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Information for beginners

Learning a Japanese Budo can have an intimidating image, but it really shouldn't be. There are many rules and etiquette requirements that might seem a bit scary or confusing at first, but as long as you have a respectful attitude this won't be a problem and you will find that you settle in quickly. Please read all the information on this site first and if you think you would like to come and see what we do, or even have a go yourself, contact us and we will go from there.

If you make mistakes or or do something wrong it is not a problem as long as you have the correct attitude, the attitude to learn, the attitude to not blame others, to be humble and respectful, then you will do very well.

Please think of these things before you come to our dojo:

1. If you make an appointment to come to visit us, please keep it. If you cannot keep the appointment, contact us to say so.
2. Turn up on time 
3. Learn
4. Be respectful to everyone and everything in the dojo
5. Read all the information on the website first
6. If you finish training with us, return your gear promptly, come to say thank you, etc
7. Be aware that Japanese budo requires you to be mindful of the dojo even outside the dojo
8. Be pro-active in setting up and cleaning the floor
9. If you have gear, bring it along, but please don't buy gear without consultation first


Getting started

If you are interested in joining our dojo, anyone is welcome to come and watch or to join in, but please e-mail to make an appointment first. Please tun up on time to be there before before training starts for the first time and remember to take your shoes off at the door.

If you wish to join in training, please tell us, so that spare gear can be brought along for you to use. If you have gear already, please bring it along. But be aware that there are types of swords which are not permitted to be used in the dojo.

It is best if you don't buy gear first if you don't have it, as people often end up buying the wrong thing, and martial arts shops don't always have the right thing when it comes to Kendo and Iaido. Buying off trade me is also often pretty hit and miss, a lot of the stuff there is definitely not suitable for the dojo. If you really want to get your gear organised first, the safest way is to probably buy from a Japanese online shop such as Tozando.

Once you've decided that you want to continue with Iaido or Kendo, you can start thinking about gear. We have a lot of spare gear for beginners to use and we will help you choose the appropriate gear when you are ready to buy it. It is a good idea to get your own Obi and Iaito as soon as you can though because using bad Iaito can lead to bad cutting habits as you adapt your cutting dynamic to suit the sword you are using.

A very important, central idea to our dojo is that the benefits of training are always available to you, but you have to take them yourself. This means that you yourself have to want to improve for it to happen. If you are keen to train and show the proper respect and etiquette then this tells your Sensei and Senpai that you wish to be taught. We do not run classes, although each training may contain some lesson for you to learn. It is all up to you.