Which or how to choose my dojo

by Tim

Imafuji sensei. I was wondering. I want to start Kendo and there are 2 dojo where I live that I could choose from.

In one of your videos you put down 5-dan as intermediate. In your opinion would this be high enough to actually be the head instructor of a dojo (his 2nd is 2-dan). This is the dojo closest to me. They do get good results on the national and international level in competitions though.

On the other hand a bit farther away there is a dojo where in all honesty I don't know much about their competitive results. But their head instructor is an actual Japanese Kendoka (retired in my country) with at least 50+ years of experience (I don't know his current dan unfortunately) and was taught and trained in Japan (been teaching for 30 years now)

In your opinion would you think that it would be worth it to choose the farther away dojo to perhaps be able to learn more in the long run because of his experience and knowledge of should the closer dojo be good enough?

Or I was just thinking of a 3rd option. But I don't know if this is bad or disrespectful to a dojo. To train at both of them. They train on separate days so that would make it 5 evenings a week in total. What would your opinion be of that?

Hope you would share your thought on this and maybe it will help me make a choice.

Thank you very much in advance.

Answer: Thank you for your question. And this is a good one. Now competition results do not matter. It does not give us much about the kendo that they teach. And being Japanese does not give me much info either.

Here is what I would check if I were you.

1. Do they teach etiquette?

2. Do they emphasize on the basics?

3. Do they share teachings of kendo?

You should not attend to the both dojo at the same time because it is not very respectful. However, you should ask if you can watch their training for about a month.

Here it is important for you to figure out which teacher teaches you kendo that you can train through the rest of your life. So you should not train with them yet.

Hope this helps.

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