Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
While it's not quite as sexy as Katori or Kashima, there's plenty of Iaido spread throughout the US and other countries outside of Japan. Not quite as comprehensive as the older schools, maybe, but certainly more than the average Aikido dojo has.
Iaido is great. I did some for a while. I would recommend it to any Aikidoka! It gives you a very precise sense of cutting lines and creates excellent edge awareness. But it doesn't have the timing / spacing elements that a style that stresses paired work does. I don't consider someone who just does solo sword work to be a "swordsman" as I would define it. No more than I would a kendo practitioner. And certainly, most folks doing sword work within Aikido aren't swordsmen either (myself included). I have tried to incorporate lessons from classical sword into my Aikiken so that it isn't embarassing to do in front of people who really know what they are doing but that's about it.