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A teacher affects eternity

 Updates from Ben, Tübingen Kendo 2013

- 13 July 2013 -

Hello Sam and Marleen,

another semester's beginners course has come to an end, and I want to write to you and let you know how it went.

Up until now our beginners course has been done in an 'everyone for themselves' style: you needed to buy your things yourself (and people often bought the wrong things), no one really talked to you, there were no emails or get-togethers. Normally only 2 to 3 people stayed, and sometimes none.

This semester (my second time as trainer, this time alone) I tried to do things like how I remember them from my time at Waikato: I made lists, wrote emails, provided lots of information, organised and ordered all the materials (shinai, gi+hakama etc.), and generally tried to be very professional.

I also concentrated more on doing the training with kindness and humour, instead of only concentrating on the kendo, keeping in mind that kendo is hard at the beginning (and middle and end!) and that the important thing is to stick with it because everyone gets better with practise.

Well, it worked  out of the 20+ people who started, about 15 have stayed and most now have gi and hakama. We even have a little tradition of bringing food after Sunday's training to sit and eat together. Oh, and we always clean the flood before training.

Last Wednesday was our last training session as a beginners course and I told them that I had tried to do the course how I learnt it from you in New Zealand, kendo with kindness, and that I hope they felt that the course: they all said yes. 

So thank you again for being such great teachers! 


Kendo Tübingen, July 2013

* * * 

Hi Ben

Thank you very much for the mail. It makes me feel very warm and touched. 

I am so glad to know that you are a wonderful Kendo instructor now. As a teacher, you just made me feel very full-filled and satisfaction. 

One of my values of "being a good teacher" is to make a good teacher. This is why your mail made me feel not only proud of you but also myself and Marleen. 

I hope you to share your mail and photos. I hope this is fine with you. The reason is that I think that all of our Waikato members will be very proud of you.

Do you have a Facebook Page for your Kendo club? If YES, please let me know.

Wish you all the best and please keep in touch.

Kind regards,



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