Week-in-review

2015 10 18 - 21:05

iaido, personal
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Bo-hi

2015 10 17 - 22:11

I made my sword whistle the other day – rather, the sword I was borrowing that I cut myself with. This might seem like a very small accomplishment, but it’s how you know you’re swinging it properly, especially with the big swing cuts from over your head. The air whistles along the bo-hi. It’s that whoosh sound. I did a couple of practice swings when I first got it into my hands, and didn’t realise it was me making the whooshing sounds. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. “Was that me?”

So whenever someone swings a katana and you hear that whoosh sound, it’s not a sound effect. They actually do do that.

Some refer to the bo-hi (or hi) as the “blood groove”. That’s not what it is. As I understand it, the groove is cut along the blade to help lighten it, without sacrificing much/any of its strength. They can be very heavy, carbon-steel katana – and so can alloy iaito blades.

iaido



Week in Review

2015 10 10 - 21:12

iaido, personal
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Refuge

2015 10 08 - 22:14

I have discovered that the dojo is a refuge.

It is a refuge from the unhappy week I’ve had. It is a refuge from the world in general. It is a room full of swords, and still a safe haven. I go in, and I can leave the things that have frustrated me this week outside.

Running the waza in my head is meditative. I run them when I’m laying in bed trying to sleep and can’t.

Iaido a very elegant art, refined. It makes you aware of very small things, and how important those small things are. Small things mean the difference between success and failure. They always said that ‘god’ was in the details.

iaido



To be, or knot to be

2015 09 10 - 20:49

I may not know how to tie my hakama, but I know how to tie a sageo safety knot around my saya.

My gear has arrived. I feel like a human. Or whatever the Japanese word for human is. I feel like that.

bokken - safety knot
iaido
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Tired Lonita Is Tired

2015 09 02 - 20:51

Henry Rollins once said that we’re all born Ferraris, but too many of us treat our bodies like beater cars. My body feels a bit like a beater car right now. Iaido was tough on the legs today.

… and sweaty.

… and boy is my balance shit.

… deflated balloon mode.

iaido



Complete Introduction to Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido

2015 08 28 - 21:00

Aaaah ha! Found a video on the style of Iaido I’ve been studying. Most excellent. Shall have to acquire it for myself at some point.

Addendum: I did eventually buy this, but I haven’t watched it in months. Will correct and post comments.

iaido
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Teacher, teacher

2015 07 29 - 20:42

Today was “everyone takes a turn teaching”, including yours truly; because, to quote the sensei, “it is wrong not to teach”. Teaching someone else is a good way to solidify your own knowledge, that’s true. Of course, me being the newest kid on the block means I have to go last; which was only a minor heads up because everyone was teaching something I hadn’t yet learned.

Hey, at least I referred to the shrine area by its right name – I think, so that maybe combatted some of the ineptitude that followed.

Go me.

iaido



Quiet / Gear

2015 07 16 - 20:44

Yesterday, I took my first class in Iaido – a sword-handling art that’s frequently paired with Kendo and Aikido.

I’d always wanted to learn how to handle a sword, but most of the options are combat and contact oriented, and I never got around to contacting the SCA to see if one of them could teach me how to handle a broadsword. But, I met up with an old high school friend recently who used to do Kendo, and he told me about Iaido. So there we are.

It’s an eerily quiet thing. With most other martial arts there seems to be a lot of noise, either from the mouth or from the body, but Iaido is very quiet. Somehow, the quiet makes it a little more terrifying.

Iaido uses one of three types of swords: bokken (wooden practice sword), iaito (aluminum-zinc alloy sword with no cutting edge), or shinken (forged carbon steel sword with a sharp edge you could take your hand off with). They don’t, apparently, let you have at the shinken until you’re 4th dan or higher.

I was fortunate, and grateful, that the sensei allowed me to come and try the class for free. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how I’m going to participate in this sport fully; because, while the classes themselves are affordable, the appropriate gear is not. I need:

Going by what I’ve found online so far, that’s four to five hundred dollars.

I will need to sell a kidney.

So, assuming I solve the issues above, the blind girl is going to learn how to handle a sword. Look out, world.

iaido



And so it begins...

2015 07 15 - 20:22

Ladies and gentlemen, I have successfully survived my first Iaido class.

Huzzah!

iaido
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