What is Iaido?
Iaido is a form of modern budo (way of the warrior) that is based on the traditional sword techniques of the samurai, who ruled Japan during the Tokugawa Period from 1603 to 1868. The essence of iaido is to draw the sword, defeat your opponent and re-sheathe the sword. All of iaido practice consists of kata for both solo practitioner and for partners using wooden swords.
Iaido evolved as a safe means for learning sword techniques. As such, it is very polite and intended to cool, rather than arouse, emotion. As the Tokugawa period progressed, iaido evolved to become a means of attaining a state of meditative mindfulness and aesthetic expression, all the while retaining its deadly practicality.
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Demonstrations & Other Activities
December 7: SAMURAI Night at Coffeed
July 29: Shofuso Summer Camp
June 16: Philly Shofuso Father’s day
May 18: Long Island Port Washington Sakura Matsuri
May 9: LaGuardia Asian Festival
May 4: Asian Festival in Flushing
April 14: Philly Sakura Matsuri
April 13: Sakura Matsuri Roosevelt Island
April 12: Baruch College
January 26: Philly Library Demo
September 22: Jodo Seminar with Dan Pearson and Richard Strausbaugh
(Video Interview – Japanese Budo in The World 1)
August 16: About book – Asian Martial Arts: constructive thoughts and practical applications
July 30: Kids Summer Camp at Shofuso
May 16 & 19: LIC Arts Open
April 21: Roosevelt Island Sakura Matsuri
November 30: Iaido demo at Laguardia
September 11: Jodo Seminar with Peter Boylan
Deborah Klens-Bigman has studied iaido for over 25 years. Her original teacher was Otani Yoshiteru, an Osaka native and descendant of the samurai class who moved to New York after World War II, with whom she studied Muso Shinden Ryu iaido until his death in 2004. She holds dan (black belt) rankings in three styles of iaido, and has studied other weapon arts, including jodo (stick), kyudo (bow) and naginata (glaive). She also spent several years studying modern fencing and rapier and dagger fight choreography. Deborah also studies Japanese classical dance at RESOBOX with Shihan Fujima Nishiki-No (Helen Moss), and writes a budo blog for RESOBOX.
She is the chief instructor of Iaikai dojo and has published numerous articles on dance and Japanese swordsmanship and their relationships to traditional aesthetics. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. She is married to artist Vernon Bigman and lives in the Bronx, NY, with four cats who definitely own the place.