Samurai Sword (Iaido)


Date & TimeEvery Thursday 6:30 pm to 7:45pm

Location: RESOBOX Studio (44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY)

Class Fee:

1 class $25
5 classes $100

Initiation fee : $25 (First time only – the fee covers administrative costs and equipment such as wooden sword)
Trial class: $15 for 30 minutes with prior registration


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.



About Instructor

173Deborah 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 studies Japanese classical dance with Shihan Fujima Nishiki-No (Helen Moss).

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.


Demonstration & 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 22Jodo 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 21Roosevelt Island Sakura Matsuri


November 30: Iaido demo at Laguardia

September 11:  Jodo Seminar with Peter Boylan


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