Fun way to teach beginners?
I'm Cederik from a very young, (3 year old) dojo in Belgium. This year, it is the first time we have two classes a week, one with our Sensei, coming from another dojo about 30 miles away, and one where I am in charge of animating the group. (I'm the dojo's sempai although I only have 3 years of practice). Following Sensei's lesson templates so that we don't drift away isn't hard but I'm having a hard time finding fun ways for the people who started this year: the first-timers.
It seems that many people come to kendo to find something fun and they don't expect the beginning to be so difficult. I figured that if our dojo could focus on the quality of our welcome, and the consideration we have for beginners, the first-timers would come back. But I believe we could do more! I'd like to add some fun exercises into the mix to see this otherwise normal abandon rate diminish. I'm not going to lie to them, kendo is hard and can be frustrating but it has a lot to bring to people searching personal growth.
As a pedagogue, I am simply searching to buy them the few more training sessions it would take for them to realise what kendo has to offer. A few hours can make the crucial difference between abandon and commitment.
Thank you for your question. And probably you wrote something in Japanese at the end but this system cannot display Japanese. I apologize for that.
I understand how hard it is to keep new members. Probably you should find out what they want, why they want to do kendō
Most of people want to learn kendō
because they want to learn…
- How to use a sword
- How to fight with a sword
- Mental aspects of kendō
- Cultural aspects of kendo
Or just because
- They are fans of Japanese anime
It is impossible to satisfy all of them at once but if you know what motivate them to come to the dōjō
, you know how to approach them.
What you can do is
- Let them put bōgu
on so they can feel "kendō
- Talk about kendō
etiquette along with Japanese culture
- Teach them bokutō
- Teach them kata
- Use foam swords to just play as they want and then teach them kendō
Also when you teach the basics, you can add some competition like who's the fastest suri-ashi
person and so forth. Young practitioners like competitions.
If I think of something else, I will make sure to post here. And we can have more ideas too! We need to keep more beginners!