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What is iaido?

Iaido is a martial art designed to build character through the art of sword while carrying on Japanese cultural tradition. Iaido practitioners train in Japanese sword techniques against imaginary opponents. One of the key features of iaido is responding to enemy attack before the sword is ever drawn from its sheath. Iaido techniques can be grouped into old forms that have been passed down over the centuries (koryu style) and basic forms that have been extracted from multiple schools and synthesized (All Japan Kendo Federation iai).

Both koryu/Hoki-ryu iai and All Japan Kendo Federation iai are practiced at the Shubukan.

Grading

Practitioners are tested on both practical technique and scholarship.

  • In the practical portion, the testing board will call out techniques to be demonstrated in order to assess the applicant’s skill level.
  • In the scholarship portion, the applicant will be tested on his or her knowledge of iai and budo.

Testing in Hyogo Prefecture is held in spring and fall (typically on a Sunday in May and November).

What are the benefits of practicing iaido?

Benefits of iaido training

  1. Gain a deep understanding of Japanese manners and etiquette
  2. Develop muscles and strong legs
  3. Improve posture through correct performance of technique
  4. Increase concentration from focusing on imaginary opponents

Hoki-ryu at the Shubukan

The late Yoshiho Niwata began receiving instruction in Hoki-ryu from his instructor, Kazuki Yoshizawa, in 1964. Since 2008, Hoki-ryu has been taught by Ken’ichi Kondo, who studied under Yoshizawa.

Training details

Instructor

Ken’ichi Kondo (Kyoshi, 7th dan)

Specializes in: Drawing blocks (nukidome), thrust blocks (tsukidome)

Times

Mondays and Thursdays 8:00–9:30 PM
Shorter class times encourage more focused training.

Location

Shubukan Dojo

Training may sometimes be held at the Midorigaoka Gymnasium instead.

Tuition

¥4,000/month

Open to

All ages
Open to students, professionals, homemakers, part-time workers, and more. Some students even start after retirement!
No previous athletic or martial arts experience needed.

Required gear

  1. Uniform top (dogi), hakama, belt (obi)
  2. Mogito (dull practice sword)

Kendo tops may be used as dogi.
Mogito are available for students to borrow.
 

Approximate pricing

Uniform (dogi), hakama, and belt: ¥20,000

Mogito: ¥30,000 and up

Activities and events

Grading, competitions, joint training sessions, Hono-enbu demonstrations, etc.

居合道指導者

Competitions

Iaido competitions are between two competitors who use either live blades (shinken) or dull practice blades (mogito) to perform kata as designated by the All Japan Kendo Federation for their style. In addition, they must perform four other kata from major schools within six minutes, during which time judges evaluate them on the depth of their training, etiquette, accuracy of technique, focus and energy, and so on.

Source: All Japan Kendo Federation: Kendo

All Japan Kendo Federation: Kendo

Note: Competitions may take various forms, including tournaments, group performances, group sparring matches, and so on.

Dojo training schedule, FAQ

Change in the dojo dressing rooms
20:00 Training begins
Bow in
Practice swinging
Technique training (participants watch the instructor and then do the techniques as a group)
Bow out
21:30 Training ends
Close up dojo
Return to dressing rooms to change

FAQ

Q1.Do you use live blades?

A1.Beginners use dull practice swords (mogito). Advanced students may use live blades (shinken). Even a practice sword has a sharp tip. Students will learn how to handle them properly and pay attention to their surroundings so that nobody gets hurt.

Q2.Can I try out a class?

A2.Prospective students can use a mogito to practice swings, drawing, and sheathing.

Contact information

Please contact us by phone, fax, or email if you have any questions about watching, trying out, or joining a training session.

Email

inquiry@syubukan.info

Fax

  • From overseas: +81-72-773-1431
  • From within Japan: 072-773-1431

Please send your name and contact information along with your inquiry.

If you would like to join the dojo or watch a class, please indicate the art (naginata, kendo, or iaido) that you are interested in.

Phone

  • From overseas: +81-72-773-1431
  • From within Japan: 072-773-1431

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday through Saturday from 9:00 AM–3:00 PM (until 1:00 PM on Saturdays). Closed on Sundays and public holidays.