Iaido, although closely related to Aikido and Aiki-Ken, is a different sword style. Literally translated, Iaido means "a way to be present and pull together where you are." Thus, Iaido has a strong meditative quality associated with it. Muso Shinden Ryu, the style of Iaido we practice, was originally developed by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu (1549-1621), and later refined by Nakayama Hakudo (1869-1958).
Iaido teaches the proper way to draw, handle and return the Katana (Japanese sword) to its saya (scabbard). On a deeper level, Iaido endows the practitioner with a feeling of self control and inner discipline.
New members of the ASNJ Iaido group can explore the art by initially practicing with a boken (wooden sword) and without a hakama. This initial period can last up to a month. After that, the practitioner is required to practice with an Iaito (Iaido sword) and hakama. New members are have the option to purchase this equipment right from the start. Both the Iaito and hakama are available for purchase through ASNJ.
The program is run by Derrell Thomas. He has been practicing since 2002 and holds the rank of San Dan.
Iaido classes have an additional charge.