For my CIP, I chose to join a local Shotokan Karate dojo, Goshonouchi dojo, run by Kato Sensei. I joined because I had seen good things in what I found online, and a fellow CIP student was attending and she spoke very well of it. Prior to this I had several years of experience in martial arts, but only in the US, which I can now say, definitely has bit of a culture gap. I found everyone to be very friendly and nice, but they also weren’t afraid to be straightforward when instructing or teaching the formality of karate, something I very much appreciated. If I were to give advice, I would say to ignore any fear or nervousness. One of the strongest points of martial arts is it’s relative simplicity, and in that, a direct way to improve. No one expects perfection and to make a mistake is to learn, so don’t fear making them. Likewise, everyone comes to a dojo for the same reason, so don’t be scared of any of them, even the most serious practitioners are very much friendly if you take the time to talk to them. I actually went out of my way to train with the pro fighter during breaks in between class activities and it’s probably some of the best training I’ve ever gotten. If you don’t let fear hold you back, I promise it’ll be a great time.