by Robert Findley
(Blair, OK, USA)
I am planning on visiting Japan. While I am there how would I go about learning kendo? Can I just walk in (respectfully) and ask if I can join? I have already learned some Hai dong gum do. Will that hurt or help me?
Thank you for your question. To be honest with you, I am not sure if they will let you learn kendo since you are just visiting Japan. How long are you planning to be there?
As raised in Japan, I do not think many Japanese people will feel comfortable with a stranger coming to their dojo and learn kendo for a while and leave. That is my guess. I might be too traditional. I don’t know.
I think you should ask for watching first before telling them that you want to join. And also you should go around many dojos and ask them if they do not mind you watching their training. Also you should ask them if they know there is a seminar hosted by regional kendo federation and if you can go and watch. Usually it is for a federation member so you might not
be able to participate.
About Hai dong gum do: I did not know what it is and googled it. I am going to be honest with you here. It will hurt your kendo. I understand that what they do is based on Japanese kenjutsu and battojutsu (reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidong_Gumdo
) . Since I do not know how they teach, I cannot say it would help you with learning kendo or not. But such movements as jumping and kicking would not help you with learning kendo.
Hope this helps.