by Jim
(United States)

Imafuji Sensei,

Recently, I learned that you are a member of the same federation as me. That being said, I know traditionally that one should only listen to their main dojo’s sensei, especially in the beginning.

But, what should I do if I learn, for example, dou strike, directly from you at a summer camp or godo-keiko as keeping my left hand in the center, but taking that insight back to the dojo is met with being corrected back to an off center and sideways strike?

I can see how it’s bad if for example a student in Toronto watches your video and then tells Raymond Sensei 7th Dan why he’s striking dou wrong, but at what point do I not listen to my own federations leadership?

I’ve run into this problem A LOT. Any advice is appreciated.

Answer: Thank you very much for the question! That is a very very common question! I ran into such questions too!

Are you with ECUSKF?

I don’t think anyone disagrees with having your left hand in the center when striking but if your teacher says don’t do it, then don’t.

There are many people out there and they have their own teacher. Their teacher learned from their teacher. So, somehow the way they do things has been passed onto them. They have their own theories and reasonings.

I have mine too. So based on
what I have learned from my teachers and many other sensei directly and indirectly (from magazines/books), I share what I think we should do.

Does it mean I am sharing the wrong info with others? Does it mean other sensei is doing wrong? I don’t think so.

They are sharing with you and their students what they’ve learned or what they came up with. I would say just different opinions on certain things.

My strength is that I watch and read many kendo related materials and talk to high grade holders. They have their opinions, which are not always the same as my sensei preaches. But it doesn’t mean they are doing wrong or my sensei is wrong. Just different.

If people say what I do is wrong, that is sad but that’s how they view my kendo. From their principles and theories, I am not doing what they believe. That is all.

That’s how I view it.

· Shu is for the basics.

· Ha is to open your mind and learn from more people.

· Ri is that you integrate what you have learned from your sensei and others and share it with your students.

Based on what you learn from your sensei, you can add what others do to your kendo. After all, it is for your kendo and for yourself to reach a higher level of kendo and your life.

Hope this helps!

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