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What is Iaido? Iaido is a traditional Japanese martial art that focuses on the Japanese sword. This usually takes the form of solo kata/forms, comprising of drawing, cutting and re-sheathing the sword.


"Iaido" is made up of three characters:


i: 居る (iru) meaning "to exist, to be"

ai: 合わす (awasu) meaning "to blend, to adapt"

do: 道 (michi) meaning "path, way"

The compound meaning comes from the saying:




"Tsune ni ite, kyu ni awasu"

This means "Exist normally and naturally, be ready to quickly adapt to the situation".

Credited to Andy Watson (Ryoshinkan Dojo)


Our dojo practices Zen Nippon Kendō Renmei (ZNKA) Iaido, which is a standardised set of 12 modern kata. These were organised in 1969, with the intention of encouraging Kendo players to practise Iaido. Initially there were seven forms drawn from elements of the major sword schools. Three more kata were added in 1981 and two more in 2000, increasing the number of seitei iaido kata to the current twelve. 


Alongside this we also practise the older forms from the Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū (MJER) school of Iaido. This is comprised of four groups of kata, Seiza no bu (Shoden) or Ōmori-ryū, Tatehiza no bu (Chūden) or Eishin-ryū, Okuiai Iwaza no Bu (Okuden) or seated Okuden and Okuiai Tachiwaza no Bu (Okuden) or standing Okuden. 

We follow the Harusuke-ha lineage of MJER Iaido as taught by Oshita Masakazu sensei, Kyoshi 8th Dan.

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