“From long ago it has been said that “the innermost secret of Iaido is always being in the moment, wherever you are, so that you can respond to anything swiftly”. In other words, I think Iaido is about developing a mind in which you never become flustered and retain a calm presence of mind no matter what happens, dealing with things without becoming alarmed.”
Iaido is a style of Japanese swordsmanship. Practice is made up almost entirely of Kata, or pre-arranged sets of motion designed to respond to a particular attack by another swordsman. The unique drawing motion in most Iaido Kata is designed to draw the sword, to parry an oncoming cut, and to cut the opponent, all in one motion. Practice is calm and quiet, since the most important feature of Iaido is the development of Zanshin (a calm, reflective mind). The execution of the Kata requires a very high degree of precision and timing. There is a Japanese term that describes this, Ki Ken Tai Ichi (気剣体一). It means “Mind, sword and body working as one”.
Good Iaido form relies upon extraordinary attention to detail. Iaido is very popular with both martial artists who want to learn another art which calms the inner spirit and untrained people who do not want to participate in a high energy contact martial art. Iaido training builds arm and leg strength and provides a mild cardiovascular workout. It helps in the development of a calm, stable demeanour and, through attention to detail and continual refinement of the motions, orderly, precise thought patterns.
The program focuses on the Kata from the ZNKR Iaido curriculum. There will also be the opportunity to learn some Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido. Students will have the opportunity to attend seminars and competitions organised by the Australian Kendo Federation.
The program teaches
- Sword Kata from the ZNKR Iaido curriculum
- Etiquette when handling the sword
- Proper use and care for the sword
- Provides a moderate cardio workout
- Strength conditioning
- Mind and body coordination
Training in Kendo begins at 15 years.
Checkout the video from Japan’s National Broadcaster, NHK as they discuss the concepts and show Iaido in action.