Forms of sword related sports
Hi, I am interested in Kendo and in my understanding, high level kendo involves 2 people in 'combat', striking each other at the vital points with the shinai.
However, I have seen other forms of sword related sports such as Iaido. I am wondering if they are related. Will we learn stances such as Iaido in Kendo? or are they strictly different sports? Also, will a real katana be used in Kendo? Which sword related sports require the use of a real katana? I hope you can answer my questions!
Thank you for your question. First off, kendō
does not use a sword. We only practice with bokutō
Samurai (ancient Japanese warriors) practiced forms or kata alone (iaido) or with a partner (forms with a partner without hitting).
And they wanted to practice without hurting each other. Then fukuro-shinai
was invented. Then they wanted to fight in full contact so protectors were invented. This gradually turned into kendō
and iaido have the same origin but kendō
took its own path. Iaido is more like what samurai used to practice. And when you become advanced, you are allowed to use a real katana in iaido.
So All Japan Kendo Federation has iaido made for kendoists and it is called seitei iai. Unfortunately, it is not common for kendoists to practice seitei iai. But personally I think it is a good idea to practice both.