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Old 05-15-2008, 12:25 PM   #1
kokoroman
Dojo: Shodokan/Salem,MA
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
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Do symbol Best style of Iaido for Aikido

Hi,

I've been training in Aikido for a little more than a year. I just started to get into practicing with the bokken and Jo. I wonder if taking up Iaido will help. Close to where I live two schools have Iaido in their curriculum (AUSKF / SEITEI-GATA and Muso Shinden Ryu). I understand that there are differences (different goals) between Aiki-ken and Iaido, but I hope by doing Iaido I can improve my posture, mai, and find the correct state of mind (whatever that is).

Is Iaido good for Aikido? If yes, what is the best style for Aikido practitioners?

Any advice is more than welcome.

Thanks,
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:14 PM   #2
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
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Re: Best style of Iaido for Aikido

I've been practicing Muso Shinden for a little while, and I really enjoy it. It reminds me more of the tea ceremony than anything else - very meticulous, movements just so, highly meditative art. I felt it does enhance my aikido posture, as well as my awareness of one-point.

Give it a try - I think you'll like it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
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Re: Best style of Iaido for Aikido

With out a doubt Aiki-Toho Iaido is the best system I have experianced and continue to practice. Shoji Nishio developed it specifically for Aikido

From my dear friend John Bollinger's Website...

http://www.aikipeace.com/aikido/

"Aiki Toho Iai
Aiki Toho Iaido is “Iaido using the sword methodology of harmony with energy”. Aiki Toho Iai is a series of kata founded by Shoji Nishio Sensei based directly on Aikido techniques, movements, and principles. These sword kata do not cut your opponent as in the other Iaido styles, although the understanding of how to cut your opponent is presented. The choice, not to kill, is made available; a path of resolution is to cut in order to lead the opponent, releasing them from harm, and the responsibility of harming.

When studying Iaido you gain a better understanding of Aikido and when studying Aikido you gain a better understanding of Iaido. Nishio Sensei often says that you cannot truly understand Aikido without studying the sword. The study and understanding of these kata relates directly to the tai-jitsu (empty hand) techniques of Aikido. You also gain further understanding by practicing the same technique using tachi-sabaki (movement using the sword) and then using jo-sabaki (movement using the jo). Further, the application of same Aikido technique is studied in ken-tai-ken (sword vs. sword) and ken-tai-jo (sword vs. jo). For these techniques you use the bokken (wooden sword) and jo (short wooden staff; the length of it is measured from the floor to armpit height). Each of these ways of doing the same technique uses the same footwork and cuts."

William Hazen
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
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Aikido Toho

I also enjoyed Nishio sensei's Aikido Toho tremendously. It is quite an advanced iaido system, inspired by aikido tehniques - sometimes, but not necessarily, almost exactly the way he did the aikido techniques without weapon.
Unfortunately, Aikido Toho is discontinued, because of the death of its founder. Of course, there are people who still practice it - but the organization is closed, there is no grading in it, and so on.

Aikido Toho is a complicated system with many difficult movements. It presupposes some substantial experience of basic iaido. So, even if you do Toho, it is good to practice Seitei or some other iaido school - to understand and develop the basics of iai.

In my dojo, we do aikibatto, which is an exercise system intended to be sort of a mix of aikiken and iaido, or an introduction to them:
http://www.stenudd.com/aikibatto

I find iaido very rewarding for my aikido. Among many other things, I learn sharpness, extension, rhythm, distance, positioning, exactness, and so on - all of it coming in handy also in aikido.

So, go for it
Don't worry about style/school of iaido - practice in the dojo your gut-feeling appreciates the most.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:08 PM   #5
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Best style of Iaido for Aikido

i've been doing muso jikiden eishin ryu and its helped my aikido alot. kamae is stronger and movements are more precise.

go for it!
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Re: Aikido Toho

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I also enjoyed Nishio sensei's Aikido Toho tremendously. It is quite an advanced iaido system, inspired by aikido tehniques - sometimes, but not necessarily, almost exactly the way he did the aikido techniques without weapon.
Unfortunately, Aikido Toho is discontinued, because of the death of its founder. Of course, there are people who still practice it - but the organization is closed, there is no grading in it, and so on.
Not true here. Koji Yoshida Shihan is now the Head Sensei of both Nishio Shihan's Aikido and Iaido. I don't know about Europe Stefan but we're still testing and grading students in Aiki-Toho Iaido

Quote:
Aikido Toho is a complicated system with many difficult movements. It presupposes some substantial experience of basic iaido. So, even if you do Toho, it is good to practice Seitei or some other iaido school - to understand and develop the basics of iai.
Perhaps again true for your students but not here in the US. We've found for someone who practices Nishio's Aikido that Aiki Toho, Ken te Ken, Ken te Jo are all easily grasped. Mastering them of course is another matter.

Quote:
So, go for it
Don't worry about style/school of iaido - practice in the dojo your gut-feeling appreciates the most.
I agree go for it. But please realize the difficulty of practicing a Koryu Based Sword Art along side a Gendai based Art like Aikido...
You will be working on polar opposite practices. One minute cutting and killing, the next harmony and reconciliation. I know plenty of folks who do that successfully... but it requires a tremendous amount of time and effort to achieve any kind of competence in both at the same time.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 05-16-2008 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:31 PM   #7
kokoroman
Dojo: Shodokan/Salem,MA
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Re: Best style of Iaido for Aikido

It seem the consensus is that learning Iaido is a good complement to Aikido. I'll give it a try.

Thanks everyone,
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