Teaching Kendo

Been a while since I last posted! So an update is necessary!!

Starting from April of this year, I have moved on from teaching Elementary School, and will now teach at Junior High School. I have been assigned to just one school here in Minato-Ku (the port area of Tokyo).

The school is very nice so far and the students seem extremely positive and willing to speak English, I certainly was not so positive about french class when I was in school!

The School was built on the site of a garden belonging to member of the Imperial family, the school was built in 1949, and is a wonderful facility. The no.1 feature for me is the very well built budokan!!

The Dojo would fit one shiai jo with enough space to walk around the boundaries comfortably. The floor is nice and smooth, and is slightly sprung, making it ideal for kendo (it was most likely built for use as both a kendo and judo training hall)

Dojo at my new school. 

The kendo club is however only new, with most of the members having only 1 years experience. There is a supervising Sensei who practices with the children, and has a few years experience of supervising kendo clubs at other schools. (its common for younger teachers in Japanese schools to be assigned to a club they know nothing about!)

The 7 existing members have been joined this year by about 7 more new members, 2 who regularly practice at the local police station. One of the existing members practices at the renowned Toshokan Dojo, his kendo is very good.

Ill join the practice as much as I can (I hope at least twice per week) and I hope I can both teach and learn a lot!

I think teaching is a really good way to develop my own kendo, after passing my shodan my sempai asked me to begin teaching beginners at my club. It was a challenge to put into words the actions that had become second nature to me by that time and I felt that by really having to think about what I was going to say, and to really focus on doing it correctly as an example, helped to improve my own kendo.

This time I have the added challenge of teaching in Japanese! Of course I've been in Japan now for almost 2 years and while my Japanese has improved and I learned most of it in the , it will still be a challenge for me to give instructions!

I'll have to start studying Japanese again, and really start to think about what is the best way to go about helping these students!

It will be a challenge, but one that I'm really looking forward to!