Iaido encompasses hundreds of styles of swordsmanship, all of which subscribe to non-combative aims and purposes. Iaido is an intrinsic form of Japanese modern budo.
Iaido is a reflection of the morals of the classical warrior and to build a spiritually harmonious person possessed of high intellect, sensitivity, and resolute will. Iaido is for the most part performed solo as kata, executing changed strategies against single or various imaginary rivals. Every kata starts and finishes with the sword sheathed. Notwithstanding sword method, it requires creative ability and determination to keep up the inclination of a genuine battle and to keep the kata new.
To appropriately perform the kata, iaidoka likewise learn carriage and development, hold and swing. At times iaidoka will practice accomplice kata like kendo or kenjutsu kata. Dissimilar to kendo, iaido is never honed in a free-competing way. It would simply be too dangerous.
Beginners will start training with a wooden sword (Bokuto) and scabbard (saya) for safety purposes.
Competent students can move on to an Iaito. This is a steel or alloy training sword that is a very close replica of a real Japanese sword in weight and balance. Built to high standards they can be used for years. When students are ready to purchase we can assist with advice.
We highly recommend using the BKA approved supplier ninecircles.co.uk based in Gloucester for their excellent swords and assistance in choosing the right one for yourself.
Beware of any sword which costs only a few pounds and is not supplied by a reputable martial arts weapons dealer. Many swords are often just display items for the less informed collector.
Seek advice from your coaches in order to avoid wasting money. You will not be allowed to use any sword until it has been inspected by one of the qualified BKA coaches within the club, and been passed as suitable for your use. Swords are very individual items of equipment. Weight, balance and most importantly the length of the blade vary and it is important you have the right sword for training to avoid injury or accidents.
Alain Bangard Sensei and Jock Hopson Sensei (Back row Left 1 & 2) with the friendly folks of Jinmukan (Northampton) and Kenmukan Dojo (Milton Keynes). Thank you all for your help over the years.
There are many schools of Iaido in Japan. At Kenmeikan we train in Musō Shinden-ryū Iaido.
Again, there are many levels within the training syllabus, but as with Jodo the kata starts with twelve set forms; Seiti Iaido. Students will also learn Koryu kata specific to Musō Shinden-ryū Iaido. Competitions and gradings start with Seiti Iaido.
The UK has a large number of some of the highest grades outside of Japan and as such is able to grade to a very high level.
Our lineage is as follows:
8th Dan Hanshi iaido, 8th Dan Kyoshi jodo and 7th Dan Kyoshi kendo. Ishido Sensei also holds Menkyo in Shindo Muso-ryu Jodo
7th Dan Kyoshi iaido, 7th Dan Kyoshi jodo and 7th Dan Kyoshi kendo.
5th Dan iaido, 4th Dan jodo
3rd Dan iaido, 3rd Dan jodo