what is the difference between Aikido and Iaido?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Mr.NayNay, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    There's a difference between following the rules in the ring, and applying that philosophy outside of the ring.
     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    What do you consider a 'martial philosophy'? I think that might be causing miscommunication..to me continuing to put in effort to improve yourself is it's own philosophy, but I'm guessing you have a different definition.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    It's its own philosophy yes, but unless it's applied outside of the gym I don't think the art is teaching you philosophy.

    If you learn to improve your boxing, that's just part of learning boxing.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Is there? I don't think so. I think learning to play by the rules is a basically sound life lesson that more people could stand to learn. It's one of the things sports, in general, has always put forth as a reason for participating.
     
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  5. Rat

    Rat Black Belt

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    Just for notation, i belive its suggested to do kendo and iado together. (given they are kind of intertwined) Or their Jitsu offshoots. (at least if you want a "complete" experience for Katana arts)

    Also, there are no rules in this dojo!
     
  6. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    That all depends upon the art. It is definitely suggested that you do kendo and seitei iaido together, since that's what seitei iaido was developed for. However, many of the older schools have a full curriculum for which kendo is not necessary.

    It is necessary to consider what the actual physical goals of kendo and iaido are. The physical goal of kendo is to teach a proponent how to create, recognize, and exploit your opponent's openings in real time. This can be achieved through other methods, and other methods are used in many koryu arts. The physical goal of iaido is to be able to respond instantly to an attack without thinking, and without lopping off bits of yourself in the process.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    While true, I think a lot of wrestling coaches - since they are teaching youth - also hope they are teaching them to benefit by working within the rules of life. And most sports (I assume wrestling is no different) normally teach to prize your teammates and respect your opponents. These are all elements of martial philosophy, as I see it, though rarely expressed the same way you'd see in many MA schools.
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I see what you're getting at - let me give a thought that might clarify.

    Whether it's applied outside the gym/dojo/etc. is entirely on the student. That doesn't, in my mind, change whether it's a philosophy or not. I think what you're referring to is whether it's expressed overtly as something that should be applied outside the gym. While I agree that makes it more clearly a philosophy, that's not a requirement for me. Implicit philosophy is harder to nail down, but I think it does exist.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Not lopping one's bits off is a laudable goal.
     
  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't disagree, but I'm going to point out that while this is true for the majority, there are certainly some people who could stand to have a few bits lopped off.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    So iaido sufferes from the same maladies as every other art out there YouTube-Ryu (great name, I’ll have to borrow it), and people who want to be able to do it without actually expending the time and physical effort in learning how to do it?

    The more I think about it, this isn’t even restricted to MA as a whole. Take any physical activity, and you’ll find plenty of examples.
     
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  12. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    There's no need to limit it to physical activities. YouBoob is rampant with people spewing nonsense on pretty much any subject you care to name. It also has some very good stuff. The problem is that without some basic knowledge, it's pretty difficult to separate the nonsense.
     
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  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    In some cases, it would benefit the species.
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Lorena Bobbitt wholeheartedly agrees.
     
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  15. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Orange Belt

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    Iaido is indeed the art of drawing the sword, katana, or shinken more specifically referring to the "Samurai" sword and performing cuts as well as defensive moves as in kata. There are various styles with their own kata as in karate, as well as a series of standard kata agreed upon by most of the styles. The style-specific katas differ based on the style's lineage. There is also tameshi-giri involving cutting soaked rolls of bamboo matting to simulate the resistance of a human limb.

    Aikido is said to have been inspired by the cutting strokes of iaido; sweeping movements often returning upon the same line. This has the effect of capturing the attacker's movement and redirecting it back at him. As previously mentioned, if an Aikido dojo uses a "sword", most likely it's just to help visualize their empty handed techniques, although there may be an exception or two. Aikido dojos may teach empty hand defense against a sword attack.
     
  16. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Orange Belt

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  17. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Orange Belt

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    Having spent just 2 years in Iaido, I'm not an expert, but from my knowledge and outside study, Iaido anid kendo are much different. Kendo is a competitive sport off-shoot, involving hits (touches in fencing) with a bamboo replica. Moves are short and quick for the point score. Iaido involves cutting which involves broad, sweeping moves for the most part and a different mindset. Musashi Miyamoto in his Book of Five Rings goes into this concept. It also involves a steel blade (sharpened in my dojo, other schools may use a blunted blade). Kendo has no saya (scabbard) so there is not a true draw or resheathing of the sword.

    Both arts involve discipline and mental clarity and may share a few other things, but in performance look nothing alike. I feel like they should be considered as two completely different things - maybe similar to Judo vs Aki-Ju-Jitsu.
     
  18. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I appreciate the effort, Ronin, but most of what you've said is incorrect in large or small ways. To go through it:

    Well, "katana" (刀) really just means "sword" (although an argument can be made to a specific style, being a curved, single edged weapon), and "shinken" (真剣) means "real sword"... while both terms are used to describe Japanese style swords, neither really mean "samurai sword", and such terminology isn't common to hear aside from people completely removed from the topic. But I get what you're saying, and yes, Iaido is, ostensibly, the art of drawing a Japanese sword.

    "As in kata"? If you mean that the teaching and training vehicle is kata, then yes.... the phrasing throws me off a bit, though, as it's done as kata, not as in (as if it was) kata... of course, what we're talking about here is Japanese kata... not karate (Okinawan-based) kata... which might be where some of the confusion comes from.

    Hmm.... not really. Each separate art will have their own syllabus (the waza of Tamiya Ryu Iaido is different to that of Mugai Ryu, which is different to that of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, which is different to the Iai syllabus fo Katori Shinto Ryu, which is different to the Iai/Batto syllabus of Kashima Shinryu, which is different to the Iai syllabus of Takenouchi Ryu, and so on...). There are a couple of more "universal" sets taught within their umbrella organisations, the most common and popular of which is the Seitei Gata of the ZNKR (we'll come back to that), but there are others, such as the Toho Gata, and, one might suggest, the Toyama Ryu Battodo schools.

    Sticking with the Seitei Gata, it was indeed developed by bringing together teachers of various schools to try to come up with a "general" Iaido syllabus (we'll look at why later), such as Hoki Ryu, Mugai Ryu, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, and Muso Shinden Ryu, but that is not saying that it is a truly "standardised" syllabus aired upon by anyone other than the members and leadership of the ZNKR.

    They differ based on the art... the lineage is obviously a part of that, but there's a lot more involved as well... such as context, how it fits into the larger syllabus (if not a stand-alone Iai system), and so on. In other words, Shojitsu Kenji Kataichi Ryu's methods of performing Iai in armour isn't so much a matter of their lineage, anymore than Katori Shinto Ryu's use of Tatehiza rather than Seiza is a part of theirs.

    The tatami-omote most often used is rice straw, not bamboo. In addition, not all schools do tameshigiri... those that do use it simply as a training tool itself, rather than it's own aim (the Toyama Ryu and Shinkendo are two of the few that treat it as a skill in and of itself).

    No, not really. It's often suggested that kenjutsu played a part in the formulation of Ueshiba's Aikido, with the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu most often cited, although the connection to that school happened much later in Aikido's development, and had more influence on the Aiki-ken methods that Saito-Sensei taught. The biggest influence on the movements of Aikido taken from sword are more reflected in the footwork than the handwork as well, and is more likely a reflection of the sword taught alongside Daito Ryu that Ueshiba learnt from Takeda Sokaku (it was associated most strongly with Ono-ha Itto Ryu, being the official sword school taught alongside).

    The idea of controlling the centre is common throughout many Japanese martial arts, so I don't really attribute that to any other factor other than "it works", and would have been encountered in each school Ueshiba studied. As far as "redirecting the movement back at the attacker", again, that's pretty much Daito Ryu 101, and nothing to do with sword in this sense.

    Most Aikidojo will teach tachi-dori (sword capturing, literally... defences against a sword), whereas the actual use of sword will vary to a much greater degree. Most groups that have a larger focus on weaponry are the Iwama Ryu groups, stemming from Saito as mentioned above. Others use the sword, as you mentioned, to extend the lines and work on aspects of the unarmed work. Then again, there are a relatively large number of dojo that have separate sword approaches, typically brought in from outside, to work on those aspects, such as Inaba's version of Kashima sword work, the French Aikibudo group and their use of Katori Shinto Ryu methodologies, similar with the Yoseikan groups, others who incorporate a line of Iai or another.

    Well, yes... but that's not what Paul was talking about.

    Paul was addressing the idea of training in both Kendo and Iaido simultaneously, as well as the idea of training in Kenjutsu and Iaijutsu simultaneously, and was quite correctly pointing out that Kendo and Seitei Iaido are designed specifically and purposefully to be trained together. In fact, Seitei Iaido was created, in large part, specifically to give modern Kendoka the experience and understanding of using an actual sword, as opposed to a shinai, which gives a very different physical response.

    In other words, (modern) Kendo and (Seitei ZNKR) Iaido are complementary arts that are designed to be trained together. After all, the ZNKR is the All Japan Kendo Federation (Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei)....

    That's one way of looking at Kendo.... I'd argue it's a lot more than that, but okay.

    That can depend greatly on the school... and doubly so for the mindset.

    Considering modern Kendo and Iaido were developed some nearly 300 years after Musashi-sensei died, no, it doesn't.

    The use of a shinken is not so common for beginners.... in most dojo, you'd start with a bokuto (more for financial reasons as anything else), then move onto an iaito (typically made of a zinc/aluminium alloy that allows for the weight and balance approximating a real sword, but unable to take an edge), before much later (usually after 3rd Dan in Seitei groups) moving onto a shinken (live blade).

    Kendo is about the engagement with swords already drawn... same with kenjutsu... so no, drawing the sword (other than symbolically) is not part of the art... mind you, that's like saying that learning to be a pastry chef doesn't involve cooking a casserole, so it's lacking in cooking skills.... no, it's just not part of it's scope.

    Leaving off the idea of Judo and Aikijujutsu there, the relationship between (modern) Kendo and (Seitei) Iaido is not anywhere near as separate... again, they are complementary... two aspects of the full study.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a bit OT, Chris, but I'd be interested in you expanding a bit on this statement. I think I know what you mean, but much of what I think I know about the original Japanese and Okinawan approaches is 3rd-hand knowledge.
     
  20. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Orange Belt

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