Re: Traditional vs Non Traditional training...questions
My commute is between 30 and 45 minutes (depending if we give this other guy a ride, which happens an awful lot). Its about 40 miles round trip and I go there four times a week. I'd say that if it is a great dojo, you like the teacher, you like the style, then go. That is exactly where my husband and I are at. There is one a bit closer, but the trip is well worth it in my opinion.
If you are curious about the other style, try a class or two. Then go from there. I wouldn't really get caught up in the rank issue as rank is different everywhere you go. A 3rd kyu here might be better then a 1st kyu somwhere else or worse then a 4th kyu at another dojo. As far as the non Japanese terms go, I learned a bit of aikido that way in the past. It made it a little difficult at first because I didn't know I already knew some of the things until I saw it done. Best of luck.