"Walk in Gentle Strength"
Locations & Schedules
Our Iaido Style:
The focus of every Iaido student at Doshikai is on correct form of basic movements. This foundation is practiced in the All Japan Kendo Iaido forms formally called the Seitei Gata. There are twelve kata in all. After each student becomes proficient in these kata, they then begin the study of the koryu style (Classical Style). At Doshikai we study the Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu style.
All Japan Kendo Iaido (ZNKR):
In the 20th century the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei created a set of Iaido katas, known as the seitei gata (standard forms). There are currently twelve in the curriculum. They are used as an introduction and foundation to Iaido basics. The ZNKR seitei gata are practiced so Iaidoka can obtain ZNKR-recognized grades. They also make competition possible. The creation of the ZNKR set of forms ensures that these basic foundation building forms can be learned from any Iaido teacher, almost anywhere, with little variation. This provides the ability to compare quality between Iaido practitioners from various koryu evenly.
Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu: In the early medieval era of Japan, war was commonplace. Unfortunately for warriors at the time, there were no set systems of study. Warriors would fight in battle and a form of natural selection would take place. Those who were not skilled in the way of the warrior lost their lives on the battlefield; whereas, those who lived to fight another day would learn from their experiences and from the techniques that were effective with specific weaponry during conflict. Over time these warriors developed these skills into systems of techniques that could be shared with other warriors within their clan to ensure their future victory in battle. In the case of many ryu the founder would be undergoing shugyo, or rigorous training during which time they would receive divine inspiration which resulted in creation of the techniques transmitted through the ryu. In the case of the ryu, there is a flowing of knowledge from the source, the school’s first headmaster, to each successive generation. The ryu is a school whose hierarchy is based on that of a corporate body which is perpetuated by a line of headmasters who act as the CEO of the school. At Doshikai, we follow the teachings of the Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu.
Kendo: The focus of Kendo is fencing with a two handed sword made of bamboo called a shinai. Kendo is more than just sport or tag; it is swordsmanship with protective amour. The goal is to use the same spirit and mentality that one would use in Iaido with a real opponent. Kendo is a very rigorous budo with a lot cardiovascular exercise. Kendo also has kata which is practiced between two students using a wooden sword called a bokken. Contact is not made, but strikes are controlled within inches of the opponent’s limbs. There are ten kata in the kendo-no-kata series and when performed properly, the two opponents face each other in a very intense duel of swordsmanship.