Learning points from yesterday's class

2012-03-11 19:29:00

Yesterday's class was as usual: kata, warmup, ashi-sabaki, kihon, waza, geiko. Two things were out of the ordinary: the footwork training included 2x2 lengths of continuous men-uchi and the kihon practice pitted bogu-less kendoka against those in bogu who were constantly serving as motodachi

Serving as motodachi I was happy to see that I've built enough experience to at least notice basic problems in my opponents. So those were aspects that I tried to really help them out with: point it out and encourage them to work on it. So, that's them. How about me? Plenty of stuff!

In the debriefing Kris also forwarded a message from the jurors at the NK kyu/teams. It echoed a lot of the things that I've written about before: our grasp of etiquette and procedure sucks and our kendo really isn't up to snuff. Kris and Hillen indicated that they could be stricter with us as a group, but that won't cut it; it needs to go both ways! We all need to be involved and have a stake in our team.

So, after all of that Sander and I made a pact. From here on we'll be the stern voice in our ranks, despite the fact that we're only ranked in the middle of our group. Whenever people are chatting or slacking, we'll remind them to stay attentive.


With regards to pointing out perceived issues in other people's kendo: as Marli has warned me, I probably shouldn't. I'm nowhere near the position to do so and thus it falls under the same category as before: just shut up. Sensei and fukushou will undoubtedly mention the same things, so I should just butt out. As the Madison Kendo etiquette guide says: "Never instruct others unless you have been told to do so by the lead instructor. It is important to let less experienced participants learn by observation and improve their reaction speed. They will learn faster by doing it than by having someone tell them how to do it."

I just realized that my "helping" others in this case was becoming a matter of pride. That -really- has no place in kendo. "Shut up" is the motto from now on.

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