- This topic has 2 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 11 years, 6 months ago by Anonymous.
I’ve been advised to do this a bunch of times. I didn’t like the idea of Tai Chi or Qi Gong because whenever I try it I start giggling. But I have a background in martial arts and at university, one of my pet subjects was Zen in my philosophy course. So, I decided I’m going to take martial arts and Zen and moving meditation, and have a crack at Iaido:
Iaidō (居合道?) is a Japanese martial art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. While new students of iaidō may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, many of those who study iaidō use an unsharpened sword (iaitō). Advanced practitioners of iaidō use a sharpened metal sword (shinken).
Because iaidō teaches the use of actual metal weaponry, it is almost entirely based on the teaching of forms, or kata. Multiple person kata do exist within some forms of iaidō, but the iaidōka (practitioners of iaidō) will usually use bokken for such kata practice. Iaidō does not include direct competition or sparring of any kind. Because of this non-competitive aspect, and iaidō’s emphasis on precise, controlled, fluid motion, it is sometimes referred to as “moving Zen.”
Just a little side note too: When I was doing martial arts, I found it was fantastic. I was a teenager and undiagnosed, but it was extremely intense and demanded a lot of discipline which I guess got beaten into me. After a solid training session, which might’ve involved anything from movement exercises, strikes, blocks or exotic weapons (it had plenty of variation), I’d always found myself more able to relax. Eventually (within a few months of black belt), I couldn’t focus on the long and complex katas (sequences) required for later grades or remember a lot of the technical details, so I quit. To this day, I tell people in my family or other friends into martial arts that I quit because the exercise regime was making me sick.
A lot of sources seem to suggest martial arts for AD/HD (as means for exercise as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan), and I really think there is something to that. I’m not really talking about self-defense either, because karate isn’t really about that – I think its more about being in the moment and in a state of no-mind. I’m pretty sure that when I get back into work and my fitness level back up, I’ll end up back in a karate dojo.AnonymousInactive
I do karate, It has incredible benefits for me. both with regards to focus ad emotional control. I find that there are periods I go through where my focus will be so broken and worn that I can not get new Kata’s or preform the old ones.. but I find that after a short break I am normally back to being able to focus. some times the pressure of needing to focus messes up my focus, if that makes sense.
I also spin Poi and Bo as well as double staff as a means of moving meditation.
while not formally I use a steel short sword and a bokken just to practise movement and to get my mind into a more calm and formulated place.
I highly recommend looking into ‘Poi’ – you can do it anywhere and you can learn without an instructor.
I also think that working out in a dojo with good people is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Hope you get back into the swing of things! (no pun intended)AnonymousInactive
I do sword fighting. People think it’s odd, but honestly it’s one of the very few moments I get to have “semi calm” and the world stops being so crazy. When I am fighting someone and they are coming at me with a sword there are few to no other thoughts swirling around in my head. I find it’s very helpful.
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