Sword and Related Arts Taught by the Sei Do Kai

Current Practice Times

WHAT IS IAIDO?

Iaido is concerned with drawing the sword and cutting in the same motion. Most practice is solo, eventually with a real blade. The Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu also includes partner practice with wooden blades. Students must strive to achieve power, precision and perfection in their form. Along the way they learn balance, grace, and control of the body and the mind.

Iaido began in the mid-1500s. The MJER traces its history back to this time in an unbroken line of teachers. Along with MJER, students of the Sei Do Kai study the All Japan Kendo Federation (ZNKR) Iai, commonly known as the Sei Tei Gata Iai.

A typical form consists of the draw and cut, a finishing cut, cleaning the blade and returning it to the scabbard, all without looking away from the imaginary opponent. 

Iaido is taught by Kim Taylor, renshi 7dan iaido Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF) who is a member of the CKF national grading panel.

 

WHAT IS JODO?

Jodo, as seen by Lauren Taylor, 1999

Jodo is the art of using the short staff or Jo, a stick of about one inch in diameter and four feet in length. The International Kendo Federation has a set of 12 practice movements and 12 kata which expose its swordsmen to this closely associated weapon. The art is taken directly from the Shindo Muso Ryu school which is one of the classical arts practiced by the Samurai. Shindo Muso Ryu practice concentrates on the use of the Jo against the sword but several other weapons are studied at higher levels. These include the Tanjo or cane, the Jutte (a sort of police club), the Kusari-Gama (sickle and chain), and the sword against the sword.

We are also fortunate to have Mr. Shigeo Namitome hanshi hachidan in Jodo and kyoshi hachidan in Muso Shinden-ryu Iai, as well as Mr. Katsuhiko Ide kyoshi hachidan jodo, hanshi hachidan iaido, as our supervisors in Jo. The Sei Do Kai now practices under four Menkyo Kaiden sensei (all hachidan) from Tokyo who rotate to Canada to teach at least two seminars per year. Regular practices at the University of Guelph are taught by Kim Taylor 5dan jodo and head of the CKF jodo section.

The drawing above was done by my daughter during a practice one afternoon, it took a while for me to realize just how accurately she saw us, there's daddy on the right with his short haired, balding head, glasses and beard holding a sword and wearing hakama. On the left is Ward Jardine with a jo. 
 

WHAT IS KENJUTSU?

Kenjutsu, by western convention, is usually defined as the use of the sword once it has been drawn, and is practiced with a partner using wooden weapons. The Hyo Ho Niten Ichi-ryu (two heavens as one, school) was developed by Miyamoto Musashi, author of the "Book of Five Rings" and Japan's most famous swordsman. The school dates from the early 1600s and it's most distinctive feature is it's use of two swords at once.

Although a few students of the Sei Do Kai are teaching this art in various places, it remains almost unknown outside of Japan. We have been fortunate to have the instruction, over the last several years, of Matsuo Haruna of Okayama prefecture in Japan. Haruna sensei is the chief instructor at the Musashi dojo in Ohara village. The dojo is next door to the Musashi Museum.

Since the death of Haruna sensei, the Sei Do Kai has become aligned directly with the Hyo Ho Niten Ichiryu under the current headmaster Mr. Toshio Iwami soke. We provide seminars at least once per year with Iwami sensei.

WHAT IS KENDO?

Kendo is a competitive art that focuses on free-style practice with bamboo swords and protective armour. The art developed out of the classical kenjutsu schools about 200 years ago in Japan and still contains much of that teaching. It is now organized on a world-wide scale. Every three years a World Championships is held, and the Canadian team does very well, often placing third behind Japan and Korea. Canada has placed in the top three in six of the ten Championships held so far. 

Students will find Kendo training to be quite strenuous and exciting, with a nice mix of sport and tradition. 

Kendo instruction at the University of Guelph is now given under a separate CKF club.

Sei Do Kai Iaido Homepage Kim's Big Page of Stuff Canadian Kendo Federation Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences

Last updated July 5, 2006 by Kim Taylor