Iaido - 'The Way
Of Mental Presence And Immediate Reaction'
in the early 16th Century by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu More than a
century before Iaido came into being a similar art Iaijutsu had been
developed by Iizasa Lenao the legendary founder of the famed
Both of these
arts involve perfecting control of the sword.In its original form this meant
drawing it from its scabbard, then striking, cutting, removing the blood,
and replacing the sword - all in one smooth, fluid motion.
It is likely the
art was developed to save crucial seconds in the event of a surprise attack.
A warrior trained in Iaido would have lightning-sharp reactions and could
respond instantly.Today practitioners use either blunt or sharpened metal
swords, and are trained to achieve an enhanced state of awareness and
sensitivity to the wider environment. although the art is non competitive
there is however competitions that do take place in front of a panel judges.
Iaido teaches the use of actual metal weaponry, it is almost entirely based
on the teaching of forms, or kata. Multiple person kata do exist within some
forms of iaido, but the iaidōka (practitioners of Iaido) will usually use
bokken for such kata practice.
Iaido is often
used interchangeably with
literally meaning "technique of drawing the sword". Battōjutsu is the
historical (ca. 15th century) term encompassing both the practice of drawing
the sword and cutting (tameshigiri). The term
(居合術) became prevalent later (ca. 17th century), and the current term Iaido
is due to the general trend (stemming from gendai budō) to replace the
suffix -jutsu with -do in Japanese martial arts in order to emphasize a
philosophical or spiritual component. In contemporary usage, battōjutsu
focuses on the techniques of cutting, with individual practice that starts
with the sword in the sheath.
is on cutting with the sword. All terms are somewhat more
specific than kenjutsu or kendō which more broadly means simply sword
techniques, and is often used to refer to techniques where the sword is
already out of the saya.
(kata) are performed solitarily against one or more imaginary opponents.
Some traditional iaido schools, however, include kata performed in pairs.
Some styles and schools also do not practice tameshigiri, cutting
The primary emphasis in iaido is on the psychological state of being present
(居). The secondary emphasis is on drawing the sword and responding to the
sudden attack as quickly as possible (合). Starting positions can be from
combative postures or from everyday sitting or standing positions. The
ability to react quickly from different starting positions was considered
essential for a samurai (侍).
History of Iai.
Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū (天真正伝香取神道流) included iaijutsu in its curriculum in
the 15th century. The first schools dedicated exclusively to sword drawing
appeared some time during the late 16th or early 17th century. Hayashizaki
Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu (林崎甚助重信) (1546–1621) is generally credited
with as being the originator of the first dedicated school of sword drawing.
Little is known of his life, leading some scholars to doubt his historical
existence as a real person. The two largest schools of sword drawing that
are practised today are the Musō Shinden-ryū (夢想神伝流) and Musō Jikiden
Eishin-ryū (無雙直傳英信流). Both schools trace their lineage to Hayashizaki
Before Nakayama Hakudo (1873?-1958) coined the word iaido early in the 20th
century, various other names such as battō, battōjutsu, or saya no uchi were
used. Iaido is the usual term to refer to the modern self-improvement
oriented-form taught by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF), while
Iaijutsu is used for some amongst the older koryū combative techniques.
Japanese series and films of Zatoichi, the protagonist mainly uses
techniques when fighting with his shikomi-zue.
The character Ukyo Tachibana in Samurai Shodown fights with his sword
sheathed, drawing it in a style similar to
The character Setsuka in Soulcalibur III uses a Shikomi-zue style katana
concealed in the shaft of an umbrella, in a manner similar to
Also, the character Mitsurugi has several stance techniques resembling
In Samurai Warriors 2, some of Akechi Mitsuhide's attacks came out from his
One happens as a charge attack, one occurs during his normal attack, and two
come from his special stance: a super-fast forward cut that leaves a shadow
for a brief moment, and a counter.
In Dynasty Warriors 4 and 5 Extreme Legends, Zhou Tai uses it in his normal,
charge and musou attacks.
In Bushido Blade 2, Gengoro, when equipped with the katana, has a series of
attacks and stances from
Future Hiro Nakamura in Heroes reveals that he trained in Tōhoku in
In Rurouni Kenshin, the hero Himura Kenshin is a practitioner of Hiten
Mitsurugi-Ryū (飛天御剣流? lit. "Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style"), which
In the video game series Fire Emblem, the Sword Master class uses a form of
as his or her attack.
In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Vergil's attacks with Yamato resemble
as well as Iaidō.
In 9 Dragons, members of the Wu Tang Blue Dragon class can acquire a
special attack at higher levels.
In the anime and video game series Sakura Taisen, Sakura Shinguji wields the
same method of fighting with her Arataka.
In the Guilty Gear video game series, Johnny and Baiken uses stances and
attacks from battōjutsu.
In No More Heroes, the protagonist Travis Touchdown performs movements
during the pre-battle animation while equiped with the Tsubaki MkIII. He
does not, however, actually strike an opponant in such a manner.
In Bleach the anime exclusive character Patros uses a style reminiscent of
In Lupin the Third Goemon Ishikawa XIII wields his zantetsuken(katana sword)
in a style resembling
In one of Lupin's movies Goemon Ishikawa XIII even gives credit to
Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu (林崎甚助重信) for creating this style.