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  • Iaido in Wales

    I'm a member of a busy karate club in north Wales. A few of us would like to start studying Iaido - but the nearest club is in Manchester (2.5 hours away).

    Can anyone put me in touch with a Iaido practitioner in north Wales who might be willing to give us a few lessons ?

    TIA

    Huw

  • #2
    the only person that im aware of lives in swansea-so thats no good

    what school of iaido do you want to learn

    (id reccomend Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu as it is the school most closely linked with myamoto, not that im bias of course-hehe

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. I wasn't aware of the different schools of Iaido - but thanks for the advice anyway. We're not in a position to be fussy - any teacher would be welcome !!!

      Your right Swansea is further than Manchester but with a little patience I'm sure we'll someone closer to home !!

      Comment


      • #4
        I would think that until you reach third dan or so, it really doesn't matter what 'school' of iai you study. Quite simply put, those 'schools' or iai are koryu, and they are SEPERATE from iaidou. Iai is a basic set of 12 forms that have been developed to illustrate the elementary elements of drawing and cutting with a sword.

        Koryu are entirely seperate. Calling koryu 'schools of iai' is like calling iai a school of kendou. they're related, but not the same thing by a long shot. Initially, you will study the 12 basic forms of iai, not a koryu. Albeit, some senseis choose to introduce the particular customs of a koryu at an early stage (like the way the sageo are tied, or a slight variation on seiza used in the koryu the sensei has studied), however these are minor things, hardly the same as learning the koryu itself.

        That said, allow me to return to the post's actual subject: Good luck in finding an iai teacher,Huw. Hopefully your study will be long and edifying.

        c

        ps - for more concise and informed information on the differences between Iai, battujutsu, koryu and kobudo, do visit Hyaku's website.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would think that until you reach third dan or so, it really doesn't matter what 'school' of iai you study.

          If you study it, I guess it must matter

          Quite simply put, those 'schools' or iai are koryu, and they are SEPERATE from iaidou.

          so koryu is not iaido?

          Comment


          • #6
            Koryu is not iai. Koryu are established, traditional schools of swordsmanship or sword drawing. The key word here is traditional, which means these techniques have been handed down within the school for quite some time. Iai on the other hand was assembled as a generic introduction to sword drawing. It serves as the 'entrance exam' for koryu, if you want to think of it that way. You do not study the techniques of a koryu until after fourth dan, according to one of my sensei (who should know, as he's a practicing sixth dan... soon to be seventh).

            Iai is generic, whereas the koryu are specific.

            As to your not so witty clippage about 'if you study it, I guess it must matter', please note the phrase that clarifies your selective piece of clippage:

            " Albeit, some senseis choose to introduce the particular customs of a koryu at an early stage (like the way the sageo are tied, or a slight variation on seiza used in the koryu the sensei has studied), however these are minor things, hardly the same as learning the koryu itself. "

            For those with short attention spans, who like to seize upon a sngle quotation and turn it into an uncontextualized, meaningless blip, allow me to simplify:

            When you begin iai, your sensei may teach you some small things inadvertantly that are part of his or her koryu. These things include, but are not limited to, the tying and placement of the sageo, some variations on seiza (some koryu have a slight variation in the sitting position from which the fourth form begins, hardly enough to matter), or a particular preference for white uwagi over black or blue. These are hardly elements that will influence the beginning student dramatically. From personal experience, it is not very hard to change the way you tie your sageo and hakama himo. (i tie the hakama two different ways for iai and kendou, depending on the teacher I'm with at the time.)

            (Hyaku, where are you? I expected you to jump in here. Don't fail me now.)

            that's all i have to say about it.

            c

            Comment


            • #7
              The Muso Jikiden Eishinryu Group that represents Iwata Sensei in UK travel far and wide teaching Iaido. MJER has its own set of fundamentals called seiza nobu.

              They have people in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Northern Ireland etc.

              There was a teacher working not far from you but sadly he has just moved up to Scotland. I suggest you email Chidokan who posts on here. Perhaps you can come to some arrangement.

              Hyaku

              http://www.sword.shorturl.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, Hyaku, but I was hoping for help with the iai is not koryu part...

                c

                Comment


                • #9
                  http://www.kendo.org.uk/clubs.shtml

                  here are some kendo and iaido-clubs in gb. If you contact one of the two kendoclubs in Wales, I am sure they can direct you to iaido-practise nearby.




                  Koryu is not iai. Koryu are established, traditional schools of swordsmanship or sword drawing. The key word here is traditional, which means these techniques have been handed down within the school for quite some time. Iai on the other hand was assembled as a generic introduction to sword drawing. It serves as the 'entrance exam' for koryu, if you want to think of it that way. You do not study the techniques of a koryu until after fourth dan, according to one of my sensei (who should know, as he's a practicing sixth dan... soon to be seventh).


                  The practise in a spesific dojo does not neccesarily apply to all iaido-practise.
                  It may be beneficial to do zenkenreniai for some time before entering a study of koryu, but different teachers have different approaches to stimulate their students progression. I
                  I think it would be strange if a student at sandan-level would not have other personal knowledge of koryu than knowing some details like tying his sageo or hakama-chords in different ways.

                  I think that a iaido-student that wants to learn both znkriai and a spesific koryu, like msr or mjer, should have an overview of at least the shoden-forms in the first couple of years, with an average weekly practise of 3-4 hours. As there is today an overemphasis in znkriai on tachiwasa, I think it is good to have all the suwariwasa from shoden to work with. But this is also just one spesific dojos didactic approach to iaido-practise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hyaku,
                    you just reminded me of one of Neils students who trains in North Wales. (not sure of exact location, somewhere near nuclear power though!!) He's still training so should be able to help out. If there is enough people who want a 'taste' of iaido, i.e. at least two or three, I could pop down for a weekend I suppose. Just find me somewhere to put a sleeping bag down..its a bit of a trip from here so two days training would be worth doing.
                    Otherwise there are a few seminars run by various clubs you could get to over the next few months.
                    email me if you are interested.

                    Tim Hamilton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OOH... just re-read roar's note and noticed I missed something! You dont study koryu until when!!!!
                      I find the combination of modern and traditional methods very confusing to students when they transfer from one to another. Not sure if its the way it is taught over in the West or what, but a lot of them ask me questions like "what angle should the cut be?" When I say its a natural angle, just make sure the cut is correct, you can see the confusion as they expect the answer in degrees!
                      I no longer teach zenkenren as I do not have the time to waste practising it, and just concentrate on koryu for the10 hours I have.
                      I have students who have only learnt MJER, and they do not suffer from not learning zenkenren, if anything they have a clearer understanding and do not mix up the two entirely different methods as I often see people who do both styles frequently do, especially at the early levels.
                      What IS interesting is when these students saw a modern style for the first time, and asked me why the students moved so unnaturally....

                      Tim Hamilton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mr. Hamilton,

                        As much as I respect your opinion, since you are in fact a teacher of iaidou, I believe that it is important for students to learn zen nihon iai renmei kata before learning koryu. not only are the zen nihon iai renmei kata requiredfor exams, they teach some fundamental cuts, and they are designed for the teaching of basic cutting and technique. (That sentence was somewhat repetitive, but it's 6 16 am. Hardly time for great orations.)

                        The fact that your students are asking about angles is most likely a problem with the student, not zen nihon iai ren kata, or with you. In the course of my training I have never asked about angles, and my sensei has never mentionned them. Are your students blind, or are they not trying to imitate your movements? How unfortunate that you have unobservant students who would do their iai with protractors rather than with a sensei.

                        c

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This angles thing is not from my personal students but people who I have trained with in the U.K. in general. I have also observed some extremely weird grips being taught in order to get people to cut level/ flat at the end of the cut instead of allowing the sword to finish cutting naturally. One of my students has stopped seitei practise with a previous teacher because of this sort of thing.
                          I think the real problem is poor teaching, not poor students here, as nearly all the students I meet are genuinely interested in bettering themselves.
                          Also bear in mind there are other beginner systems, such as the one run by the ZNIR for gradings. One which may surprise you is that seiza no bu in MJER is also a beginners system....so why should anyone learn a system outside their main koryu?
                          While I was in Tokyo last year, I visited one of the local dojos, no sign of seitei iaido all night, even though there were lots of beginners there.
                          I think Hyaku might back me up on this, but there are a lot of places which dont bother with modern systems. One of the committee who 'invented' it regrets doing it! Cant remember the quote but I know Hyaku can!!! Dont think he bothers with it either, although I could be wrong...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            clarification please

                            Originally posted by Confound
                            As much as I respect your opinion, since you are in fact a teacher of iaidou, I believe that it is important for students to learn zen nihon iai renmei kata before learning koryu. c
                            Excuse my ignorance, but could you clearly explain what the Zen Nihon Iai Renmei Kata are exactly. Having studied with a member organisation, I've encountered some standardised forms, but I'm not sure if you are refering to them or to Setei iai standardised forms.
                            Could you please clarify this point.
                            K

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Uhm. How shall I do that?
                              I am referring to Zen Nihon Iai Renmei Seitei Iaidou kata, the twelve standard kata.

                              c

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