Have you progressed to training with a shinken? If so, are you practicing Tameshigiri to any degree? As you imply above, Iaido is an art that asks for a certain degree of dedication. When you reach the intermediate levels of Tameshigiri, when can make your shinken sing as you run through your kata, that is the starting point of discovering what is Iaido. That is when things begin to come together. I suspect that you might already know the answer to your question, or perhaps you might want to find a school that maintains strong tradition, and emphasizes live blade and Tameshigiri. I know that certain schools work only with bokken, and others use live blades strictly for kata.
Also, I suspect that you might want to choose between Kendo and Iaido. I realize that some schools teach both, but my *personal* view is that Kendo technique will tend to interfere with Iaido technique--specifically your kata, your hasuji, and later, Tameshigiri. There are so many moves in Kendo that you absolutely must not do with shinken. Again, this is strictly a *personal* view. I would never contradict one's Sensei, and there are students that practice both more than successfully. I have friends who could never give up the combativeness of Kendo, just as I could never compromise working with shinken and Tameshigiri. The one is actual combat without the mortal aspects, the other carries the powerful implications of mortality without the actual combat. Although I do love combat, I am too powerfully drawn to the sheer beauty of latter.
I'm a workaholic and pursue many activities and athletic pursuits. Have been this way since I was a kid with strong encouragement from my father. Your chores are preparation for your life when you get out on your own, and you must learn to work around it. It is not a crutch, it is an integral and important part of life. What you can fit into your schedule depends on your own levels of dedication, spirit, and drive. Everyone's different.
Last edited by pigmode; 12-31-05 at 02:05 PM.