Introduction & Lineage
Welcome to the website for Clear Lake Iaido, representing the main line of Musō Jikiden Eishin Ryū (MJER) Iaidō in Houston, Texas. We are members of MJER Seitōkai (正統会, Orthodox Association) of Japan. The 22nd consecutive Soke (head master) of our ryū (style) is Ikeda Takashi Seikō Sensei, who is also the president of the Zen Nihon Iaidō Renmei (全日本居合道連盟, ZNIR, All Japan Iaidō Federation). See What is Iaido? link above for more information.
Our dojo is directly connected with John Ray Sensei, Jun-Hanshi*, Hachidan (8th dan), who heads The Dojo, in Denton, Texas, and through him with Tanida Sensei, Jūdan (10th dan) Hanshi‡ , who heads Tendai Dōjō (天台道場) in Chiba City, Japan.
We are part of the Beikoku Tendai Iaido Kai (BTIK), a network of US MJER dojo all of whom are connected with John Ray Sensei.
The kanchō (dojo leader), Emily Egan, is a direct student of John Ray Sensei since beginning MJER, and holds Kyōshi§ license and Nanadan (7th dan) rank. She is the head instructor of Clear Lake Iaido.
The dojo is located in the greater Clear Lake area South of Houston, in Friendswood, Texas. Practices are held at the Sundance Yoga Studio which is located near the South corner of FM 518 & FM 2351 in Friendswood, Texas. The studio is in the same shopping center as Ace Hardware and Tuesday Morning. Look for us in the corner alley next to the driving school. The address is in the side bar (if viewing the mobile version, please go to full site version to see the side bar information).
For information about the Yoga classes at the studio see http://www.sundanceyoga.com/ .
Dues & Testing
As of 2016 April 1 the monthly fee for Iaido is $75/month. In addition there may be testing fees and annual membership fees for MJER Seitōkai. There are no kyu (pre-dan) ranks, so the first test would be for shodan (1st dan). Testing is conducted in Denton, Texas once a year in the spring.
Clothing & Equipment
Prospective students need to consult with the instructor before purchasing clothing or equipment. Not everything advertised as suitable for Iaido is appropriate for MJER.
Beginners should wear loose comfortable clothing to their first practice; gradually acquiring hakama (traditional wide pleated pants), uwagi/keikogi (traditional training top), obi (belt), juban (worn under the top), bokutō, and iaitō (non-edged aluminum alloy sword). Loaner obi and bokutō (wooden katana) are available for use in the dojo until the student can acquire their own.
Practice with sharp swords of any kind by beginners is never allowed. Eishin-Ryu forms are fraught with danger for a beginner using a sharp sword. Bokutō (wooden katana) or iaitō are permitted. Talk with the instructor or senior students before buying a sword.
Acceptance into the class is at the discretion of the instructor.
No prior experience is required.
Students must be at least 16 years old.
Practices are generally quiet and the training is intensive.
There is no sparring. Practice mainly consists of solo waza (forms). Paired forms are practiced at advanced levels.
Visitors are welcome to quietly watch a class. Prospective students are invited to watch, or to participate in a class before deciding to join.
Contact the instructor to arrange for a demonstration at your event.
Japanese Language Lessons in Clear Lake Area
Weekly continuing ed classes taught by native speaker at UHCL, see UHCL Cont Ed Foreign Language Dept. for more information
History of Japan Podcast
Weekly half-hour podcast covering a wide range of Japanese history topics, including occasional in-depth multi-episode series.
* Jun Hanshi, 準範士, associate master teacher license
‡ Hanshi, 範士, master teacher license
§ Kyōshi, 教士, teacher license
(For ref.: Renshi, 練士, instructor license)