Iaido is a Japanese martial art that attracts those who seeks completion through mental and physical effort, wishes to learn the use of the Japanese sword in a safe and authentic way and is interested in learning about the roots of Japanese culture.
Iaido is a great complement to Aikido. Although it is a special martial art that includes self-defense applications using the Japanese sword, the actual quest in the practice of the modern Iaidoka (Iai practitioner) is essentially internal.
Practitioners of Iaido aim at achieving strength, precision and perfection.
At the same time they learn balance, harmony and control of the mind and body.
Many practitioners from various martial arts such as Karate, Kendo, Aikido and Judo have found that Iaido offers a powerful addition to practicing the main art they follow. However, Iaido can also be practiced as a separate martial art.
Historically, Iaido is more geared at dealing with situations of civil life, rather than battlefield situations.
Iaido kata are carried out in one continuous movement. Most of the scenarios have a common theme or response to an attack by one or more supposed opponents. The sword blade comes out of its scabbard and an effective counterattack is applied.
The style of Iaido followed in our dojo is Muso Shinden Ryu.
Muso Shinden Ryu
Muso Shinden Ryu was first developed by Nakayama Hakudo (1869-1958) at the beginning of the 20th century, but has been rooted since the 16th century by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu, who created and developed the first Iai-jutsu system.
Nakayama Hakudo, who devoted his life to the study of Kendo and Iai, systematized Muso Shinden Ryu’s techniques when he concluded that classical martial arts should be re-attributed and opened to the public in order to survive through a context of changing times. Since the art of the sword is not used today as a practical martial art, it has emphasized the importance of the spiritual practice of this art as a way of developing ourselves. The sword is no longer used to cut the enemy, but as a tool to overcome our Ego. From this perspective, we practice to perfect the body and spirit movements in each kata, so that we develop the performance and efficiency of each movement.
Standard equipment for Iaido
Although we can start practicing Iaido using simple athletic wear and a bokken (wooden imitation Japanese sword), in time our own personal equipment is needed.