|無外流 居合 鵬玉夢録 No.84 2019.6.11
From 2020, A New Iaido Era Begins
JAPAN IAIDO CLASSIC Grand Slam Open to be Held
Hougyoku-Kai’s mission is “Fostering the spread of Bushido”. Beginning
in 2020, the format of the International Iaido Organization Hougyoku-kai’s
annual “All Japan Hougyoku-kai Hai Championship” will be as follows.
The championship will be held three times over the course of a year, with each tournament testing one of the three pillars of Iai
1) Free Kumitachi Tournament: The 4th All Japan Iaido Championshi
2) Iai Kata Tournament
: The 4th All Japan Iaido Championship
3) Tameshigiri Tournament
: Tameshigiri Tournament
The tournaments are intended to test the following:
1) “Shin ; truth”: Who is truly strong?
2) “Bi ; beauty”: Who has the most beautiful technique?
3) “Zen ; goodness”: Who’s “hasuji” (angle of the blade) is the most accurate,
and who is able to cleanly cut the tatami on the first stroke?
Following in the footsteps of the samurai, these ideal virtures, “Shin” (truth), “Bi” (beauty), and “Zen” (virtue) will be tested over the course of a year.
All together, these three tournaments will make up the International Iaido Organization Hougyoku-kai Grand Slam. It will be known as the “Japan Iaido Classic Grand Slam Open”.
At first, it will only be open to the city chiefs throughout Japan, and from there, we will allow it to grow. As part of Hougyoku-kai’s effort to spread Iai world wide, in addition to the annual Japan Iaido Classic Grand Slam Open, once every four years, Hougyoku-kai will hold a World Tournament. Currently, Hougyoku-kai is searching for a venue large enough to host a World Tournament. To prepare, Hougyoku-kai is now facing a mountain of tasks including refining the rules and training the referees.
However, I believe that if we shy away from these tasks, the treasure trove we have today of ancient techniques and philosophy passed down from the samurai will continue to be lost to history. I feel that that is a large part of what contributes to the small number of people practicing Iai today.
“Bushido” is not just a way of thinking, but also a collection of techniques and conduct. In order to leave this complete, true Budo for the next generation, more than considering how to speak about Budo to other ryuha (styles) and groups, we must consider how to explain Budo to the general public.
Considering this, Hougyoku-kai decided that if somebody, somewhere is going to undertake this task, it might as well be us.
Happily, in this first year of the Reiwa Era, possibly the very first “free kumitachi” tournament ever was held as part of the 3rd Hougyoku-kai Hai Tournament. It was a huge success. During the matches, the junior class cheered excitedly, and after it ended, there were cries of “I want to do that too!”
Based on the success of this trial, Hougyoku-kai has decided to take it upon ourselves to ensure the preservation of a complete, true form of Iaido for the next generation.
As stated by Nitobe Inazo in his book, “Bushido”, “The movement of the samurai, who depended on their skill to survive, was beautiful.”. In order to maintain the beauty and philosophy of “kireru Iai” (Iai that can cut (tatami)), Hougyoku-kai feels that if we do not hold competitions based on these principles, we will not be able to leave a true, complete form of Budo for the next generation to inherit.
In the spirit of passing this Budo onto the next generation, Hougyoku-kai emphasizes the importance of teaching children. We aim to teach classes that are both easy for the children to understand, and exciting.
While other ryuha/groups may give performances that focus on “kata”, we are aiming to give demonstrations that make the audience recall the age of the samurai where ultimately one opponent would live, and the other not.
We aim to stay true to the following: “The foundation of Budo is strength. If that is truly so, then the life of Iai lies in tameshigiri and kumitachi.”
Through competing based on the beauty of “Kireru Iai”, we aim to raise the level of the techniques.
Hougyoku-kai’s raison d’etre is to “Foster the spread of Bushido through instructional activities.”
The above contents was decided upon by the consensus of board members .
International Iaido Organization Hougyoku-kai
Master Takeda Hougyoku
For questions/inquiries about this information
International Iaido Organization Hougyoku-kai 03-6661-6045
(Weekdays 9:00 – 6:00)
Email (Operaion Takeda): firstname.lastname@example.org