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How can you tell about good instructor or not?

by James
(Singapore)

What qualities should a good instructor have?


Thank you.

Answer: Wow. That is a hard question.

Usually, in Japan if one starts bragging about his/her kendo or himself/herself, they are not very good teachers. They may be able to teach you techniques but not an important part of kendo.

However, I learned how important it was to promote myself to the public, especially outside Japan. To me, what I did in the past is irrelevant to what I do now. But to the public, apparently it is very important to know what one achieved in the past when they decide to learn from him/her.

That is why I introduced my senseis and what I achieved in the past in my profile. And I understand that the public wants to know whom they are dealing with so I think it is fair.

Usually, when people start talking about how great they are or how bad others are, that is a bad sign. It is not a true attitude of kendoist.

Teachers are still students of the way. One of my sensei, Miyazaki sensei, is still trying to improve his kendo. Every time I train with him, something is different. Thus, teachers are also very humble.

There is an old saying, "You should spend 3 years to search a good teacher than starting 3 years earlier".  Start leaning early is good but learning from a good teacher is a lot more important.

If you are lucky to have dōjōs around where you live, you should go around the dōjōs and observe the teachers and students.

You should listen to what the teachers tell their students and what the students are talking about. I want you to take a look at etiquette/manners such as how they act at the dōjō, how they treat their shinai, how they bow to each other.

Hope this helps.

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