Cost of Iaido

bignick

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So I think I'm going to start Iaido. In there little summary packet it said that once I feel like committing and getting some equipment, it would cost $400-$500 including gi, hakama, iaito and etc. How does this sound to some of you? How much do you normally see for a good hakama and iaito for entry level practice.

Also how easy is it to find hakama for someone around 6'5'' and 340 lbs?
 

Ninjamom

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It sounds fairly reasonable - you can find good equipment for less if you know exactly what you're looking for and you really shop around. I've seen people pay a lot more.

Your Instructor probably sells hakama in the style and sizes needed. As far as iaito, your instructor will probably sell those, too. Most MA schools sell the equipment you need, as a second source of income to the school, as a convenience to the students, and to make sure of the quality of any equipment purchased. In fact, I would HIGLY (highly!) recommend that you speak with your instructor before purchasing any iaito, to make sure that the equipment you select will be accepted for use in his class. Nothing worse than shelling out $500 for a top-of-the-line iaito, only to be told it is too long/short/thick/heavy/light for this style, and you can't use it in this class!
 

Brian R. VanCise

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That sounds about right to begin with. However iaito can very drastically in price. Definately follow the advice of your instructor and he/she will probably have a good idea of what equipment/iaito they want you to initially purchase. It is an expensive art to train in but a very rewarding one.
 
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bignick

bignick

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Yeah, I will purchase any iaito and such from the instructor. The problem is that unique clothing, like keikogi's and hakama could be hard to find in my size.
 

Grenadier

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So I think I'm going to start Iaido. In there little summary packet it said that once I feel like committing and getting some equipment, it would cost $400-$500 including gi, hakama, iaito and etc. How does this sound to some of you? How much do you normally see for a good hakama and iaito for entry level practice.

Iaito price will vary, depending on what you're willing to pay.

Higher end Iaito can be found here:

http://www.swordstore.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/02238.1.5358235866510403982/02nav/001A-main.html


Also how easy is it to find hakama for someone around 6'5'' and 340 lbs?

Not that difficult:

http://www.bujindesign.net/product_...d=188&osCsid=6993ba6b6c1e0f5bf360ed1e2caf746c

They do come in your size, and for a fairly reasonable price, too.


All in all, 500 bucks is in the ballpark, for higher quality stuff.
 

Sukerkin

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Whilst looking for an iaito, if you're sure that you're going to be sticking with the art, then I would heartily recommend going for the best quality you can afford (in keeping with the requirements of your sensei and the style).

For myself, I have not found anyone to be better than:

http://www.jidai.jp/index.asp

They've reduced their range somewhat since I (and some of my fellow dojo members) bought from them but I purchased a Hon Jidai Koshirae from them a while ago and I can't speak too highly of it.

As to iaigi, hakama, shitogi and obi, unless you're on a very tight budget, then I'd say that before long you'll find that only having one of each is too restrictive. For example, I use three hakama. One for general practice, one for use at other dojo's and a pristine one for seminars and gradings :D. My point being that hakama in particular take quite some maintenance and it's just easier to have "one in the wash and one to wear" so to speak.
 

socho

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Yeah, I will purchase any iaito and such from the instructor. The problem is that unique clothing, like keikogi's and hakama could be hard to find in my size.
Bujin is an excellent choice for custom hakama. Another you might consider, much less expensive and still fully custom, is Stephen Reber at daimyooutfitters . And yes, overall price estimate is about right. A decent iaito runs $250-$450, a really nice one can be much more.

Dave
 

King

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Hey bignick, just wanted to drop a bit of advice. Before you commit lots of monies to the art start taking the lessons first to see how it is. I notice it's very very common for people to spend hundreds on equipment and then they stop coming after a month from injuries. The fact is Iaido is not very friendly to knees, ankles and elbows. My instructor and most of our senior students look like cyborgs from all the brace and support they wear during practice.

Well good luck with your training and I hope it all works out. :)
 

Sukerkin

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Good bit of general advice there for anyone staring out in any MA, King.

I note that Nick has a couple of dan grades to his name tho', so I'm assuming that he knows to 'try before you buy' :D.

From my experience, I cannot say that, compared to some of the more 'vigorous' arts, iaido is particularly destructive to the body. It is true that at first seiza or tate hiza are painful stances for lanky Westerners to assume but, in time, you adapt (to the pain if nothing else :)).

I'd certainly recommend knee pads tho' as bone and wooden floors are not a comfortable marriage :lol:.
 

pgsmith

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A few thoughts ....
Ninjamom,
Actually, very few schools of Japanese sword arts sell equipment. It happens on accassion, but not very often. I highly agree with your advice about discussing what you buy with your sensei first. I've seen numerous people show up with poor quality iaito or ill fitting uniforms because they didn't discuss their purchases with their sensei first.

Sukerkin,
There are actually two distinct schools of thought on purchasing a first iaito. One agrees with you in that you should go for the best quality you can afford. This ensures that your iaito will give many years of good, worry-free service. The other school of thought says that you should go for an inexpensive beginner iaito of decent quality. This ensures that you have an iaito of sufficient quality to practice with regularly. However, you can save up money and, after having practiced a few years with the beginner iaito, you will have a better idea of what exactly you want out of an iaito and can purchase exactly that. I've known those that have gone in either direction, and it has worked out well.

BigNick,
I agree with your instructor's assessment. $500 is a fairly accurate round figure for beginner equipment in iaido. I want to second Socho's recommendation of Daimyo Outfitters. Good quality at decent prices. The fellow that makes them got into the business originally because he is a big guy and had a lot of trouble finding uniforms in his size. Take King's advice and don't be in a hurry to buy stuff though. Just practice with bokken for a while until you decide that you do want to do this long term. I have seen a number of people lay out a bunch of money and then decide they don't want to continue the struggle.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
 
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bignick

bignick

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I don't have the money to lay out right now, so that's not a problem. As far as where to get equipment, I don't believe the club sells, but they do require inspection of any iaito that they did not recommend, obviously for safety. I'm sure a trusty bokken will serve me well for a while. At that point I'd take the instructors recommendation on what to buy...just wanting to make sure that the prices they were reasonable.

Thanks all, especially for the links to the martial arts "Big and Tall" stores. Anybody with a slightly irregular body shape can tell you, getting a good gi can be a pain in the ***.
 
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