Breather for another short article. Please enjoy.
An analogy regarding the depth of Iai is that it is very much like the depth of colour Aizome (indigo); layers upon layers make up their vibrant richness.
In Iai, the beginner start by learning basics (kihon), then basic wazas, eventually progressing intermediate ones and beyond. Each waza has its distinct identity, yet retain some similar elements, such as the principle of hasuji, nukitsuke, etc. From one waza to the other, new techniques, perspectives, finesse are introduced. These are like the gradual transition of varying shades of indigo such as “aijiro (indigo white)” to “noukon (navy blue)".
Fundamentals in earlier wazas build the foundation for the later wazas, while concepts learnt in later wazas are then used to revisit the earlier wazas. These are the layers upon layers of learning in Iai. Like the process of creating Aizome dyeing, the mixing of the individual shades of indigo reinforces each other to create the beautiful Aizome product.
Observing, learning & improving with a calm state of mind (Heijoshin), [平常心] makes experiencing iaido more meaningful. What is Heijoshin? That is another discussion, for another time. If you are interested to find out more regarding iaido, you may like to drop us a message or drop by to observe during our practice sessions. Till next time, cheers.