Here is a demonstration of Iai from Ame Agarau (After the Rain), a great Samurai flick.
Iaido is the art of Japanese Swordsmanship. How to draw, cut and sheathe the Japanese Sword. It is also a highly detailed and involved study of military strategic thought and samurai philosophy in motion.
The word itself has a number of meanings and interpretations. Each is dependant of a subjective translation as the word itself, like many Japanese martial concepts does not translate into English at all easily. The word is comprised of 3 Japanese characters: i-ai-do.
Roughly, “I” comes from Iru, to be; Ai (as in Aikido) means coming together, harmony, or love; and Dō means road, or Way (in the Buddhist sense). Loosely translated then, Iaido means being in harmony with one’s surroundings, always being prepared for any eventuality.
Training in Iai involves a number of distinct yet interrelated disciplines:
Tanren - This is physical conditioning as taught in feudal Japan. It is comprised of a series of body weight and equipped drills. These drills increase psychical conditioning, fitness, strength and improve body movement and co-ordination. They also, importantly contribute to the spirit of the practitioner, training them to develop endurance, perseverance, humility, dedication and more.
Waza - These are the techniques of Zen Ken Ren Iai, this is a syllabus created to introduce the correct use of the Japanese Sword. All our senior instructors are also students of Koryu Iai (these are the centuries old styles of Iai). ZNKR Iai is the core teachings of our club and teaches the foundations of Iaido. In virtually all schools of Iai, the kata/waza are composed of four essential elements. These are:
Practically all kata have these fundamental parts in some combination or other, but may also include blocks, deflections, thrusts, and multiple cuts, depending on the scenario. Iai kata are performed solitary against imaginary opponents, called kassoteki, or teki. (There are also partner kata at more advanced levels).
The fact that there is no real adversary means the Iaido-ka (Iaido practitioner) needs to be aware of where teki is at all times, and to focus his techniques accordingly. This demands intense concentration from the Iaidoka. Each kata, though outwardly simple, has myriad technical details that can make it fiendishly difficult to master. Indeed, a single kata could easily take a lifetime’s study, and still not be perfected. However, it is this quest for almost unattainable perfection that makes Iai what it is – a Way of strengthening the body, developing the character, and forging the Spirit.
It's really easy. Just come along to one of our training sessions. Your first session is free so you can get a feel for what we do and if our dojo would be a good fit for you. Don't worry about equipment, you just need comfortable workout clothes, like a tracksuit or martial arts uniform and we will provide the rest. Due to the serious nature of the training, classes are only available for those 16 years and older.
You can see our training times and locations below to find out when and where would suit you. And if you want to talk to one of our instructors just click here to send us an email.
You can sign up for a free beginners session here!
If you like it (and we think you will), you can join the club as a full member.
This covers your classes fees for as many classes per week as you wish to attend for the month. That means if you take just 1 class a week, it's only €12.50 a session. If you take 4 classes a week it works out at just €3.12 a session!
Both the club and federation are non-profit organizations and all fees go towards hall rental and other expenses related to running the club, such as insurance, governing body fees, and events. Of course, please let us know confidentially if you have any problems, we want you to train and this is more important than money.
19:00 - 20:20 **
St. John Bosco Youth Centre,
20:15 - 22:15**
Marino Institute of Education,
The Ballybough Community Youth & Sports Centre,
49 Ballybough Road,
* Classes on Wednesday are held every 2nd week.
** Due to building restrictions, Saturday and Monday classes are unfortunately cancelled on bank holiday weekends.
The following are some recent clips from our seminars and public demonstrations.
A short fun video showing the members of Dublin Kendo Demonstrating Iaido, Jodo and Kendo. And some general fun behind the scenes moments as we enjoyed the 'con. 🙂
"At last weekend's Irish National Kendo Championships and Ambassador's Cup, a demonstration of the Japanese martial art of Iaido was held. Iaido translates into English as "the way of mental presence and immediate reaction" and derives from samurai tradition". Courtesy of the Embassy of Japan in Ireland.