Philosophy and Principles

The School of Sword and Staff combines several martial arts forms, with the primary practice being Iaido (The Way of the Sword). Our School emphasizes the principles of learning to train in a harmonious way with each other so that we can all achieve a higher level of proficiency and self awareness. Five Foundations of The School of Sword and Staff are Honor, Respect, An Empty Mind, Strategy, and Fun.


This is a vigorous training program for mind, body and spirit. "You are the sword" and only by overcoming the obstacles and blockages within you, can you achieve mastery of self and the proficient use of your weapons. To master the use of any weapon, you must first learn how to use your body in the most appropriate ways. All of us, at the School of Sword and Staff very much enjoy our time training together.


All students train together with the senior student assisting the newer students. We feel it is our priviledge and duty to assist the newer students, just as the senior students helped us as we began our training.


Sparring Principles:

  1. He who controls the center and disrupts the opponent's center, wins
  2. Never do more than is necessary to win. Save your energy, it is a long day.
  3. Moving in a straight line is the path of defeat. Lateral and spiraling movement is the path to victory.
  4. Every time the sword moves, hips and hands move before or at the same time.
  5. Emulate the crouching tiger, sidestep and strike (knees always bent), move offline.
  6. Never create predictable patterns.
  7. An empty mind means you are calm, peaceful yet totally alert, ready to do what is necessary without thought.
  8. Inner calmness brings increased perception, speed and victory.
  9. To spare with anger, frustration or vengeance, creates a path for defeat.
  10. It is not, the quickest and strongest, but the slyest and trickiest who will prevail: strategy, not power, brings success.
  11. Through constant repetition of basic skills, you empty your mind and learn to react without thought. After 1,000 repetitions of a technique, it becomes your ally and is there without thought.
  12. Only your mind holds you back from victory.
  13. Constantly change tempo to create confusion and hesitation.
  14. Thinking of winning or losing brings defeat.
  15. Remember, win or lose makes no difference, only doing your best is important.
  16. Fighting with honor and respect always brings personal victory and advancement.
  17. If you have to think about what you are doing, you have already lost.
  18. There will always be an opponent who is fastest and stronger, strategy brings victory.
  19. Be like bamboo, not an oak tree. That means speed and flexibility triumphs over strength and power.
  20. Train hard, fight at full speed, cause no injuries, and have fun.