogu but that won't be for a while yet).

                Comment


                • #9
                  advice

                  thanks for the advice people! good stuff for all! as of this moment the flyers have been put up and i'm still waiting to meet with sensei for the first time. should be any day now though. i've got the first officers chosen, but we still don't have any officers with any experience with kendo. out of all of us, i would say i have the most knowledge, but that's just because i read alot and have studied swordplay for a long time. needless to say, i don't consider myself qualified to teach anyone, anything about kendo. but i will do my best to help where it's needed.

                  thank you for all of the help, and i'll try to keep you all updated as often as possible.

                  Johnny Smythe
                  GSU Kendo Club

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                  • #10
                    GSU Club

                    How long will Sakakibara sensei stay?

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                    • #11
                      I met with Sensei yesterday (for the first time), and he will be graduating GSU in May of next year. He isn't sure whether or not he will be staying here, or if he will be moving to atlanta to join the Georgia Kendo Alliance club over there. So we at least have him until then. He has also stated that he has some connections and he might be able to get us another Sensei if he does leave. In the meantime, I'm planning on soaking up everything he knows about Kendo. wish me luck!

                      Johnny Smythe

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jhawz View Post
                        So we at least have him until then. He has also stated that he has some connections and he might be able to get us another Sensei if he does leave. In the meantime, I'm planning on soaking up everything he knows about Kendo. wish me luck!
                        Good luck and even if the worst case happens and you aren't able to find a replacement sensei, you're only about 200 miles from 2 kendo dojos in the Atlanta area and maybe you could drive up once a month or so to keep your training on track. Visitors are always welcome at GKA.

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                        • #13
                          thanks for the invite! if worst comes to worst i might just have to give it a try. sadly, i'm one of those people that falls asleep at the wheel if i drive for more than an hour, but maybe i could carpool with some of the other students or something. anyway, practice starts around the 1st of september. i'm very excited!

                          Johnny Smythe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Kendo at GSU

                            Your new Club was discussed a the SEUSKF BOD meeting this past weekend in Atlanta. It shows in their BOD minutes. I think you will receive a letter soon from Pres. Ken Strawn sensei, giving you "probationary status". Common for all new kendo clubs in AUSKF/SEUSKF.

                            Gambatte !

                            Remember only 5% of all kendo students who begin, continue after 1 year.

                            Hopefully, you're in that 5%.

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                            • #15
                              Indeed, I would have to have to go to all the trouble of starting a club and then not actually participate. That would make me a very sad individual. so far I think our first practice might consist of around 20 people. That is of course if everyone shows that said they were going to. People being what they are, I'm expecting about half that. We'll just have to see.

                              First practice is tonight from 5-7pm. I'm very excited! Wish me luck with my basics!

                              Johnny Smythe

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