art of the japanese sword

Iaido is one of the more traditional martial arts pursuits. It is the highly focused study of the Japanese sword (katana).

Iaido is largely a solitary pursuit. Students practice basic fundamentals (kihon) over and over as they refine their technique and build their own precision and understanding of the sword. Over time these fundamental components of footwork, body positioning and movement of the sword are used to construct repeatable forms (kata). These preset patterns of technique represent combative situations involving one or more imaginary opponents where mortal force is required to preserve one’s own existence.

The martial combat of this art is limited to the battles taking place within the practitioner themselves; the struggle to develop physical control and precision in their movements, the development of intense mental focus and concentration, and cultivation of spiritual presence, awareness, and discipline.

Iaido is a form of moving mediation that emphasizes the symmetry and significance of life and death. In every encounter, the practitioner is thrown into a chaotic situation where they must exercise deadly force in order to survive. They must not only perform the actions required to survive physically, but also spiritually as they move from a state of calmness, through a period of great conflict and back to a centered state.

The objective in studying Iaido is to help put one’s own life on a more peaceful path. There is something very sobering about mediating on mortality and learning to keep a calm, centered spirit amidst external chaos.

The Oregon Eishin Ryu Iaido Kai is a small dojo based in Bend, Oregon. We hold weekly practices in a private training setting.

For more information about studying this traditional martial art, please call John at 541-647-eight-three-six-five.

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