In Japanese, the term "kensho" literally means "seeing nature" while "kan" means "house" or "place of". Kensho is the seeing of the true nature of things, of oneself, and hence is a transformative experience. At Kenshokan Iaido, we believe that the martial arts can help lead to an understanding of the self and assist in the betterment of the individual - physically, mentally, and spiritually. This insight into the essence of the self was stressed by many Zen priests of Japan, including the great Hakuin (1686-1769), a man of caustic wit who maintained that the "eye of kensho" was imperative to self-growth. Similarly, Ohmi-sensei stresses that Iai is about character.
Ohmi-sensei's instructor, the late Haruna-sensei, said the following of Iaido:
|"Through the sword we seek to improve our spirit and become better people, to promote peace and good feeling beyond the walls of the dojo and into our daily lives. There are many styles of Iai, many ways to cut, to move, and as one learns, one improves technically. However, we train not only to learn techniques, but also to cultivate the heart and spirit, and in this respect all 'styles' lead to the same goal."|
Practice with Kenshokan Iaido is serious and enjoyable. Students, both men and women, come from various backgrounds and train for various reasons. Many people have backgrounds in other martial arts (such as Karate, Jujitsu, Judo, and Aikido) and train in Iaido to complement those arts and bring a different yet beneficial aspect to their overall training; in fact, many Kenshokan practitioners are instructors in other martial arts! There is a warm feeling of community as we all strive to better our Iaido and better ourselves through our training.
We are very fortunate to have an association with the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre's Mu Mon Kai Iaido club and to receive instruction from visiting sensei from the JCCC and elsewhere. Students are also encouraged to attend the various seminars and other events that are held across Ontario at the various Iaido dojos.
"Regardless of where and with whom you end up practicing, I hope you find your experience rewarding. For me, Iaido is a great pleasure - hard work, frustrating at times, but very enjoyable. It has challenged me and enriched my life. I hope it will do the same for you." ~ Jim Wilson