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外国から武道をやりに来たけどがっかりする例 (その1)




A couple of years ago I went to England for a few weeks to set up an Iaido dojo. Now, the group is doing well, but due to the current global situation, they train online and once a month I join the class to teach. We usually train for about 90min and have 10min before and after training just for chatting. I am the main instructor, so during the 90min session, everyone calls me “Sensei” and is polite, but during the 10min periods, nobody calls me sensei and in typical British fashion, we all banter with each other.

I think this is because during class, we are all pretending to be Japanese, then when we stop training, we go back to being British.

This ability to turn on “Budo mode” for training and then turn it off when not training is something I miss. In Japan, the instructor is always “Sensei” even when at home away from the dojo. I tell my students in Japan that when we aren’t training, they don’t have to call me sensei and they can call me by my first name. Some students feel uncomfortable with that due to Japanese societal norms, but others embrace the ability to indulge in some exciting foreign culture.

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