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Old 03-13-2007, 06:08 PM   #1
tedehara
 
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Question Iaido?

Over the years, I've noticed several aikidoists also practicing iaido, the art of sword drawing. Sometimes it is taught in the dojo alongside aikido or it is taught privately by members of the dojo.

Since I don't practice this art, I'm wondering "Why iaido?". Is this an extension of sword practice or do people find this a complementary art to aikido? Does it help you stay centered?

Just wondering...

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:54 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
"Why iaido?". Is this an extension of sword practice or do people find this a complementary art to aikido? Does it help you stay centered?
Just started. IMHO, since Aikido supposedly comes from blade work, it supports actually practicing with a blade. The concept of "cut" don't "pull" was pointed out to be. The posture and positioning is similar. The physical and mental keeping of the "center" is similar. And, hey, its a lot of fun.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:12 AM   #3
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Iaido?

You can't learn sophisticated aikido without sword practice.

Nagababa

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Old 03-14-2007, 07:16 AM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Iaido?

I just like swinging a sword. It does seem to help with focus.

kvaak
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
cguzik
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Re: Iaido?

I started training in iaido because many high level aikido teachers I have worked with have said that one cannot develop beyond a certain point in aikido if one does not practice swordwork. Since then I have come to appreciate iaido for its own sake; I find that iai develops a distinct sense of spirit and dignity.

Still, I have also found that it does complement aikido very well. It specifically develops an awareness of centerline, maai, and zanshin in ways that manifest in my aikido waza.

I have also discovered some setbacks. I just got back from a weekend of very detailed iaido training, and my mindset was very step by step attention to where and how I am cutting and moving my body. During aikido training last night (my first night back since the weekend of iaido) my teacher said to me "your're not flowing". He was right.

I will say that after having practiced iai for a while I have learned many things about swordwork that are not taught explicitly in aikido even if you do aikiken / kumitachi. And most of it is not incompatible.

Is iaido a better complement to aikido than karatedo, judo, or any other art? Well that depends on your goals in training. If you want to learn how to wear, handle, and cut with a Japanese sword then it's a good choice. However, it is very esoteric and many criticize it for its nitpicky attention to detail.

Last edited by cguzik : 03-14-2007 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:11 AM   #6
kironin
 
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Re: Iaido?

I started Iaido for no other reason than the ki society dojo I started in happened to have iaido classes taught by one of my aikido sempai after several of the aikido classes. He had been training in Iaido for 15 years at the time I began. It looked interesting. I liked my sempai, we became friends, I was going to all the aikido classes, he had a loaner sword. I started seriously after a couple of years of aikido. I was going to all the akido classes anyway so it wasn't much more of a commitment. It really wasn't a conscious decision to do so because of being relevant to aikido, but I did feel it helped my aikido and vice versa. I think Toby Threadkill's website essay on why he does what he does is relevant - basically it's fun. For me part of the fun is I have met many and have several good aikido friends because Iaido has been the bridge over any potential aikido organizational politics.

Now the question - why was Iaido classes so available to me? or why did my aikido sempai start iaido ? I can't answer that but partly it must be because Iaido classes were available at the place he started aikido. He started aikido at the New England Aikikai around 1979 and at the time Kanai Sensei was teaching Iaido classes as well as Aikido classes. Kanai Sensei was considered very good at Iaido even though he never officially ranked but he had students who did rank. About a year after starting aikido my sempai started iaido at NEA. NEA was hosting visits by Mitsuzuka Takeshi Sensei, Hachidan also around that time (I have seen the old seminar posters).

Now why was Kanai Sensei teaching and doing Iaido in addition to aikido at NEA ? I can't answer that but my undestanding is that Mitsuzuka Takeshi Sensei's teacher Nakayama Hakudo Sensei was friends with Morihei Ueshiba Sensei were friends (just google the names together and you can this believed to be true by reputable sources). AJ has old b&w video of my style of Iaido being performed at the Aikikai Hombu dojo when O'sensei was still alive (1950's?).

So for me Iaido and Aikido connection simply goes back to the founder of aikido and the relationships he had with other famous 20th century Japanese martial artists.

I also find it adds a bit of yang (yo) to aikido's yin (in) in the balance of my martial arts training. Also my physicality in the movement of my aiki-ken and aiki-jo is I believe quite a bit different than it would otherwise be because of iaido.

Last edited by kironin : 03-16-2007 at 11:21 AM.

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Old 03-16-2007, 12:14 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Iaido?

If one looks at an Aikido practitioner, uniformly the ones who stand out have some weapons background, usually sword. It is fairly obvious. usually those folks do bokken work. The ones who do paired bokken work look even better. Their intention is clearer and their tendency to muscle is less. But when you see folks who are familiar with using an actual blade as you do in iai, it is even a step up again as you see a precision and clarity that you don't see when people just do empty hand. If you get a chance to actually cut with a sword you find out just how precise things need to be. the tiniest bit of an angle change and the cut doesn't happen. When folks who have this training do empty hand it is pretty apparent.

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Old 03-16-2007, 12:28 PM   #8
DH
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Re: Iaido?

Koryu kenjutsu to Daito ryu
Daito ryu to Aikido
Aikido to Aiki weapons
Some would tell you that's a steady downhill path
Others will argue it's all been an improvement

To each their own.
I'd suggest going back in time preferably to koryu kenjutsu, over Iaido to move forward.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-16-2007 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:41 PM   #9
ChrisMoses
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I'd suggest going back in time preferably to koryu kenjutsu, over Iaido to move forward.

Dan
Iaido is koryu.

Just kidding Dan. I'd agree that kenjutsu waza can be more similar to aikido movements, but it's availability is more of a deciding factor than anything else. Good Iaido/Batto should also serve well.

Chris Moses
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
DH
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Iaido is koryu.
Hah!! I almost forgot those days.
And remember a certain guy calling a certain Koryu's chiburi the equivalent of an "end zone dance??"
....eegads we've been around too long Chris.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-16-2007 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:21 PM   #11
ChrisMoses
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hah!! I almost forgot those days.
And remember a certain guy calling a certain Koryu's chiburi the equivalent of an "end zone dance??"
....eegads we've been around too long Chris.

Dan
And we're still TALKING to each other, amazing...

Chris Moses
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:39 PM   #12
DH
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
And we're still TALKING to each other, amazing...
Did you ever have any doubts?

When it comes to everyone else, I've long been a believer in two things
1. If we all got together and played; most-maybe even all of us would get along just swell.
2. The level of respect and who gets it would change on many levels and for many different reasons.

Face to face encounters and hands on training, then dinner, beers and conversation changes many things.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:52 PM   #13
kironin
 
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Re: Iaido?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I'd suggest going back in time preferably to koryu kenjutsu, over Iaido to move forward.
Dan
koryu kenjutsu, iaido, whatever you call it - what really matters is what you want to learn and who you are learning it from actually knows what you want to learn. We workout doing kumi-dachi of some age so there is elements of koryu kejutsu in what we do. If I knew anyone of real skill within reach I would certainly check them out. It would have to present something more than just learning new forms. Actual principles.

I don't look at Iaido as something to move forward Aikido. Iaido exists in it's own right.

Aikido is broad enough and already has what these other arts offer, but extracurricular study is in my mind just like learning another language can give you a new look and insight to your native language and sometimes shine light on aspects of what you think you know but really don't know. There is also the aspect that there never is 100% transmission of anything from teacher to student so you always need to go out and experience and learn from anyone that has something good to offer. It makes it possible to find what you are missing (It's not about what the art is missing, I don't think the art is missing anything, but I could be missing something.)

Same for Iaido, koryu kenjutsu would be more in my Iaido but It's a matter of time and personal resources.

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