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Kendo and Iaido training

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  • Kendo and Iaido training

    I was just curious how many kendoka out there also practice the ZNKR Sei Tei Kata and at what point in your kendo training did you start? I would really like to learn iaido as part of my kendo training, but my sensei said he doesn't teach it even though he practices iaido himself. Was just curious if it was something he was holding off teaching to his more advanced students or something because he's always talking about how too many people get involved in kendo at first because they want to learn to sword fight like in the movies. Idealy I would like to test for rank in kendo and iaido this winter.

  • #2
    Could be several reasons, but it's unlike that he's 'holding it back'.
    It could be that he doesn't feel qualified to teach iaido or that he simply enjoys doing iaido without having to teach.


    • #3

      Good for your sensei!!!

      It makes a nice change for someone to admit that they don't teach something that they themselves consider themselves students in. I would follow this sensei to the ends of the earth if this is his consistent approach to Budo training.

      Even if he is holding off teaching it to beginner students then this is also to be commended as it means he may have a good grasp as to how much volume of teaching that people can effectively absorb.

      Don't be too hasty to grab grades - the grades are a means to an end not an end unto themselves. Also as you progress onwards you might find that doing a kendo and iaido grading at a similar time to be a bridge too far. A few people do iaido and jodo grades at the same period but I understand that kendo gradings are far more testing.

      Why don't you ask your kendo sensei if you can train under his sensei (if they have one).


      • #4
        our org has both kendo and iaido. we are more or less seperate group, however, there are few who does both. we also have seperate sensei for kendo and iaido. i've been doing kendo for last 2 yrs with current dojo, and i've decided to do iaido also.

        one thing that impressed me about people who does iaido and kendo both is they seems to have very clean cut in their kendo.



        • #5
          >what point in your kendo training did you start?

          Well from personal experience, my Japanese Kendo sensei told me, in terms of "credibility" by sandan kendo, one really should be doing Iaido, even if its only a short time (shodan is enough), just to appreciate and balance one's kendo training, so it doesn't become too sport/pointscoring orientated. To get higher and not have appreciated the sword (and face kendo kata is hardly enough "sword" practice) was shallow in the eyes of my sensei. Even if I gave up later, he was adamant all decent Kendo-ka had at some point in their kendo careers done Iai.

          [Digressing - I find it interesting the top rated Iai sensei all have kendo under their belts (scuse the pun) but not all of the top rate Kendo-ka have Iaido...perhaps says something...or not]

          I know others may pile in on their experience: but as both a teacher & student, I would disagree with being a beginner in 2 budo disciplines. Get one (your main choice) under way, then begin the other. Otherwise you're taking on too much re: concentration and different forms... as Andy identifies its mind aborbtion. My sensei was also against being an absolute beginner in both Iai & kendo - but some people have managed well, others not so...

          However on the other side of the fence, if you do one for too long before taking up the other, your kendo technique becomes "embedded" in your muscle memory, and lets face it - a Shinai is STRAIGHT, a sword is CURVED, you are naturally going to have different cutting techniques to the budo concerned.

          Don't be too hard on your Kendo sensei, just because someone 'does' a budo doesn't mean they can teach it (far from it !) or as Jakob says, they perhaps just don't feel confident or may be he's simply too busy with teaching your kendo & has a life outside the dojo. So concur with your sensei's view...some people (not all) want to beat people up, or they want to wave a sword like a samurai, so motivation to do one or other, or both is as personal as the individual... Good luck


          • #6
            Originally posted by Budo Angel

            [Digressing - I find it interesting the top rated Iai sensei all have kendo under their belts (scuse the pun) but not all of the top rate Kendo-ka have Iaido...perhaps says something...or not]
            Then again, there are those who are 8-dan in both iaido an kendo.


            • #7
              Personally, I have been doing kendo for a little more than 10 years...

              Just started iaido about a month ago.

              (Kinda weird to go from the front of the line at kendo to the end of the line at iaido.. haha)