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Andy Watson
27th September 2002, 08:47
Agreed indeed. Our current situation is that our sensei is living in Japan training under his teacher for the time being leaving us, his senior members to run the dojo. He may well return home soon but in his absence and with his consent have put together this members pack. The reason for this is to make every dedicated member feel they are part of a group and not underlings/disciples of a "leader" as such.

Our teacher, Chris, is quite specific about this in that the dojo should be open to anyone who sincerely wishes to train. I am sure Chris would eject anybody who was misbehaving or not taking the whole thing quite seriously but then again the disciplinary part of the charter is only supposed to be a small part of the whole. We also embrace the traditional training methods and attitudes but for new beginners who have had no exposure to the martial arts it can sometimes be difficult to understand how one should indulge in their training. I am sure you have witnessed dojos where new faces have nothing explained to them, get shouted at for getting it wrong and end up spending the early part of their training certainly on their toes.

While I am not deeply critical about this kind of dojo management and teaching it can put some people off and there is a chance that someone who is destined to be an excellent martial artist or have the MA's a very promotional part of their life, be put off because he/she didn't think they should be shouted at for something they knew nothing about.

We have very little shouting at our dojo so please don't think that is the norm for us and we also welcome people who walk in through the door to come and watch, ask questions and have a free month of training to try it out. Even with this we still have a reasonably small membership of about 14 people which is perfect for the hall we use.

Aaaanyway, getting back to the original topic, the charter is there for newcomers/beginners to understand that which is sometimes transmitted unspoken. Remember even in martial arts schools of old in Asia, there would be some kind of documentation to commence a students training.

Thanks for your thoughts though.

:smilejapa