Improving hearing when in bogu

by Eumei
(Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

I have been doing Kendo on and off for about 2 years now, but I have only gone to about 3 advanced bogu practices with the seniors in the club.

The biggest trouble I had was not being able to hear the instructions being given out (i.e. what movements to execute).

There were a few advanced techniques that I haven't learned yet so I wasn't able to keep up, and I think I might have gotten on their nerves (at least some of them). And I felt so bad for getting in the way after that last practice, so I stopped going for 4 months (one school term).

So I guess the question is what should I do so that I won't get in the way of their practice?

Sorry if this doesn't really sound like a technical question...

Answer: I am sorry to hear that. They should’ve explained you the techniques before and during the practice.

The followings are something you can do.

1. Pull out the men-dare: I am not sure people do this or not, but I recommend you should pull the men-dare (the fluffy parts of the men) out so it gives some space between your ears and the men. If you do not do it, it tends to hurt your eardrums. This may help your hearing too.

2. Make sure you get close to the speaker: It is OK to get close to the speaker. I am not too sure how big your dojo is, but unless it is too big, you should run to get closer to the speaker.

When the speaker is done with his/her explanation, run back to where you were. That is very common. So go ahead and do that. Of course, if your instructors tell you not to do that, then you cannot.

3. Learn from others: Look around and imitate what the others are doing. You may be too busy to remember the Japanese kendo terms but don’t worry about the terms. Just do what the others are doing.

Questions are good. They improve the instructors. And more importantly, you should know what you are supposed to do in training.

If you want to ask the purpose of each technique, you can ask it later. That may take a while to explain if your instructor/s are not used to explain.

Now go back to the dojo and practice, ok? The longer it takes to go back, the harder it gets to go back.

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