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Where is the dojo Located?
The Dojo is located at 37114 N. thrill Hill road Eustis. Please pay attention to the house numbers for GPS will take you to a house located in front of our property. Our property driveway can be found across the street from East El Dorado Lake road.  Take the Driveway to the back past the front gate and the main house. As a private residence is located on the property, the gate is only open 30 minutes before classes start. The dojo is in the rear of the property behind the common building. Please park on the grass in front of the common building to the left of the driveway.


Why are you a designated Nonprofit?
We believe that training in the Arts becomes muddied when "profit" is involved. Generally, schools that depend on enrollment numbers must maintain a steady flow of people by accepting anyone or by promoting unqualified students for retention in order to fulfill the needs of the business.  As we are a non-commercial and private organization, membership is subject to approval and promotion in Budo is determined in the same manner and tradition as prescribed in Japan. You will earn it.

What are the minimum and maximum age for Practice?
 
Although we do not have a maximum practice age, we limit the starting age for youth at 12.  
 
Is Kyudo Physically Challenging?
 
Yes and No. While executing the movements with proper form and mindfulness can be challenging, Kyudo can be practiced by just about anyone. Strength and stamina are not real issues when learning Kyudo. Even people who have knee, back, or shoulder problems can practice and excel in Kyudo. Each bow is tailored to the archer and thus will accommodate their physical ability. While the standard form in Kyudo is to sit in "Seiza” as a “Zasha” archer, the acceptable standing form is also practiced here called "Rissha”.
 
How long does it take to get good at Kyudo, Iaido or Karate?
 
It takes most students several months to become minimally competent with the basic movements (Kihon / Shaho Hassetsu) in the Arts. The additional coordinated movements (Kata, Tai Hai) and shooting of Kyudo/ test cutting in Iaido will also take some time. You will then spend the rest of your life getting "good" at Arts.
 
Is there a ranking system in Kyudo?

Yes. We belong to the International Kyudo Federation. As such, the IKYF tests students every year at various locations throughout the world for those qualified individuals wishing to test (Shinsa).  Testing may not be for everyone and is not necessary for continued practice in any of the Arts.

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What are the differences between traditional Japanese archery and western archery?
 
Like western archery, Kyudo can be enjoyed as a sport that involves the act of shooting a bow and arrow. However, there are a few obvious differences:
 
First, western archery bows are symmetrical and Japanese bows are asymmetrical and oversized (almost 7 feet tall). One possible explanation for this is that the shorter bottom half of the Japanese bow, or Yumi, allowed for archers to shoot from side to side, while mounted on horseback (preventing them from being obstructed by the horse's neck). Another explanation has to do with the lessening of bow vibration with an off-center grip. Perhaps it is both.
 
A second, less obvious difference is the intent of practice. Western archery is almost exclusively concerned with hitting the target. While Kyudo is much more concerned with one's courtesy, mindfulness, and spirit while shooting. Form and Tai Hai are primary and executing the form properly results in the hitting of the target. Through regular practice, Kyudo can deepen our life experiences through self examination and develop a sense of respect for others.
 
Lastly, the two styles of archery look very different from one another, Japanese archery requires a specific uniform and practices a carefully coordinated prearranged form that essentially does not exist in western archery.
 
Does Kyudo have different Schools (Ryu)?
 
Like other Japanese Budo, Kyudo has several different Ryu. The Kashimon Dojo at Arching Oaks practices the federation form as outlined by the International Kyudo Federation and the All Nippon Kyudo Federation (ANKF).
 
What is Karate?
 
Karate is a martial art that primarily involves punching, kicking and blocking. Practice consists of Kata (forms), Kihon (basic skills), and Kumite (sparring). It is an excellent Martial Art for teaching balance, distance, and timing and is very useful for self-defense. At the Kashimon dojo we also add break falling, takedowns, and throws as can be seen in specific Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido techniques. These additional techniques are not common in other traditional karate dojos.
 

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What is Iaido?
 
Iaido is a method of wielding the sword, one of the Japanese martial arts which has been practiced from ancient times to today. The I in Iaido refers to both the existence of the body and that of the spirit. The ai refers to adaptability, the impromptu meeting of persons and execution of movements whenever and wherever an appropriate response is necessary. The do refers to the path or way taken by its practitioners.
 
The practice of Iaido requires a calm spirit, extreme concentration, and skill. Every motion, such as the movements of arms and legs in coordination with the sword must be perfectly executed.
 
The physical practice of Iaido includes drawing, parrying, and cutting motions as well as methods of returning the sword to the scabbard. Training focuses on kata---Prearranged forms that are designed as defenses against an imaginary opponent and each consecutive form teaches several principles of correct sword handling and with more advanced movements.

Will we be cutting things with the Sword?

Yes. We also Practice Tameshigiri with our Iaido Class. As there is sparing in karate and shooting an arrow in Kyudo, we cut with the sword. The purpose of tameshigiri is to test the cutting ability of the sword, gain experience in striking a solid object, timing, distance, angle and grip.  The targets used consist of makiwara---tightly rolled tatami mats, with general uniform weight and thickness, which have been soaked in water. While kata teaches correct footwork and body movement, it is only by cutting an actual target that reveals whether or not the proper cutting technique is being used. 

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.Which Martial Art (budo) should I study? What should I expect?
 
The Samurai text Hagakure advises " there is a lesson to be learned from a downpour of rain. if you get caught in a cloud burst, you will still get drenched even though you hurry to take cover under overhanging roofs. If you are prepared to get wet from the start, the result is the same but with no hardship. This attitude can be applied to all things" . Ask yourself why are you interested in Budo? What are your goals and motivations? Are your expectations realistic?

The following considerations may provide you with some clues:

1. Are you an anime or martial art movie fan who wants to a martial art because it looks "cool"?
2. Do you enjoy the thrill of competition?
3. Do you want to learn how to defend yourself and stay fit?
​4. Are you interested in spirituality or traditional Japanese culture?


 All the Arts are easy to start and great for wellness and confidence. Although, If (1) is the first thing to come to your mind then, you may not last long. No doubt that Budo is cool but the practice is much harder than the romantic fantasy one may have. Budo is hard work and most of the time when you are slugging away at the dojo, the only "cool" thing you will want to do is take a cold shower. You will be hot, sweaty and even share some blood and tears. Through this trial of hard work is how you will become much, much more than Cool.

 If you can envision yourself wielding, cutting and/or competing with a sword then Iaido is best for you. If you like competition, a good workout and self defense, then Karate is your method. If you like things at a slower pace, being mindful with a sense of Zen then Kyudo is in your future.


The hardest thing about Budo is coming to class. Once you are here and start class, you will feel accomplished and glad you came.
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Is Kyudo/Karate/Iaido practice Safe?
 
Safety is paramount in Budo practice and always the first objective. We have an excellent safety record due to the safety rules applied to the dojo. Our dojo is always under the supervision of the Dojo Cho and its safety conscious members. Stating this you may receive small bruises and the aches and pains you may get from exercise. All members are responsible and indeed encouraged for calling out any unsafe practice. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
 
What does Traditional Japanese Martial arts mean?
 
It can mean many things, some obvious and some not so obvious. A few of the major aspects of a traditional dojo include: a verifiable lineage in a recognized historical style, a respectful atmosphere as well as observance of basic formalities and decorum, as well as active membership and training with Japanese government recognized traditional Budo organizations and teachers.
 
Will we be bowing and saying things in Japanese?
 
Yes. We feel that it is important to maintain the traditions of the Art in order to preserve its integrity and a mark of respect to the originators of Budo and its history. The three Arts practiced here use the same general terms but some terms may be specific to an individual Art.
 
The bowing is meant as a mark of respect to our Budo forefathers, the dojo, the instructor, and fellow students. It does not have any religious significance and the Japanese greet each other by bowing and is akin to a handshake or saluting in the military. Bowing in the dojo has no religious connotations and has functions of thanking or apologizing. Bowing may range from a small nod to a long 90-degree formal bow. You are supposed to bow deeper and longer than your opposite if they are of higher grade than you are. Your back and neck should be kept straight while bowing.
 
Another reason for bowing is a safety measure--- a physical pause that is used to put aside extraneous thoughts and focus on the current task.

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Do I have to have a uniform/Where can I find a uniform?

We realize that most people will not want to purchase training attire before they know our training is right for them. Until then, it is best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, such as jogging or yoga apparel.  Please do not wear shorts at the dojo.

Iaido Uniforms can be purchased at the following website: https://www.seidoshop.com. Iaido students can select the color of the kakeobi of their choice but the Iaidogi tetron top must be white and the Hakama Black.

The school will assist you in acquiring the Kyudo and Karate uniform and other equipment when you are ready.
 
How do I acquire the appropriate equipment like Arrows and Bow or practice sword?
 
Our facility will provide basic equipment for new students until the student is ready and decides to invest in their own equipment as recommended by the sensei.
 
Is there anything I should know before I come?
 
Yes. Please carefully read the entirety of this website and specifically, the Dojo Rules and Etiquette section.
 
Do you accept related “Dojo rank” from outside the organizations you belong to?
 
This is a difficult question. Although, we would like to believe that all dojos maintain the same strict standards of policy and practice--- unfortunately this is not the case. Typically, Dojo rank is not recognized outside that particular single dojo. This means that your Sensei gave you a grade that perhaps did not go through the checks and balances that are normally part of a robust institution. This does not mean that you did not learn anything. It only means that since we do not know of your Sensei’s rationale or standards of practice, we cannot fully accept your former dojo specific ranking. Individuals will be evaluated on a case by case basis for the opportunity to maintain their grade for a potential future lateral promotion in the same style.
 
When you say accreditation, what does that mean?
 
Good question. Martial Arts as a whole does not currently have a unilateral accrediting agency such as the U.S. Department of Education has instituted. Accreditation as defined by the U.S. Department of Education means that the college or university has “undergone a strict procedure of standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality”.
 
The closest thing to “accreditation” in the martial arts (Budo) is if the organization you belong to is a nonprofit, government recognized facility and accredited. This, generally means that the folks that train you are not trying to make money off you by promoting everyone and charging fees after fee and guaranteeing rank. Moreover, their government “recognition” says that they have filled out and submitted the proper forms for certain tax status which the government has accepted by which the organization can be audited by said Government. Furthermore, Accreditation in this context means that the organization has a “voting board” equal to that of the “President” and can out vote if necessary in order to prevent power mongering and/or potential bias, thus the checks and balances.  Notably, the organization will also have clear written regulations, standards,  terms and ethics policies that can be reviewed by anyone.
  
A student should always do their due diligence in selecting a Dojo. An amazing amount of information is available on the internet. If persons in the organizational leadership have been found guilty in the US or Japan in civil (called Meiyo kison in Japanese) or criminal court or have not met balanced "accreditation standards", you may want to rethink your membership.

A good Sensei travels as far as he can on Budo's path and if reaching a point he can go no further, then he acts as a bridge so his students can surpass him. In this way, his particular style will grow richer with each generation. Striving for mediocrity is to attain mediocrity, but to strive for perfection, however impossible, is to achieve greater progress. Failure to allow his students to surpass him means that the Art they have in common will decay over time.

Budo is a calling --- an incessant need to fulfill and impossible to resist way of life. This should never be taken lightly and seekers of the way should commit only when conducting their full verifiable and informed research.

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How much is Dojo Membership?
We do not have contracts and operate on member donations to pay what they can according to their income on a sliding scale below. Every student is in a position of trust and keeping one's word and honor is at the center of our program. Your personal progression is in your hands and we will always be here to help and guide you on your journey.
  • All regular students should maintain a steady attendance
  • Life happens and student needs come first. If a student needs to withdraw from the dojo temporarily or permanently, please let the sensei know
  • Annual invitations will be sent to students who are welcome for continued practice
  • Donation contribution is recommended at the first week of the month. Donors can deduct their contribution under IRS section IRC 170. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under IRS section 2055, 2106 or 2522.
  • Tameshigiri tatami,  testing, seminars, equipment, uniforms, etc.,  are not part of monthly Donation
  • Cross training is available at the Deshi level with recommendation

Recommended Monthly donations based on a sliding scale honor system:

Combined household Living Wage (LW) of $40K              Monthly Donation* (Tax Deductible)
<100% LW                                                                                   50  (First responders, Retirees, Veterans and students)
101-200% LW                                                                             75
201-300% LW                                                                           100
>301% LW                                                                                   125

​*Persons with economic concerns should speak to their instructor. The inability to donate is not a reason to be absent.

What is the Dojo Schedule? 

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