I am not a practioner of any type of sword or fencing arts, but I did want to drop a note here to share a very nice experience.
Right near my home in Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach Florida, the is a very nice park in an area called Lighthouse Point. The park is on the water with a very nice view, and is shaded by beautiful oak trees.
Most evenings during the week a small but dedicated group of swordsmen/women meet here to exchange ideas and techniques and to practice.
It is a very informal group. Some practice Kendo(with full gear), some iado, some have Chinese broadswords. There is no distinct instruction, mostly practice and idea exchange.
I had an opportunity to sit and watch on several occassions recently. They were very willing and open to accept newcomers, talk about heir respective arts,and speak to the children that inevitably gather there.
It was a very pleasant experience for me. While I have no desire to participate in arts such as these, I do find the practioners very interesting and will endeavor to to watch and talk to them again in the future.
They are truly excellent representatives of their respective arts.
Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team