Likes Likes:  8
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Are seminars really worthwhile?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    270
    Likes (received)
    138

    Default Are seminars really worthwhile?

    I attend quite a few seminars every year. Some are great, some fell like a waste of time. Do you think seminars are worthwhile, and what do you think makes for a good seminar? I go into some detail in this blog post
    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2015/07/...-seminars.html
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

  2. Likes cxt, mkrueger liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,394
    Likes (received)
    84

    Default

    Good read.

    I both like and dislike seminars for the reasons you write about.

    Getting a chance to see how other people approach the same "problem" is invaluable.
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Posts
    1,526
    Likes (received)
    58

    Default

    I have a little different approach to seminars than Peter's, from the point of view of an organizer. Here in the Canadian prairies, the kendo clubs are isolated and in need of technical guidance. So we bring in some good instructors who can give the clubs something to work on over the next year. When we started running our annual seminar, that was the main motivation - to get technical guidance. We have gotten that, in spades, over the years from many instructors who have been generous enough to donate a weekend of their time to us.

    Another big benefit from seminars is for a recharge. We're all slugging it out in our day to day practice with the same people and it's pretty easy to get bored and unmotivated. Getting the chance to practice with new people, or with old friends we see only occasionally, is a great recharge device. Getting your ass kicked by a good instructor is another. I will never, ever forget being crushed by Haga-sensei when he was 76 and I was 30 - that is life-long motivation, right there.

    Yet another benefit that Peter touched on is networking. Before we started having seminars, nobody in Canada knew much about us, a lot didn't even know we existed. After 25 years of seminars, with pretty much every senior instructor in the country visiting us for at least 2 seminars, we have strong connections with the sensei across Canada. That benefits us as a club and as individuals. Also, every club in the prairies sends a delegation to our seminar, so that's a bunch of important interaction in our area.

    We have seen kendo grow in the prairies and the technical level keeps rising. That's in part due to the seminar we run, as well as other seminars run by our sister prairie clubs. In our case, the seminars are vital.
    Last edited by gendzwil; 9th July 2015 at 17:10.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  5. Likes pgsmith, Carina Reinhardt, cxt, mkrueger liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    270
    Likes (received)
    138

    Default

    Neil,

    I can really appreciate the benefits of seminars when you're isolated from the rest of your budo community. Lots of people doing koryu outside Japan have the same problem. I travel to Japan as often as possible for much the same reason.

    Networking is a wonderful thing. I didn't address that particular aspect in the blog, but you're right. I often get more over time from the networking and connections I develop at a seminar than I do out of the instruction.
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Hiroshima, Japan.
    Posts
    2,550
    Likes (received)
    151

    Default

    Hello Peter,

    Well, there are seminars and seminars -- and I post from the viewpoint of one who gives the seminars as the visiting instructor.

    Last month we had a seminar conducted by a visiting instructor. I have known him for years and we both had the same teacher. For me, these seminars are an exercise in 'collective memory' and we talk afterwards about the teacher and how he used to practice. Most other students are too young to have known him. The visiting instructor comes and goes home on the same day: by shinkansen the trip takes just two hours. We have a 3-hour training session and then a communal lunch in some restaurant. We have two such seminars each year and both are conducted by instructors whom I know personally, but there are some instructors whom I would never dream of inviting to my dojo.

    I do not often give seminars, mainly because I do not think one-off seminars are very useful. I once had a conversation with the Headmaster of Aikido (Aikido Doshu), who often gives seminars as the star instructor. He favors a large attendance (the last one had about 1,500 participants, very few of whom could actually see him), shows only very basic waza, and believes that attending such seminars is a 'sign of faith, so-to-speak, in the organization of which he is the head. Well, he is Doshu, so I could not disagree with him publicly..., but I did privately.

    The seminars I give as a visiting instructor are seminars of the organization of which I am the technical supervisor. So there are dan examinations etc. Since I have been giving such seminars for several years, it is an opportunity for me to see how well the senior yudansha have been developing.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

  8. Likes pboylan, mkrueger liked this post
  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    17
    Likes (received)
    2

    Default

    If a seminar has a subject matter I like I will make an effort to attend. Of course knowing who the instructor is helps my decision. My attitude is always about finding one useful thing. If I can come back with at least one thing I can apply, it was worth it.
    With respect,
    Mitch Saret

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Farnham, UK
    Posts
    6
    Likes (received)
    3

    Default

    My opinion on seminars has changed the longer I have trained.

    When I was younger I loved seminars, the more the better, association seminars, mixed styles, I tried to soak it all up like a sponge, if I could learn a new technique I loved it.

    Then, as I became more experienced, this passion for seminars toned down, and I only really became interested in certain things, and looking at how other people applied the techniques I used, rather than looking for new techniques, mixed style seminars no longer gave me the same satisfaction, and the cost (time and money) rarely seemed to be worth it. I still had fun meeting new people, and catching up with old friends, but found I rarely took something away that I would use.

    Now, I am very select in what I attend outside of my own organisations Taikai, and my interests are far removed from what they were in the past. I really enjoy learning about my system from more advanced practitioners, so dedicate most of my available 'seminar' time to small training camps where I can really get stuck into training and learn on more of a personal level.

    I now enjoy viewing other systems more from the point of view of looking at the principles applied, and how they work, rather than looking at techniques. I actually rarely attend a seminar any longer where I'm not already familiar with the instructor.

    I organise a yearly seminar in support of Charity, and have a number of local instructors who come and teach for free, I see the guys who attend really enjoying the mix of training, techniques, and systems, but for me the best part now is touching base with great people, catching up, and networking, it also gives everyone the chance to present themselves and their systems to an audience they may not normally see, I will make every effort to attend seminars arranged by those that get involved in this for these exact same reasons so for me now it's really either training camps in my own system, or supporting friends and catching up, and that's pretty much it..
    Guy Preston
    Moto-ha Yoshin Ryu, English Southern Region Branch Dojo (Farnham, Surrey)
    www.motohayoshinryu.webs.com

Similar Threads

  1. UK Seminars
    By Andy Watson in forum Jo
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 19th June 2006, 20:31
  2. UK Seminars
    By Andy Watson in forum Sword Arts
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 19th June 2006, 20:29
  3. Is this dojo worthwhile?
    By Zapomec in forum Ninpo and Ninjutsu
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 24th April 2006, 00:48
  4. Seminars
    By gmanry in forum Karate Archive
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 13th April 2004, 19:08

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •