What is Iaidō – 居合道?

Iaido is an art of self-defence that you draw the sword immediately against an enemy’s sudden attack to win at the very moment when the sword leaves the sheath.

Iaido was initiated about four hundred years ago and has been followed by many kendo players ever since. Its training or practice is very hard. The purpose of Iaido is to ultimately defeat your aponent without drawing your sword. It is the spiritual conquering of your adversary with your sword left in the sheath. In this way you may settle problems without resorting to arms.

Iaido is the counterpart of TACHI-IAI and is also referred to as IAI, IAI-BATTO JUTSU etc., or SAYA-NO-NAKA (With A Sword Left In The Sheath).

Iaido was initiated as a martial art at the very moment when the sword leaves the sheath, taking a posture to respond promptly against the enemy’s sudden attack. “I” (居) means where you yourself are, hence, we call these situations below “I” (居) , where you are standing, while you are walking and when you are running. “AI” (合) means such actions as you may respond timely and quickly according to your opponents actions.

Iaido and kendo are just like the two wheels of a cart, being so closely related and have been practiced together through the long history of Japan’s martial arts.

The All Japan Kendo Federation lately developed a new program for practice called Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei (Z.N.K.R.’s enacted IAI instructions). It reflects various old schools of Iaido in that their representative or basic forms, techniques, manners, etc. have been adopted in this new program. It is highly useful, therefore, to both beginners and experts.


Click here to see a list of iaido clubs within Victoria and information on their training times.