Iaido: Cutting to the quick
Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, December 18, 2007
MANY PEOPLE OUTSIDE JAPAN have become aware of the martial art of kendo, in which the participants use bamboo sticks as sword substitutes in a competition that resembles a fencing match.
Yet few people even in Japan know of the martial art of iaido, which uses real swords. Even the most basic acts can be dangerous:
Intense scrutiny is also paid to the drawing and sheathing of the swords — “it’s easy to lose a thumb if you do that wrong” — and to the spiritual aspects of the samurai code.
UPDATE: Reader Tomojiro passed along a link in English for koryu, or the older martial arts. Read more about them here; I recommend the Ryu Guide page. I’ve also added this link to the right sidebar.