What you need to know if you wish to join Ealing dojo
You have to be over 18 to start practicing Iaido and Jodo.
For practice days and times, please see "Contact us" page.
For beginners, no special outfit or equipment is needed. We will lend you a bokuto (wooden sword) and jo until you get your own.
Wear loose clothes. Practice is barefoot on a parquet floor.
If practicing Iaido, we would recommend you obtain as soon as possible a belt (if you have any old martial arts belt it will do to start with), and knee pads.
Few iaido forms are done from the kneeling position so you will need to protect them. Also, your knees need to be in a reasonably good shape, i.e. no injuries.
In Jodo there are very few kneeling forms, so knee pads are not essential.
Ealing Dojo fees are £50 per month, payable monthly in advance by Standing Order.
You also have to be a BKA member for insurance purposes. BKA has a temporary membership (3 months) which is in the region of £10, and if you decide to continue, then you pay a full year, around £37 if registering for both Iaido and Jodo. Please see the BKA website for up-to-date fees.
If you continue with the practice and are ready to invest into the outfit and metal sword for Iaido and your own bokuto and jo for Jodo, all of them can be purchased from the Nine Circles (see Links page). This would be usually after 3-4 months of practice.
We would strongly recommend you also visit our Facebook page for additional information and videos.
Few reality check points for aspiring members:
Iaido and Jodo are martial arts that require life-long dedication and commitment as at no point in your practice you will reach the end of what can be learned. Also, it is a matter of respect to your Sensei and your dojo colleagues who will invest their time and effort in teaching you, to dedicate yourself fully to the practice.
You are not "required" to show for every single practice day, as we all have our personal and professional obligations to fulfil. However, fairly regular attendance, as a minimum, is required. If you don't practice regularly, you will not progress. Iaido and Jodo are not hobbies that can be left and picked up when convenient.
While we practice the use of Japanese sword and Jo, this is not a "Samurai" training.
It is as much practice of the sword and jo, as it is study of Budo, fighting spirit, the opponent, and hardest of all, yourself.
Sometimes the progress is slow and frustrating and it requires discipline, determination and willingness to change to overcome the stagnation. But, it always, without fail, bears results.
Some of us practice both Iaido and Jodo, which is an ideal combination as they complement each other. Others, for various reasons, practice only one or the other art, which is also fine.
Iaido and Jodo are suitable for both women and men.
While it will probably take few life-times to learn everything there is to learn, this is not the ultimate goal. It is about your own personal development, about you bettering yourself.
In that light, any progress that you make is individual. If you make progress, no matter how small or big it is, it is valuable and will be at your own speed and in your own time. There is no pressure or rush to get to the next level.
Iaido and Jodo do not require great physical strength or endurance to practice. But you will need to be reasonably agile and injury free.
IMPORTANT: If you have any medical (present of past) conditions that may be exacerbated by physical exertion, please let us know in advance. In rare cases, we may advise you to resolve them before taking up training. Good examples are tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, back or neck pain, tendons problems, problems with knees and similar.
Visiting us for the first time
If you wish to visit Ealing Dojo and try it on the day, please let us know in advance by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), as your visit has to be announced to the Sensei prior to you coming.
Also, please let us know if you practiced any other martial arts in the past.
After your 1st visit and a chat with the Sensei, if he approves, and you wish to take up the practice, you will be invited to join the dojo.