The Yushingijuku Takada Dojo is Takada Sensei’s own dojo, where iaido lessons are given at various training halls in Yokohama 2 to 3 times per week. You can visit his training halls in Japan if you are a graded member of his organization.
Link to Takada Sensei’s dojo blog: http://takadadojo.blogspot.com/ and up-to-date information on lesson locations and times is available at http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/kuutyan
Scandinavian, Baltic and Bulgarian members of the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo may take grading tests at Takada Sensei’s seminars in Europe. In addition, boards of judges authorized by Takada Sensei give local kyu-grading tests. In Finland the Muso Shinden Ryu Association of Finland organizes kyu-grading tests in cooperation with the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo. Dan-grade tests are given by a Japanese judge or judges authorized by the Nippon Iaido Kyokai (NIK). To be able to participate in a dan-grading test you must be a member of the NIK.
You can participate in a kyu-grading test after you have been a member of the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo for a minimum of three months and have received basic instruction in iaido. In addition, the joining formalities of the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo must be in order: membership application duly filled in and submitted, joining and annual fees paid.
Grading fees will be calculated in Japanese yens, but the linked table will give you an idea of the size of the payment (remittance etc. costs will be added). The fees are paid in advance, but should you fail the test, a part of the fee (registration fee) will be returned to you. The grading test consists of both a written and a technique test, and both parts of the test must be passed successfully.
Here is a link to a MSR handbook in Finnish, where you will find the information needed for kyu-grading.
You can join the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo by filling in a membership application form (Japanese, see the model form below) and by paying admission and annual fees. The amount to be paid depends on the exchange rate of the Japanese yen because the payments are sent direct to Japan. More information about the payments is available here: iaido [at] iaido.
Application for membership of the Yushingijuku Takada Dojo and a model application form. You must join the Dojo at least 3 months before the first grading. Please familiarize yourself carefully with the model application before filling in the membership application. Please enter your name in the lower part of the field reserved for it (the upper part is meant for a name clarification with Japanese signs).
When entering for a kyu-grading test please download this form first to your computer, fill in both pages with care and send the document by e-mail to iaido [at] iaido.fi.Should you have problems with the form, please contact us at the same address.
The kyu-grading includes a written exam. The participants receive a link to an online exam form. Please answer the questions. The correct answers can be found in the MSR handbook.
Attention! Write your name in the Japanese order, for example Smith John instead of John Smith. Moreover, the only correct format for dates is yyyy-mm-dd. If you are born on Christmas Eve 1990 CE, you must write your date of birth as 1990-12-24.
All candidates are expected to wear a clean and tidy outfit in the technical exam. When grading for Ikkyu a montsuki outfit is required. In addition to a montsuki (kimono) and appropriate undergarment the candidate must wear a presentable hakama and obi as well as white tabi. Please consult your sempai on the proper fit and appropriate colours.
Application for membership of the Nippon Iaido Kyokai (NIK) and a model application form. You must join the Kyokai at the same time you submit your entrance form for the 1st dan test. Please enter your name in the lower part of the field reserved for it (the upper part is reserved for a name clarification with Japanese signs). In addition, you will have to pay a NIK entrance and annual fee.
When entering for a dan-grading test please print out this form, fill in both pages with the help of the model form, and send them scanned to iaido [at] iaido.fi or by mail to the President of the Muso Shinden Ryu Association of Finland. Should you have problems with the form, please contact us at the same address.
If you turn in your written examination as text file(s) please use one of these three formats: MS Word 97-2003 compatible document (.doc), Portable Document Format (.pdf) or Rich Text Format (.RTF).
When entering for a grading test, shodan entrants must submit also a “daicho” form, which is available from Iaido [at] Iaido.fi . See model form for instructions.
Dan-test entrants must submit a separate list of the Takada Sensei’s seminars they have attended since their previous grading test. Please note that even the coming grading seminar should be included: form and model list. The seminars one attended only in part cannot be included in the list. Special training sessions in Japan can be included if the entrant provides a copy of the certificate of attendance given by Takada Sensei.
Along with the other documents you will have to submit also your answers to the questions of the written test. You will be given these questions after you have paid the dan-grading fees to the Yushingijuku account. The answers must be written either tidily by hand or by machine and printed out on an A4-form, which is sent by the due date to the e-mail address iaido [at] iaido.fi or to the mail address of the President of the Muso Shinden Ryu Association of Finland. Please write either in English or Japanese.
N.B.: Papers arriving late will be rejected, as all papers will be forwarded to Japan by the date specified by Honbu, and all documents are mailed at the same time. In Japan a local board of directors scrutinizes the papers, which is why the papers must be in Japan about a month before the technique test. Mail delivery to Japan takes about a week or a week and a half. Usually Takada Sensei sends the questions for the test about a month and a half or two months before the test.
Takada Sensei does not give ready answers for written dan tests (unlike kyu tests). A dan test is designed for measuring the maturity of the entrant. The subjects of the questions have been discussed in Takada Sensei’s lectures, during training or in evening gatherings. Dan-grade holders should note that Takada Sensei expects that dan people, especially those holding higher grades, attend all the events during his visits, i.e. also evening gatherings. Some of the subjects discussed have been published in the seminar reports in the Hansha magazine, but for answering the questions of the written tests even some independent work at books or the Internet is needed.