Iaido Journal Apr 2011
Haru Geiko Gasshuku, Peterborough
April 2, 2011
IAIDO SESSION REPORT
A big thank you to Mike Chinadi Sensei for arranging this special day.
Having Kim Taylor Sensei available to train with was a real privilege.
Location: Gymnasium at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Water Street. Good
facility with plenty of space for the participants. Acoustics were
good, and it was never difficult to hear Taylor Sensei. Some of the
credit needs to go to the participants – everyone was so attentive, you
could have heard a pin drop.
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Participants: Two students, Tom Briones and myself (Doug Lytle), and
Chinadi Sensei from our dojo were represented at the session along with
several from Jim Wilson Sensei’s dojo and a few others from out of town.
Taylor Sensei reviewed the opening and closing of a typical class;
proper bowing ceremony. He talked about the proper form for the
placement of the sword, the arms and hands as well as body posture. He
emphasized not creating openings during the ceremony – bowing the head
too far and showing the neck (both an opening and a show of disrespect
for your ‘opponent’) was a good example of this.
Care of equipment:
He gave some good tips on care and maintenance of the sageo. Frayed
sageo can be trimmed and retied to hide wear and tear without appearing
Taylor Sensei’s opening of the training session was memorable to say
the least. He opened with the question, “Who wants to have their
technique ripped to shreds?” One brave soul raised his hand and
proceeded to perform Ipponme Mae for the class. Sensei helped the
student with his technique and on his second performance marked
improvement was seen.
Taylor Sensei then asked, “Who would like to improve their technique?”
Not surprisingly, most people raised their hand. His response was,
“They were the same question!” This lightened the mood immediately, and
got everyone thinking about the real reason for being there.
The session proceeded with several extra personal ‘technique rippings’,
including yours truly for Nihonme Ushiro. I found his insight extremely
valuable, though I know I still need help with this one!
The session then moved on to an in-depth analysis and practice of
Sanbonme – Ukenagashi. Emphasis was put on the nature of the timing of
the kata as well as positioning and the nature of the kata.
Demonstration of parts of the kata using boken and rapid real-world
style movements were very useful and gave us a much better
understanding of the kata. In particular, the blocking motion and
timing of the block were examined in detail. He described the kata as a
bit of a waiting game – waiting to see if the opponent is actually
going to attack, waiting for the right time to block, and quickly
striking once committed. I found this to be a very useful segment of
The session moved on to an open question, answer, demonstration and
practice session. Questions were asked about Jupponme – Shihogiri, Ju
Ipponme – Sougiri, Ju Nihonme – Nukiuchi and the tatehiza position.
Examples and practice for each followed. Especially useful were
practices involving the students lining up in two opposing lines and
performing Ju Ipponme – Sougiri and Ju Nihonme – Nukiuchi.
This was a fun and informative session and one that I would recommend
anyone taking advantage of in the future. I understand that Chinadi
Sensei is working hard to get Taylor Sensei back again next year for a
similar program and possibly a two day session which would be a
fantastic opportunity for all of the students in our dojo.