1. What is the rank of the instructors and how long have they been studying martial arts?
Poitras has been studying and teaching Shotokan Karate-do for over 25
years. In that time he took a big interest in the art of Japanese
swordsmanship. He joined the Boston Kendo Club back in 1989 when he
began working in the Boston area. After moving out to Acton in 1992, he
founded the Doshi-Kai Kendo and Iaido Club in 1994. He
currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th Degree Blackbelt) in kendo and
Godan (5th Degree Blackbelt ) in iaido. Several members of the
Doshi-Kai Dojo hold Dan ranks in kendo and iaido, as well as many other
disciplines such as aikido, karate-do, kyudo, jodo, and naginata.
Doshi-Kai and all of the students are members of the All United States
Kendo Federation under the regional direction of the Eastern United
States Kendo Federation.
2. What times and days do you meet, and how much do the instructional classes cost?
We currently have several locations to choose from: See our locations.
All evening classes are priced per month, per individual. Call for current pricing or look on the web site.
3. What kind of equipment do I need to get started?
start, all you need is loose fitting clothing (sweat pants, T-shirt,
Karate/Judo Gi, Aikido Hakama and Keiko Gi), a Bokken ( Wooden Sword ),
and a Shinai (Bamboo Sword). We get these items
at wholesale prices. You may pick up your own at local martial arts
stores, but beware that you will most likely pay retail. Also you may
want to check with me on the quality of an item before you purchase it.
Many a student has been very disappointed to find out that not only did
they pay more than they should have, but they need to replace a piece
of equipment a short time after due to poor craftsmanship. Bokken are approximately $ 15.00, Shinai size 39 $ 30.00, Doshi-Kai Polo-shirts $ 25.00.
4. Do I need armor to practice Kendo?
No. Not at first. There are plenty of basics to learn without the armor. Of
course eventually you will want to go out and purchase a set so that
you can participate in the sparring portion of art. I
encourage all students to try Kendo for a while to see if this is
something that they are going to continue with, otherwise you are just
wasting your money. Again, we get these items at the wholesale prices
from several sources. We were getting high quality Iaito ( Japanese
made unsharpened swords) from Japan during sale price times from around
$ 300.00 to $ 450.00 each. We are getting high quality Japanese made Bogu (
Kendo Armor ) and Hakama/Keiko Gi (Kendo & Iaido uniforms) from
e-bogu.com. Bogu for $ 400.00-800.00 and
uniform for approximately $ 230.00. Very high quality Bogu and Uniforms are available at higher prices.
5. How long do I have to wait before I can get my armor?
leave that up to each individual student. There is no set time limit at
Doshi-Kai. Again, the most important point to remember is to first try
Kendo out for a while, if you enjoy it then you may purchase a set.
6. Do you promote your students?
No. We will do everything within our power to teach you traditional, strong
basics in both arts, but the judgment of your rank will be by a panel
of judges of the Eastern Regional Organization of the All United States
Kendo Federation. These are some of the highest ranked sensei in the
country (5th Dan - 8th Dan), and are extremely qualified individuals.
There are at least two promotions each year, and most are held in
7. Are there any competitions?
are approximately 4 Eastern Regional tournaments each year. Most of
these are held in New York City due to the centralized location and
amount of Kendo & Iaido practitioners. We at Doshi-Kai try to have
1 local tournament in Acton each year in the spring. The tournaments
have individuals broken down by rank, as well as 5 person team
8. Is there a membership fee?
only annual fee is from the All United States Kendo Federation, which
is approximately $ 50.00 per year depending on your age. With this
membership you are able to promote, compete, attend seminars, and
participate in all A.U.S.K.F. events.
9. Is there an age limit?
Doshi-Kai we have limited the Kendo & Iaido enrollment to 13 years
and over. Although Kendo is practiced by many children throughout the
world, I have limited it due to time restrictions.
10. When can I start? Any time. Just drop in and take a class.