The Importance of Getting Along
by Raju Thakrar [aka Sakura-san]

The martial that we are practicing is called "iaido", and not "iaijitsu".

"Do" in English is equivalent to "Way", and thus, there are certain elements that make iaido different from iaijitsu. According to Esaka Sensei, the most important element of a "do" is "jin", which can be translated as human compassion (i.e. thinking of others and getting along with each other).

If a group of iaido practitioners don't get along with each other, that group will be a weak "organization"; however, the better a group gets along with each other, the stronger it will be.

One aspect of Japanese budo, that people from other nations have to keep in mind, is respect for others. When doing iaido, one's senpai (i.e. senior) is always one's senpai, no matter if one gets a higher dan than one's senpai due to certain circumstances (e.g. if one's senpai gets an injury and can't practice for a while). Respect other people's position is of the utmost importance.

This means respecting not only your own sensei, but all the other members of your dojo - letting personal differences negatively affect the unity of your dojo or group will result in a weaker organization, which will ultimately lead to less people doing iaido.

Getting along with one and other is a way of ensuring that iaido will be practiced by more and more people, and will be passed onto future generations. That way one can be assured of repaying one's sensei's kindness and the kindness of all the people in the past who dedicated their lives to iaido.

A note from John Pritchard Sensei: This was written in early July 2001 in response to a request from a practicioner from San Fransisco, CA. Sakura-san prepared this synopsis of one of the major themes that Esaka Sensei presented during the Victoria 2001 Canadian Iaido Association seminar; the importance of getting along. At Sakura-san's request, spelling and grammar has been modified for our target audience; thus, any mistakes that occur are mine [JRP].

List of Essays

The Importance of Getting Along
by Raju Thakrar [aka Sakura-san]

Tameshigiri
by Raju Thakrar [aka Sakura-san]

Sword Maintenance Tips
by Esaka Sensei Hanshi 10th Dan via Ted Davis Sensei

Esaka Seigen
by Raju Thakrar [aka Sakura-san]