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Tennessee Mike
09-21-2004, 06:10 PM
The only style of iaido that I can find around my area is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai. Will any style complement aikido or will this style conflict? Thanks for your advice.

xuzen
09-21-2004, 08:17 PM
Dear Mike,

FWIW, the study of iaido encourages minimalist movement and precision strike. It will definitely be complimentary with aikido. Their philosophy which has the roots from bushido are rather similar. I read it somewhere MJER is the most popular form of iaido practice. Good luck and have a wonderful time.

Boon.

Jeff Baldwin
09-21-2004, 08:29 PM
A friend of mine who went from Aikido to Iaido said it was very confusing for him. He said the way they cut was very different. Still, it's beautiful to watch and like anything else if your heart is in it, it's good.

kironin
09-21-2004, 10:46 PM
The only style of iaido that I can find around my area is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai. Will any style complement aikido or will this style conflict?


MJER is one of the most popular forms of Iaido. I think it would be a great complement to your aikido training but I am a little biased. :D

Its really depends on the individual whether there is any conflict.
For me there hasn't been but some others have differed with me.

Suru
09-21-2004, 11:03 PM
I trained at a dojo at which Iaido class immediately followed Aikido. I guess that sensei didn't think there was a conflict!

I am reminded of a photograph so horrible yet so important which once adorned the walls of one of Florida's great dojos. It was a photo of a hand in two pieces, separated across the metacarpals. The caption was simple and sliced right to the point of its graphic warning--"Draw first, then cut!"

So, as long as you don't cut yourself, I don't see a problem between training in both arts. Of course, the guy whose hand was in the photo probably was using a live blade rather than an iaito.

Drew

philipsmith
09-22-2004, 01:55 AM
Been doing both arts for over 30 years. They work well together IMHO (well for me anyway)

kironin
09-22-2004, 03:28 AM
A friend of mine who went from Aikido to Iaido said it was very confusing for him. He said the way they cut was very different. Still, it's beautiful to watch and like anything else if your heart is in it, it's good.

Because in Iaido we are actually cutting with a sword, not swinging a bokken. The goals are very different. When you use the bokken you
are focussed on developing your understanding of Ki principles by using a piece of wood as an extension of yourself. Power comes from a coordinated motion like that of udemawashi or bell misogi. Down is down.

When doing Iaido, one has to be following the Ki principles within the context of producing an effective slicing motion that maximizes the effect of the blades curved design and triangular cross section.

The motions are different so one can learn to put them in different compartments, but ultimately the feeling is the same such that the Ki practice with the bokken can inform the feeling when performing cuts either in kata or in cutting through straw mats or bamboo.

disabledaccount
09-22-2004, 11:33 AM
Many of the dojos affiliated with the USAF western region offer Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido. Apparently Chiba Shihan believes it is a great compliment to Aikido. I'm very new to Aikido, so I can't presume to criticize others, but my technique seems to be less "sloppy" when I pay close attention to little details of movement. Iaido study seems to foster increased attention to detail. This makes for better body mechanics and martial intent in my Aikido.

kironin
09-22-2004, 02:48 PM
My original teacher of MSR Iaido was an Iaido student of Kanai Sensei. MSR Iaido has a long history with Aikido as Nakayama Hakudo Sensei and Morihei Ueshiba Sensei were good friends. There is a video clip of a MSR Iaido demonstration at Aikikai Hombu in the late 50's on the Aikido Journal website. I do feel it helped my suwariwaza a lot when I started Iaido after passing my sankyu test in Aikido.

MSR Iaido and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido are very close cousins which share the same origins and lineage. Most of the kata though given different names are essentially the same with divergences here and there of footwork and movement details. One distinctive difference is simply because standard MJER noto assumes a second sword in the belt while the standard MSR noto does not. The headquarters in Tokyo of my organization has both groups, those that practice MSR and those that practice MJER as their primary art. Given the attitudes in Japan it's sort of curious the attitudes of separatism I run into in this country occasionally.

I recommend it to my aikido students if they ask but I also understand the expense and extra time involved. I think it is a quite personal decision of how relevant it is to aikido.

Lyle Laizure
09-22-2004, 09:19 PM
I have not practiced Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai, but I believe any sincere practice in a Japanese sword style will benefit your aikido training.

Noel
09-22-2004, 10:37 PM
I've never had a problem doing MJER and aikido. The beginning kata for both MSR and MJER are similar except for some of the details (noto mainly) AFAIK.

Jeff Baldwin
09-27-2004, 04:51 PM
Because in Iaido we are actually cutting with a sword, not swinging a bokken. The goals are very different. When you use the bokken you
are focussed on developing your understanding of Ki principles by using a piece of wood as an extension of yourself. Power comes from a coordinated motion like that of udemawashi or bell misogi. Down is down.

When doing Iaido, one has to be following the Ki principles within the context of producing an effective slicing motion that maximizes the effect of the blades curved design and triangular cross section.

The motions are different so one can learn to put them in different compartments, but ultimately the feeling is the same such that the Ki practice with the bokken can inform the feeling when performing cuts either in kata or in cutting through straw mats or bamboo.


My comments were referring only to what my friend said of his experience. Not having any time practicing with him I really can't say what the difference is. Bob Montgomery Sensei is the Iaido instructor he was studying with here.

As for what Suzuki Sensei teaches us I can't compare but I know that he constantly talks about cutting while we are in our weapons class as does Curtis Sensei. I don't know if you've ever seen him with a bokken but I certainly wouldn't call what he does swinging it around.