May I observe a class before joining?
Yes! If you would like to come in and observe a class, please contact us ahead of time. Plan to arrive early so that we can answer any questions you may have.
May I try a few classes before I join?
Yes! We encourage people to experience a class or two before making a decision to join. Wear comfortable workout clothing. We will lend you the necessary equipment.
Who teaches the classes?
All classes are taught by experienced Fudokan instructors.
How is the ranking system? Do you wear colored belts?
Kendo follows a grading system similar to other Japanese martial arts, starting with Kyu and advancing to Dan. However, in kendo, we do not wear colored belts.
How do the ranking promotion exams work?
Rank exams for kendo and iaido are held regionally several times each year, under the auspices of regional kendo federations. Access to exams will be made available to members who are determined to be ready by their instructor. Rank promotion is only one dimension of training, a means of measuring progress. Being involved in a martial art is a lifelong journey. Rank is only important insofar as you are learning more about the art and yourself.
Do I have to buy my own gear?
Yes, eventually, and more details are in the Expenses section, below.
How much does it cost?
Please contact us for membership fee details. Equipment expenses are an individual's responsibility.
How much does the equipment cost?
You may borrow a shinai (for kendo) or bokken (for iaido) to use for the first few days, but you'll need to eventually buy your own ($25-$30). If you decide to continue training, you will need to buy your hakama and kendogi (uniform set) after a few weeks ($80-$200 for both, depending on quality). Kendo practitioners will need kendo bogu (protective armor) eventually, and a decent beginner set costs approximately $350-$800 depending on how much you want to spend.
Iaido practitioners will need their own iaito (iaido practice sword) eventually. A suitable beginner model costs $350–$600. Your instructor will advise when it's time to invest in your own gear and will also provide input on equipment selection.