Iaidō (ee-eye-doe) is an art of Japanese swordsmanship which is separate from aikido. Training is based on the practice of kata or forms involving drawing, cutting and re-sheathing actions from a variety of seated and standing situations. These forms are practised in a solo fashion against an imaginary opponent with paired exercises only being introduced at advanced levels. Iaido literally means the way of meeting or dealing with one’s immediate surroundings, with a philosophical approach that involves intuitively responding in the most appropriate manner to danger or challenging events. Modern iaido is based upon ancient techniques that allowed warriors to be able to defend themselves by quickly drawing and cutting down adversaries in the event of an unsuspected attack.
Training initially involves the 12 standard forms laid down by the All Japan Kendo Federation. At more advanced levels, the techniques of the traditional system known as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu are studied. This traditional system or koryu provides an avenue of deeper study of the art and an opportunity to participate in a tradition that can be traced back some 400 years. Whilst the practical applications of the art are obviously limited in modern times, Iaido remains relevant in its own right and as a means of supplementary training to aikido or any other activity. Regular training develops overall physical condition including coordination and posture, whilst the meditative aspects of practice also develop mental qualities of decisiveness and focus.
Jodo, the way of the stick, is the art of using a 4 foot wooden staff (Jo), to combat a sword wielding opponent. The Jo emerged in 17th century Japan with the founder, Muso Gonnosuke. Gonnosuke was a master of kenjutsu (sword) and bojutsu (6 foot staff), and developed the art of using the Jo whilst undergoing a journey throughout Japan testing himself against other swordsman. The art of the Jo then remained as one of the combat arts of the Kuroda Clan based in present Fukuoka, until the 20th century when it was transmitted to the outside world.
Jodo training involves the study of basic movements and kata prearranged attack and defence movements. As with other Budo arts, Jodo is designed to preserve the ancient combat techniques, but with the aim of helping the modern student to achieve control over mind and body through repeated practice. Regular training develops timing, coordination, posture, decisiveness, and focus. Training involves the study of the 12 basic techniques and the 12 standard kata of the All Japan Kendo Federation. The dojo is affiliated with the Queensland Kendo Renmei and students are eligible for internationally recognized grades issued by the Australian Kendo Renmei. At more advanced levels, techniques of the koryu or original tradition of Shindo Muso Ryu may also be studied.
Classes are conducted from 5.30-7.30PM each Friday evening. Jodo class is followed by Iaido commencing at 6.30PM.
Training is led by Dave Kolb sensei, and more info can be found about his qualifications at the Bayside Budokai website. Opportunities also exist for sessions with other locally affiliated groups and participation in seminars hosted by the Australian Kendo Renmei led by senior Japanese teachers.
Queensland Kendo Renmai annual membership: Adults $70 Junior $50
Class training fee $10
Contact Dave for details and advice. Mobile – 0409 250 065.