So next week, September 15, marks the official beginning of Fall Semester classes at EMU. Abbey-sensei and I hope you've had a great summer. Some of you we've seen and practiced with, some of you we haven't seen so much for the usual reasons - work, family, school, the crap economy that has you either hunting for a job or working in remote locatons. Some of you are aware that I've been traveling for work a lot more and that Abbey-sensei has been injured, so it's been a crazy summer!
I want to let you know that we will be doing a lot more to attract students to the club, keep them, and get them involved. This has always been our intention at EMU Kendo but something we need to recommit ourselves to as best as possible. Having stated that I have a few policy items that I will address below. The short of it is, please help us meet our goal of making EMU Kendo the great place it's been and refresh it's goal to grow its membership. I've always been proud of the fact that EMU is very commuter friendly, a dojo that you can always come back to even if work or school or other things take you away for a while. I just want to up our game in terms of making it more involved in the campus that has been so good to us. Plus, I think I got this parenting thing down, so I have a bit more energy for this project. heh!
Next item: the annual Midwest Kendo Tournament will be in Chicago on November 13-15. If you're interested in competing, testing or both, please let Abbey-sensei and I know as soon as you can.
Next item: this weekend, 8/12 is U of M's first official practice of the new semester. I'll be there! Who's with me? Don't forget we can also be visiting the kendo clubs at Detroit, MSU, Battle Creek etc.
Right, some policy notes.
-Going forward, EMU kenshi must be responsible for running the practice. If Abbey or Kondek are not there, the ranking EMU kenshi must start and stop the practice and must be the principle instructor for beginners. Training in instructing beginners will be provided although a certain freedom (and responsibility) in instruction will also be assumed. If Abbey or Kondek are not there and the ranking EMU person is busy instructing beginners, leadership of the mawari-geiko, the rotation practice, should be extended to visiting sensei (usually Ponchart and Ken though this will not always be the case; could be visitors from Detroit or whomever). One reason for this is that U of M kenshi - and others, but especially U of M - are part of our family and such frequent visitors that we don't even think of them as guests - but they are guests, and as such should not have to address running practice. That goes for everybody. Moving forward, Kondek will be much more long-view in planning practices and will make use of a monthly calendar to help recognize when EMU kenshi will be in attendance.
-Any new beginner must first watch a practice before deciding whether to join EMU kendo. This has been our policy in the past and we've bent on this one quite a bit but I think we should stick to it. You come, you watch your first practice, you decide if it's what you really want. Then, if you come back - and we hope you do - you get on the floor with shinai.
-No beginner can start without Abbey or Kondek in attendance. Abbey or Kondek should be the one to give them their first lesson and start their expectations. Other EMU kenshi should be prepared to do this as well but we'll visit it over time. We will also put together a one pager of what to expect at EMU kendo, as well as some terms and resources online.
Guys, that's it for now. Hope this finds you well and we'll see you soon!