Know About Iaido
Iaido, as approximately translated in English means “the way of harmonizing oneself in action”. Iaido is one of the modern forms of Japanese martial art, more precisely swordsmanship, which first originated around 19!. "he crux of Iaido lies in #ris$, smooth and controlled mo%ement of drawing the sword out of the sca##ard, attac$ing the opponent with a direct stri$e or slash, ta$ing off the #lood from the sword and replacing the sword #ac$ in the sca##ard. <hough, the techni'ues of drawing swords ha%e #een pre%alent in older periods of Japan, the importance of Iaido lies in its genesis of emphasizing more on the philosophical or spiritual component of martial art, where greater importance is gi%en to self impro%ement, #oth mental and physical than on com#at.
Iaido and Zen
"he practitioner of Iaido is $nown as Iaido$a. &n Iaido$a wields a sword, not with the offensi%e purpose to attac$ the opponent #ut more with the intention to control himself(herself. "his martial art is practiced using forms, or )ata. "he Iaido$a performs $ata against single or multiple imaginary opponents. <hough, the performance of $atas has imaginary opponents, it ne%er comprises of sparring com#at mo%ements. &s the emphasis of this martial art is more on controlled, fluid and precise mo%ements, it is sometimes also referred to as “mo%ing *en”."he Iaido$a practice to prepare themsel%es for a surprise attac$. "he o#+ecti%e of Iaido is to do away with all the unnecessary steps and attain proficiency in deli%ering a prompt, controlled and effecti%e response to aggression. It re'uires the harmony of all mental and physical faculties of the practitioner. "he continued effort of Iaido$a is to attain this mental and physical #alance, which ena#les him(her to get control o%er the senses and #ecome extremely recepti%e to the surrounding. "he )ata is performed more li$e a meditati%e dance, where a proficient Iaido$as mo%ements are in total harmony with the surrounding and is well aware of his(her en%ironment. -tmost care is gi%en to each aspect of Iaido$a, including the posture, mo%ement, grip and swing of the sword.
Different from kenjutsu or kendo
Iaido differs from other sword arts such as $en+utsu and $endo. )en+utsu is a more com#ati%e %ersion of swordsmanship, while $endo, which e%ol%ed from the former, is the Japanese form of fencing. Iaido is the least com#ati%e. hile Iaido focuses on drawing the sword, stri$ing and replacing it decisi%ely, )endo teaches techni'ues that #egin after the sword is drawn.
/ractitioners of Iaido are typically dressed in traditional Japanese gear called ha$ama, a dress with pleats, an o#i which is a #elt and $ei$ogi which translates into training uniform. "he swords used %ary #etween Iaito, 0unsharpened and shin$en 0sharpened real #lades. 2ome #eginners use wooden swords to practice.