Her response shocked me. I thought I knew plenty about the sword. I’d watched ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ at least ten times and saw Kill Bill on the big screen twice. Could my fight scenes really be that off? She assured me they were. She also invited me to train with her and since then I have had the privilege of learning a most remarkable and deadly art. Iaido (ee-I-doh) is the way of the peaceful warrior, the ancient Japanese art of drawing the sword and cutting in a single movement. Don’t be fooled by word peaceful. It refers only to the warrior’s state of mind. Iaido was created hundreds of years ago for the physical and mental preparation of the Samurai before battle. As a student of this art, I was taught techniques against single and multiple attackers, against spears and armor and horsed opponents. I learned the same traditional ‘wazas’ that have been handed down for centuries by samurai masters.
I now train on my own, usually at the beach though in the beginning I broke more than a lamp or two on rainy days. The cats ran for cover when I got out my Hakama (traditionally clothing) and sword to choreograph scenes for the Enchantment and Encryption Series. Some of my character’s moves are extraordinary, I admit, but I’ve done every one of them myself.
The reward for following the way of the sword, besides a feeling of serenity and power, came when my publisher and I discussed the manuscript for the first time. She said, ‘Kim, your sword fighting is so authentic.’ I beamed! Those years of research really paid off! Some people think you can only write what you know but I say, if you don’t know it, learn!Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. Book #1, Path of the Stray, and book #2, Road to the Soul are out now. Book #3, Journey by night is out Sept 1, 2011. Currently she’s writing an entirely new series. You can find out more about her at kim.falconer.com. She posts on the 16th of every month.