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Sensei striking students (not in bogu)

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  • Sensei striking students (not in bogu)

    I've been at it for about 5 months now. The sensei is very helpful, but at times he is so strict (dare I say "angry" even) in his correction that he will strike me quite hard with the shinai. I'm not in bogu yet, so he's basically striking my body plus the keikogi. Not just a tap or a shove, either. I'm talking WHACK!! Sometimes he will jab students with the kensen so hard that it nearly knocks them over as well (they typically slam into the wall before they can fall). We had a visiting sensei (who was a higher rank than ours), and he was not at all like this, but rather happy to assist and correct us.

    Most of the time, my adrenaline is going so much during practice that I don't really feel it, but tonight, while getting in the shower, my wife took notice of a pretty significant welt (from the bamboo staves pinching upon impact), and a bruise from the sensei's striking me. Needless to say, she's pretty upset about it, and to be honest, given that I'm still so new in kendo, I'm not sure if I should be upset of not! Her first reaction was "If I see this again, I'm going to have words with the sensei."

    Needless to say, this puts me in a VERY uncomfortable position. Can anyone advise on this predicament? Is striking a student not yet in bogu commonplace? Obviously, once he does it, I usually stop doing whatever he says I'm doing wrong!

  • #2
    No this is most definitely not right. You should probably find somewhere else to train, really, as he doesn't sound like he's likely to take any notice of people speaking up about it.

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    • #3
      COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!!

      Is your dojo AUSKF member?

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      • #4
        I've never hit a student off-bogu intentionally.

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        • #5
          Bow politely at the door to the dojo and R U N A W A Y as fast as possible from that dojo.
          Let us know roughly where you are and we'll try to help you find a dojo that has an instructor
          that is not abusive.

          If you like you can pm me.

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          • #6
            Gosh! What an awful situation this puts me in! Outside of practice, he's a really nice, down to earth guy. But once his bogu goes on he gets pretty militant. I had no idea this was "outside the curriculum" so to speak. Such a shame, too, given that I've invested in kendogi, Shinai, Shinai bag, etc..

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            • #7
              This guy is 7th dan, btw

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              • #8
                I've regulary seen non bogu students receiving a strike against their shinai in a class where non bogu greatly outnumbers bogu students say if practising basic men strikes. But definatly NEVER anyone (intentionally) striking the body of a non bogu student.

                And whether is a 7th dan or not doesn't matter. He shouldn't be doing it. No one should come away from kendo with welts on them (I am aware it happens accidently).

                Grab your kit, leave that dojo and find a different one so you can continue your training with a Sensei who respects you for not yet being in bogu.

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                • #9
                  The problem I'm going to run into is that this guy is affiliated with any kendo clubs local to me. If this is as serious an issue as you are suggesting, I may have to hang it up and start back up if/when I move away. I hate to do that. We also have a 4th dan sensei (who has never done this) who I have considered discussing the matter with outside of practice....but he holds the sensei in very high esteem, so I'm not sure what his reaction would be.

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                  • #10
                    I do not envy you in the slightest. The advice my sensei gives me is whenever there is conflict in his words "just avoid".
                    The highest level of avoidance is to find another club. The next level is to avoid the person ( in this instance this would appear difficult for you with him being a Sensei). The next level is to feign an injury. If you have to sit out of the class for 5 minutes as a result of one of these body shots then maybe the Sensei will realise that hes going a bit far with his actions.
                    I am always being told that the best form of communication in kendo is non verbal.

                    A story my sensei tells me is :a club has several Sensei and one of these is very physical and hurts everybody. If someone lined up to do jigeiko with him the student would feign an injury and stop the fight. This got the point where no one would line up to fight him. Without anyone saying anything the Sensei realized that he was the problem and had to look at himself and his own actions.

                    If this doesnt work then you can look for another club.

                    Fuzzy

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                    • #11
                      We had a visiting sensei, who was GREAT. Easy to work with, and very happy to offer corrective advice, in a pleasant manner. I felt like what I learned from him sticked more, and probably because I wasn't of the mindset "I need to learn this, so he doesn't hit me." He was a higher rank than our sensei. I wonder if I could contact him and discuss this with him. Maybe he could discuss it with my sensei. I think he would be more receptive to someone who is a higher rank.

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                      • #12
                        I know this was already asked but is your club part of the AUSKF?

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                        • #13
                          It's part of the SEUSKF. Isn't that a branch/division within AUSKF?

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                          • #14
                            I`ve been hit before by some sensei here, but only in a very friendly way with a smile as if to say thats not the way to do it
                            or how I showed you. We had a fairly abusive sensei once back home. and it got to the point where everyone talked to the other sensei who were aware of the problem. butperhaps didnt like to mention it to him. But eventualy they did and things settled down for the most part.

                            Talk to the other sensei, if it doesnt go well dont be afraid to go elsewhere. People dont always mix well, or are better suited
                            to others methods. Maybe you could site work reasons and can no longer train on the days of that dojo. And let the other members here find a dojo with a less extreme sensei.

                            If you enjoy kendo now, dont stop or it will be harder to get back into. And you`ll lose your basics or you`ll practice at home risking the development of bad habbits. It will be so much more rewarding for you if you find a place you are comfortable at.
                            goodluck.

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                            • #15
                              If it's like you said that he is "down to earth friendly outside of practice" I suggest you talk to him before of after practice.
                              If all else fails you can always go to other dojos, but what ever you do don't let one person discourage you from practicing Kendo.

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