Overview of Iaido

The Meaning of Iaido

Iai refers to drawing a sword to launch an attack in a sword fighting. That is, it is a technique for being ready before drawing the sword and mastering your opponent in the instant you draw it. It originated among samurai based on the need to respond immediately to unexpected attacks from opponents and overcome them rapidly with a single draw of the sword, whether striking first or second.
It is a sword technique that is suitable when seated or when walking, at anytime or in any place, and a way of mastering one’s body and controlling one’s mind.

The Spirit and Purpose of Iaido

Iai began as a sword technique for learning the art of attacking and defending. It is a martial arts discipline, but it advocates absorbing its teachings in your heart through practicing its forms, nurturing your spirit with its waza, and realizing oneness of mind and sword and consistency of thought in motion and at rest by striving for proper sword technique and physical mastery.
The secret of iaido resides in always being in harmony with the universe by holding victory in your sheath without drawing your blade.
Today, the purpose of this discipline is still to pursue vigorous physical training and refine your spirit by means of prescribed martial arts techniques. The root of this is cultivating a spirit of simplicity and fortitude with an abundance of civility and benevolence, which requires a way of life that refines the pure, unclouded essence of your inherent nature.

(c) Esaka Seigen