Video on Iaido

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by PhotonGuy, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    274
    Trophy Points:
    143
    I found this video on Iaido. Im looking for feedback, if its a good legitimate video. To me it does look legitimate and quite informative but as I've got no experience with Iaido Im looking for feedback from people that do.


     
  2. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,016
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Alex Bennett knows his stuff... this was a fairly basic overview, of course, for the NHK programme "Sports Japan"., rather than anything majorly in depth... so yeah, it's accurate, but not particularly informative for anyone already familiar with the basics. That said, Alex is someone always worth listening to.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    274
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Alright, if Alex Bennett is legit than he would be a good source to compare my current instructor with. So far the material being taught by my instructor is more or less identical to the stuff shown in the video. Right now I am learning the 1st Iai kata shown at 6:55 on the video and of course we do the standard procedure shown before the kata where you kneel, put out the sword, insert it at your hip, ect. The reason I want to do this comparison is because as its been mentioned in the other thread where I put the link to the website about katanas, its been mentioned that I should just listen to my instructor and let him do the thinking. That's all fine and good provided my instructor and the material he is teaching is legit. Im sure he is legit but I like to be extra certain and at least double check since there are lots of fakes and phonies out there.
     
  4. BrendanF

    BrendanF Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Easy solution - find out who your teacher learned from, and when. What rank does he hold? From where?

    Ask those who know whether the answers you get add up.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    274
    Trophy Points:
    143
    My current instructor is 6th dan and a direct student of Grand Master Mitsuzuka Takeshi. The style can be traced back to Nakayama Hakudo and before that Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu.
     
  6. BrendanF

    BrendanF Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Well, I must admit I don't know much about modern iai - ZNKR, ZNIR, MSR, MJER etc. But of course Nakayama Hakudo is considered one of the fathers of modern day iaido, and I have heard of M. Mitsuzuka.

    I'm sure others can answer any style specific questions you may have (broadly) - I know Hyoho is .. ahem.. somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. Hah. And of course there are others like Paul and Chris who post frequently, and knowledgeably.

    But as Chris said - you are such a new student, who is lucky to be training under a legitimate instructor. Empty the proverbial and just listen to your teacher.
     
  7. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    389
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Texas
    That means that you are studying Muso Shinden Ryu under Roger Wehrhahn. I have heard good things about him, but I have no idea who he has been training with since Mitsuzuka Takeshi passed away, I think it was in 2008. MSR iaido is one of the largest schools by number of practitioners. However, there are a number of different lines that all do things a little bit differently. In addition, MSR iaido is very similar to Muso Jikiden Eishin ryu iaido, and share many of the same kata so they are easy to mix up for someone that hasn't been practicing very long. You should take your own notes and practice what and how you are taught to practice, and leave the youtube videos for entertainment purposes only. They will teach you nothing about legitimacy, or the style that you are supposed to be learning.

    P.S. As Brendan pointed out, just about every modern school of iaido can trace itself back to Nakayama Hakudo. :)
     
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,016
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah, the others beat me to this, but it does appear that Roger Wehrhahn sensei is your instructor, yes? Which means you're part of the San Shin Kai... Wehrhahn sensei also teaches Goju Ryu, so I'm assuming that that is who you're studying under for that as well (which would explain the Kobudo/Buki syllabus you've recently started).

    Personally, I like him... a little stiffer than the way I was taught Muso Shinden Ryu, mainly as his real background is his karate, but very technical and clean, with a simple, clear teaching style. I have a number of his products that I've used as references for my own study, which have been very useful.

    To take this back to the original post, what Alex was showing was Seitei Iaido ("standard", or "formal" Iaido... the standardised forms taught as part of the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei (ZNKR), which itself was drawn from a number of classical systems such as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu/Muso Shinden Ryu (really two different branches of the same school, when all is said and done), Hoki Ryu, and a few others. Nakayama Hakudo was one of the people who was instrumental in putting the initial Seitei Gata together, of course (initially only 7 kata, three added in the 80's, and two more in about 2000 to bring it to the present number of 12). As a result, the techniques are ostensibly the same, but not entirely.

    The first kata (that you recognised) is, in MJER and Seitei, called "Mae", meaning "to the front". In Muso Shinden Ryu, it's called Shohatto, or "Beginning Sword/Initial Sword". In broad strokes, it's the same, but the exact timing, ri-ai, occasionally the targeting, and often the noto are different compared to the way it's taught in each area. Then you have the fact that Muso Shinden Ryu was left without a single successor following the passing of Nakayama sensei, so there are many different lines around the world... and each often teach things slightly or largely different to each other. As an example, the end of the noto (as part of the zanshin) can often involve putting your right hand around the kashira, covering it.... in other cases (such as the form I studied), this is not done, as it doesn't enable you to be able to draw if needed. There are other small differences sometimes seen, so the most important reference will be your instructor (Wehrhahn sensei, presumably).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,016
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just looking back over these posts, a few things stuck out to me...

    No.

    The way that Alex would be a good source to compare your instructor to is if Alex was teaching/presenting the same system, preferably from the same line. He's not. While what he's presenting here is related, Seitei Iaido is not Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido (Koryu - with an asterix...).

    As mentioned, Seitei Iaido is drawn from a range of classical arts, including Muso Shinden Ryu, so that's not unexpected... but if you were doing a different system of Iaido, it wouldn't necessarily be the case.

    For one thing, I know what was said, as it was me who said it. And no, that's not what I said.

    What was said was that you have a habit of taking a small piece of information, and latching onto it as the only truth... regardless of the source. You were advised to be guided by your instructor... not to let them do the thinking for you.

    Which is fair enough. I hope we've been able to alleviate any fears there.

    Cool. Just a few pointers...

    It's not common in Japanese arts to use the term "Grand Master"... that's more of a Korean art (and, really, a US) thing.

    Mitsuzuka sensei was highly regarded, and was one of Nakayama sensei's personal students, so that is a great pedigree to be a part of. Of course, Mitsuzuka sensei passed on nearly a decade ago, so I would probably mention that Wehrhahn sensei WAS a direct student of Mitsuzuka sensei. From what I understand, Wehrhahn sensei is simply continuing with teaching and training the way he was taught, and is not under a teacher himself presently (which could be incorrect... I haven't heard of any... and the San Shin Kai is listed as only being under the direction of Wehrhahn sensei himself).

    Finally, there are some nearly 400 years between the birth of Hayashizaki Jinsuke (mid-1540's) and the official founding of Muso Shinden Ryu (1932)... and both Muso Shinden Ryu and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu tend to think of Hasegawa Eishin (the 7th successor to Hayashizaki) as the founder of their lines (the Chuden section is sometimes referred to as Eishin Ryu)... so to make it sound like Nakayama was a direct student of Hayashizaki is a bit off base. I understand you may not have meant that, and it could just be in the phrasing, but it's important to understand how your words are seen.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  10. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    274
    Trophy Points:
    143
    As its been mentioned in previous posts, yes, it is Shihan Roger Wehrhahn's system that Im studying under although he does not do most of the teaching where Im learning Iaido. From time to time he will come by as a guest instructor but it is one of his students who does most of the regular teaching. At this point I think I should post the link to the place where I train in Iaido. Its mostly an Aikido school but they do teach Iaido as well.

    Aikido Schools of New Jersey
     
  11. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    According to Iwata Norikazu. Holder of two Kongen no maki MJER: Eishin Ryu Shimomura Ha (Known as Muso Shinden Ryu) was created by Shimomura Moichi. Oh-e Masamichi Shikei was the original 15th Master of Shimomura ha. He renounced the ryu to leave it leaderless and to take over as 17th headmaster of Tanimura ha (MJER) Shimomura Ha, having no one else to turn to then passed on to the 15th Sub-Master Yukimune Sadayoshi. Then next onto the 16th Master Soda Torahiko., Then Kususe Yoh-ho living in Kochi Ken (Prefecture) on Shikoku Island.
     

Share This Page