A brief reply to Benji's dojo experience in Japan.
I don't think those teachers are "just being polite" to you as they don't need to do so.
My thinking is that they do feel you have good kihon (basics) and good attitudes in Kendo. Of coures, there are still many things you need to learn! But this does not mean you are "not good".
If you are still in Waikato, Marleen and I will still keep teaching you those "many things". Remember, there is no graduation in Kendo. You might be graduated from Waikato University but not Waikato "Kendo" school yet. In terms of Kendo journey, you are just "transferring" to another school. :)
I am very proud of you and your performance in Japan. The best thing I feel is that there is another group of Kendo teachers would like to teach and guide you for your future Kendo journey. And, I also think this is the value of what Marleen and I are doing in Waikato Kendo Club:
To give our student members a good foundation to pursue Kendo and enjoy the journey.
From your mails, once again, we know we are doing OK and thanks for that. Of course, we will continue to do so as this is Kendo! :)
All the bests to you and hope to hear more from you!