The art of Iaido (ee-eye-doh) appears elegant and simple. The student sits or stands quietly, draws out a blade and cuts through the air all in one motion, then calmly returns the blade to the scabbard. To the casual observer there is not a lot to see, however iaido is an exacting art that demands a high level of focus and mental concentration. It is an art of precise motions with only centimetres of tolerance and split second timing. It is also an individual art that involves the student and the sword struggling to achieve perfection of form.
The name “Iaido” itself is composed of three ideograms “I”, “AI” and “DO”. “I” means to “reside” or “be” in a certain place; “AI” means “harmony”; and “DO” means “road” or “path”. Hence “Iaido” means the path to finding harmony in any situation in which one finds oneself – to be prepared for any eventuality.
Iaido is a very traditional martial art. Japanese culture, etiquette and history are all important aspects of Iaido taught at the JCCC. Both the traditional forms of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, which originated in the late 16th century, and the modern forms developed by the All Japan Kendo Federation are taught.
Classes at the JCCC are taught by Goyo Ohmi, Kyoshi 7th Dan; Carole Galligan, Renshi 6th Dan; Tracy Sheppard, 6th Dan; Enore Gardonio, 5th Dan; Michael Hodge, 5th Dan; Bruce Meecham, 5th Dan; Nancy Chau, 5th Dan; and Alan Szeto, 5th Dan.
JCCC Iaido club: Mu Mon Kai is a member of the Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF) which is a member organization of the International Kendo Federation (FIK). Any grade achieved will be recognized internationally by any Kendo Federation member clubs. Membership in the CKF has the added benefit of access to some of the top instructors from Japan who make yearly visits to Canada to run instructional seminars to upgrade students’ knowledge and expertise.
Beginners need only wear loose clothing while knee-pads are highly recommended. A limited supply of wooden training swords is available to borrow while practicing onsite. All levels are welcome.