Why do I still teach Sete Iai ?
When I started to teach Iaido, I had just completed my studies in a program for trainers in fighting sports, a federal curriculum with a diploma allowing you to train boxers and kickboxers in the international leagues. I also had to prepare coursebooks for the next terms since I was selected to teach some of the courses of the following semesters.
I decided to apply this more or less scientific way of teaching to my Bujutsu, too. I started to notice things I had not given much of a thought to before, like why a bad Muso Shinden cut works better than a bad Jikiden one, but a good Jikiden cut is more efficient than a good Shinden one, and so on.
I also noticed that freshers have more fun learning Sete Iai than going through Shoden. They just feel better with the Tachi Waza, and they are flattered when you give them Koryu Kata in between. It’s also a fact that with a complete Sete Iai set plus Ri-Ken, Koranto, and Happo Giri you have a fair working knowledge of Iai-Jutsu.
The main reason why I will definitely not stop teaching Sete Iai is the future of my students. I had a scary experience with a group of Japanese ZNKR masters in Vienna. There were visiting students from all over Austria, including a small group of an isolated Daiwa Ryu Club – excellent practitioners of an old version of Eishin Ryu. First question was “do you know Sete Iai ?” They did not, so they were sent to the beginners’ group. I don’t want my students to be sent to the beginners’ corner – so they have to know their Sete Iai before they start to travel to seminars.