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Basic Iaido exercises?

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  • Basic Iaido exercises?

    Hello, I was wondering if someone could tell me about excercises for iaido. Both for form and general training. I currently have some training in kendo and I have been doing research for quite some time now.

  • #2
    I started kendo and then picked up iaido later (about 2 years later). I can tell you that there's not really anything you can do on your own until you go to an iaidojo and start practicing it for yourself, despite the kendo background. I say this because you'll need a sensei in front of you to point out exactly where your kendo assumptions do not apply and what is different in iaido. I've been doing both now for close to three years and I still have to keep them largely separate. However, there are many things they share in common and things I learn in one help inform the other. The kendo background will make learning iaido easier compared to if you never had any JSA experience.

    Once I started (ZNKR seitei) iaido these are some of the things I worked on which were different from kendo:
    - cutting shape (kendo "cuts" are quite different) including cutting with monouchi (kendo does too but it's a different feel), finishing with the blade at horizontal and different tenouchi
    - finishing a cut in iaigoshi, a lower version of chudan kamae than I was used to in kendo
    - finishing a cut in reverse-iaigoshi (left leg forward)... just when I thought I had straightened that back foot in kendo, well now there's the other foot to straighten out
    - keeping horizontal cuts (e.g. nukitsuke) horizontal (I really couldn't see this for myself until I had the sensei correct the position of the kissaki numerous times)
    - kitsuke: the way one wears one's keikogi will affect one's iai (aside from the requirement to look good and proper), or at least how comfortable one feels with the saya tucked in. It's not quite so forgiving as kendo.
    - iaido (at least under ZNKR) prefers leaving a knot at the end of the tsuka-gashira (pommel) whereas in kendo the preference is to wrap the tsuka-gashira partially or completely (at least for shinai though opinions differ for bokuto).

    Some of the things in common that mutually inform both arts:
    - hitsuke (bringing up the rear foot after placing the front foot)
    - shisei (posture)
    - cutting with the koshi (lower back)
    - follow up a cut with forward momentum: this doesn't mean throwing oneself recklessly forward but that the cut doesn't finish when the blade makes "contact". This is related to hitsuke, zanshin, seme and confidence in the cut.

    Enjoy!

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    • #3
      Best exercise for iaido: Walk to an iaido dojo and watch the practice. If you like what you see, join the dojo.

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      • #4
        Better exercise for Iaido: Walk to several Iai dojo and watch the practice.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Halcyon View Post
          Best exercise for iaido: Walk to an iaido dojo and watch the practice. If you like what you see, join the dojo.
          suspicious if this a bot.

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          • #6
            Probably a bot by the user name but no link in the sig so just waiting to pull the plug. There have been several that post a couple of innocuous things and then start adding the links later.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sirius1906 View Post
              suspicious if this a bot.
              Who you calling a bot? :P

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              • #8
                I is calling it a bot. :P

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                • #9
                  I've been doing some leg strengthening exercises that I got from somebody's blog to help with Uke Nagashi and generally getting up from the floor and they are really helping. Plus I'm working on my flexibility especially my leg adductors and that seems to be helping too!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                    I've been doing some leg strengthening exercises that I got from somebody's blog..
                    Mind posting the link to that blog?

                    P.S. You have a day to getchur butt out to Solihull. I thought you'd be here, man!

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                    • #11
                      It doesn't exist anymore but I'll ask the author if I can send them to you. He's a frequent poster on here.

                      I didn't join the seminar because it was unclear how we MSR practitioners would fit into it. Surely Oshita Sensei et al. would be teaching the MJER people Koryu and since I can barely cope with a few kata from MSR Koryu, I thought it wouldn't be a good learning experience for me. How has it panned out, Michael?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                        How has it panned out, Michael?
                        There was plenty of seitei iai to go around today, off in their own separate group (with Morita sensei). As well, Chris Mansfield sensei was on hand to teach MSR to the willing. You wouldn't have felt out of place. Oshita sensei taught the MJER group.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Hodge View Post
                          There was plenty of seitei iai to go around today, off in their own separate group (with Morita sensei). As well, Chris Mansfield sensei was on hand to teach MSR to the willing. You wouldn't have felt out of place. Oshita sensei taught the MJER group.
                          If only they had made it clear who was teaching what and to whom, then I know a lot more people would've attended. But with a cost of 100 for the seminar, at least another 100 for accommodation and fuel on top....it was just too vague for me to spend 250 upon. I've booked the summer school though....

                          Have fun tomorrow, Michael.

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                          • #14
                            Vague? They made it quite clear that Morita Sensei and Oshita Sensei would be coming over.

                            Surely, they are worth spending the money on?

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                            • #15
                              Yes, if you have it! Will they not be at the Summer school in Stevenage?

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