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Showing Respect in Kendo

by Rick
(Tucson)

Recently, there is a ranked practitioner that is to say the least; out of line; when we were practicing one on one.


As you know, I am 70 years (good shape though) old; and, this guy is in his 30's. Bright fellow and big and strong.

I am proficient relative to practice and of course in Bogu. I have no plans to advance or test for rank, my choice, and my personal practice agenda.

No other issues in our Dojo except for this idiot.

Example: he'll say "I'm not ready" or tell me to "stand still".

It's just with me; and, my Sensei is aware of the issue. To be fair, it does go back when this individual, when he first started, was striking "MEN" way too hard. After repeated warnings (from me) when he continued to strike too hard, I pushed him into the corner of the wall and kept hitting; I know, not cool and I did apologize.

My question, if this conflict continues; should I continue to practice with him upon rotation; or, NOT? Thus, moving forward to another opponent.

Never had an issue with anyone else in the Dojo for about 3-years of practice. Nor with my senior Sensei.

Thanks

Rick

Answer: Thank you for your question. I don’t want to interfere with the teachings and instructions from your sensei. So please do whatever he/she before what I think you should do. I respect your teacher’s instructions.

Rick, you are way older than I am and I feel a bit awkward to tell you what you should do. I am still Japanese in that aspect regardless of the years I spent outside of Japan.

If the issue is between you and that guy, you guys should work it out. You never know what people think even if you think you haven’t done anything wrong to others. That is what I do personally.

However, it sounds like he needs to learn how to talk to and respect others from the start with.

Striking too hard is a mistake people cannot fix right away. If constantly he hits you too hard then you probably should not train with him for a while. It is to protect you from getting physical damages from him.

And also you should talk to other senior students about that. Dangerous behaviors are not something you and your dojo should tolerate.

Some fellows are strong so they hit too hard. They need to learn to control their strength. They might have to learn how to control their emotion/mind first.

They need someone to put them on the right track. If they want to drive themselves off the track after all the efforts you and your dojo mates make for them, then they have to go.

Some people realize what they are doing wrong by just telling them. Some people need some proof that you are better (stronger) so they know you are worth listening to. I had these people in the past. Some people need logical explanations so they trust you. I had those people in the past too. Some people just don’t get what they are learning so they have to leave. I had those too, unfortunately.

I want to keep the door open to the way of the sword as widely as possible to anyone and let them walk the path as far as they can.

All people don’t have to do kendo to learn the way. Sometimes they need to hear the same things from different people.

Just show him the way. Open up the gate so he can see the way. He can decide if he wants to walk it or not.

Hope this helps and I am sorry that I am telling you this. I am still a beginner in life compared to you.

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