What is Iaido
Iaido (pronounced ee-eye-do) is one of the traditional martial art of Japanese swordsmanship, which evolved from techniques of feudal Japan into the modern system of movement and poise practiced today all over the world. Students learn how to draw and cut with the traditional Japanese sword.
Iaido can be translated to mean “The way of harmonizing oneself in action.” Most credit Nakayama Hakudo (1873–1958), as being the first to use the term iaido to describe the art formerly known as iaijutsu and/or battojutsu.
Practicing of Iaido
Iaido is associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard or saya, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. While new practitioners of iaido may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, most of the practitioners use the blunt edged sword, called iaitō. Few, more experienced, iaido practitioners use a sharp edged sword (shinken). Practitioners of iaido are often referred to as iaidoka.
Iaido encompasses hundreds of styles of swordsmanship, all of which subscribe to non-combative aims and purposes. Iaido is an intrinsic form of Japanese modern budo. Iaido is a reflection of the morals of the classical warrior and to build a spiritually harmonious person possessed of high intellect, sensitivity, and resolute will.
Beginner Iaido classes now available!
What do you need to start Iaido?
Beginners should consult with Sensei before purchasing equipment. Iaido is not very well known, and we know of martial arts stores selling totally unsuitable equipment to uninformed beginners. An important piece of equipment for the beginner is the obi or belt. The Iaido obi is very different from the usual karate or judo belt, because it must securely support the sword. It must be at least 6cm wide, and must be long enough to pass three times around the body and make a proper knot. Another item needed to start is a wooden sword or Bokken (Bokuto).