Iaido and Kenjutsu - The Art of fighting with sword
The fight with sword is the fundamental martial discipline of Takeda school’s samurais. The Japanese sword (katana) is actually one of the fundamental symbols of the samurais and in comparison with the occidental sword, in Japan the sword is an object for a real cult. “The sword is the samurai soul”, said the old texts, and through Iaido and Kenjutsu – the fighting with sword disciplines in Takeda school, we will try to understand why is this like that.
Is the sword practice important nowadays, in the atomic bomb era and so many sophistry weapons? Obviously, today we do not have the occasion to get out on the street with a sword in hand, the world has modernized. So, why do we need to train in fighting with sword?
A characteristic of the sword techniques is the solitary training, a lot techniques repeated by oneself, searching a higher standard of practice, a perfection consisting in “the pure walk on the Way”. The solitary training favors a kind of introspection, of inward reversion, toward itself gesture, toward the finest detail of every movement. All of these lead to a total managing of technique, of body, of mind (according to the SHIN-GI–TAI principle).
The perfection of a sword cutting comes from the correct catching of the sword (katana mochi), the correct arming, the correct posture (shisei no kamae), the movements harmony with the breathing (kokyu), the correct displacement (Tai Sabaki), a continuous aware mind (Zanshin) and the list could continue… You see how many elements lead to a almost perfect cutting… Because the next one must be better… We need to progress on the Way which we have to discover and rediscover every day.
IAIDO is the effective drawing out of the sword from the sheath, movement which must to be done simultaneously with the adversary cutting. The spirit of Iaido practice is somehow such as the one of western movies duels. “I” is translated as “to be”, “AI” – harmony; IAI is translated as taking out the blade in total harmony with the movement of the adversary, sliding aside, taking over, sensing…
IAIDO TAKEDA RYU study includes:
· - Kihon Waza – fundamental techniques
(of drawing, re-sheathing, cutting with one and two hands, blocking with one
and two hands);
KENJUTSU – defines the effective fight with the sword already taken out. It is said that if the Iai of a person is very good, Kenjutsu become inutile. In Kenjutsu practice there are used wooden sword – Bokken, in comparison with Iaido, where a training sword, a metal one, with sheath, is absolutely necessary. In Kenjutsu there is the contact between the swords of the two training partners and usually it is worked much more with a partner, in comparison with Iaido. However, the Iaido practice is the basic one for some correct forms, which are then applied and tested in Kenjutsu practice.
ROMANIA TAKEDA RYU |