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Old 10-29-2005, 12:03 PM   #18
Stefaan Six
Dojo: Ban Sen Juku Fudoshin dojo
Location: Gent
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7
Re: help on drawing and sheath the sword

Another point to consider is that usually a student of iaido is supposed to train with a bokuto (bokken) for about a year. The idea is to get used to the basic movements in a safe way - if you don't have a saya you can use your left hand to imitate the mouth of the saya (koiguchi). It's a good idea to buy a bokuto with saya - or you can make a saya yourself (plastic or hard carton is good enough). After training for about a year with a bokuto, the sensei then usually gives permission to use iaito if he thinks you're not going to hurt yourself or your surroundings.
Another reason to really look for a good teacher is that normally to learn how to handle the sword well you must not only practice the kata 'in the air' but also with a partner (using bokuto's) so you may actually develop a feel for proper distance, timing, distribution of power, initiative, breathing and other even more difficult matters (such as drawing out your opponent to attack you). But basics are basics. If your partner really attacks you with full strenght, you may want to make sure your defense really works. All of this is impossible to master without a training partner and a good sensei, and LOTS of time and effort put into it. I would say... try to find a teacher and forget about books or video's for at least a year. Then after you learned some basics and you have some notion about how to do the common techniques, you can use a book or video to supplement your training.
Good luck with your training!
Stefaan Six.
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