Questions about Training

Pio

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Hello, everyone.
Just a warning, I have no experience with Japanese martial arts, so please bear with me.

I am a student of Taekwondo and have been for a number of years. After taking a semester of kendo at my university, I’ve developed an interest in Japanese sword martial arts. While researching this, I found out about Iaido and was fascinated with the focus and prescision that is needed for this art and was amazed by the beauty of this discipline. Normally, I’d think about jumping into it but I know that won’t work out. Thing is, I’m in formation to be a Catholic friar. So if I want do this, I’ll need to have my provincial superior’s permission, and there’s a whole process that would go with asking about something like this. He knows that I am very involved with Taekwondo and I plan to continue with that somehow (if it’s the will of God). I’m still trying to work out the details. Right now, this whole thing is just a thought in my head that’s been there for almost a month. I would love to continue studying Taekwondo, but I’m concerned that I may not have the option to do so in a formal setting.

My main questions are (1) How much does Iaido cost based on your experience? (2) I will not start for a few years, I’m just wondering if this is even a possibility at this point. But I will be in one place for four years as I finish up studies. I was wondering if it would be a problem to study this for four years then leave and maybe start somewhere else. Would this pose any problems?

Is there anything else you think I should know before I think about going any further with this? I’m simply trying to be as informed as possible before I go forward with this. Thank you all for your time.

Pace e bene!
Pio
 

Bill Mattocks

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I don't have any answers for you, but welcome to MT. Vivat Jesus.
 
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pgsmith

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Seitei Iaido (the iaido usually connected with kendo) would be much easier for you to do than taekwondo, as it involves a limited number of forms that are all done solo. MJER iaido or MSR iaido (the two largest iaido schools, also often associated with kendo dojo) have a great many solo forms, and only a limited number of two person forms. Taekwando requires two people and a dojang to be done properly. This means that after learning the forms, you can practice iaido on your own and take regular trips to a dojo to practice with an instructor to insure you are still practicing correctly. That makes it more portable, whereas Taekwondo requires a local dojang.

As for costs, it can be a bit expensive to get your whole kit. Most iaido schools require a dogi (top), iaido obi (sword belt), hakama (traditional Japanese long bloomer type garment), a bokken (wooden practice sword, and an iaito (aluminum blade practice sword).In our school, I don't require people to get their entire kit at once. Usually it is just obi and bokken to start, then the uniform, and lastly the iaito as I have a couple of old ones that I lend out. Cost of purchasing them new would be about $300 for the iaito, and about $100 for everything else (depending upon where you live).

Hope that helps.
 
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Pio

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I don't have any answers for you, but welcome to MT. Vivat Jesus.
Thank you! Vivat Jesus.

Seitei Iaido (the iaido usually connected with kendo) would be much easier for you to do than taekwondo, as it involves a limited number of forms that are all done solo. MJER iaido or MSR iaido (the two largest iaido schools, also often associated with kendo dojo) have a great many solo forms, and only a limited number of two person forms. Taekwando requires two people and a dojang to be done properly. This means that after learning the forms, you can practice iaido on your own and take regular trips to a dojo to practice with an instructor to insure you are still practicing correctly. That makes it more portable, whereas Taekwondo requires a local dojang.

As for costs, it can be a bit expensive to get your whole kit. Most iaido schools require a dogi (top), iaido obi (sword belt), hakama (traditional Japanese long bloomer type garment), a bokken (wooden practice sword, and an iaito (aluminum blade practice sword).In our school, I don't require people to get their entire kit at once. Usually it is just obi and bokken to start, then the uniform, and lastly the iaito as I have a couple of old ones that I lend out. Cost of purchasing them new would be about $300 for the iaito, and about $100 for everything else (depending upon where you live).

Hope that helps.

Thank you for the advise. I’d like to avoid giving up Taekwondo if I can as I put almost my whole life into it and I feel it would be a real waste if I didn’t at least try to keep going. But, I might have to consider it if I want to take up another discipline.
 

MI_martialist

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Why do you need permission? It is important to understand that kendo has little to do with actual Iaido...

Let the stream of hate begin...
 

BrendanF

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Who do you think has confused the two? The seitei iaido that Paul noted is "usually connected to kendo" was in fact created by the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei...
 
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Pio

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Why do you need permission? It is important to understand that kendo has little to do with actual Iaido...

Let the stream of hate begin...
Friars take a vow of poverty, so I won’t own anything or have money to pay for classes and equipment. The order has that money, so I would have to ask them for the money. That, and whether or not they think it can help me in my future ministry. That’s why the permission. I know that iaido and kendo are very different, but I found out about iaido while looking for places to learn kendo.
 

pgsmith

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Thank you for the advise. I’d like to avoid giving up Taekwondo if I can as I put almost my whole life into it and I feel it would be a real waste if I didn’t at least try to keep going. But, I might have to consider it if I want to take up another discipline.
You would not have to give up taekwondo in order to do iaido. You can pursue both, as long as you remember to keep them separated as some of the required movements and responses are quite different, so you can't let them bleed over into each other.

Friars take a vow of poverty, so I won’t own anything or have money to pay for classes and equipment. The order has that money, so I would have to ask them for the money. That, and whether or not they think it can help me in my future ministry. That’s why the permission.
I did not think about that. In thinking about it though, would they not look without favor on a friar pursuing other hobbies (such as martial arts)? Taekwondo you could possibly make a case that it would be useful if your ministry ends up in a high crime area. However, you would have a difficult time making a case for iaido as it would be simply a cultural pursuit. I believe it is worth pursuing and has many side benefits, but I don't know if I could convince someone else it is worth enough for them to pay for it.

Let the stream of hate begin...
That's silly, why would there be a stream of hate? Everyone connected with either kendo or iaido knows that they are very separate arts. In fact, seitei iaido was originally created specifically so kendo practitioners could become more familiar with the use of an actual sword.
 
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Pio

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Hi everyone.
I just had a talk with my spiritual director (the friar in charge of my spiritual growth and formation) about the possibility of pursuing another martial art such as iaido or maybe aikido. He said that there’s a really good chance the order will be happy to support me in this. As a side note, he also told me about a young Benedictine monk he heard was sometimes seen training in the monastery with a sword. Thank you again for the advise.
 

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