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  • planing to switch dojos

    hi, i would like to say i been practicing kendo for 2 years, and the current dojo i am part of i feel they are not teaching me well, i have very little fellowship with the sensei and even the senpais. most of my kendo experience i learn the bulk of it on my own, i offten get scolded in my dojo due to etiquette that not one tells me about untill i get scolded, it makes me feel bad and foolish, the basics i learned on my own, no one in my dojo ever gets the chance to teach or explain waza, i had to learn them on my own, i admit i have very slight learning disability, and people in my dojo reluctantly do keiko with me, but they feel that am a hinderence to their training, i got scolded by one of the senpais saying am ruining the training of one of my practice partners when i am receiving kirikaeshi. i know am not one of the "strongest" kendoka in my dojo but am often feel like i am being treated like the black sheep, most of the people they are a bit passive agressive with me. i love kendo always have...but the current dojo i am is often making me think to quit kendo, but instead to give in to this i plan to move switch to another dojo in my local area, good thing i live in nyc they are plenty of kendo dojos around.

  • #2
    First I'll say fitting into your dojo is a big part of enjoying kendo, if you don't fit at the current one then try another. Next I'd say be careful what you wish for, if everyone in your current dojo is saying the same thing is there any truth to it? I have no idea of your circumstances but know the dojos in NY, they're all very good, I'm not implying anything by that comment just saying I've practiced with them and think highly of the sensei and their students. Anyway the best approach is always to sit down and talk with the sensei, just be honest. On a side note your current dojo is under the AUSKF umbrella correct?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by yomi View Post
      hi, i would like to say i been practicing kendo for 2 years, and the current dojo i am part of i feel they are not teaching me well, i have very little fellowship with the sensei and even the senpais. most of my kendo experience i learn the bulk of it on my own, i offten get scolded in my dojo due to etiquette that not one tells me about untill i get scolded, it makes me feel bad and foolish, the basics i learned on my own, no one in my dojo ever gets the chance to teach or explain waza, i had to learn them on my own, i admit i have very slight learning disability, and people in my dojo reluctantly do keiko with me, but they feel that am a hinderence to their training, i got scolded by one of the senpais saying am ruining the training of one of my practice partners when i am receiving kirikaeshi. i know am not one of the "strongest" kendoka in my dojo but am often feel like i am being treated like the black sheep, most of the people they are a bit passive agressive with me. i love kendo always have...but the current dojo i am is often making me think to quit kendo, but instead to give in to this i plan to move switch to another dojo in my local area, good thing i live in nyc they are plenty of kendo dojos around.
      Toecutter said it more nicely, but I'll just say it more bluntly since you invited it by posting: this sounds like a maturity issue to me.

      I've never seen someone who isn't strong in Kendo be treated poorly, but I've seen immature or arrogant people who won't take instruction treated poorly. If you've been there two years and are still having ettiquite issues that's a you problem not a them problem. If you think you've learned the basics "on your own" that's a you problem not a them problem. But if you think they are not teaching you well you may be right, especially if you have a learning disability that is relevant to learning Kendo.

      Either way, I agree with you: time to go to a different dojo. Start over. Don't tell the new dojo all this stuff. Just say you were at a different dojo for a couple years and feel like you want a change of scenery to help you learn and be encouraged. Do not say anything bad about the old dojo. Do not say anything bad to the old dojo. Just tell your current sensei you feel like a change of pace, appreciate the past couple years, thanks for the instruction, and best wishes for the future.

      Then try to find out what you were doing wrong fundamentals and ettiquite-wise and ask for help with those things at your new dojo. Humility goes a long way.

      Finally, about the learning disability thing:

      I know that it is very politically correct nowadays to emphasize the difficulties a learning disability can create, especially for high school and college students. I know that many of these disabilities are legitimate and additional assistance or targeted teaching, combined with diligence and creativity, can overcome them. But I think a lot of college students arive at college having been told this for years and having been enabled more than is really necessary or possible once they hit the real world. They are told they are entitled to extra time, extra help, that they can't do things everyone else can do, and they deserve additional resources, etc. It becomes a crutch for these people. It creates unrealistic ideas of what the world is like after college--and in some senses while still in college.

      I am not saying that is you. I don't know you and wouldn't presume. I don't know how old you are but I'm guessing high school or college based on your disdain for capitalization. But if you think that might be you, a Kendo dojo is just one of thousands of places that cannot always and fully accommodate learning disabilities. That doesn't mean everyone should be or will be a jackass or that you shouldn't tell your sensei you have ADHD or whatnot. But it does mean they cannot create IEPs for you while the rest of the dojo learns something different. Just something to consider.

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      • #4
        I think its worth considering that if you do switch dojos and you are in the same country/region, and you have some previous experience with kendo, it is possible you will be asked up front your training history. At minimum you will be asked what dojo you trained at and who your sensei was.

        Secondly, it is not uncommon for senseis to talk to one another behind the scenes.

        Just something to consider.

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        • #5
          Getting yelled at for messing up on etiquette isn't that big a deal - you made a mistake, they bark, you learn from it. Life goes on. The fellowship angle, I can kind of understand. I don't want my training time to be social club time, but it is generally easier all around if people can at least get along. You don't have to go out for movies after class, but while you're on the floor you should be able to get good instruction. If they have a problem with you they can't get over, they are failing you as your seniors. That is something you don't have to put up with.

          There can be a fine line between leaning on someone to push them forward or to "harden up a little", and straight up being dicks. Your sempai might not realize he's crossing that line with you. If you can't calmly approach him about it, it might not be a bad idea to set a time to talk with the next step up the chain to figure out how to handle it. This could be a good chance to learn how to handle conflict in a positive manner.

          From the way you're relating things, it doesn't sound like you're getting a lot out of this current arrangement. Being flexible is one thing, but trying to force yourself to fit in somewhere that isn't good for you is another. Life's too short to put up with BS if you aren't getting something worth it.

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          • #6
            Yomi, people present on this forum who don't train at your dojo or with you can't possibly judge on how you are (mis)treated. Like toecutter suggested, talk about the subject with sensei of sempai.

            I can however tell you about something that happened to me regarding etiquette. I took my men of and put it besides my like I normally did. This resulted in kakari geiko, I didn't know why until after finishing the geiko. The reason? My sempai told me that I had put my himo in my men incorrectly thus resulting in a kakari geiko session. I explained that I didn't know this had to be done a certain way. He told me that now I would never forget. Yes it sucked having to do geiko, no I didn't forget to put my men away correctly after that.

            Methods my vary, as well as for the teaching and receiving end.

            Edit: this is what you get when you don't refresh a page since the morning you opened it. My apologies.

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            • #7
              I found a new dojo, i spoke with the sensei of that dojo and he agrees with my situtation. he said that senpais where being elitist, something he stated that will be unacceptable in his dojo.he told me that it is a good idea that i should leave the current one because if i been there for 2 years and learned a little and not been taught waza,how to assemble or dissemble a shinai,or other in dept stuff then am wasting time there. he also gave a wonderful analogy of kendo he said "kendo is like a budding rose, it takes times, patience, and care for it to bloom" he told me when ever am ready i can come to his dojo, he told me i have passion for kendo, its just has not been properly cultivated.

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              • #8
                Yomi, what is it exactly you would like this forum to comment on?

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                • #9
                  Best of luck wherever this takes you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yomi View Post
                    I found a new dojo, i spoke with the sensei of that dojo and he agrees with my situtation. he said that senpais where being elitist, something he stated that will be unacceptable in his dojo.he told me that it is a good idea that i should leave the current one because if i been there for 2 years and learned a little and not been taught waza,how to assemble or dissemble a shinai,or other in dept stuff then am wasting time there. he also gave a wonderful analogy of kendo he said "kendo is like a budding rose, it takes times, patience, and care for it to bloom"
                    as previous posters have mentioned, i think you feel like you are entitled to extra attention because of your learning disability. tutorials on how to assemble and disassemble a shinai are easily found online. second, have you asked your sensei or senpai on how to do such things? they can't read your mind.

                    as for the bolded quote... two years is very little time in one's kendo journey... especially two years in the beginning... why are you even concerned with waza? you should be concentrating on having a good men-uchi. it takes time to have good kendo, and everyone can empathize with the frustration of not seeing visible progress. i feel this way a lot, and while i know it's unbecoming of me, i think a large part of it comes from my own immaturity. a lot of things that you feel like you are learning on your own can be learned if you watch what others are doing. if you are completely at a loss for what to do, you should just follow what other people are doing.
                    Last edited by nahneun; 25th May 2012, 01:27 PM.

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                    • #11
                      If I were you, I would write (as in paper not email) a letter to the current dojo, thanking for their time and instruction. Tell them that you would like to attend another dojo that you feel will be in tune with your particular needs at this particular time and place. Then and ask them if you can be released as a student of the dojo to pursue this new avenue. Again, thank them for their time a patience.

                      This is a formal way to go about a difficult transition. A copy of the letter can be given to your new sensei, which will not only position you as someone who doesn't go dojo-hopping and will also make the new sensei more comfortable with taking on someone else's student. Another benefit of this approach is that you will always be able to hold your head up high, if and when you bump into people from the old dojo.

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                      • #12
                        I would also do the same in this situation. As Mr. Anstey has stated, a hand written letter is the way to go.

                        Originally posted by Jason Anstey View Post
                        If I were you, I would write (as in paper not email) a letter to the current dojo, thanking for their time and instruction. Tell them that you would like to attend another dojo that you feel will be in tune with your particular needs at this particular time and place. Then and ask them if you can be released as a student of the dojo to pursue this new avenue. Again, thank them for their time a patience.

                        This is a formal way to go about a difficult transition. A copy of the letter can be given to your new sensei, which will not only position you as someone who doesn't go dojo-hopping and will also make the new sensei more comfortable with taking on someone else's student. Another benefit of this approach is that you will always be able to hold your head up high, if and when you bump into people from the old dojo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          JJCruiser wrote:
                          Don't tell the new dojo all this stuff. ... Do not say anything bad about the old dojo. Do not say anything bad to the old dojo.
                          This, ad infinitum


                          ArcticBlizzard wrote:
                          I can however tell you about something that happened to me regarding etiquette. I took my men of and put it besides my like I normally did. This resulted in kakari geiko, I didn't know why until after finishing the geiko. The reason? My sempai told me that I had put my himo in my men incorrectly thus resulting in a kakari geiko session.
                          Wat? ( O_o)

                          Now -I- need to learn this specific and required fashion of putting the himo in the men, because so far I haven't been instructed thusly. Usually I tend to hold the men with one hand, while making a few loops in the himo with the other, then just laying them in there. Am I missing something?
                          Last edited by Herringbone; 30th May 2012, 06:37 PM.

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                          • #14
                            [removed]

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by krys View Post
                              [removed]
                              Krys, i believe you mistook me for the OP or somebody else.

                              However, what would have been helpful would be to answer the question instead of being snide.

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