About Iaido

Southland Aikido Los Angeles

Southland Aikido practices Muso Shinden-Ryu, an Iaido style founded by Hakudo Nakayama.

In studying Iaido (居合道), one will learn how to properly draw and wield a Japanese sword. An in-depth reading of the Japanese characters for Iaido is: I (being), AI (harmony), DO (way) or “The way of harmonizing oneself in action”.

The iaidoka (practitioner of Iaido) wields a sword, not to control the opponent, but to control oneself. Iaido is mostly performed solo as a series of waza (technique), and as the student of Iaido progresses they can begin training with the bokken for the actual application of the kata. The iaidoka executes various techniques against single or multiple imaginary opponents. Each waza begins and ends with the sword sheathed. In addition to sword technique, practitioners require imagination and concentration in order to maintain the feeling of a real fight and to keep the kata (series of specific movements) fresh. In order to properly perform the waza, iaidoka also learn posture and movement, grip, and cut. Iaido is never practiced in a free-sparring manner with a real sword.

Practitioners prepare for a surprise attack, where an immediate, efficient solution to the problem of aggression is necessary. Therefore, the technique is highly refined. Every unnecessary movement is cut away. Technique is simple and direct. The training method is aimed towards development of the practitioner’s every mental and physical resources.

Iaido is an authentic martial art that proved its martial values in a time of constant battle and warfare, that was preserved and passed on directly from teacher to student over generations in an unbroken lineage for 450 years. Iaidoka develops the mind towards an ultimately peaceful, harmonious, and active state ready to react and deal with any life situation. Since Aikido was derived from a sword-based system, Aikido students will find that studying Iaido deepens their understanding of Aikido practice.

Iaido Curriculum At Southland Aikido

Shoden 初伝 (Omori Ryu)
Shohattō
Satō
Utō
Ataritō
In’yō Shintai
Ryūtō
Juntō
Gyakutō
Seichūtō
Korantō
Battō
In’yō Shintai Kaewaza 

Chūden 中伝 (Hasegawa Eishin Ryu)
Yokogumo
Toraissoku
Inazuma
Ukigumo
Yamaoroshi
Iwanami
Urokogaeshi
Namigaeshi
Takiotoshi
Nukiuchi

Okuden (奥伝)
Kasumi
Sunegakoi
Shihogiri
Tozume
Towaki
Tanashita
Ryozume
Torabashiiri

Okuden (奥伝) Tachiwaza No Bu
Yukitsure
Rentatsu
Somakuri
Sodome
Shinobu
Yukichigai
Sodesurigaeshi
Moniri
Kabezoi
Ukenagashi

Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Iaido Seitei Gata 
Mae
Ushiro
Ukenagashi
Tsuka Ate
Kesa Giri
Morote Tsuki
Sampogiri
Ganmen Ate
Soete Tsuki
Shiho Giri
So Giri
Nuki Uchi

Shindo Munen Ryu 
Iwanami
Ukifune gaeshi
Nôarashi gaeshi
Utsusemi
Matsukaze
Zangetsu hidari
Zangetsu migi
Dotô gaeshi
Raito gaeshi
Yôtô
Into
Inazuma gaeshi

Link: Parts of a Japanese sword explained

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