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Old 09-19-2006, 09:03 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
Re: Training at Hombu Dojo

Mike Braxton wrote:
You definately need the USAF passport! If you don't have it then you will be required to join the dojo which costs about $85 4yrs. ago then pay the class fees. While with the USAF passport it will cost you $15 and you can stay and practice all day. Hopefully someone is behind the glass in the office that can speak English. They will ask you a few questions like rank, Sensei, where you are from, etc... I was lucky that my wife came with me and did all the necessary translation. However, since you have only been practicing for 11 months that will mean that you can only practice in the beginners dojo which is on the second floor. The main dojo where all the big boys and girls practice is on the third floor and you must be 3rd kyu in order to get on the mat. You should be able to still watch the class though. Oh, the last point is to make sure that you find out which is the correct door to enter the dojos. Each dojo has two doors side by side, one for the students and the other strickly only for Sensei. I think the student door is on the left but make sure you confirm this! I almost made this mistake for I had never heard of this and luckily a Japanese student caught me in time.
I would like to comment make some corrections.

First, what do you mean by USAF passport? Are you talking about the Yudansha book issued to Yudansha? If so then you or your organization has already paid the registration fee to Honbu. You should have had a membership card issued with your Yudansha book. Bring at least one of them and they can look up the number.

If you are talking about anything other than that and/or are a non yudansha must pay the reg fee because you have not done so before.

Main Dojo
The statement about having to be third kyu to practice on the main floor is incorrect. I am not sure why you thought that. However if you practice on the main floor and are clearly out of your depth you may be advised to attend a beginners class.

Two Doors
I am sorry but you are also incorrect about this as well. The first door is not only for Sensei. It is where women enter the dojo (because the dressing room is on the second floor) and it is where the Sensei enters to teach. Men enter and leave the dojo by the door in the mens locker room.

Please check dojo website as advised. Enjoy your visit.

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