Getting Started

Anyone wishing to start Iaido should first come and watch an Iaido class to get an idea of what the art is about and how a class is run. If you contact us before you come, we will make sure someone is available to answer any questions you may have. Of course, we welcome casual visitors anytime!

If you decide to start Iaido, as a minimum, you will need a wooden sword (bokuto), a saya (or scabbard), good-quality knee pads, a belt that can wrap around your body at least three times, and some comfortable clothes, such as a sweat pants and t-shirt. Most of the equipment can be obtained from local martial arts suppliers or on the Internet. Finding a saya may not be that easy as they are generally not carried by local stores. If you cannot find a saya, you have two options: you can purchase one from a martial arts supplier on the Internet (check out our links page) or you can purchase a plastic golf tube and use it as a saya. Total cost for equipment to get started will be somewhere between $80 and $100 dollars.

After some time, you will likely decide to purchase a hakama and keiko-gi, the traditional clothing worn when doing Iaido. These can be difficult to find at local martial arts supply stores, as most stores don't cater to Iaido practitioners. Most martial arts stores will carry cotton hakama used by kendo practitioners, which are fine for doing Iaido. However, tetron (65% polyester and 35% rayon) is better because the material is lighter and is easier to move in. Tetron hakama can be obtained from a number of suppliers on the Internet. Again, check out our links page.

Please note: decorative swords such as those sold at cutlery and souvenir stores are not suitable for Iaido. They are poorly balanced and often do not have the craftsmanship to ensure safe practice. We reserve the right to restrict the use of any sword that may cause injury to the person using it or to other members of the class.