The 8th International Taikai was held in Tokyo, Japan on 3rd Nov 2019. This year is also the 10th anniversary of the formation of the International Federation "Kokusai Renmei". The idea of an international federation for the study and appreciation of Iaido was first conceptualized when Esaka sensei was approached by martial arts enthusiasts from Germany, seeking to learn more about Iaido.
Overtime, the Federation flourished with the growth and development in iaidokas the world over.
Eight of our members participated in Taikai. As usual, we took the opportunity to meet up with Senseis from various Dojos and practice with overseas members.
The training this year was tougher, with the focus on finer details of Kihon. However, it could probably be said that everyone worked harder with the the intent of doing their best for the 10th anniversary.
The Embu (Demonstration) was conducted in the first half of the Taikai. From the photos, it is evident that everybody strives hard to perform.
Tachi-Uchi No Kurai Demonstration by Kenichi Kobara Sensei and Masao Najima Sensei
And of course, there is the after Taikai party~
A sake cask breaking ceremony "Kagami Biraki" was held to commemorate the special event. The breaking open of a wooden sake barrel with a hammer epitomizes the forging of new friendship and strengthening of existing ones.
For most of us, it was a new and interesting event, that our Japanese host invited us to partake in this ceremony makes it especially fun and memorable.