Iaido is the Japanese martial art of drawing and cutting with the katana (Japanese long sword) for self-defence. It is based around a series of practiced movements (kata) and requires and cultivates elements of calm, focus, concentration and self-control.
Tensho Dojo trains in the Arakimuninsai style of iaido – a traditional sword form originating in the Kyoto area of Japan. The current Arakimuninsai world headquarters is the Keitensha Hombu in Kobe, Japan, and Tensho Dojo receives an annual visit from the Japanese Headmaster once a year for intensive practice and review prior to examination. (See Contacts for world-wide dojo links and further information).
Examinations follow the Japanese model where students may present themselves for examination once a year for all grades up to 3rd Dan. Students must wait at least three years before attempting the next grade. After 4th Dan students require permission from the Headmaster before attempting further Dan grades. All examinations are conducted under the scrutiny and guidance of the Arakimuninsai Ryu Iaido headmaster.
Anyone interested in joining is initially invited to train for free for the first couple of sessions. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact any senior dojo member. However, anyone interested in joining is free to drop by any of the scheduled training sessions (see Training for further information).
The Iaido syllabus is set out by the Headmaster (Soke). These groups of techniques are learnt within a timeframe, gradings are held once a year and if successful the student will be introduced to the next set of kata. Although the techniques become progressively more demanding, but the student is still required to improve the techniques they have already learnt.
Along with the set syllabus for Iaido, Students also receive instruction in Bokken this is called ArakimuninsaI Ryu Iai Heiho Bokuto No Kata. We have 16 techniques which are taught under the supervision of a senior Dan grade.
Further training: the rank of Sensei is awarded at 4th Dan, but the students training does not stop – along with continual refinement and improvement of their technique, after 5th Dan is attained, the instruction in KumiTachi, or partner practice with swords, commences. This is called Arakimuninsai Ryu Iai Heiho No Kata. There are 9 techniques in this syllabus.