Sword and Related Arts Taught by the Sei Do Kai

Current Practice Times

WHAT WE DO

You can watch some videos here to see what we do.


WHAT IS IAIDO?

Iaido is concerned with drawing the sword and cutting in the same motion. Most practice is solo, eventually with a real blade. The Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu also includes partner practice with wooden blades. Students must strive to achieve power, precision and perfection in their form. Along the way they learn balance, grace, and control of the body and the mind.

Iaido began in the mid-1500s. The MJER traces its history back to this time in an unbroken line of teachers. Along with MJER, students of the Sei Do Kai study the All Japan Kendo Federation (ZNKR) Iai, commonly known as the Sei Tei Gata Iai. The club also occasionally practices other schools of iai, notably the Hosoda ryu (Shindo Munen ryu as taught by Mitsuzuka Takeshi), Keshi ryu, and Kage ryu.

A typical iaido form consists of the draw and cut, a finishing cut, cleaning the blade and returning it to the scabbard, all without looking away from the imaginary opponent. 

Iaido is taught at the University of Guelph by Kim Taylor, renshi 7dan iaido Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF) who is a member of the CKF national grading panel. The club has hosted many high ranking Iaido instructors from Japan over the past 30 years.

 

WHAT IS JODO?

Jodo, as seen by Lauren Taylor, 1999

Jodo is the art of using the short staff or Jo, a stick of about one inch in diameter and four feet in length. The International Kendo Federation has a set of 12 practice movements and 12 kata which expose its swordsmen to this closely associated weapon. The art is taken directly from the Shindo Muso Ryu school which is one of the classical arts practiced by the Samurai. Shindo Muso Ryu practice concentrates on the use of the Jo against the sword but several other weapons are studied at higher levels. These include the Tanjo or cane, the Jutte (a sort of police club), the Kusari-Gama (sickle and chain), and the sword against the sword (Shinto ryu). Students of Sei Do Kai practice the Shindo Muso Ryu and the ZNKR jo. They also occasionally practice the tanjo and the Shinto ryu.

Regular practices at the University of Guelph are taught by Kim Taylor 5dan jodo and head of the CKF jodo section. The club has hosted many high ranking Jodo instructors from Japan yearly for the past 25 years.

The drawing above was done by my daughter during a practice one afternoon, it took a while for me to realize just how accurately she saw us, there's daddy on the right with his short haired, balding head, glasses and beard holding a sword and wearing hakama. On the left is Ward Jardine with a jo. 

 

WHAT IS KENJUTSU?

Kenjutsu, by western convention, is usually defined as the use of the sword once it has been drawn, and is practiced with a partner using wooden weapons.

Hyoho Niten Ichiryu


The Hyoho Niten Ichiryu (two heavens as one, school) was developed by Miyamoto Musashi, author of the "Book of Five Rings" and Japan's most famous swordsman. The school dates from the early 1600s and it's most distinctive feature is it's use of two swords at once.

Although a few students of the Sei Do Kai and others are teaching this art in various places, it remains almost unknown outside of Japan. We were fortunate to have the instruction, over several years, of Matsuo Haruna of Okayama prefecture in Japan. Haruna sensei was the chief instructor at the Musashi dojo in Ohara village. The dojo is next door to the Musashi Museum.

Since the death of Haruna sensei, the Sei Do Kai has remained aligned informally with our line of the Santo-ha Hyoho Niten Ichiryu. Students of the Sei do Kai typically practice Niten Ichiryu in a series of workshops at the University of Guelph and other places through the year.

Choken Battojutsu Kage Ryu


The Sei Do Kai also practices one of the more rare sword schools, the Choken Battojutsu Kage Ryu, under Colin Watkin sensei who is shihan of the school as well as a holder of menkyo in the Niten Ichiryu. This is a school of drawing and cutting with very long blades which was handed down through the Tachibana clan around present-day Yamagawa city. More information can be found here. The club often practices this school outdoors, usually on the beach.

WHAT IS KENDO?

Kendo is a competitive art that focuses on free-style practice with bamboo swords and protective armour. The art developed out of the classical kenjutsu schools about 200 years ago in Japan and still contains much of that teaching. It is now organized on a world-wide scale. Every three years a World Championships is held, and the Canadian Kendo Federation team does very well, often placing third behind Japan and Korea. Canada has placed in the top three in six of the ten Championships held so far. 

Students will find Kendo training to be quite strenuous and exciting, with a nice mix of sport and tradition. 

Kendo instruction at the University of Guelph is now given under the instructional program.

Club Events 

The Sei Do Kai sponsors several major events yearly, the most notable is the Spring Seminar (see http://www.uoguelph.ca/~iaido/iai.seminar.html for details).

The Tombo Seminar features Niten Ichiryu and Kage Ryu

The CKF International Fall Jodo seminar

And some past events

2001 Guelph School of Japanese Sword Arts


Sei Do Kai Iaido Homepage SDKsupplies.com
Canadian Kendo Federation Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences

Last updated December 14, 2016 by Kim Taylor