When we do Iai we only use real swords, never iaito. With partner practices and kata real weapons are used periodically. The rest of the time wooden weapons are used. Training with real weapons heightens your awareness and teaches you respect for the weapon you are using. The attitude of the student towards the weapon is effected greatly when he/she has a real, sharp, dangerous weapon in their hands. Greater care and attention is paid to one's surroundings and what you are doing. You realize that you can not only hurt those around you, but be hurt by them and even your own weapon if it's not properly handled and your not paying attention, not only to what your doing, but what everyone else in the room is doing. Much of the complacency that develops from staying within the relative safety of using wooden weapon goes right out the window. In time fear of the weapon is replaced by respect for the weapon, and confidence is built in ones ability to handle the weapon, which carries over to even greater confidence when using wooden practice weapons. And aside from all that, it is the way we were trained by our teacher so that is the way we teach our own students.
When asked why we train with real weapons my teacher used to say…
"Toy swords make for toy swordsmen"
Last edited by Richard Elias : 03-27-2004 at 08:56 PM.