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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 1464
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get where your family is coming from. There are a few legitimate concerns when the CI is older (sorry ). None of them having to do with the CI's abilities though.

A question that's been on the back of my mind is when will my CI decide to retire from running the dojo, and who will take over? He's 64 and retired from his day job about a year and a half ago. I'm sure it won't be for several years, but I'm thinking long term here, as I plan on being there for a long time. There's a person here who I've conversed with privately who's CI is pretty close to retirement and he/she has concerns about what'll happen when the CI retires. They're similar to my concerns at my dojo, but mine are further down the road.

What if I'm nearing sandan and my CI decides it's time to retire? Who'll take over? More importantly, will anyone step up? What if the person that takes over isn't who I consider the best choice, to put it in a nice way?

When a CI retires, wherever it is and whoever replaces him/her, there's going to be changes. People will leave simply because "it's not the same anymore." In our case, in a place with about 20 adults training day in and day out, if 5 leave that changes the dynamics quite a bit.

I've played out some scenarios in my head recently; admittedly unfairly. I hope my CI's right hand man takes over. I think the atmosphere he'd bring would be a great change, along with keeping the essence of the dojo currently. But I'm not sure he'd be able to make the commitment without help. That opens the door to who I think his right hand man will most likely/should be. With the two of them co-running it, I think it would be pretty close to a perfect world.

Then there's one or two others who I wouldn't be surprised if were named a successor. I'm quite sure that they'd do a great job, but my heart definitely wouldn't be into it. I don't think I'd last very long.

If that happens, where do I go? Do I start over at a new dojo? Do I take up a new art? Do I stop training altogether?

I'm quite sure my CI would be around in some capacity until he's no longer physically capable, kind of like a CI emeritus, if you will.

Long story short, IMO it's a legitimate concern. That being said, you already have high ranking students. I'm pretty sure you have a few people in mind that would be worthy successors. Have a conversation with them and make it known to anyone who asks.

You're definitely not too old. But some people think beyond the here and now. And you aren't exactly starting a dojo from scratch; you're re-opening. There's a difference.
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 460
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:

Excellent points, each and every one of them!!

I was just asking a question, because, as I said before, I've never been 60 years old before, and I'm just asking because the question just popped in my head, so I asked it.

My mind just goes on its own meandering way, as of late, so I thank you both, The Pred and Matsu Shinshii!!

Proof is on the floor...I've more than enough proof...and that's what 52 years being on the floor will provide...knowledge and experience!!


Yes but you have been teaching for a long time and that is not changed by turning 60. You are not starting over in a new art, you are continuing your journey in your art. The only thing that changes is you are not in the same town, do not have the same governing body and you will have new students.

When I started Judo my instructor was 70+ years of age (He told me his age but I can not remember the exact age he said) and yes at first I wondered if he was the right guy but that changed the first time he threw me around the Dojo. His technique was excellent. Age is a number and you are only as young or old as you feel. If you have been training non-stop for 52 years then the students that see your age will soon realize that it was wrong to judge you for it.

If your heart is in it, do it.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1288

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you still able and willing to teach and pass on your skills? If the answer is yes it matters little if you are 60, 70 or 80. Most of the best and most competent karate instructors I have had the privilege to know or train under in Japan, Okinawa or elsewhere have been at least 60 years old or more. These instructors could all easily surpass anyone younger than themselves in skills, knowledge and overall physical fitness.

My present instructor is nearly 70 and founded his most recent dojo less than 15 years ago. Out of the 30 or so regular students, at least a dozen are shodan or above. if you think you have the energy and dedication, then teach and train as much as you can. Many, if not most of the memorable teachers in martial arts history have trained, taught and practiced until their last breath.

To cite an example from Okinawa, Chosin Chibana( taught my sensei's sensei) trained and taught his students up to the eve of his death in 1968 or 9. He was over 80 years old and started many dojos in his life from the time his own teacher, Itosu died.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12576
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137, MatsuShinshii, and Spartacus Maximus...thank you for your posts; some solid points, through and through, and I will consider them all!!


After training with the throng of my students just the other day, I'm gearing and ready to open up my 4th Kyuodan Dojo ASAP...doctors or not!!



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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 1143


PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the ambition to do it, then go for it; all the power to you.
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