Iaido


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An Introduction To Iaido

MALP

Iaido refers to a modern Japanese martial art that concenctrates on smooth and controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking an opponent, removing the blood on the blade and then putting the sword back into the scabbard. Iaido students or Iaidoka, however, do not learn or practice with live swords but is instead given with a bokken or wooden sword. However, depending on the teaching style, some iaidoka are allowed to use an iaito or a blunt-edged sword. This is because the bokken is closer to a real sword than a shinai but even then, the bokken and a real sharp-edged sword or shinken still have their differences aside from the presence of a blade. Only highly experienced Iaido practitioners are allowed to use a shinken. Nowadays, Iaido is more of a style concentrated on forms instead of technique, as its competition does not involve sparirn gof any kind. It focuses on precise, fluid and controlled movement, earning it the name "moving Zen".

Iaido was used to be called Battojutsu in the 15th century and then later Iaijutsu during 1603, sometime before the Tokugawa period. During that time, the style focused not only on movement but in slashing or striking as well. It was only in 1932 that the term Iaido was used to refer to the style in order for it to have a more spiritual or philosophical component, thus replacing the suffix "-jutsu".

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