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Thread: Looking for a good dojo in Europe

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    Default Looking for a good dojo in Europe

    Hello everyone,

    Im a student of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Tai Mantis and Tai Chi. I was born and live in India. I was wondering if you guys could point out some good teachers/dojos in Europe. They dont have to be Yagyu, they can be any style of Kenjutsu/Kendo/Iaido. Im more interested in finding very good teachers. I have been researching on the net for a bit, but i dont know how to separate skill from hype.
    Any help will really really be appreciated.

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulcrum2988 View Post
    ...Im a student of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu... I was wondering if you guys could point out some good teachers/dojos in Europe. ... I have been researching on the net for a bit, but i dont know how to separate skill from hype.
    You should check with your current sensei; he should be able to provide a contact for you as well as a letter of introduction to the new sensei.

    Europe is a pretty broad area; can you narrow it down a bit?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens View Post
    You should check with your current sensei; he should be able to provide a contact for you as well as a letter of introduction to the new sensei.

    Europe is a pretty broad area; can you narrow it down a bit?
    The problem is that most of the people my Sensei knows have either died, or have not kept in touch.

    Right now i was hoping to get some names of well known, good teachers or dojos. Just to get some some options. So any masters or good dojos that you might have heard of operating in Europe. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

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    On the other hand, I could just do a trawl of websites and send spam messages to all of them and really come across as someone who wants everything for free.

    Can you see how this thread could be misinterpreted by cynics?
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    On the other hand, I could just do a trawl of websites and send spam messages to all of them and really come across as someone who wants everything for free.

    Can you see how this thread could be misinterpreted by cynics?
    Im not quite sure what you mean. Im not looking for anything for free. Im just looking for people who i can contact who might be able to advise me.
    I have been going through different websites and i have been mailing people asking for help as well. Till now only one person has replied. Thats how i got to know about this site.
    I didnt know asking for advice was now considered spamming.

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    Don't mind Trip. He's just our resident gate keeper against spammers. Welcome to E-budo, hope you find what you're looking for. Sadly, I cant help you as I could barely even find the dangerous end of a sword.
    Peter Thorvald
    Shorinji Kempo
    Sweden

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    I don't get it really. Do you intend to move to Europe as soon as you have found a teacher that suits you, no matter if that's in Finnland, Portugal or Turkey (or anything in between)? Immigration laws are rather strict...
    Or do you looking for some kind of "online tutoring" without the need to move to Europe?

    BTW, you say you are studying Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Are there certified Shihan of YSR in India? Or have you trained it before somewhere else?

    You see, your inquiry leads to a lot of different questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    Don't mind Trip. He's just our resident gate keeper against spammers. Welcome to E-budo, hope you find what you're looking for. Sadly, I cant help you as I could barely even find the dangerous end of a sword.
    No problem i was just a bit confused by the reply. And the forums have already been really helpful. i found the link for the European Kendo Federation. So thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryoma View Post
    I don't get it really. Do you intend to move to Europe as soon as you have found a teacher that suits you, no matter if that's in Finnland, Portugal or Turkey (or anything in between)? Immigration laws are rather strict...
    Or do you looking for some kind of "online tutoring" without the need to move to Europe?

    BTW, you say you are studying Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Are there certified Shihan of YSR in India? Or have you trained it before somewhere else?

    You see, your inquiry leads to a lot of different questions.
    Well its a long story. To put it in short, ive been living and training in Delhi all my short life. My teacher has been here, so ive stayed here as well. But i have reached a point where i feel i need to live away from home for a bit, and see how other people and other cultures function. However since i can remember the only thing ive ever dreamt of was to train in martial arts. In india i am getting to do just that. I train 5 - 6 times a week. But ive come to a point where i feel i need to move out of my comfort zone to another place, for my own growth. But i dont want to stop training.

    Ive always been curious about Europe and i wanted to live and train there for awhile. But i dont know any martial artists in Europe. There are a million sites on the internet but i dont know how to separate good solid work from hype.

    The reason im posting on this forum and asking for help, is so that atleast i can touch base with people training in Europe, talk to various masters, see my options and see if whats in my head is even viable.

    Right now im just looking for information about what is out there because i have no idea. Ive been quite isolated from the martial arts world. And hopefully i can talk to some masters based in Europe.

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    First focus on the where you want to live, then figure out how you are going to support yourself and what type of visa and for how long/ can you renew it!!! Once your set with that and know for sure that things are set up and running then you can ask around for references!!!! That's like asking what's good in Tokyo..... It's like come on people your asking about a city that is 2 hours from 1 side to other in any direction and are you sure you'll be there when your work sends you to Osaka instead.... Once we have a specific location we can help you out but right now you are being too general and your plans really feel up in air!!!! Once you know more about your situation and where you are going to live we can be more helpful!!!!
    Jeff Collier

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ookami7 View Post
    First focus on the where you want to live, then figure out how you are going to support yourself and what type of visa and for how long/ can you renew it!!! Once your set with that and know for sure that things are set up and running then you can ask around for references!!!! That's like asking what's good in Tokyo..... It's like come on people your asking about a city that is 2 hours from 1 side to other in any direction and are you sure you'll be there when your work sends you to Osaka instead.... Once we have a specific location we can help you out but right now you are being too general and your plans really feel up in air!!!! Once you know more about your situation and where you are going to live we can be more helpful!!!!
    How can i decide where i want to live if the decision is based on the where i find a great teacher. Which is why im asking. And secondly i dont see a problem in asking a question like whats good in tokyo. If you ask me whats good in delhi or even india, id be able to help you. I can understand the initial confusion, but after explaining i dont see why this is such a problem.

    A simple answer like "ive heard of a teacher by the name of xyz who teaches in so and so location, who is supposed to be very good." im not asking one person to give me an indept list and description of every dojo in europe. What youve heard, what youve seen or experienced. Thats all im asking for.

    As for my plans being up in the air, they are because i dont have a plan, which is why im here asking so that i can make a plan. Maybe according to you all im going about this the wrong way, but there are many ways to do things.

    I have no plan right now. I want to move to europe. But the MOST IMPORTANT thing for me is to find a good teacher, and depending on that i will move where ever he or she is. Thats it, thats my only motivation. So please if anyone has any information they can share about any Masters they may have seen, worked with or heard about residing in Europe, i would appreciate it very very much if i could share it with me.

    Thank you

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    How old are you? The guidance and advice from forum members may be influenced by details of your current situation. Not in a negative way, but in order to offer appropriate and relevant advice.

    Your last paragraph;
    I have no plan right now. I want to move to europe. But the MOST IMPORTANT thing for me is to find a good teacher, and depending on that i will move where ever he or she is. Thats it, thats my only motivation....
    This is an admirable declaration of your passion and dedication. But it comes across as naive and hopelessly misguided. It sounds like the teenage yearnings of an adolescent who has little grasp of the realities that adult life will bring. If you are aged between 15-20 then readers will possibly recognise something from their own past. We all felt like that about something (and on this forum, it was most likely about our passion for studying an art). If you are older than that, readers may think it surprising that you would have such a pure and trusting view of the world outside your bedroom.

    Thank you for your thread. It has been interesting. I hope you can find what you need. At the moment I am inclined to think that what you seek, and what you need, are like polar opposites. But maybe that's just me.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulcrum2988 View Post
    How can i decide where i want to live if the decision is based on the where i find a great teacher.
    This seems to be a rather unrealistic approach. However if this is how you wish it to be then we may be able to help you better if we narrow things down a bit.

    What is your desired occupation or means of support?
    What languages do you speak?
    How long do you plan to live in your new location?

    Quote Originally Posted by fulcrum2988 View Post
    they can be any style of Kenjutsu/Kendo/Iaido. Im more interested in finding very good teachers.
    This is actually the easier part once you know where you are going to live. If you had been studying a particular style of swordsmanship for many years, finding that same style elsewhere could be difficult; but if you are willing to start fresh in any style, then it's a much more open field from which to choose.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Let me see if I have this right... based on your above quote "How can i decide where i want to live if the decision is based on the where i find a great teacher." you are willing to move to the other side of the world to study under a good teacher in a Japanese art. Your decision on where to move will be based on your abilty to find a good teacher. You also really want to move to Europe so you hope to combine the trip into one. You also don't care which style of swordsmanship you study even though you already study Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Does this sound about right?

    This is my take on it. If your whole move is based on your ability to find a skilled and great teacher in a Japanese art you are looking to move to the wrong place. You need to look to move to Japan. (see: http://www.koryu.com/library/dskoss1.html). As good as many European and also American teachers are there are few if any that have the skill set of the Japanese. There are only a handful of truely master level teachers of Japanese arts that are not Japanese. This is just fact.

    If Europe is your destination you should really pick where in Europe you most want to live and explore and go from there. Germany and France for example are very different places and they are right next to each other. What languages can you speak? What will you do for a living? How will you be accepted into their culture? India is a very large country much like the USA. I think some of us from larger countries see the smaller European countries and assume because of the small geographical area they can't be all that different but nothing is further from the truth.

    You study Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. It has some very distinct movement methods and someone with a little bit of knowledge can tell a Yagyu swordsman from another style very quickly. What if you only have a Katori Shinto-ryu teacher around? Is it worth it to unlearn all you have done to start new and fresh? Many koryu do not mix well, others mix better. Something you do well in Yagyu might be considered very bad in another art and it will slow your progress a lot.

    I had a gentleman call me up and ask about training with me. He was from the middle-east and was currently living in Canada. He told me he wanted to move from Canada to Baltimore, MD to train with me in Daito-ryu. That is a serious commitment to make and it would also put me out as well having someone move from a country just to train with me. It is a responsibility that I didn't want to take on and it isn't fair to ask me to. I advised him that it does not sound like a good match. He insisted that he wanted to be my student. He also told me because of his religion (Islam) he could not bow to any of us in class. I told him that would not work for me and that we follow Japanese tradition and bow and we also bow to a Shinto god (Kashima no kami) before each class. He than said he would call Kondo sensei to get special permission to not bow so he could join my class. I told him that would not work for me and that my dojo is my house. In my house I make the rules and if he wanted to train he would follow my rules. He wasn't very happy about that. Your request might be an imposition to a teacher that isn't fair to place on him or her.

    Just some thoughts,
    Chris
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    @fulcrum
    I guess you have overlooked one of my questions:
    "BTW, you say you are studying Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Are there certified Shihan of YSR in India? Or have you trained it before somewhere else?".

    YSR is definitely not something like Kendo or Iaido, for which you can find very qualified teachers in most countries. If there is really a certified YSR-Shihan in India, that would be very interesting to say the least.

    Thanks.

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