Siljun Dobup is a form of iaido. which translates literally as “real sword training.” It is a new martial art with deep roots dedicated to the study of the curved Asian sword known in Japanese as the katana. The practice focuses on the drawing and sheathing of the blade; and executing ‘the perfect cut.’ Most of the forms are practiced individually (without partners) and always emphasize safety and respect.
Siljun Dobup was created by living Grandmaster Jin K. Seong (7th Dan, Kendo). It has deep roots in the Japanese koryu Toyama-ryu and especially Nakumura-ryu, as well as the ancient Korean sword forms Chosun Sebup and Bonguk Geombup. Unlike many forms of iaido, which are practiced from seiza, a kneeling position, it is Siljun Dobup primarily begins from a neutral standing position, making it easy to practice for students of all ages.
Students begin training with a wooden “practice” sword (bokken) and then graduate to a blunted steel sword when they have demonstrated an understanding of sword safety and the basic movements. After attaining a sufficient level of proficiency with the practice sword, students purhase a shinken (sharp steel sword) and practice their cutting technique on tatami mats in an exercise called tameshigiri.
Although we do not practice against live opponents, we practice as though we are in a dire situation, and must “make a desperate effort.” Through repetition of practiced forms, clearing the mind of doubt and selfishness, and cultivating a powerful spirit, we can use the sword as a focus for improving our lives, and the world around us. Please contact us, or sign up for classes if you would join us.
- Sabomnim Raab Rashi