Frequently asked questions
Can I practise Iaido?
Practising Iaido is a long term. The techniques increase in in difficulty and so do the demands the longer you learn. After having bought an Iaito (sword-copy) your educational level and the intensity of your learning develope. You do not need to be sportsmanlike. Your physical strength, agility, endurance etc. rise by concentrating on doing the kata of its own volition. Physical fitness or budo-experience however may be useful ;–)
How to pronounce Iaido and what meaning has it?
Jeido. The word Iaido consists of 3 japanese characters: i-ai-do. »I« means presence, »Ai« means the right understanding and »Do« is the way. The synonym »Do« can be found in many japanese martial arts and understands the training as way of life.
How to begin?
Simply join our training! Here at SC Poppenbüttel or at HTBU Barmbek you can get the opportunity of one free month training trail (SCP) or take a 5-times subscription (HTBU). Wear loose sweat suit, jogging trousers and a sweatshirt for instance. For introduction a Bokken (wooden sword) will be placed at your disposal.
How much does it cost?
You do not have any financial expense at the beginning (look above). If you continue, you pay the sports club fee. Later you buy Iaido-training clothes: a Hakama (trousers), an Obi (wider belt), a Keiko-Gi (Japanese jacket). Soon you want to satisfy the wish to learn with a training sword. A Iaito costs up to 200 Euro second hand, all new from 400 to 750 Euro according to the quality. We will give you assistance in obtaining the right one for you.
Where does Iaido come from?
Iaido accrues from Japan. It is practised in different styles (Ryu). These ryu comprise training sequences, which inclose techniques and tactics of a swordplay. In the past age you could learn this at the dojo of a Sensei (teacher) but you had to study his style only. Iaido as a form of Zen training form rose around 1600 with Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu. Later (1900) Nakayama Hakudo founded the Muso Shinden Ryu (夢想神伝流). Iaido of today is tought and spread in this style and further publicly available systems.
Does one fight with one another?
Because the control of a genuine Katana (sharp sword with live blade) is aimed at, you do not start against each other contrary to the related Kendo. There is however a match form in the Iaido. It is called »Taikai«. 2 sword fighters compare themselves. They demonstrate at the same time several Katas. Those are fixed courses of motion of a fight. Experienced referees judge the execution. It quickly becomes clear, which fighter would have been better.
I dont need competition
To learn Iaido is in deep not a preparation for competition or examination. The high level of disciplin which is necessary to overcome your limitations is also struggle. Therefore we need no competitions. We prefer (common) demonstration (Enbu), in which each one can show his progress.
Do I have the correct age?
The correct attitude is crucial. If you can concentrate correctly, (or to attain to wish), keep our Dojo rules, then you are correct with the Iaido.
Is Iaido dangerous?
No. In partner exercises wooden swords (Bokken) are used. They are led in controlled way. In individual training one uses as a beginner a Bokken or as progressing a blunt sword reproduction (Iaito). Because of strict safety margin and because everyone pay attention, nothing can happen. Sport injuries are rare.
When do I need a sword?
Iaido is to exercise with the sword, so sooner or later you should purchase one. You can practice without doubt with a wooden sword (Bokken) for up to one year. Practicing with a sword (Iaito) however is a special quality, so after first learning of kata someone rather quickly wants to acquire one.
* Special thanks to Gabriel in Montreal, Canada for translation assist!