Iaido Journal Apr 2010
Why I Do Iaido
2010 Jason Wong, all
began iaido as a substitute for kendo. The activity was, primarily, to get me
out of the dorm room and into something active. Doing Iaido merely as a
physical activity, however, became an exercise in futility, as running after
the bus was more physically demanding than precisely swinging an iaito.
Clearly, this new art also demanded a new way of thinking about the Japanese
I do iaido as a way to keep a venerable Japanese tradition alive. As a student
of history, it is in my prerogative to learn about the past. I believe,
however, that we must not simply read and memorize facts from dusty old books.
It is important to experience and study history in its entirety. Iaido helps me
understand the culture and the mentality that caused some of the most important
events that shaped South East Asian history. Through training, we see the kind
of working relationship people had with one another, and how it affected their
is meditation in motion. Instead of the fear, chaos, and ferocity of a kendo
match, iaido provides a measure of peace. It allows me to concentrate on
performing one action after another, and trains me to shut out distractions.
Understanding this skill is key to block out distractions when studying or
working. Focusing on technique and repeating proper form in iaido will improve
my kendo, because good form and posture will become automatic, allowing me to
concentrate harder on timing and anticipating an opponent in a match.
Therefore, iaido is good mental preparation for many aspects of life.
My reasons for studying Iaido have changed rapidly in
the short time I have been practicing. In the future, I foresee that these
reasons will continue to change as the art changes me. As a person ages, it is
important to keep moving. The techniques in iaido could become important in
improving joint and bone health, along with muscle strength.
is currently a student at the Rai Un Kai in Thunder Bay and is a 2010
recipient of the Haruna Scholarship to the Guelph Iaido and Jodo