The first class is free!
The Tangoubukan exists to promote and propagate the Japanese martial art of Naginata. Because Naginata is not very well-known outside of Japan, we are inviting anyone who is curious to learn about the martial art to participate in their first class for free. The offer is only applicable to people who have never done Naginata before. Please contact the dojo before you decide to take this offer.
What do I wear?
The standard Naginata uniform of a hakama and keikogi is not required for training. Coming to class in comfortable exercise attire such as sweat pants and tee-shirts is perfectly acceptable for a beginner. After a few months, however, if you decide to continue for the longer term, we recommended that you purchase a uniform. You will not need armor at least for the first several months to a year.
What do I bring?
You do not need to bring anything to your first classes, as the Tangobukan should have spare weapons for you to borrow while you are training. Just bring yourself and a healthy can-do attitude, and you are good to go.
What will I learn?
Our goal for you as a beginner, is get you up to speed so that you can join the general class as quickly as possible. As such, your first classes will focus on teaching you the fundamental swings. To execute a swing properly, you need to have not only the correct arm motion, but also proper body position and footwork. Usually, we will assign a senior student or instructor to work either one-on-one with you or in a small group. Once you are armed with a rudimentary understanding of these basic swings, you will be ready to join the general class.
Naginata training is centered around kihon waza, or basic techniques, so you will continue to work on fundamentals--such as even more basic swings and perfecting form and accuracy--for as long as you do Naginata.
As you gain more experience, you will be introduced to two-person forms called shikake-oji, in which one participant executes a pre-arranged set of techniques on the attack, while the partner executes the another set of pre-arranged techniques on the defense. Later, you will don bogu, or amor, and engage in improvised jigeiko, or free sparring.
Do I have to do competitions?
Although traditional Naginata is not a sport-oriented activity, we have competitions at the local, national, and international level. Competition, however, is not necessary for advancement in rank.
Do I need to know Japanese?
Naginata is a Japanese martial art. As such many of the techniques have Japanese names and most commands are given in Japanese. However, you do not need any real proficiency in the language to progress in the art. Just follow along and soon enough you will understand what you need to understand.