Am I wasting my time?

by Michael

I have admired Kendo for some time now, and finally got the chance to train about 9 months ago. However, due to my family and work schedule I am able to attend every other week at the most. Furthermore, most of my instructors and classmates are all Japanese, and although they speak English very well, it is difficult to communicate with them about some things.

I am in no hurry to "be good". I know Kendo is a lifelong pursuit and there is much to learn. But I am worried that I may not be learning much right now, and I may be developing bad habits. Should I continue training at this rate, or wait a couple years till I am in a better position? It is rather frustrating to practice so infrequently, and it often feels like I'm not learning anything or advancing at all. Any advice is appreciated!

Answer: Thanks for your question! Interesting. So you are frustrated because

· Infrequent training (not enough training)

· Communication problem (language barrier?)

Can you practice or go over what you learned at home? You can complain about the environment that you cannot change but it won't change anything. So you can also attend some other dōjō if there is. If not, you need to go over what you learned at the dōjō. That is very important.

If you are afraid of developing bad habits, instead of practicing kendo at home, you could go to a gym or work out at home. Do what you can do; push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats and all other exercises that do not need any equipment.

What do you have difficulties in when communicating with your instructors/classmates? You said they speak English very well but you cannot communicate about some stuff. Like what kind of things they cannot tell you in English?

In kendo, "watch and learn" is the best way. I understand many people want verbal explanations so I give what they want. But that is only for their satisfaction. It is important but you need to do it.

If you can give us more detail on that communication issue, other kendoists and I can give you more specific advice.

Hope some of the advice here are helpful!

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