What is Iaido?
Iaido is the art of reacting to a surprise attack by counter attacking with a sword.
An in-depth reading of the Japanese characters for iaido is:
I = being, AI = harmony, DO = way . "The way of harmonising oneself in action”.
Iaidoka practice to prepare for a surprise attack, where an immediate, efficient solution to the problem of aggression is necessary. Therefore, the technique is highly refined. Every unnecessary movement is cut away.
Technique is simple and direct. The training method is aimed towards development of the practitioner’s every mental and physical resources.
What is Ryushin Ryu?
The history of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu (RSR) derives from the ancient sword style which originated in central Japan (Kanto region) and branched out to the southern island of Kyushu and other provinces. The current RSR curriculum consists of some 60 formulations of iai movements/techniques (kata); duel practice with both partners using wooden swords (bokuto) or iai swords (iaito); or duel practice with one partner using a long sword and another using a short sword. The RSR practice is based on, and still reflects, the ways of swordsmanship that were developed several hundred years ago. It is extremely difficult to pass on these skills accurately, since much time has gone by, but the RSR maintains the essence of the old style – as it was wielded by those who fought with swords in the times of war and revolution.
The forms transmitted by this style distill the wisdom, discipline and determination of a great many masters and accomplished men over hundreds of years, and it has been both extremely challenging and vitally important to transmit these forms correctly generation after generation.
Fortunately, in the forms of this style transmitted by President Kawabata and Yahagi Soke, their ancient content has been preserved, closely resembling the fighting techniques of the samurai – from the period of Warring States through the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Do I need purchase special equipment to begin?
If you have a dogi and an obi, then it's best to wear them for Iaido. However, they are not necessary to begin your training. Simply come to class in gym clothes and we will lend you everything you need to get started. If you chose to continue, you will eventually be required to purchase your own outfit and equipment.
Do I need experience?
No expeiernce is needed to begin Iaido classes. Just arrive with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and remember that we all started out as beginners.
Are there other dojos affiliated with Ryushin Shouchi-ryu?
Yes, there are several schools in the US and Europe that study Ryushin Shouchi Ryu.
For more information:
Litchfield Hills Aikikai is the only dojo in Connecticut to offer Ryushin Shouchi ryu iaido. We train under the guidance of Phil Ortiz Sensei of New York Budokai, who makes frequent visits to the dojo and Sempai Jamie Robinson
Do I need to study aikido in order to join the iaido class?
No you do not have to study aikido in order to join the iaido program. Iaido classes at the dojo are a separate curriculum from the aikido classes, and though they complement eachother in many ways, you are welcome to join one without the other.
May I watch an iaido class before I register?
Yes, it is encouraged that you come in and observe a class before starting. In addition to answering any questions you may have, it will provide you with a chance to understand the structure of the class and what to expect if you join.