What is Iaido?
The most common explanation is "it is the art of drawing the sword".
The concept is to practice being mentally aware and ready for an attack, and react accordingly by cutting your opponent, known as Teki, while drawing the sword from its sheath or saya, then verifying the threat has been dealt with, removing Teki's blood from the blade, and returning to a calm, ready state.
To achieve this, we practice using a standardized set of response-and-counterattack drills called Kata in an individual practice. Iaido is practised without a direct partner or opponent, with the target being an invisible adversary, provided by the imagination of the Iaidoka.
Who is The Edmonton Iaido Club?
We formed in September 2012 when our club's founder, John Buryk introduced Iaido to the Edmonton Kendo and Naginata club. From there, we reached out to Ka Muso Kai in Calgary, for guidance from Calgary's Iaido club. With the support and oversight of Sensei Alex Cook with Ka Muso Kai, we have grown into our place with the Kita Kaze Budo Association, and continue to practice and promote Iaido in Edmonton.
As we are a student-lead dojo without a local Iaido sensei, our practices are run by Steve Munro, with help from Stephanie Bozzer, the Kita Kaze Budo Association's Kendo sensei. At this time, Steve holds the rank of Nidan (Second-degree); and Stephanie also holds the rank of Nidan (Second-degree) in Iaido with the Canadian Kendo Federation.
Is that thing real?
What you mean to ask is, "Is that thing sharp?" and no, it is not. For everyone's safety, we practice with either wooden practice swords, called Bokken or Bokuto, or an Iaito, which is a dull metal sword. Typically, practice with sharpened swords doesn't happen until Iaidoka reach the rank of Yondan (Fourth-degree).