I've trained in a number of different places, including Australia, and the "traditions and courtesy" don't vary much. Line up and bow at the beginning and end, and bow when switching partners, same as any other Japanese budo. In between the maybe 5 minutes of time in a class occupied by courtesies, there's a lot of sweat. We get people from other budo all the time, and they are all surprised by how physically demanding kendo is.
According to your profile you're a beginner in "battojutsu". Care to elaborate? It it koryu, or is it some sort of modern eclectic thing? Because from your descriptions, sounds like the latter.