Feb 11,12: Iaido – Art of drawing and cutting with the sword (katana)

Iaido Oda Katsuo Sensei

Katsuo Oda sensei performing a demonstration of iaido during his visit to Southern Calif ornia on February 18, 2011. (Photo by Dennis Ralutin)

On Feb 11 and 12, the Southern California Iaido Association (in conjunction with the Southern California Kendo Federation) will be hosting an iaido seminar at the Pasadena Buddhist Temple, 1993 Glen Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103.

The seminar will take place from 9 am to 4 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.

The seminar will feature guest instructor Katsuo Oda sensei from Shizuoka prefecture, Japan.

Oda sensei holds the ranks of hanshi 8 dan (expert instructor, 8th degree black belt) in iaido and kyoshi 7 dan (advanced instructor, 7th degree black belt) in kendo, the art of Japanese fencing.

This is Oda sensei’s second consecutive year as guest instructor of this seminar.

Iaido is the art of drawing and cutting with the Japanese sword (katana).

Unlike kendo, iaido is practiced mostly solo and is based on predetermined forms, or kata.

Each kata contains four elements: drawing of the sword from the scabbard, striking and cutting down one or more opponents, symbolically removing blood off the blade and returning the sword to the scabbard.

Only a few hundred people practice this art in the United States and attracts a mature audience.

The seminar is expected to attract over a dozen beginning through advanced iaido practitioners, mainly from the West Coast, and will focus on a standard set of iaido kata as developed by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) used for rankings and tournaments.

For more information, visit the Southern California Kendo Federation website: http://www.eanet.com/sckf/