The theme of featured art by our resident artist for September: "Your Learning Journey"
To the uninitiated, Iaido curriculum would seem to consist of specific set of wazas, which is only a partial picture, as the article would explain. Shugyo, one’s learning journey in Budo covers the physical, mental and emotional aspects. In Iaido context, the physical aspect translates to the set of wazas, techniques, kihon, kamae etc. Mental and emotional training refers to the developing of one’s inner self.
Too much focus or the blind pursuit of technical proficiency or vice versa, and one would ends= up missing the other critical aspects. A balanced approach is required. Therefore, it is recommended to think and look beyond technicalities of the wazas and seek to uncover the meaning behind them.
Sometimes, one face a glass ceiling because of certain challenging techniques. Slow down, dissect the waza, understand how your body works to overcome them at your own pace. Everyone's glass ceiling are unique unto themselves.
In other cases, it could be attributed to the current level of understanding in kihon/ bunkai. Take time to slowly learn and integrate relevant understandings. Iaido is an art where the amount of hardwork and study is clearly evident to the trained eye from seemingly minor details such as etiquette to how one start a draw (nukitsuke).
Make notes, clarify understandings, connect the dots, help others, and practice mindfully as a community. Only then, would a Dojo grow meaningfully as a whole.