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#114240 - 01/17/05 01:40 AM Complementary Training

I have recently started learning Iaido at a local Iaido & Jodo dojo and I must say that I am very impressed and enjoying it lots. However, I am curious, having come from 10 years of TKD (and still training) I have found that I don't ache (apart from the forearms), burn, tire, etc., like I do when practicing a hand/foot based MA. Could anyone summerise the fitness benefits behind Iaido and give any ideas for complementary training, for example, I have started lifting weights to build up the strength in my arms.


#114241 - 01/17/05 07:19 AM Re: Complementary Training
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
The best exercise for Iaido is Iaido. It stresses very different muscle groups than most other human endeavors. The muscles that need the most work over the long run are certain stabilizer muscles, particularly in the right forearm. What's the best way to build those stabilizers? Do Iaido.

I wouldn't worry too much about building big beefy arms, since you don't cut with the arms. Your power source, at least within the varities of Iaido that I am familiar with, is usually your hips. Using too much arm and shoulder generated power is a common beginners mistake.

As for fitness benefits... Well Iai, the way we do it anyway, is a slow burning workout. It's almost anaerobic in nature. Precision and efficiency are absolutely key. The sword is plenty sharp enough to cut. It doesn't need a lot of help from you if you line your cut up correctly. So practice tends to focus on learning to control the sword rather than learning to swing hard.

I've met a number of high ranking Iaido instructors with 20+ years of experience and a modest beer belly. Iaido is not gonna keep you in shape like that. Of course I've seen a few 60, 70, and even 80 year olds that are still going strong. How many 80 year old hand to hand guys have you seen that you were absolutely certain could still kick your hiney from one end of the mat to the other?

Iai is lower impact than the hand to hand stuff and so it is conducive to life long study in a way the higher impact arts are not. It's still a heck of a workout though. Don't believe me? Come back after your 7th hour of grueling training on the second day of a 3 day seminar and tell me that again.

#114242 - 01/17/05 09:42 AM Re: Complementary Training

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Charles Mahan:
The best exercise for Iaido is Iaido.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your reply :-) I understand what you are saying. I have fallen in love with Iaido so quickly that I enjoy fitting in 20 minutes of practice every night after work. Just concentrating on the basic cuts and three katas. I must say that it really really helps getting rid of stress from work.


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