The Training Process
The term "Dojo" is derived from Buddhism, and the place where martial arts practice became known as "Dojo". This is a fundamental difference to a place where we would only play sports.
Training Timings and Procedures
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, training begins from 7am to 8am, with the first 30mins spent on Iai (sword-drawing), and the last 30mins spent on Kendo (sparring).
On Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, training begins from 7am to 9am, divided equally for Iai and Kendo.
Iai training is based on one's proficiency at it. A beginner will begin with Suburi (swinging exercises), followed by resheathing. Once able to do both, training in Omori-Ryu Iai will begin.
As for Kendo, everyone will begin with Kirikaeshi, followed by Men-strike and Tai-atari. Subsequently, we will move on to Kakari-geiko. No matter what situation we might find ourselves in, we strike not to lose our posture and composure. Although everyone is different, this is the first fundamental level of skill that we strive for. Tsuki (thrust), Yoko-men (horizontal head-strike), Ashi-barai (leg-sweeps) can be done freely.
In Kendo, there is a saying of "One: Eyes, Two: Legs, Three: Guts, Four: Strength". As we can see, after "Eyes" is the very important footwork ("Legs"), of which we use Ayumi-Ashi (walking footwork). In modern Kendo, Ayumi-Ashi is discouraged, but we cannot deny the fact this is the natural way to move. When doing a Men-strike and Tai-atari, avoid a drooping posture and move while keeping an upright posture.
After striking Men and going into Tai-atari, by moving back and forth while striking Men allows us to train ourselves to remember the striking and stepping distances. This is one of the basics of Kendo.
Kakari-geiko is to keep making big strikes while you can still keep your breath, maintaining Ki-ken-tai-icchi (Spirit, Sword, Body as one). If you start to lose your breath, then stop and breath normally to recover, and startover anew. As long as you can keep on recovering your breathing, you can keep on training.
From here, we shall enter into actual sparring, where your opponents can be changed continously.
To reach this stage, those who are fast will take 1 year. Normally people take 2 years. It all depends on the individual's talents and efforts, which will determine how fast he/she can become better.