Iaido Kenjutsu:

Iaido is a Japanese martial art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the nihonto katana (Japanese long sword) from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent, chiburi (moving the blade in such as way as to remove blood) , and then noto (returning the blade to the scabbard). Iaido originated in the katana (long sword) techniques of the samurai of Japan, which were developed beginning around 1390. When the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867) unified the country after a long period of civil conflict Iaido became a form of moving meditation. Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu (1546?-1621) is considered the legendary founder of Iaido. SRSK Iaido students start learning the art using a wooden sword called a bokken. As skills and techniques are built, students can advance to using unsharpened steel blades called Iaito. Only advanced practitioners of Iaido use a sharpened metal sword or shinken. Some advanced practitioners use very old, hand-forged Japanese swords for their Iaido practice.

At Roseberry's Martial Arts Center we practice Iaido kata developed by the All Japan Kendo Federation drawn from various styles. Because Iaido teaches the use of actual metal weaponry, it is almost entirely based on the teaching of forms, or kata and the associated draws and cuts. Iaido, like all martial arts at SRSK, emphasizes basics: basic gripping of the sword; basic cutting techniques; drawing techniques, etc. Multiple person kata and drills are performed but such are practiced using the bokken. All forms emphasize etiquette in the respectful handling of the sword. Iaido does not include direct competition or sparring. Because of this non-competitive aspect, and Iaido's emphasis on precise, controlled, fluid motion—it is sometimes referred to as "moving Zen."