What do I have to do to join your school?
Simply come along and watch a training session first. There are no obligations on your part to join. If you wish to join, just see the instructor and he will give you all membership forms to fill in. Once you are a member of the SSJS & ABA you can join the beginner's class.
Is the sword style you teach a recognized sword style?
Yes, Nakamura Ryu Battodo is a highly respected and recognized (world-wide) gendai modern Japanese sword style based on Toyama Ryu of which soke Nakamura Taizaburo was a Hanshi 10th dan.
Is your instructor qualified to teach?
The chief instructor of the Sei Do Kan Dojo has been training and teaching in various Japanese sword styles since 1978 where he attained various rankings
black-belts and teachers licences
(Menjo) and in 2001 became a direct student of Soke Nakamura Taizaburo. In 2002 Nakamura sensei gave his consent for the Sei Do Kan Dojo's chief instructor to teach and represent Nakamura Ryu Battodo in Australia.
I'm only 15. Can I train with you?
Unfortunately no. The minimum age for SSJS membership is 18 as it incorporates tameshigiri (test cutting with sharp swords).
I'm a pensioner will you accept me?
Yes, the SSJS does accept all ages above 18.
I want to learn the sword, but I'm unfit and overweight.
Yes, you can train in Japanese swordsmanship and set your own pace during training sessions.
I have a medical condition but like to learn swordsmanship.
As long as your doctor gives you permission to train in writing, the SSJS will accept you as a student.
I don't understand Japanese. Are all classes conducted in Japanese?
Classes are conducted in English to make them accessible to all. However, gradually you will be introduced to technical Japanese sword terms during classes.
What equipment do I need to start training?
For beginners the SSJS advocates the wearing of comfortable clothes only. A bokken, training sword can be purchased through the ABA.
What swords do I have to buy before I start?
Do not buy any swords (iaito or katana) before having consulted your instructor first. This will save you money and disappointment as the SSJS has its own requirements for weapons used in training.
Do I have to have a martial arts background to learn Nakamura Ryu Battodo?
No. For learning Japanese swordsmanship you don't need other martial arts experience.
I'm a member of another sword school can I join up with you too?
To train in different sword styles while training under another sword master is not the proper thing to do. You should inform your sensei teacher of your plans and get his written permission before applying for membership with the SSJS.
Do you fence like in kendo?
No, there is no contact in Nakamura Ryu Battodo. All training is done in pre-arranged sword forms and partner exercises only.
Do you sell uniforms?
We don't sell uniforms, but the SJSS can point out to you martial arts outlets that will give discounts to SSJS members.
I only want to learn how to cut with the sword and don't want to learn that other stuff.
To perform tameshigiri correctly and safely you must learn all the other aspects of Japanese swordsmanship as well. You can not separate tameshigiri from the rest.
Can I own a Japanese sword?
Yes, in NSW you can own a sword as it's not classified as a prohibited weapon. But as it is considered a controlled weapon you must take all reasonable care to have the sword secured at all times.
How do I carry my sword in public when traveling on a train to and from training?
The SSJS recommends that you secure the sword guard with the sword cord and place the word in a sword bag. It is advisable also that you carry with you your SSJS Membership Book identifying you as a genuine sword practitioner.
How long do I have to train before I can cut targets?
Due to stringent insurance and safety guidelines all SSJS members must undergo a basic training course first. After having passed an examination in sword safety and sword handling, students need to train some 8-12 month in Nakamura Ryu Battodo before they can attempt cutting targets (tameshigiri) with a live blade.
Can women train at your dojo too?
Yes both genders are welcome.
I'm a small person and not very strong. Can I still perform effectively with the sword?
Swordsmanship is not about brute strength; it's about skill and technique. Even if you are small you can learn and train and become a skilled swordsman/woman.
I don't think one hour of training is enough per week to learn the sword.
To attend one hour of tuition per week is ample. The dojo should be considered a place of learning and practice only. Your every day reinforcement training should be done at home.
I'm left handed. Will swordsmanship work for me?
All Japanese sword styles are taught carrying the sword on the left side. There are no exceptions. As you use both hands to hold and train with the sword it may not be as difficult as you might think.
My mates asked me to teach them target-cutting in their back yard at home. Can I do that?
You shouldn't, as you are not a qualified sword instructor. Should anyone get hurt in the process you could be up for criminal charges and as you are not covered by the SSJS insurer it could become very costly for you. If your mates want to learn they should join a reputable sword school.
Our local club asked me to give a demo in swordsmanship. Would that be OK?
As a SSJS member you would need written permission from the SSJS to represent the SSJS and its sword style in public.
I heard anyone can make up their own sword style and teach. Is that true?
Australian law does not prohibit anyone from opening up a martial arts school to teach their own martial arts system, and as long as the instructor doesn't claim to hold titles, grades or ranks he is not entitled to in other martial arts, he can give himself the title master or grand-master or a 10th dan black belt in his/her own style.
I'm only interested in the spiritual aspects of swordsmanship.
Spiritual and mental training are part of ones physical training. They are interlinked with each other and can not be separated. To strengthen the spirit and the mind one must strengthen the body first.
I have had 3 years of sword training in an unrelated sword style. Can I join the advanced class straightaway?
All sword styles differ technically and have different sword handling and dojo procedures. The SSJS recommends that you join the beginner's class first. During this period you will have time to adapt to new procedures and techniques. Once you feel comfortable in your new environment you will be transferred to the advanced class.