Q: Is it okay to enroll in the school even without having any martial arts experience?
A: As long as you have a strong will to train seriously, everyone is welcome. The school accepts kids as disciples, as well. In order to preserve the tradition for the future generations, it is necessary to pass down our knowledge to young people.
Q: Can I learn Iaidō in Tennen Rishin Ryū?
A: In Tennen Rishin Ryū there are iai techniques; however, since they are introduced in the Chūgokui Mokuroku, it is necessary to learn kenjutsu’s basics first. The founder, Kondō Kuranosuke, once said “…Iai needs to be mastered as a part of the bushi etiquette…” and codified twelve techniques in order to cover every possible situation. However, our school is not an Iaidō tradition, so a disciple cannot expect to master Tennen Rishin Ryū only through iai techniques.
Q: What equipment is necessary to start?
A: The basic equipment to start training is a kendōgi with hakama, bokutō and shinai. After that, the bōgu is necessary for the gekiken training and a iaitō for the iai techniques. Many people enquire in regards to the possibility to buy a real sword (shinken). We suggest that you buy a real sword only if you are absolutely certain to continue the path of Japanese sword.
Q: Can I do tameshigiri in Tennen Rishin Ryū?
A: We hold several tameshigiri sessions throughout the year. However, please do not expect to practice it since the beginning. Cutting exercise can be performed only when the basics of Japanese swordsmanship have been learned.
Q: Since there are many Tennen Rishin Ryū lines around, how do I know which one is for me?
A: Until few years ago, Hirai Taisuke Sensei’s Monjinkai was the only dōjō left. However, now there are several lines, as was seen during the Edo period until the beginning of Shōwa period. Therefore, each one of them has probably maintained its own tradition. We kindly suggest that you visit all in order to understand the similarities and differences. Afterwards, we hope you can decide which one fits your personality and needs.