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  • Switching home Dojo?

    What is the general opinion of someone changing the dojo they are affiliated with? Are you stuck with the dojo you started with? Could you belong to a dojo in a different city? The Sensei at the dojo I started with is now not physically able to attend due to age and poor health. I do not wish to say anything negative about the dojo or the senpai who leads the dojo now. What about belonging to a dojo in a different city, training there once a week and training with the couple of clubs in town on the other days?

  • #2
    I suppose it depends on your relationship with the other dojos in town, how badly you want to switch, and whether you care if you burn any bridges on your way out. I know some people who have simply asked for permission to train at another dojo while still being a member of their original dojo, which is probably the most politically smart thing to do. This is only possible if your dojo has a good relationship with the other dojo, and of course you have to show up at your own dojo once in a while too. If they have a bad relationship, you probably have to switch (presuming the other dojo will accept you - sometimes the politics are bad enough that a switch is not possible). If you want to switch completely, likely the people at your old dojo will be hurt, unless you can come up with a good excuse (like conflicting schedules, etc). Visiting dojo in other cities should never be a problem, if it's a problem for your sensei then I think its a problem for you.

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    • #3
      If you're going to out and out switch dojo because you're no longer satisfied it brings along certain consequences, particularly in relation to the members of your ex-dojo.

      We don't refuse people from other dojo that want to join us. However, they are warned that they'll be sort of an outsider for a bit of time and that we're not going to let their relationship with their ex-dojo affect our club's relationship with the same. We won't play politics with people who want to learn, we just want to do kendo.

      At the same, if you want to switch dojo then our sensei requires a letter stating why you want to change. It's not as easy as just showing up regularly.

      The real consquences are for the person that changes. He or she might find themselves both ostracized by their old mates and not quite accepted by their new ones. It's a hell of a risk to take. But then again, if one is not satisfied with one's present situation then you have to act.

      None of this applies to cases where you had to switch due to something like a scheduling conflict or maybe moving to another part of your town/state. Of course, one would then assume that you would switch back to your old dojo once the conflict in schedules no longer exists.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you.

        Neil, thank you for your reply. I do not what to burn any bridges or hurt innocent kenshi that belong to the club I was considering leaving. Relations with all the clubs in town and in the other city are good. I visit the dojo in the other city frequently (about once a month) and I could make the trip every week (I should anyways as it would be on the one day there is no kendo in my home town). I just didnt know if this is something that is considered by the Kendo community at large as a very bad thing. I do not wish to cause trouble in the local Kendo community but I want to be in the best environment for my development. Maybe that is a selfish motivation when there are many younger kenshi that I could help in the dojo Im in now.



        I do appreciate your opinion, Neil. Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          I Would suggest maintaining your membership and identity as so-and-so's student and attend the other dojo.

          But to change because the dojo sensei has aged is not the best thing to do.

          Dojos are not like health clubs. You do not change because you want to do more of the things you want to do; like jigeiko, or minor circumstances change or your membership runs out.

          When you join a dojo you are making a decision to learn from that dojo master as well as identify yourself as a member of that dojo. This is the problem with the new generation. they just don't get it or feel that the dojo master is their shisho and they become deshi..

          Orayakab, U.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you

            AlexM,

            Thank you for your reply. I know you are right about changing dojos. I just wish it wasn't so.



            I am reminded of the three types on people you find in a dojo. I guess I should not kill the bird because it won't sing. But do I wait for the bird to sing or do I coax the bird to sing that is the question I have to deal with.





            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=Migoto]... there are many younger kenshi that I could help in the dojo Im in now.

              Good call and a nice way to give back to your sensei who retired. Since you are welcome to participate at the other local dojo practices, hopefully your kendo needs will also be met. Ganbatte.

              Comment


              • #8
                You are right.

                Orayakab,

                I do want to clarify. We have not seen the sensei in four months. And I do not know if we should expect him to return.


                Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks KIKI

                  [QUOTE=Kiki]
                  Originally posted by Migoto
                  ... there are many younger kenshi that I could help in the dojo Im in now.

                  Good call and a nice way to give back to your sensei who retired. Since you are welcome to participate at the other local dojo practices, hopefully your kendo needs will also be met. Ganbatte.
                  KIKI,
                  Thank you for your kind approach.

                  I do not want kendo to be hurt in my home town.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Posted by AlexM:

                    The real consquences are for the person that changes. He or she might find themselves both ostracized by their old mates and not quite accepted by their new ones. It's a hell of a risk to take. But then again, if one is not satisfied with one's present situation then you have to act.
                    Ok, this I have a real problem with. Why on earth are people so rude these days? If a person changes, so what? Ignore that, and be NICE to the new person! Man, if I was sensei, and I found MY students ostracizing and not accepting a new student, you can bet I'd get to the bottom of it immediately. I would not tolerate that. If that new student was not a nice person, then there might be some reason for it, and I'd have a talk with him/her to find out what the deal is. But, there is NO reason for people to behave in an impolite way torwards a person JUST because they changed dojos. I find that just appalling. I don't care WHO the person is... you must BE NICE at all times! And, it is RUDE not to accept the new student. If they haven't DONE anything to anybody, then they do not deserve to be treated in such a disgusting manner. Heck, when I had to change dojos, if I had been treated that way by MY dojomates and sensei, I'd have been so sad and probably cried, because I did nothing to my new dojomates and sensei except changed dojos. I would have been very very hurt. I'd have never come back.

                    SO. if a person is going to treat a new person in that way just because that person switched dojos, then they should not be doing Kendo, IMHO.
                    One should help the new person fit in for heaven sakes!

                    Alex-san, this was not directed at you. It was directed in a general direction to all.

                    As for the rest of the advice given, I agree with what everyone says. I just can't agree with the stupidity of being rude to someone just because they switched. And YES. Even if the ostracizing and not accepting is subtle, it is STILL RUDE and should not be allowed by any decent sensei.

                    Sorry guys, but I can't stand it when people are like that. Please forgive my rant! (bows)

                    Kaoru

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For Kaoru

                      You have a point. But the way I read it was more along the way of the kenshi from the dojo you left would be hurt or not understanding of you leaving. And the kenshi at the new dojo would not know you yet and not be as friendly because they are not comfortable with you yet. The worst I read into that post was the kenshi at the new dojo would know that you left a dojo without understanding why and think that you might be of low character for betraying your old dojo. Although this is not very enlightened, it would be understandable that some people might think along those lines.



                      I do appreciate your viewpoint, and I wish it was that way.



                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        you have a duty to stay at your old dojo. So what if the new teacher is not as good as the old one? Encourage him to travel with you so you both improve, and therefore drag the rest of the classes standard up with you. You will of course miss your old sensei, but what happens when the next in line retires, and the next... and then you have to teach? Will you stop then? I didnt think so. One of the things we take on when we learn is the responsibility of teaching others, so set an example to your juniors and get on with training, and look after those junior to yourself.
                        It is hard when the teacher leaves, I am in the process of watching my own teacher retire, however he has expected me to teach in my own dojo for a long time, and often says he expects me to be able to answer all the questions he can. I am therefore under a lot of pressure to get as much as I can while I can. Your new instructor will be under the same pressure. Help him out by supporting him and keep practising.
                        By all means go to other dojos, in Japan you may leave up to 3rd dan and change teachers, after that you should have made your mind up, and must stay or stop training altogether. By the sound of it you have been there longer than that, so you are stuck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If there's one thing I hate about kendo, it's all the political baggage that seems to come in around 5th dan.

                          Every dojo got a slightly different approach to kendo and that approach may change or the students outlook and expectations may change. You then have to think about what it means for you and what you can do about it. If you think that you cant do anything to change the approach of your current dojo and will be happier elsewhere, by all means, change home dojo.

                          Granted, London might be a little different that way. A lot of people are practicing at multiple dojo's and it's not unheard of for people to change.
                          Personally, I'm in the slightly weird situation with belonging to two different dojo's (Long story), which does make it a little tricky when it comes to competitions!.

                          If you do go ahead and change, do however visit your old dojo as often as you can and practice hard when you are there.

                          Jakob

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                          • #14
                            I have changed dojos in the past. I used to belong to a dojo a while back, and I quit kendo for a while. Then I came back to a different dojo. Things have been ok so far. I have been back in kendo for like 2 years now.

                            We have some kenshi in our dojo that belong to our dojo in name only. I have seen this particular guy at our dojo like 2 to 3 times in the whole year. Yet, I see him consistently at other dojos. This is because of work schedule, family issues, etc. Some people bitch and complain, but overall nobody seems to mind that much.

                            I have also seen kenshi from other dojos switch dojos. There is always a lot of bitching and moaning, but they seem to be doing OK.

                            I guess the bottom line is it is important to be loyal to your dojo, but if situations force you to change dojo, it will be OK. Ideally, it would be best to stay at your dojo of origin, but hey, this is life, and things happen!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kaoru
                              I did nothing to my new dojomates and sensei except changed dojos.
                              Kaoru, in your case that was probably true, but it may not be true for someone else.

                              A more senior person is expected to make a larger commitment (and contribution) to Kendo, to the dojo, to the federation, etc. If a person who has a substantial responsibility for keeping the dojo running properly decides to leave, it impacts more people than just the one who is leaving. Hence the potential for bad feelings, and the need for delicacy.

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