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  • when to start?...

    Hi everybody,
    Yet another question...

    For those that study kendo and then started studying iaido,
    is there a recommended amount of time that one should study
    kendo before starting iaido? Just wondering if one needs a certain level of experience in kendo so that the iaido doesn't confuse or interfere.

    Appreciate any comments/advice.

    See ya...

    burger boy

  • #2

    What I have heard is that one should be at the Ikkyu- or Shodan-level in one art before starting another one.

    However, it is possible to do both Kendo and Iaido at the same time (I did in my school).

    However, either way it will be a constant struggle, at least for the first several years, to minimize the cross-contamination, especially in the Kamae.


    • #3
      i agree it can be confusing starting both at the same time
      i have a friend who did that and he had to give up kendo because of that reason (and he's feeble and unfit and didnt like being in armour-but he really got things mixed up is my point)

      i started kendo about 2 and a half years after doing iai and i still find it difficult to narrow my stance for kendo

      just try it out and see how you find it
      everyone is different and some adapt to things easier than others
      you'l never know unless you try


      • #4
        My personal opinion is that I have benefitted a lot from adding kendo to iaido, trying to do both arts at the same time. But it is based on the context that i live in.
        i did iaido only for a couple of years. With proper instruction, I probably would have stuck to iaido only. Doing kendo as well, added some needed "juice" to my swordwork. Mixing kamae and footwork has never been an issue, but I brought a lot of "big swinging" from iaido in the first years og kendo. Today, I use the same shoulder-albow-wrist-snap as most of my fellow kendokas, while trying to develop a proper iai-cut.

        I dont know your context, the quality of instruction you receive, and what art you like most at your present understanding of swordsmanship. Go for the best instruction. If you think the instruction in kendo and iaido has the same level, and you have enough time, do both. I dont know your age either, but if you are not yet consumed by the big work-family-debt-monster, practise as much as you can, of both.

        sulk sulk


        • #5
          ah bless
          but dont sulk just make the most of what you have, and encourage the fambly to play-my mother started judo cuz i was doing it

          i wont let her do/pay for iaido (except my iaito which wuz a b-day & crimbo prezzy ) tho'

          anywayz back to context
          you may already know i do MJER iai which is totally different cutting style from kendo-in fact a lot of things are different

          but it does really help me with focus, distance, timing seeing a emeny etc.

          both arts are excellent & i dont think id want to give up either
          besides iwata sensei explained recently the importance & benefits of practicing kendo along iaido

          both r funky, and if i didnt want a challenge physically or mentally i wouldnt do either let alone them both together


          • #6
            That`s a tough thing...
            I usually advice NooBs to start with Kendo. It`s more easy to understand in a certain way, since it has so many similarities to western fencing.
            I also noticed that some students who are studying only Iaido have the tendency of assuming a kind of arrogance, thinking to achieve something like being samurai` - which of course is NOT.
            Concentrating on Kendo always shows you that you can always be loser of a fight, even as sempai when playing with NooBs - always the chance of receiving a hit.
            So I really think, it`s better to wait with starting Iaido for some years. But I won`t mix this up with a certain grade, be it Shodan, Sandan or whatever. Maybe one or two years Kendo are something like a reasonable amount of time spent with Kendo to start with Iaido. Well, but that`s only my POV.


            • #7
              I believe that six months of kendo is enough. You're not going to mix the footwork so much at that point.

              I , however, was only taught Iai once I completed one year of kendo.


              • #8
                That 'looking down on the other one' Ive found is common to both. Some kendo guys I used to practise with would NOT try iaido as they thought they wouldnt get anything out of it. Shame to be narrow minded though.
                The best thing to do is do one for a while and then look at the other. I cant remember how long I did kendo first for exactly but probably about a year...

                Tim Hamilton

                p.s. no cracks about my age rottunpunk...or I'll eat your easter eggs.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by roar
                  I brought a lot of "big swinging" from iaido in the first years og kendo. Today, I use the same shoulder-albow-wrist-snap as most of my fellow kendokas, while trying to develop a proper iai-cut.
                  BTW: I personally believe, that the Big Swing is the proper way to perform a hit in Kendo. I personally dislike these SnapShots just from the wrists. They seem not to be the way of the sword`. I`ve never seen any real sword-technique ( e.g. in Iaido, Iaijutsu) using these snaps. So Iaido gives us the chance of learning from the real thing`. My POV...


                  • #10
                    It is my experience that beginners in iaido with some background in kendo have great difficulties in ajusting from the common "wrist-snap" to a larger more circular movement. BTW: It is a great experience to be hit by a large and slow men by a japanese twice your age and half your weight.

                    I think that changing the cuts is the hardest part, footwork is not so hard, even though some people stick for a long time to the upright, feet close together stance from kendo.

                    I think the positive side of doing kendo first, is that one develops good stamina and physical perseverance. Like the saying from kendo: "do kata like shiai and shiai like kata." Kendo-people are used to practise hard and focused for hours, and that will put juice to their actions in iaido.
                    No iaidoka should be without some experience in kendo. It would be nice if more kendokas got down from their high horse and spent some time on their knees also.

                    Kendokas are all thugs and iaidokas are all sissies, why not be an bully with some refinement?


                    • #11
                      I started Iai and Jodo at the same time and only picked up Kendo after training for 5 years in Iai and Jo. Mainly to give me the feeling of spontanaity (is that spelt right) which you don,t always get in kata based practice.
                      Still have problems with the wrist snap cut in kendo, and prefer a nice big iai cut, not that I put my armour on much any more.
                      I have students who have started all three arts Iai, Jodo and Kendo at the same time, personally I think it is too confusing, and they seem to struggle with the differances.
                      Listen to your sensei and follow his advice is the best plan.
                      I noticed that lots of you do kendo/iai what about picking up a Jo and hitting unarmoured people for fun.


                      • #12
                        wish I had the time... then I'd do niten ichi ryu, kyudo, kusarigama, sojutsu......

                        Tim Hamilton


                        • #13
                          Niten Ichi Ryu is definately a favourite of mine. If had the money/time I would love to study under Imai sensei. Failing that, I just wish there was someone in this country that knew all the Bo kata for niten ichi ryu


                          • #14
                            Hyaku studes Niten, not sure when hes back in the U.K. next but I'll give you a shout if you want some training.

                            Tim Hamilton


                            • #15
                              Tim that would be excellant!
                              By the way Fuji sensei told me that Mano sensei is coming to Blighty to do a seminar on the 16 August for a week (70 for 7 days) in Ramsgate if you're interested (it's not a BKA event (so no Seitei!) I think its either DNBK or just an open event for anyone interested)
                              Unfortunately, I'll be in Japan for a month (perk of having a Japanese wife!)