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How long before using an Iaito

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  • How long before using an Iaito

    The obvious answer is ask Sensei. which I will. And I'll stick to what he says.

    But I'm curious. How long do people normally practice before switching from bokken to iaito?

  • #2
    the bokken is only allowed until the 2 Kyu grading , so you would prob want to get used to it befor grading time =) . Some say its best to get a iaito ASAP so you get used to the feeling , so theres no real answer , its up to your sensei and you.

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    • #3
      {Bokuto --->} Iaito

      Originally posted by plewis66
      The obvious answer is ask Sensei. which I will. And I'll stick to what he says.

      But I'm curious. How long do people normally practice before switching from bokken to iaito?
      In my experience, the majority of people start with an Iaito, albeit an inexpensive one. Bokuto are generally used by those who are saving up for an Iaito, or are unsure about a long-term committment to Iaido, or are curious Kendo-ka (who already own a bokuto for Kendo no Kata). For those who don't yet own Iaito, some Dojo have loaners for practice in class.

      FWIW.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by plewis66
        The obvious answer is ask Sensei. which I will. And I'll stick to what he says.

        But I'm curious. How long do people normally practice before switching from bokken to iaito?
        Hi,

        My sensei recommends iaito right off the bat for the reason that bokken are inadequate in simulating the katana during practice (i.e., much lighter in weight and lack of a saya, unless you get a bokuto / plastic saya combination which are often difficult to find and just about equal in price to some entry level iaito). Other schools and sensei have different policies, of course.

        When I first started iaido, I used a bokken, progressed to iaito after a few weeks and finally shinken after a few years. When I switched schools/sensei, my sensei allowed me to continue using my shinken, but I switched back to a well-balanced and proper length iaito after a couple of years, especially since I often have to teach beginners. I feel much safer swinging my iaito around them than my shinken. I still use my shinken for tameshigiri and embu.

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        • #5
          it all depends on how fast you can learn...some people take a long time, some dont. I would usually expect someone to pick up an iaito after a couple of weeks, when they can be sure of not trying to do noto with the blade upside down...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ralutin
            My sensei recommends iaito right off the bat for the reason that bokken are inadequate in simulating the katana during practice (i.e., much lighter in weight and lack of a saya, unless you get a bokuto / plastic saya combination which are often difficult to find and just about equal in price to some entry level iaito).
            You can find a nice bokken/saya set for $100 CDN (includes shipping within North America) right here. It's one-third down the page.

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            • #7
              These bokken/saya seem incredibly expensive to me. Someone mentioned earlier (or on another thread) that a bokken and saya would cost about the same as a cheap iaito, but I thought that was a mistake.

              My bokken and saya are on order at www.ninecircles.com , and they cost less than twenty pounds sterling, or about 30 USD!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by plewis66
                These bokken/saya seem incredibly expensive to me. Someone mentioned earlier (or on another thread) that a bokken and saya would cost about the same as a cheap iaito, but I thought that was a mistake.

                My bokken and saya are on order at www.ninecircles.com , and they cost less than twenty pounds sterling, or about 30 USD!
                That should be www.nicecircles.co.uk for anyone wondering why the link does not work

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                • #9
                  $30, that seems more like it...saw just the ( fibreglass) saya for about $15 in Kyoto, pick your own bokken to suit. I still cant work out why I didnt go back to the stall and buy one...

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                  • #10
                    Humble thoughts.

                    I know I'm new to this forum, and I'm not very experienced, (only 2 1/2 years of training.) but my sensei's policy, while it was very conservative, was that no student may practice with an Iaito until after they had trained for at least 6 months, OR had a good basic understanding/ skill level with the first 6 Seitei Kata. Just thought I'd throw that out for whatever it's worth.

                    Yours in Budo,
                    John Anderson

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                    • #11
                      One thing i've found if you are short on cash or are waiting to get an iaito is that you don't need to spend a lot on a saya for your boken. Any sporting goods store will have plastic golf club tubes you can buy and cut down to the length of your blade. Want a sageo, no problem, just cut a couple of holes in the side and run one through. It's not exactly pretty, but it gives great experience for when you do get an iaito. Also, as to when to get an iaito, our sensei's policy is to wait 3 month before getting a gi and hakama, and 3 more before getting an iaito.

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                      • #12
                        LOL! Wow, Shinta! I thought that only my old dojo had that secret! ^_^ The only problem we had with golf tubes was with a few students that did not perform saya biki properly, they tended to bend the tubes. They were pulling the koiguchi directly to the left, and not back around their waist... ah well. By the way, is your screen name a reference to Himura Kenshin's original given name? Just curious.

                        Yours in Budo,
                        John Anderson

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                        • #13
                          At my dojo we usually wait until the student starts to take an interest in getting an iaito and then help them choose or get one for them. Usually this is after 3 or 4 weeks, and by the time they get one picked out for their budget, order it, and it gets shipped (anywhere from another 3 or 4 weeks to 16 weeks, depending on how many Kill Bill nuts are ordering swords), they're beyond ready to use one. I think pretty early on is a good idea. And generally we try to get them into a gi/hakama a little before they get the sword. Things change a lot when you're new to wearing a skirt.

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