Iaido class offered at PCC

October 19, 2021

Jeremiah Jordan has been practicing the art of Iaido for 10 years and he is very excited to bring the practice to the Perinton Community Center with his class on Wednesday nights.

Sensei Jordan, a second degree black belt, Sensei Brian Fallon (third degree black belt) and Sensei Dana Stolka (second degree black belt) are instructors in the Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido class. Iaido is the art of the Japanese Sword.

“A regular Iaido practice has benefits beyond the physical,” Jordan said. “Students hone their ability to maintain intense focus as they maintain a calm spirit, and they learn discipline through precision and attention to detail.”

The class started in January and is held at the same time as Karate class in gym. Both started at Fairport Karate Academy, which closed when the pandemic hit in 2020. Ann Peck brought the karate classes to the PCC, and Jordan followed soon after with swords in hand.

Similar to other martial arts, students reach new levels as they improve. The level of complexity increases gradually through the six parts of the series: Keshi Ryu (yellow belt), Shindo Munen Ryu (orange belt), Omori Ryu (green belt), Kendo Seitei Gata (brown belt), Hasegawa (black belt, first degree), and Okuden (black belt, second degree). The training starts with a white belt.

“Like other forms of Martial Arts, Iaido is a life-long practice,” Jordan said. “With time and practice, students learn the history, tradition, and art form that make up today’s Iaido. As one of our instructors, Sensei Fallon, is fond of saying, ‘there’s bound to be an Old Master who is still perfecting his first kata.’ ”

Kata, a sequence of techniques and movements designed to address a wide range of scenarios, is at the core of Iaido. Individual kata are focused on handling specific types of encounters, whether in number of opponents, multiple directions, or other variables.

The skills that are developed include cutting techniques, proper sword grip, drawing and sheathing the sword, footwork, body posture, spatial orientation, attention to detail, and concentration. Training in Iaido involves the ability to control the sword and body in precise ways and with a calm spirit.

Registration for the Winter session begins soon on WebTrac. If you are interested in seeing what Iaido is all about, Jordan invites possibly students of all levels and abilities to sit in on a class Wednesdays at 7 p.m.