April 2, 2015


I practice bujinkan and will be in Chicago next week for a few days and would love to come by and train while in town. I wanted to get permission before showing up.
Thank you.
All the best

Hi "John,"

Thanks for the email. It's probably okay if you stop by - I appreciate you asking permission - but a couple things first.

Normally, if someone wrote me an email like yours, but was not already apart of the Bujinkan like you say you are, I'd simply delete it - with no full name, no bio, and no introduction, it'd be gone.

If I were trying to visit another dojo and a new teacher, one I had had no contact with before, I'd first introduce myself. I'd give my name, where I'm from, and who I train with. I'd link to my teacher's email, just in case my potential new friends wanted to contact my teacher to see if I'm in good standing. I'd also give a short biography of myself, or link the email to a website that contains my bio. In other words, I'd be fully transparent.

The fact you have not done this may not say anything bad about you - perhaps you are just used to casual messaging. I assume you are. But you ought to be aware that not everyone is used to that kind of familiarity, especially when it comes to new folks seeking training. Teachers tend to be guarded about who comes by and why.

You may think this all silly, or an imposition on you, and that's fine. I'm not trying to be rude or embarrass you, maybe no one ever instructed you on this protocol. I'm simply out to protect my students and myself (and even you) from situations that might not have our best interests at heart. I like to vet people before they visit - it's like this thing that I and just about everyone else I know does.

So, if you're still interested, you are more than welcome to send an introduction. In fact, I encourage you to. Let's chalk this one up as a first try, and then let's try again.

I and my folks are always interested in meeting new people and sharing training with them. And if this doesn't interest you, no hard feelings.

May the best of luck be with you,

James Morganelli

1 comment:

Jon said...

I know from first hand experience providing a more formal introduction to schools you would like to train at while on travel will be well received. Not a guaranty of acceptance but the start of communication. I have had the pleasure to be accepted to train while on travel at several schools.