There are some common questions that new and potential students will have. The martial arts terminology used on this website can be overwhelming to someone who has never studied a martial art! We hope this section will help. Please feel free to contact us if you do have further questions.

What is a martial art?

Typically this term is now used to refer to combat systems that origanted in Asian cultures but can actually refer to any sort of codified combat system regardless of origin. Some martial arts are linked to spiritual or religious beliefs/philosophies and others have their own code of conduct. Some arts may be practiced competively as combat sports and others are practiced in the form of dance.

What is a koryu?

Koryu is a Japanese word associated with the Japanese martial arts and is a general term for Japanese schools of martial arts that pre-date the Meiji Restoration (1866 - 1869). The word literally translates as 'old school'.

What age range are the students?

Students must be 16 or older. There is no upper limit. Iwata Norikazu Sensei is still teaching at 96 years of age!

Do men and women study this martial art?

Yes this martial art is equally suitable for men and women. The basis being correct technique and proper mental attitude.

Do you practice cutting things?

The practice of tamegishiri (cutting) is not practiced in the dojo but can form part of an individual's practice.

Do I need any special kit?

To start with you do not need anything in particular. As students progress they typically purchase knee pads, a hakama (pleated traditional Japanese trousers), an iaigi (a top) and an obi (a belt). Students tend to buy their own bokken (wooden practice sword) too although the club has spares that people are welcome to use.

Do you use real swords?

A real sword (or shinken) is not used for normal practice. Only very advanced practitioners are permitted to train with a shinken and even then practice with a shinken will only account for 10% of the practice. It is much more common to use an iaito for practice. This is a semi-sharp practice sword that looks like a shinken but is usually made from an alluminium-zinc alloy.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.

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