Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Iaido Club Looking for New Members

Not many people know that one of Japan's greatest living Kendoists, Fujii Okimitsu Sensei, spent a great deal of time living anonymously in Ramsgate, while he established Kendo and Iaido clubs across the UK.

When, from a Dojo in London, I moved back to Thanet five years ago, I never expected to find that Iaido,a martial art that originated and developed in medieval Japan to train samurai in the use of the long-sword called katana, either for self-defense or to prepare them for battle would have so many expert practitioners on the island.

The Broadstairs-based club meets on Monday evenings and rather than martial artists finding it by accident, the club's instructor, Richard Obbard, has asked me to put a note online to see if there are people out there who might be interested in learning the highly disciplined skills involved. Richard can be found at richard.obbard@ and prospective new members are welcome.

I've embedded a generic video for interest. When you watch it, remember that at the higher levels of the sport, practitioners are invariably using 'Shinken', what the Japanese call a 'Live blade' of razor sharp steel.

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