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How to learn iaido Videos

Five Mistakes Students Make in Iaido

Suino-Sensei shows five common mistakes made by beginners in iaido, and explains how to correct them to make your swordsmanship stronger, more efficient, ...

User Comments

old mc donald had a sword. iai iai do.
Did you seriously drop the tip past parallel?
+Colin Turner I responded in Japanese because you assumed I didn't know what koryū meant.
+Dominic Sowards And your point is? Romaji or kanji, Japanese or English, you responded to suggest that this is iaido and not koryu, as if those are different or mutually exclusive things. Which they aren't. Much Iaido is koryu. That's the point. Your study of the Japanese language therefore has nothing to do with it, except to make it even more mysterious that you responded in the way you did.
+Colin Turner 私はいくつかの時間のために日本語を勉強してきました。こりゅう or would you rather have the kanji? 古流 there's the kanji. 想定していません。あなただけ愚かに見えました
+Dominic Sowards you have absolutely no idea what koryu means do you? You should not be making such disparaging comments about videos when you don't. Koryu means "old schools" as opposed to, for instance seitei iaido. I've since realised you probably didn't mean the end of the cut, and yes, sure one doesn't normally let the sword drop behind, but that's not the issue he's discussing. You will find however, that measuring precise angles and obsession about parallel things is a modern thing.
+Colin Turner Cool. But this video is on Iaido
+Dominic Sowards which they do in many koryu...
Your feet should never be that far apart. Makes you unstable.
Long stances are normal in iaido, less so in other martial arts. Stability is always only in some directions and not others as we are bipeds, lots of aikido is based on this very fact.
Exactly. He cannot even do the basic kamae correctly. Arrogant prick.
+Dominic Sowards I don't really study iaido, but I have been a martial artist long enough to know that different styles have different ways of doing things. Shotokan karate uses long powerful stances, where Shorin Ryu karate uses shorter stances. Could it be that his style isn't wrong, it's just different than the way your style does things?
The calves are not the strongest muscles in the lower body or entire body. With that misinformation I stopped. Don't listen to this quack.
+Andreas Jensen Exactly. I started doing medicine ball smashes for my core and arms. After a couple weeks I noticed I had a stronger strike. But I need to work on control. Power is only half the battle
+Dominic Sowards and even if the calves were the strongest muscles, that wouldn't imply that you get any kind of momentum or force from them. Many of the really strong muscle are built for endurance, not speed or power, which is also why it is so important to get the muscles to work together.
So.... I just start practicing by myself...busy schedule....not really have time to go to a place to learn...and not sure who is teaching near my place...Can you please tell me what is the proper way of holding the tsuka in general? I am right handed person, but since I play hockey with left hand stick, I also have certain amount of wrist power on my left wrist. But when talking about holding a katana, I am not sure:1. What is the proper position?2. Which hand is up and which hand is down?3. Should the lower hand cover the kashira? or, should the lower hand above the kashira? Or, is it depends on the "ken hou" (style system of the sword skill)?4. Based on your instruction, is the power focused on the lower hand or to the upper hand?ThanksEverest
+Jen-Yen Chen Kenjutsu is the predecessor of Kendo yes, but I would sincerely advice you to look into the sensei teaching it, as it is often a only thought after a certain level of kendo is reached, and not often exported outside of Japan. And America is known for it's McDojo's, I advise you to be sceptical. Same thing for Iaido by the way, Iaijutsu is very closely guarded by the Japanese and not often taught to foreigners. Small note, it doesn't matter what martial art you do (Especially Japanese) respect and care are paramount, not only in Kenjutsu. :)
+gamerfrombelgium ........I think I may have miss spelled. It is Ken Jutsu.....sorry... I just woke up for work......
+gamerfrombelgium Not sure if I can explain this properly. There is one guy on Youtube explained the difference in a better way, but I do not remember the title of the video, you will need to search online.Kondo is the learning basic of swordsmanship. You learn the technique, the power transer, the steps, the way of holding the boken, and the mind set. But, to make it passed down to generations, Japanese made the Kendo as a sport, those you see wearing the gears and need to attack the kotw, men, mune parts.Kentuzu is the real samurai do/swordsmanship. In kendo, since it is the practice form, so you may learn in a serious yet still fun way.In kentsuzu, you practice with reapect to the real sword or boken, you practice with a certain spirit (depends on the style system you learn) and thought process, you also learn the cutting forms, and you will actually apply it on a real katana as a samurai.Kendo is like a sport, same form and every one can learn. Kentsuzu is morwnthan just Kendo and you will practice with much more respect and much more care, like a samurai.Hope you can understand the difference I am trying to say.
+Jen-Yen Chen I don't know Ken tsuzu, what's it about? It's too bad there is no option around you to learn :(.
+gamerfrombelgium Thanks for your reminder and telling.The only reason I do not want to just learn kondo is because I have only limited time and money to learn things, and for swordsmanship, I would like to invest my time in ken tsuzu, not the kendo sport.I will remember your suggestion and find someone, real teacher, to teach me.
+gamerfrombelgium Yes,I understand your meaning. I was trying to find teacher around me, but they only teach kendo, no ken tsuzu...... I saw one teacher on youtube kind of also teach ken tsuzu..... but he is all the way up in Ohio.....
+Jen-Yen Chen Do not expect you can effectively teach yourself something that takes others years to perfect under the guidance of someone who spend their life mastering it. With all do respect, it's even dangerous.
Don't listen to this guy. He hasn't the slightest idea of what he is talking about.

Introduction to Iaido, part 7: The First 5 Kata

Here are the very first 5 kata you learn in Toei-ryu Iai Batto Renmei. This clip could be subtitled "You have to start somewhere!", since there are more than a ...

User Comments

@VampirePostalService Drawing across the hand forming the circle around the opening of the saya is done with the back edge (dull, obviously) and should not harm the blade, especially since we clean our iaito at the end of each class - skin oils might have an affect on the blade. I don't know what happens to a practice sword that does not get this kind of regular cleaning, but it can't be good!
I'd assume that this was is actually faster and more efficient to draw into a strike. most occidental weapons have the cutting edge downwards because their handle can only be grabbed from the back because of the hand protecting guard, which is necessairy in sabre fencing.
I have enjoyed your detail explanation during all videos. I have begun to study hokushin shinoh ryu iaido but there is little knowledge of the art where I live so you tube is currently my only means of gaining knowledge. Do you have tutorials on tameshigiri?
There are some forms that are more style than combat - Toei Ryu Iai Batto Renmei has been around for 400 years, so it was practiced by active samurai. The cutting edge is upright so as to not have contact with the saya.
@ferstuck37 Not one whit - we have lefties in the class, at least one is sho dan. You are really using both hands when drawing, whether on the sword or on the saya. No samurai was ever taught as a lefty.
um just a question but doesn't some of the first kata have to be done from a starting position on the ground( I mean when you sit the Japanese way and then stand up and do the kata's?)
@senseijack69 He is standing in front of a lot of Century Fitness gear because they are the ones who filmed this - go to CenturyMartialArts . com and search for Nishiuchi
@hempev Thanks, I should have realized that there is no distinction in battle only who is left standing.
Great teaching skills. I love the details. Does anyone know of CDs of this instructor?
@0900090990 The first kata are done standing - those from seiza are taught later.
Excellent video very instructive, being left-handed how does this change the form
@hempev If I run out of stone powder and oil, I won't touch my sword
Thanks alot for these informative videos. Really helped me.
@bglee63 No, I have posted all that Shihan has given me.
The blade is upwards - what made you think it was down?
very good all clear. Your explanations are amazing

Introduction to Iaido: Clothing Basics

The very first thing to learn about iaido is what to wear and how you wear it! Later clips will get into drawing the sword, handling and sheathing. Full videos are ...

User Comments

Wow. Never knew there was so much to the traditional samurai outfit. Love the way they look. I've been looking for something on the very basics but, until now, have not found anything that was very detailed. Now, if I could just find info on making the habaki and koiguchi fit tighter, I'd be very happy. Mine is so loose the katana will fall out of the saya if I tip it over a little.
im gussing its a cheeply made scabbard? the scabard itself is mainly suposed to hold the sword in rather then just the friction between the "habaki" & "koiguchi" as far as i can tell (from watching a few vids on makeing the scabbards & handles iv watched only) but you may be able to fix your problum somewhat with some glue or carpenters paste of somekind? anyways good luck.
Sensei, I really wish that I could study Iaido with you as I learned a bit of it for 3 years long time ago. Now I live in Minnesota and there is no dojo near me to practice. So I decide to practice it again by myself. Hopefully I can see more video from you that I can learn more about this art. Thank you and all the best wishes.
Hmm... What is the significance of which part of the kimono gets wrapped over the other? I heard him say something about when people are dead, they reverse it, but why does it matter? Maybe it doesn't, and that's just the way it is, but the way he mentions it makes it sound like it matters. I'm just curious.
I guess it's rarer than I thought - Shihan orders from Japan, so maybe you have to read kanji to find it, such as on a Japanese-only site. My obi is a regular one without the ties - just a little thicker when tied, not noticeable when fully dressed, so I've never bothered changing.
In Buddhism, the dead are dressed in their final robes by someone other than themselves, so it's the opposite of how a living person dresses. Do it this way and you will be sent back to the dressing room - no-one wants to practice with a dead person.
I guess I should have asked why they do it the opposite way for the dead... Is it like some kind of thing where people who were passed out drunk were being mistaken for dead and buried alive, so they decided to make a distinction or something?
The disadvantage of living in a small town is that you can't find any dojo's unless you go major cities. I really want to learn Iaido but unless I move (which is very unlikely at this stage) then I am shit out of luck.
It is a standard iaido obi - the narrow ends are typical for this use, but many people starting out use kendo or other martial art items which are not specific for the art. Any iaido clothing source should have these.
That's the thing...I've looked all over the internet and can't find that particular type of obi. I have a Iaido obi but it doesn't have the tie ends like the one in the video.
I bought mine online, but you might find brick-and-mortar martial arts stores with them, although most have kendo versions, which are not the same.
Intro to iaido set is very informative he is truly a master at this art and as a sensei with over 400 students I look forward to teaching his way
very educational playlist! Great uploads. Curious tho, around what year were these video' s made? Feels like late 90's to early 2000's...
Yo you have to insert a tiny paper rectangle and glue it to the top of the inside, i read that in a manual i got with a sword
Attention to detail is practically a Japanese trait, one that may be lost on many of their latest generation.
Best regards to all in Budo... Hempev, you know name of this Sensei? Thanks a lot. Paluma Sensei

2013 All Japan Iaido Championships - Highlights

7-dan Semi-finals: Kumeda (Tokyo, left) vs. Kosaka (Oita, right): Kosaka wins 3-0 — 5-dan Semi-finals (part): Utsumi (Tokushima, left) vs. Ohira (Oita, right): ...

User Comments

That's a nice dance to show your enemy as he smashes your fucking head in with a rock.
+Ed uardo Lol i like Iaido too :P
+UrbanninjafuQtoo sixtynineurnan i like iaido but i still find your comment really funny lol
Well, just as I thought Chinese Kungfu competition is too choreographed to be practical, I bumped into this...
+MidEasternGamer Thanks for sharing that video..it was amazing and a real eye opener!
+Ray Lee Like most martial arts practice always looks like choreographed, it is design to become muscle memory so when you encounter real danger (absurdly weird chance of it) you can fight correctly. Most fights are just crazy people hitting each other. And actually i think that iaido is the most practical of all because normally the first hit is the one that counts in almost every fighting sport and street fight. Iaido is made to make yoour first or second strike your final.
+Ray Lee Iaido as a spot is katas... iaido in its original form was training to kill via unsheathing the sword. Kenjutsu took over once the sword was unsheathed.
+MidEasternGamer true
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lMd2XBoG9I Watch this, at one point they explain how it can be used and how it's practical in some cases/scenarios. Although the main point of Iaido is to achieve a purified and serene mental state through excessive amount of concentration.Want something practical? Krav-maga is what you should be looking at.P.S: Didn't mean to sound rude or anything
What exactly is going on here? Are they testing based on their form/technique?
I have no idea why Kosaka wins these tournaments so decisively. He's nanadan and still cuts like a highschooler -- whipppy and way too much power. Stuff like that should end once someone acquires yondan. 
+Proton1 I partly agree with your opinion regarding the way he cuts but it looks to me that Kosaka has excellent timing and I think this is one of the greater factors why he wins next to his zanshin. Perhaps aesthetically not the best but fightingwise I can understand the decision

All Japan Kendo Federation IAIDO Learn with a Photograph book,katana (0503)

Iaido Kata Seitei 01 Ippon-me - Mae - High quality - www.thesamuraiworkshop.com

ZNKR Iaido (Seitei) kata with Noboru Ogura. A clear demonstration and explanation about the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei kata which are performed in Iaido.

User Comments

Sorry for the delay, I promise I'll be more active here :) Anyway, there are many different forms of noto. Muso Shinden Ryu however adds an extra koiguchi (by closing the thumb against the index finger) on top of the saya koiguchi. Other styles keep their fingers behind the koiguchi. With practice you'll eventually feel the kissaki (tip) slide of your hand, right into the saya. Speed is achieved by controlling the saya. However in no circumstance straighten your index finger while doing noto...
Noboru Ogura is a Muso Shinden Ryu iaidoka. Every style, whether it is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu or Shinkage Ryu has their own interpretation of the ZNKR kata. These kata are simply a guideline to get familiar with the basics of iai. Should you come far enough then you will be taught the older kata of the style you are practicing. The shown kata are not a good example of the Ryuha since they simply are not a part of the original style. They were developed only a few decades ago...
@InuOukami There's probably a reason for that: the man in this video is doing it properly. As well, your "Black Belts for Christ" organization is almost not likely to be aligned with the All Japan Kendo Federation. For those things you say your academy "doesn't do", I see things your academy shouldn't be doing, and one of them is pretending to teach authentic iaido. You're in the USA. There are plenty of authentic dojos there. Have a look around.
@MrJabber22 Ive practiced Karate and Kick boxing and Iaido and I have found that Iaido even though does not involve combat, is the most empowering, calming, meditative and focused of them all. You may not be able to use it practically but it is, to me, the most productive for the soul. And its beautiful to watch :-) You can go to a class and forget all your troubles, with no ego or aggression. Bushido! x
@lovecraft4780 you could also start with a bokken(wooden sword). Thats a lot cheaper, and thats what you start with in most schools, and there's no chance you'll stick it into your hand, because the point is still pretty sharp. And like TSW said, it takes LOTS of training. i still need to hold my blade up with my index finger to get it into the saya right :/ , but don't try to learn it that way!
@TheSamuraiWorkshop Please explain that to me. I always believed that you draw the back of the blade along the back of your hand and thumb. You'd feel when the time comes to reverse the movement and sheathe the blade. Admittedly, I never owned a real katana, but with the decorative ones (sharp enough to draw blood), I never had a problem. Is it so much different with a real sword?
@thekiddo1000 One should not forget that iaido is the successor of iaijutsu, just as kendo is the successor of kenjutsu. Some part of the spirit is taught within iaido but certainly not the fighting spirit. You can look into kenjutsu schools such as Katori Shinto Ryu which practice so-called kobudo (not to be confused with okinawan kobudo)
These videos portray a very accurate and detailed aspect of Iaido. I have been teaching myself both meditation an Muso Eishin ryu for a year now and have finally been given the chance to train at Toyama Ryu Iaido school. I have been able to touch up on many techniques thanks to your videos
@shinken12 : Iaido is about awareness . Iaido may seem non-functional in real life. But its purpose is exactly the opposite. Its aim is to bring about the awareness on your inner sword and cutting thru your ego with it.....hope you understand what I am saying here.
@Proton1 There are different styles and different fingerprints. We study Miso Jikiken Hasegawa Eishin Ryu. Even tho they look similar they are not. Your right it isn't authentic Iaido. That is because it is not Iaido that I know.
@InuOukami You will find only minor differences compared to MJER seiteit kata. This set of kata was only developed to teach the basics, the advanced MJER or MSR contains very distinct movements only known to their style.
This is a fantastic video, we have been taught the movement from the unsheathing strike to the downward strike differently but ours is just more dancelike. Thank you for this, it is a great reference in between lessons
i have not practiced iado but am looking to do so soon...for those of you who say it lacks function...given it is not based in combat but do you not at least learn proper sword technique from it?
Years ago I learned that kata they taugth me with the name of Shohato.....with the others Sato Uto Ataritto Seichuto Ryuto Bato and so on.....why the difference in the names^?
if the first strike is parried, your opponents sword will be inside of your sword. if you stand and raise your sword above your head you will be stabbed in the front
@lovecraft4780 Better to start of with an iaito (blunted training sword) and find a teacher. A perfect noto (resheathing) is a matter of many years of training.

Simple But Critical - Iaido from the Bottom Up - The Back Foot

Ancient Knowledge and Wisdom for the Modern Warrior! The single most important concept in Iaido from Bottom Up is the position of the back foot. It must be ...
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