How do I join?
Step one is to come watch one of our classes on Saturday at the Camelot Community Center. Kendo and Iaido are very different than more common martial arts such as Karate and Taekwondo. The best way to learn about them is to see them in person and talk to our instructors about them. We’re a non-profit, so we aren’t about getting the most students possible. We want to be sure Kendo and/or Iaido are really what you are looking for. (We’ll detail that more below.) We are a small club, and our instructors invest a lot of time in teaching our students. So, we want people who are ready to attend class consistently, which is essential to learning these arts. At this time, our minimum age requirement is 12 for new members. Please email us ahead of time if you plan to come visit. For safety reasons, our classes have controlled access to the training area.
What To Expect
These arts are very challenging, both mentally and physically. There are complex patterns that must be learned and ingrained over time. Your arms and legs will ache as you accustom your body to these arts. Good cardiovascular health is a must, so if you have any doubt about yours, please consult with a physician.
Because these arts are still somewhat novel in America, they may catch the interest of prospective students looking for a relaxing alternative to sports like football, basketball, soccer, etc. Others may be drawn to these arts under the mistaken impression that they are a fantasy or Cosplay type of pursuit. In both cases, such prospects generally find that our classes aren’t what they are looking for.
In Japan, some of the greatest kendo teams are essentially professional, made up of police officers. Training with them is not for the meek of heart. Our own head kendo instructor is a world-class competitor and athlete. While our classes are not as intense as as those of an elite Japanese police team, we do try to get the most out of our limited training time.
We are a traditional school, so you will learn a great deal of Japanese terminology and martial arts etiquettes. Kendo is a full contact martial art and will develop great stamina. Iaido is a solo art that demands and develops mental focus and physical precision, and develops lower body strength and mobility. Older beginners should consult with their physician before taking up these physically demanding arts. Younger students will need to maintain focus for classes that are a minimum of 60 minutes duration, thus our minimum age requirement.
The sky is the limit regarding these arts. If competition is your thing, we offer a gateway to national and international competition in both Kendo and Iaido. Whether or not you are into competitions, these are lifelong endeavors. Many great senseis have practiced and found insights well into their 9th decade of life. We make no promises on longevity, but if you’re around that long, who knows?