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  • Continuing training while out of town for work?

    I am an almost complete beginner, having been doing kumdo (the Korean version of kendo) for 3 weeks now. In around 3 weeks time, I have to travel approx 21/2 hours away from my Dojo to install the roofs of 2 large houses. This will likely take 4-5 weeks to complete; I will be staying in the area during that time. I am already in hakama/gi; I have just ordered hogu/bogu a couple nights ago (while it was on special), anticipating that I'll be ready to use it before the out of town job starts. There is a kendo club 20 minutes or so from the jobsite; they hold beginners training on Saturdays; I will be going to meet the owners of the new houses this weekend to discuss shingle colours etc; I am considering visiting the local club during the same trip, just to see how they compare to my home club.
    I own property 30mins from the out of town club, so that alone may make it a good idea to at least meet the sensei, since sooner or later I will be living in their catchment area pretty much full time.
    My options during this time are:
    To practice on my own during the evenings;
    or join the local club for these few weeks;
    or a combination of the two?
    I understand from reading this site that many clubs take much longer to allow members to wear hakama and bogu, so will that be a sticking point?
    At some stage, I will probably be doing a job with NO dojo within 3 hours' drive, then I will be on my own, though I will make efforts to track down any other kendoka who are in that area (Coromandel Penninsula)

  • #2
    In general it's best to stick to just one dojo initially until perhaps reaching some minimum level, e.g. in my opinion in the case of adults that would be ikkyu (just my opinion though). The reasoning is that different dojo present information in slightly different ways and this may confuse beginners who do not yet have enough experience to contextualize what may seem to be conflicting information.

    However, if the choice is between staying in practice or not, then perhaps it would be better to ping pong between two clubs than to have big gaps. I would speak to your current sensei and explain the situation first.

    Dropping in on the other club just to have a look wouldn't hurt. If you've been advised that it's best not to practice at another dojo yet you can at least explain this to the other sensei so (s)he understands that you might not be starting right away but want to get in contact anyway.

    Either way, keep your sensei(s) informed. It's not just a matter of being polite, it's also that they should know in order to help direct your development, especially when it comes to rank beginners.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      After talking to your own sensei, if they give the okay, try to call or email the other dojo before showing up -- and just explain your situation and ask what they are comfortable with. I agree with Dillon it's better to wait until you're comfortable in bogu before visiting, but your sensei and the potential visited dojo's sensei's are the only opinions that matter.

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      • #4
        I visited the other dojo today, turns out that the sensei knows my usual sensei well; she was surprised & glad to see me. I explained my situation with the roof job and the likelihood of further work in their area, and that I have only been doing kendo for 3 weeks... first question was "When would I be showing up for training?" ( I called in towards the end of their training, as I was running short of time)... the next was "Do you have bogu?" I told her not yet, but probably will have by the time the job starts.
        I'll see how my training at my usual dojo goes over the next 3 weeks or so, and talk it over with sensei, maybe I should get one sensei to call the other before I arrive so the out of town one knows in detail where I am at; I will certainly take my gear with me to the out of town job, then I at least will have the option to train with them.

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        • #5
          Good on you to try to practice when out of town/on a job! As others have written, and maybe especially here in Japan, going to another dojo isn't appreciated, without asking permission of and explaining the reasons to, our own dojo teacher. Go for it and hope you won't be extra-tired from your job when you do!
          Last edited by Tort-Speed; 3rd June 2012, 08:43 AM.

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          • #6
            I spoke with my sensei tonight; he said not a big problem, just choose one or other dojo as my main one; training at others when in their area for a while is ok. The kendo community here is small, seems everyone knows everyone else. He did say that not having bogu may be an issue, however, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that my order arrives from Tozando before I leave Auckland.

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            • #7
              Its nearly time for me to start that roof, 1 week to go; had weather delays on the last 2 which put it back a week. This is one of the few times I'm not complaining about weather delays, gives me another week at my usual dojo Sounds like the builder needs a few extra days before I start, too.

              My sensei said not a problem, better to train elsewhere than not at all during that time.

              My bogu arrived last night, so I'm all set when I'm ready for it.

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              • #8
                I took part in my first training at the out of town dojo yesterday; it far exceeded all of my expectations, well worth the rush to get packed up and travel down to arrive in time! I learned as much in 2 hours as I did in the previous 6 weeks or so doing Kendo.

                I am glad I brought my new bogu with me; I thought that by the end of the 3 weeks I might be using it - I certainly didn't expect to be in Do and Tare just half an hour after arriving!!! That was a great feeling!

                There's quite a few beginners here, too; at my usual dojo I am the only beginner, and don't get a lot of attention during class, get shown something then I pretty much just get left alone to practice against the dummy, sensei will come over occasionally if he sees me doing it wrong. Here, there is no dummy, everyone practises on each other all of the time once the basics are right; any errors in technique are picked up right away.

                I might come here for Saturday training, even when there's no work down here, as well as training at my usual dojo! ( I have family close by, too)

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