Where is the Dojo located?
We practice at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, which is on the corner of Gramercy and 162nd Street in Gardena. The Dojo utilizes the main hall which is accessed through the driveway on 162nd Street.
May I visit the Dojo and observe practice?
You can observe our class anytime we have practice on Friday. If you notify the contact person prior to the day you wish to observe and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to practice, we will be prepared and more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Once practice commences you will need to wait until the end to ask your questions.
What is the youngest age you accept for membership?
We accept students from the ages of 7 and up.
Am I too old to learn Kendo?
Kendo is an art form that can be practiced a whole lifetime. We have Sensei well in their 80’s that still actively practice. This being true, it is your responsibility to mention any health concerns you may have and to consult with your physician prior to engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
How and when can I enroll?
After observing our class and deciding that you truly wish to practice Kendo, you will be provided enrollment and liability forms to complete. Enrollment fees are due at this time. (Please see Enrollment Information on this website) Enrollment applications are accepted on the first Friday practice of January, April, July, and October.
What will I need for my first practice?
You will need to purchase a shinai (bamboo sword) and a bokuto (wooden sword). These are the only 2 items that you will need and we can recommend where you can purchase them. For your first practice you will need to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in. You will be presented a Dojo tenugui at this time.
When will I be able to wear bogu (Kendo armor)?
Your first step prior to this will be to purchase a white keikogi and hakama (upper and lower uniform). This will be about 3 months after starting. You will be given permission to wear bogu (Kendo armor) about 6 months after you start. The exact time will be determined by how well you progress with the basics of Kendo. You must earn the privilege to wear keikogi/hakama and or bogu. Purchasing bogu is a major investment, however if maintained properly, it will give you years of pleasure.
How does the promotional system work?
Unless you possess a certificate verifying your rank from an All US Kendo Federation or International Kendo Federation affiliated Dojo, you will start at a rank of 0 kyu. From 0 kyu you will progress to 6 kyu, then 5 kyu, 4 kyu, 3 kyu, 2 kyu, 1 kyu, 1 Dan, 2 Dan, 3 Dan, & 4 Dan. We adhere to the promotional procedures of the Southern California Kendo Federation. Determination of who will be eligible to test for promotion is made by the Head Instructor.