Hajimemashite! Dozo yoroshiku.
I am new to this BBS.
I just began studying Kumdo-because Kendo wasn't available(Which I'd wanted because am very interested in Japanese sword arts). I live in a very small town where there is only one dojo offering swordarts, so I had no other option. I have a good background in Tae Kwon Do, and the school I studied at, was very well run with teachers who expected students to be polite and etiquette was enforced, and not only that, the teachers themselves behaved in a courteous and polite manner in return. Also, the philosophy behind this art was also taught and respected. This dojang I went to, was in another state before I moved.
Anyway, I have noticed the teacher at the dojang where I am studying at, wears tennis shoes on the dojang floor, and wears an old windbreaker over his Gi, which is not worn in a respectful manner. Not only that, when I bow to him and greet him when I see him, he does not even acknowledge the fact that I hve shown him respect with a bow in return. I've been to three classes so far, and each time I feel just a bit insulted in his lack of manners and respect for his dojang and uniform. The dojang I studied at for Tae Kwon Do drilled into our heads courtesy and respect for one another and ect. at every class, and the teachers always respected us enough to return our show of respect with a bow back. And, ever since, it has just been a part of me that seems natural to do.
I am not sure what to think about his manner of dress, either. I find it just wrong to dress like this in the dojang. I see it as a lack of respect for the sword art and the dojang and for the class. It is just driving me crazy, because I can't say anything to him about this or his manners, because I am a student.
Oh, and he also seems to have not taught his other students the reason behind the bow, or any other etiquette, because when he had a black belt work with me the first two classes I went to, when I bowed to the first one who worked with me before we began, he gave me a really funny look and didn't bow back. And, when I thanked him and bowed after classes, I got another funny look. He was very nice, but he didn't seem to understand why I bowed and thanked him. The other black belt I worked with, had the same reaction the first one did. But, he ran off after working with me when class ended before I could bow and thank him. I was a little miffed at that.
Does anybody know what to make of this? Am I over-reacting? It's just that I am so used to being polite in this way, that I fully expected it from peope in a Kumdo class. I read on the internet that in Kendo dojos, etiquette is highly important and so is respect and bowing is not an option, but expected. I feel very odd in class now, if I bow, but I don't want to back down and not bow, simply because I think it is rude not to bow, and feel rude if I don't bow to the teacher or my seniors. Nobody else bows, and I don't know what to think.
Does anybody have any ideas on this? I don't want to disregard what I was taught in Tae Kwon Do. I feel that I would bring shame to my former teachers for not using what I was taught. I have a high repect for the wonderful teachers I had then.
I have some other things to say, but I think this is enough for now. This is probably too long, anyway. Gomen nasai!!
Domo arigato gozaimasu for taking the time to read my message.