1) Can I visit one of your classes?
All interested people are not only allowed to visit, but are strongly encouraged to do exactly that before deciding to join the class. Meishi-Ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo may or may not be the style you are looking for; that is a question only you may answer. Also, realize that you may not be a proper fit with our study group; all beginning students are accepted on a probationary basis. Please check us out before spending your hard earned cash, and determine whether this school is indeed suited to you. We will be pleased to answer any of your questions. Be sure to give us notice of your visit, and we will be sure to have an extra practice bokken so that you may participate in the class.
2) Once I pay to sign up for class, are there any additional expenses?
The only required additional expenses are for a white belt ($5 to $7) and a bokken (wood practice sword $12 to $15). After attending classes for a while, if you decide that Meishi-Ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo is right for you, you may want to invest in a better quality bokken, an iaito (aluminum alloy unsharpened practice sword), a keiko-gi top, and a hakama. The cost of these can vary widely depending on the type and quality you decide on, and are not necessary to attend initial classes. Eventually, after much training and practice, a sharpened sword (shinken) will be needed when tameshigiri (cutting practice) is appropriate to your training level.
3) Are there any age requirements for your class?
We prefer that our students be 16 and over. Exceptions can be made on an individual basis, but that is at the instructor’s discretion.
4) Are the swords sharp/dangerous?
There are two primary swords that are used in class. The first is the bokken or wooden practice sword. The bokken is a solid piece of wood in the shape of a katana. This is used for all activities that involve working with other members of the dojo, practice drills, and sparring. The second sword is the iaito. The blade of this sword is made of an aluminum alloy metal. It is pointed, but not sharpened and can not cut. It is used primarily for kata, and for practicing cuts to get the feel of the real katana. Are they dangerous? Yes, but only if used improperly. At Sendokai dojo, safety is very important. Reckless behavior is not accepted. Also, you will be taught proper sword handling and techniques before you are allowed to be placed into any exercise or situation that may prove too advanced for you. We instruct our students on proper sword use and ensure that these instructions are adhered to for everyone’s benefit.
5) If I can’t make it to all the classes, is that okay?
Many students have had to miss class for different reasons be they personal or business related. This is an understood hazard for these days and times. Since Meishi-Ha Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo sword techniques are taught in a self paced method, any classes that you do miss will not affect your personal training. Be aware however that effective technique is learned through repetition so the more you practice, both in class and at home, the better your training will progress.
6) How soon can I get my black belt?
You can earn your black belt as quickly or slowly as you want. Many factors depend upon you. Showing up to class, practicing at home and the determination to learn will vary from person to person. Be forewarned, the instructors are dedicated to teaching you properly and upholding the art. You will not be a part of a “Belt Mill” so prevalent in today’s martial arts, and there are no hidden fees. Be confident in the fact that when you have earned a belt, you will have demonstrated competency in the techniques and be able to perform them at the appropriate level for that rank. We feel that knowledge is much more important than a band of colored cloth.
7) Do I need any martial arts experience to join your class?
No. All that is required is a desire to learn the sword and the availability for classes.