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Old 10-19-2005, 04:50 AM   #4
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 795
Re: help on drawing and sheath the sword

No problem - hope you find a place.

However... since you probably cant keep your fingers of the blade until you find a teacher please remember a few important points: First of all: The sword must be compltely out of the saya before you start cutting - NEVER start a cutting movement towards your right (or any other direction for that matter) with the blade still a few centimeteres within the saya. You can break the saya, and perhaps the sword depending on the material. Even worse you can seriously cut yourself.

Secondly: when you hold the sword in front of you with both hands right hand should be in front all the way up to the tsuba (pary plate - sp?) and your left hand should be all the way to the bottom of the tsuka (handle). Some styles of iaido teach actually having your left hand extend half an inch below the end of the handle. Both hands should be placed on top of your sword so that your thumbs and the next finger (name escapes me) forms two V's above each other. Keep your elbows close to your body - not by force but in a relaxed way. Finally hold the sword horisontally and about a fist from your abdomen. Don't hold it in front of your private parts - that is too low. Don't hold it in front of your chest - that is too high. Just around the lower part of the stomach may be okay.

If you do suburi (cutting exercises) cut with left hand delivering about 70 percent of the energy and try to make a straight vertical line. All the time imagine that the sword should be allowed to cut by itself, so that you don't use a lot of force, but just aid the sword in following it's natural path.

A final piece of REALLY GOOD ADVISE: Get hold of a wodden sword and do about 500 cuts a day for a moth before even picking up your sword. Right now holdig the sword is such a strange and new bodymovement, that you are bound to injure yourself at some point. I'm serious. If you have the disciplin you will be happy later. And trust me - being good at any MA including Iaido requires disciplin. I don't have it to the needed extent but I know some people that do.

Take good care of your self and NEVER EVER practice with somebody around. It is simply too dangerous.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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