Frequently Asked Questions


1.  Do I need to have my own Jo and Sword to start Jodo training?

No.  You may use your own jo and sword on approval of the instructor.  For those who do not have a suitable weapons, they are available for use by students until they can purchase their own. No homemade weapons are permitted.

2.  What kind of weapons do you use? 

Students start with a jo and a wooden sword shaped and balanced like a Japanese katana ('samurai sword').  These swords are called bokuto or bokken. The jo is a staff, often made from white oak 128cm long and 2.5cm thick.  The club has a limited supply of these swords for use by new students. 
3.  Do I need a uniform to start?  Do I need any other special equipment?
All you need to start is loose clothing and a positive attitude.  Later, you will need to acquire suitable garments to wear for practice.
4. Can I train in Jodo if I have taken other martial arts / am currently taking another martial art?
Generally, yes.  Jodo can serve as a complement to other martial arts; in fact, many people train concurrently in Jodo and in other disciplines.  Jodo can facilitate deeper insights into other martial arts and vice-versa.  As a courtesy, you may want to check with your current instructor before you begin practicing Jodo.
5Do I need to be in really good physical shape before starting Iaido?
No, you do not need to be a paragon of fitness.  The better your physical fitness level, the easier you may find techniques to perform.  Jodo is not as physically demanding as some other martial arts, especially cardiovascularly; however, you do need to be prepared for a good workout that includes making repetitive motions using the arms.  If you have concerns or doubts, please consult a physician.
6What age should I be to start Jodo?
The ages of people practicing Iaido vary greatly.  In general, you need to be able to focus attention on techniques for extended periods of time.  As long as you can make it through a class, you should be fine in Jodo.  In general, the youngest students who prove to be successful are at least fourteen years old.  For such students, we usually request a parent join, as well.
7.  I have a physical disability.  Can I practice Jodo?
There is a good chance you will be able to practice Jodo.  Currently, there are many people around the world who practice Jodo with some sort of physical exceptionality.  Techniques can be modified and you might be surprised at the adaptability of the human body.  A positive attitude will go a long way!
8.  What styles and techniques are taught at the Kenshokan Jodo dojo?
There is no "free fighting" or sparring in Jodo, since the risk of injury is too great .  The training method is the traditional one of Kihon (basics performed with and without a partner) and Kata (preset movements, done with a partner).  There are 12 ZenKenRen Jodo forms which are based on the Shindo Muso Ryu.
9 I am such-and-such a level in such-and-such martial art.  Do I need to start at the beginning or can I get advanced standing?
All students starting Jodo are at the same level:  beginners.  If you have experience in another martial art, you may learn some techniques more easily than other students or may be able to focus differently; in fact, several Kenshokan practitioners are instructors in other martial arts who find Jodo to be an enriching complement to their other martial art.  Regardless, we all start as beginners.
10.  I once studied under a different instructor.  Is there a problem joining Kenshokan Jodo?  Does my rank transfer over to your dojo?
People move.  Life situations change.  There is no problem if you studied our style of Jodo with a different instructor.  Your rank will transfer over as long as it has been granted by the Canadian Kendo Federation (or similar affiliated body) in the same art.