What do I do when Im not getting any praise

by John Nender

Hi, my name is John,

I have been doing kendo for the almost 2 years now. Not a lot of time I know. I'm a member of a small club, I was the second member to join, I have one senpai above me and we are both 3rd Kyu. In training I have a strong problem that is making me really not enjoy kendo as much as I’d like to.

In training my sensei is a great teacher. But he can tend to forget things, for example when we train my senpai and all the other members of the club will be told what they are doing well. My senpai receives nothing but praise from the Sensei and the kohai also get praise regularly.

But for whatever reason I seem to receive no praise what so ever. I get told nothing but what I’m doing wrong, I’ve never heard once in my time training that I was doing anything well at all. Just what I've been doing wrong. And because of this I feel like I'm not getting any respect from the other members, (especially my Senpai)

Please help what am I supposed to do?

Just live with it and keep training as I have? Or train even harder and hope I get noticed or what?

Please answer this. this problem is making me feel like I may not be improving at all in the eyes of my sensei and it is making kendo harder and harder to continue with.

Thank you


Answer: Thank you for your question, John. To be honest, I do not know why your sensei is not giving you any praise. Now you should ask your senpai or even your teacher for advice. Every teacher has their own thoughts on instructing.

In my case, I “basically” don’t give any praise to my students. I tell them that if they do the right things, I do not really say anything.

That is how I was taught as a kid.

But ever since I started instructing non-Japanese, I changed my method. When they are doing things very well, I encourage them so they can remember what the right things feel like. It is important to improve their performance.

Also I change the way I instruct depending on my students personality as well. So I am not sure, John. You really have to ask your teacher if you are doing something wrong.

Sorry that I could not help you very much.

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