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  • Noma dojo

    I've been in Japan for the past year and training at a nearby dojo on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Lately it's become very hard to get to practice in the evening regardless of which day it is on. I'm thinking that morning practice might get me through the week. A couple of people at my local dojo have told me that Noma dojo holds practice every morning at 07:00, but I'm not clear on what the I need to do to start training there. I've read that you need an introduction. I've got that in one of the 6-dan senseis at my dojo, but I've also heard that you need to get a special zekken.

    Does anyone on this forum know the details? Do I really need to pickup a new zekken before I go, or can I show up for a couple of practices before I get the zekken?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Ask the sensei who's going to give you the introduction for a start....

    It would be unwise to buy a zekken before you have officially joined the dojo, and filled in the paperwork.

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    • #3
      You don't need a special zekken and while the morning practice is officially an open practice, an introduction would be the best way to go around it.
      You will however need two members two recommend you if you want to become a member.

      Jakob

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info.

        The sensei that is taking me is the one that mentioned the zekken. I thought it sounded strange too, but it is probable that something got lost in the translation.

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        • #5
          Noma

          I've just come back from Japan and practised at Noma Dojo a few times whilst I was there, there seems to be some etiquete on only wearing a Noma Zekken if you are 4th Dan and above as a few of the people I went with had zekken but wearn't allowed to wear them yet.
          So I don't think that it is a pre-requisite to practising there.

          I found this dojo one of the most welecoming and helpful amongst all the ones I visited.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HellBoy
            I've just come back from Japan and practised at Noma Dojo a few times whilst I was there, there seems to be some etiquete on only wearing a Noma Zekken if you are 4th Dan and above as a few of the people I went with had zekken but wearn't allowed to wear them yet.
            So I don't think that it is a pre-requisite to practising there.

            I found this dojo one of the most welecoming and helpful amongst all the ones I visited.
            Well Zekken/Nafuda are usually a sign of being a representative of a dojo/city/prefecture/country. In Iaido we only wear them out and about. But in Kendo its usually, "Hurry up and get one I dont know who the hell you are in Bogu". With proud tradition of turning out some of Japan's best you probably have to earn it to wear one there. That means getting to Yondan.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hyaku
              Well Zekken/Nafuda are usually a sign of being a representative of a dojo/city/prefecture/country. In Iaido we only wear them out and about. But in Kendo its usually, "Hurry up and get one I dont know who the hell you are in Bogu". With proud tradition of turning out some of Japan's best you probably have to earn it to wear one there. That means getting to Yondan.
              You need to be at least Yondan to have zekken?
              Could you explain some details to me about how does a Japanese Dojo work?
              Ex: How do you earn your zekken?
              (Gi , Hakama)
              (Bogu)
              Thanks in advance.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ISSAC RU
                You need to be at least Yondan to have zekken?
                Could you explain some details to me about how does a Japanese Dojo work?
                Ex: How do you earn your zekken?

                Thanks in advance.
                Hell boy said it not me. You have to earn Yondan?

                I have never come across this before. Sounds good to me though. We dont give them until students fight and get a place on the team.

                I was not not allowed to put on bogu until after 6 months of daily training ten times a week. I had already passed shodan in the UK
                Last edited by Hyaku; 13th May 2005, 11:45 AM.

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                • #9
                  I didn't mean that you have to be yondan before you can wear a zekken, only than you can't wear a Noma Dojo one until you are 4th dan or above.

                  You can wear your own one there in the meantime.

                  Most kendoka don't get a personal zekken until they have bought their own armour, and most people won't buy armour until they've been practising for at least 6month to a year. Except for rich boys!!

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                  • #10
                    This isn't exactly on topic, but something that I noticed and quite liked is that at Waseda University (a university that, painful to admit though it may be, is extremely strong), all first years have to wear a white zekken for the whole year. I'm not exactly sure what the reasoning is - maybe so that they're easy to single out for brutal kakarigeiko sessions..?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by simulacre
                      I've read that you need an introduction. I've got that in one of the 6-dan senseis at my dojo, but I've also heard that you need to get a special zekken.

                      Does anyone on this forum know the details? Do I really need to pickup a new zekken before I go, or can I show up for a couple of practices before I get the zekken?
                      I have been a visitor at Noma a number of times and really enjoyed it. Just as Hamish-san said, no need to get a zekken of the Noma dojo before you are a member. The requirement is that you need a zekken, usually one from your home dojo so people know who you are, just as Hyaku-san pointed out. Of course you need bogu to wear a zekkan and you will start out with one at your home dojo, if they see fit to allow you to wear one. If you show up without wearing a zekken, no gurantees on what will happen to your opportunity to practice.

                      You will be a visitor, so try to go to practice with the sensei who will introduce you so he can go through the formalities of the introduction with the members, this works to your great advantage if you do not speak Japanese so well. After a few times joining the practice with your sponsor, you can probably show up by yourself without anyone saying anything.

                      There is a Dan requirement for membership and it may be 4th dan but I am not certain. The main thing that you should focus on, is just being able to practice with them, and that means staying a visitor for a while.

                      Great dojo with great players. Enjoy it!!!!

                      Alex

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi all, I'm new to this list. I found it when I was searching for a friends site. I am a member of Noma dojo. Yes, it is true. You cannot wear a Noma dojo zekken if you are under fourth dan. Even though I am a member, I am known as a sanjo member, like a patron or supporter. I am also only third dan, so I cannot wear the Noma zekken either. To become a full member you have to be invited and introduced by two other full members.

                        Noma dojo was home to the legendary Mochida Moriji. These days
                        Noma dojo is not part of the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei, it belongs to the Kodansha publishing company, but top sensei from all over Tokyo attend practice there every morning. It is usually full of 7th and 8th dans. Noma dojo is a fantastic dojo and very international with visitors from around the world coming all the time. It is also true that you need to be introduced to attend in the first instance, as is usually the case generally in Japanese society, but after that you can come whenever you please. For a full history and list of rules please visit:

                        http://www.kodansha.co.jp/dojo/noma_dojo_e.html

                        I hope this helps.

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                        • #13
                          I will be travelling to Tokyo this summer for 3 weeks and I would like to attend practice at Noma Dojo. Do I need a personal introduction or would a letter from a sponsoring Sensei be sufficient? Ota Tadanori Sensei Hachidan Hanshi of Tokyo Police Dept is my sponsoring Sensei while I am in Tokyo. With so much history at Noma Dojo, it would be a shame not to practice there a couple ot times during the summer. Do they practice only in the mornings ?

                          Thanks,

                          Bob

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