Samurai swords in Star Wars, Kill Bill, Xmen – the legendary Japanese samurai katana swordplay that started mid-1500’s is very much alive in todays popular culture. I was honoured to be allowed to both visit and film a class at the Hong Kong Toyama-Ryu Iaido Association and have the founder Mr. Lok walk me through some elements of the class.
We saw sword practice and monthly grading, as well as cutting techniques on rolled wet tatami mats. I was shown some replica costumes and the traditional archery bows that were used while standing on a galloping horse. (As you can see shown by Mr. Lok in the video below).
This class had a grading session, so there was no soft padded bokken stick combat to be filmed, but usually there is opportunity to practice some sparring with helmets and padded bats.
According to wikipedia –
The term ‘iaido’ approximately translates into English as ‘the way of mental presence and immediate reaction’.
“Iaido is a reflection of the morals of the classical warrior and to build a spiritually harmonious person possessed of high intellect, sensitivity, and resolute will. Because of iaido’s emphasis on precise, controlled, fluid motion, it is sometimes referred to as “moving Zen.” ”
Private bookings are possible and could be the perfect gift for any warrior-at-heart. Sometimes there are packages available on Groupon HK, so be sure to also check them out there.
Be sure to mention that you read about Iaido.com.hk here on The Curious Raven blog, and tell Mr. Lok that Raven says Halloooo, so he takes extra good care of you. 🙂
Mr. Lok – firstname.lastname@example.org / +852 9772 8392 / 4/F, 168 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, HK (10 mins walk from Kwun Tong MTR.)
Periscope video below of a typical Saturday class – but usually there is more time for combat with padded swords and helmets.
I’ve fast forwarded parts so add me on the Periscope app @RavenTao to view the full video (1hr) and to see more martial arts videos in the future!
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