Iaido (居合道 Iaidō) is a traditional Japanese martial art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard.
The intention of the art is to draw the sword and strike a killing blow in one move, before your opponent can kill you. Iaido is practiced using a live or practice Japanese sword. Beginners use an Iaito, which is a practise sword made of steel but has a relatively blunt cutting surface. Senior Aikidoka practise with “live” blades which are razor sharp.
Through Iaido training we attempt to understand the use of the weapon while simultaneously stimulating and stretching our body. Effective Iaido combines controlled, fluid motion, and has been referred to as “moving Zen” by some practicionaers.
Iaido is not practised with a partner as it would be too dangerous to do so. Iaido forms (kata) are performed solitarily against one or more imaginary opponents.
At Wishaw Aikikai we practice Iaido primarily to augment and improve our understanding of Aikido, not as an end in itself. Iaido classes are scheduled every thursday.
At Wishaw Aikikai, we practise weapons training using the short staff (Jō), wooden sword (Bokken), and knife (Tantō).The founding father of Aikido, O’Sensei, developed much of his empty handed aikido from traditional sword and spear movements, but the practice of these movements is not just for the purpose of giving insight into the origin of techniques and movements, but serves to reinforce the concepts of distance, foot movement, presence and connectedness with one’s training partner.
Weapons classes are held after the body art classes. Weapons classes aren’t as physically demanding as body art, but they do require greater focus and attention to prevent injuring your opponent.
The attacks used in Aikido are based very much on the precision and movements of Japanese sword masters and Samurai, so the movements learned here are interchangeable with hand to hand combat.
If you would like to be confident in protecting yourself from an armed attacker, then Aikido is the ultimate self defence system.