Saturday, June 6, 2009

Being Dojo Captain

When you have as many members as this, you need to know exactly who is Dojo Captain!

Today at training I spoke about this issue, and also promised to blog it for future reference, so here it is.

The Dojo Captain's role is to be the second-in-command. They are directly below the instructor in importance. At Nanseikan, this means that the Dojo Captain is the oldest member of the club and the one with the most years continuous training.

When that person is not at training, the duty (and honour) of being Dojo Captain falls to the next most senior person present. In case the day comes when that will be you, dear reader (and it will!), I have written below the basic commands and tasks that need to be memorised. All of them are what you will know from training every week. Here is a chance for you to study them a little in preparation.

Taiso
There is no real set plan for warm-ups. So long as all the major parts of the body get covered, there can be a lot of variation. However this can be a hard thing to know when it comes to your first time running warm-ups, so here are a few tips:
  • Start with simply moving the major joints of the body. Start with the ankles and work upwards, finishing with the neck. Always move the neck gently and try to avoid full circular rotations, especially fast ones: these can lead to injury.
  • The sequence of movements counting to eight cover a lot of the major warm-up needs. So use them.
  • Don't forget the wrist, calf, thigh and achilles exercises.
  • If it is cold, try including star jumps, and/or jogging/sprinting/hopping/jumping on the spot.
  • Don't encourage ballistic stretching. This refers to stretching where you bounce in the stretch to try and achieve a greater range of movement. This can lead to injuries.
Suburi
Unless I say otherwise, suburi should not go on too long. The usual pattern of 20/20/20/20 is plenty.

Don't crticise
Please don't use warm-ups or suburi to examine everyone's technique and give them tips. Only if there is something seriously wrong, such as someone obviously not knowing what naname-buri is, should you stop and explain. In this sort of case, it's also best to give a brief demonstration.

Commands
There are slight differences between how different dojos run the zarei (seated rei) at the beginning and end of training, but mostly it is the same. Below are the terms in order and their meaning.

Start of training
  1. Seiretsu! .................... line up!
  2. Chakuza! ..................... kneel down!
  3. Ki o tsuke! ..................... be ready! (literally "switch on!")
    Some dojo use "seiza o tadashite" ("make your sitting correct!")
  4. Mokuso! ........................ meditation!
  5. *clap!* or yame! .......... stop!
  6. joseki ni... rei! ................ bow to calligraphy at front of dojo!
  7. sensei ni... rei! ............... bow to sensei!
  8. "Onegaishimasu!" ......... please help me to train!
End of training
  1. Seiretsu! .................... line up!
  2. Chakuza! ..................... kneel down!
  3. Men o tore! ................... take off men! (and kote)
  4. Ki o tsuke! ..................... be ready!
  5. Mokuso! ........................ meditation!
  6. *clap!* or yame! ........... stop!
  7. sensei ni... rei! ............... bow to sensei!
  8. joseki ni... rei! ................ bow to calligraphy at front of dojo!
  9. "Domo arigato gozaimashita!" ......... thank you for training!
Please take some time to read through all this and think about it.
To help those like me who are visual thinkers/learners, here is a little picture guide for each step:

Seiretsu!



Chakuza!



Ki o tsuke!



Mokuso!



Mokuso hand position (called the Hokkai-jo-in)



Joseki ni...



Rei!



Sensei ni...
(when there is more than one sensei, the command is "Sensei-gata ni...")



Rei!
(close up of correct hand placement for kendo zarei)

Some dojo also like to do "otagai ni... rei" meaning a bow to each other as equals. b


5 comments:

Steph said...

:) gee, reading that makes me feel important! Im glad Ive been using the right terms too.

George said...

A great post, well explained and illustrated!

Maybe one day I can make it down there and have a bash with your students.

Steph.... 頑張れ!

Nanseikan said...

You're welcome anytime! 是非喜んで! b

pmawhinney said...

When there is one sensei we say sensei ni rei. When there are more than we say sensei gata ni rei but what should we say when there is no sensei?

Nanseikan said...

If there is no sensei just "joseki ni... rei" and "otagai ni... rei".

Some dojo will at the end do it like this:
1) "otagai ni... rei"
2) "joseki ni... rei"
3) "rei" (all: "arigato gozaimashita")

b