Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wasatch Academy Dojo

Wasatch Academy in Utah has developed the first iaido dojo in American high school education, and it is headed by an SMAA certified teacher. Being offered instruction in iaido is a rare opportunity, even in Japan. Here in America, there are only a handful of instructors with a legitimate teaching license and rank from Japanese institutions.

Mr. Max Roach, affectionately called "Roach Sensei," by his students, holds the rank of sandan and Shidoin (third-degree balck belt and official instructor) in the SMAA. Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido, the style Roach Sensei practices, is the classical Japanese art of drawing the sword. Its roots can be traced back nearly four hundred forty years, making it one of the oldest Japanese sword styles still being practiced.

At Wasatch Academy, students can study this classical Japanese sword-drawing art. Prospective Wasatch Academy iaido students are carefully screened, must commit to arduous training, and undergo lengthy pre-instruction/acceptance rituals. Academic and cultural study is a prerequisite. Training is demanding. WA students, with the help of the SMAA and Roach Sensei, are now beginning their commitment to preserving this important cultural property of Japan. You can visit Wasatch Academy on the web at http://www.wasatchacademy.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1.