This is where you will find most answers. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
No previous experience of martial arts is necessary.
Iaido and jodo are suitable for all fitness levels and ages – from 18 to 80. Training will help you to develop core strength, posture and balance, and your instructors will tailor their teaching to suit your physical abilities. As you progress, budo will present you with considerable challenges, both physical and psychological, but development is individual and there are no set timetables or outcomes. Everyone learns at their own pace.
Absolutely! Some of the best iaidoka and jodoka in the world are women. Men and women train with one another, and technique trumps strength every time.
Sorry, currently we are only accepting students over the age of 18.
All jewellery must be removed except for wedding bands and simple studs etc. Hair should be tied back, and very long hair secured fully. Anything that can catch or snag is dangerous when weapons are in use, so common sense applies at all times.
You may wear a tracksuit or t-shirt and jogging bottoms. If you have a Karate/Judo Gi, please wear that, and if you have a hakama already, then even better!
In a two-hour class, we may train an hour each of iai and jo or concentrate on one art for the whole evening. Training typically involves a mixture of individual technique practice and kata. As when learning any new skill, repetition is key to consolidating knowledge, so classes involve lots of doing an a minimum of standing around.
Students are loaned a wooden training sword to begin with, but typically once you decide you want to continue training, you will want to buy an iaito. All swords must be inspected prior to use within the club.
We'd be disappointed if you didn't! However, you must not practise with a sword of any type in public except when preforming with the dojo at an organised demonstration. Your teachers will guide you as to what you should practise at home so that you do not develop bad habits.
Beginners are fine with loose jogging bottoms/sweat-pants etc and a t-shirt.
When you are ready, you will wear the traditional training outfit of keiko-gi (similar to a lightweight karate jacket) and a hakama. The hakama is the traditional Japanese divided skirt with pleats. A belt (obi) is required to hold the sword. but is worn beneath the hakama.
Iaido and Jodo are practised barefoot in almost all circumstances. So clean feet with clipped nails are a must. Students with foot problems are permitted to wear tabi (thick-soled Japanese ankle socks).
When you and your instructor feel you are ready, you will be eligible to test yourself in front of a grading panel.
The grading system is like that of many traditional Japanese martial arts: through Kyu (coloured belts) grades into Dan (black belts) grades.
We recommend that students grade, but it is not an absolute requirement. Once you start to attend seminars, you will probably find that you want to grade, however, as you will be greedy for the more advanced teaching that higher grades receive.
Budo training helps to build confidence.
Many martial artists will agree, friends made in the dojo are often friends for life. Over time you develop a strong bond of trust with your training partners.
Budo training develops skills with the sword and the jo that would be effective in a real fight. However, the true success of budo training lies in the ability to avoid a fight in the first place. Your training will help you to develop the confidence and awareness needed to avoid or defuse potential conflict in your life.
To state the obvious, there is no longer a practical use for the sword (or jo) in modern society. However, budo training is a wonderful way to develop your body and mind. And the main reason to do it – it's a lot of fun!