Optimistic outlook: 2015
By Myoken Dojo, May 27 2015 12:35PM
Transferred from previous website
Originally posted 18 October 2014
It seems 2015 will be a good year for Myoken Dojo. It’s about time! During 2013-14 the dojo dwindled to very few students and those seem to be doing less training than previously. It can be disheartening at times when the club, as many do, pass through the low points of these cycles. In December 2012, as many know Elena Vatolina (Now Elena West) moved here from Moscow and brought with her considerable experience, especially in Jodo. She was a student of Ide Katsuhiko Sensei who died in 2006, and is now a student of Ueda Kayoko Sensei, and demonstrates much of their strength of spirit. Indeed, Elena has taken part in the British National iaido and Jodo taikai 2013, and 2014 and has 4 fighting spirit medals to show for it. We have a strong team.
On the down side (temporarily, I hope) Chris Weight of Plymouth dojo after getting married has disappeared to South America for an indefinite time leaving the Dojo to Bill who had an accident the day before Chris left and is unable to walk for perhaps a year. So Plymouth dojo is temporarily closed.
Back to the up side. What has been achieved in 2013/4? Detlef, my student in Bologna , Italy passed 6th Dan Iaido. Elena passed 4th Dan Iaido and 5th Dan Jodo. Sam Gerlach passed 4th Dan Iaido. Elena and I have moved to Truro and started a new dojo. The turnout initially was disappointing, but we seem to be gaining some new students. Hopefully we can hold on to a few, there certainly seems to be some enthusiasm. But, above all else, I think the greatest point of optimism is the support we are receiving directly from our Japanese teachers.
When I was in Japan in May Oshita Sensei (8 Dan Kyoshi) offered to come to visit in November 2015, and so he will be teaching the Okehampton seminar next year. Please note on your diaries: 27-29 November at Okehampton Ashbury Hotel (usual venue). More recently Ueda Kayoko Sensei (Jodo 8th Dan Kyoshi) offered to come in February, and now Kurogo Genji Sensei (Jodo 8 Dan Hanshi) has asked to come too. Please note, if you are interested we are taking bookings for this NOW. Application form is available for download on the events page of this web site: 13-15 February.
How can a dojo not succeed with this support? Well, we need to work with it, to train, to advertise, to attract members, and once we have them they need to be encouraged to work to support the dojo, to attend events, to train regularly and make progress themselves too. Basically we cannot grow unless everyone does their part for their own progress and works as a team to mutually support each other. So, let’s do just that. Existing students need to train regularly, new students need to be inspired so that they can appreciate what is to be gained from their hard work. The dojo needs to be a place that is treated respectfully so that we, and especially beginners, can appreciate it’s value. We need to break out of our comfort zones, to travel to events where we can learn and simultaneously promote the club by our dedication and success.