Origins of Iaido
The Iaido | What is Iaido | History of Iaido | Origins of Iaido | Principles and Concepts | Iaido and Katana | Techniques and Training Methods | Eishin Ryu Iaido History | Iaido and The Japanese Sword | Iaido Points | Iaido Etiquette
In the book “Bugei Ryuha Daijiten” by Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi, Hayashizaki Jinsuke (Minamoto no) Shigenobu is credited with establishing the influence and popularity of iaidÅ, early in the sixteenth century. However, around a century before his birth, the dynamic art of iaijutsu had been developed by Iizasa Ienao, the founder of the Tenshin ShÅden Katori Shinto-ryu.
Iaido should not be confused with kendo or kenjutsu:
- Kendo teaching does not include drawing and re-sheathing of a sword. The main weapon used in kendo, a flexible bamboo sword (shinai), uses no scabbard. Kendo is practiced with a partner in full contact training or in forms (kata) practice.
- Kenjutsu is generally practiced with a partner, in the form of predetermined routines, and often does include drawing or resheathing of the sword.
Delineation from battÅjutsu, literally meaning “technique of drawing the sword” is more difficult: battÅjutsu is the historical (ca. 15th century) term encompassing both the practice of drawing the sword and cutting (tameshigiri). The term iaijutsu (å±…åˆè¡“) became prevalent later (ca. 17th century), and the current term iaidÅ is due to the general trend (stemming from gendai budÅ) to replace the suffix -jutsu with -dÅ in Japanese martial arts in order to emphasize a philosophical or spiritual component. In contemporary usage, battÅjutsu focuses on the techniques of cutting, with individual practice that starts with the sword in the sheath.
IaidÅ forms (kata) are performed individually 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 techniques.
The primary emphasis in iaido is on the psychological state of being present (å±…). The secondary emphasis is on drawing the sword and responding to the sudden attack as quickly as possible (åˆ). 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 (ä¾).
A very important part of iaido, is nukitsuke or the life of iai. This is a very quick draw accomplished by drawing the sword out of the saya by moving the saya back in saya biki. The blade may be brought out of the saya and used in a quick nukitsuke slashing motion.You might also like: