Iaido is associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard or saya, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard.

 

Concept

Iaido can be defined by its kanji or characters as meaning "the way of harmonizing one's self in action at all times and in all conditions." 

The term "Iaido" approximately translates into English as "the way of mental presence and immediate reaction." Iaido is not practiced as a two-person combative martial art. One imagines opponents while moving through combat sequences, known in Japanese as kata


History

Iaido swordsmanship takes some of its basic forms from a number of different disciplines predating the collapse of the Japanese feudal system in 1868. It was only after this collapse that Iaido was recognized as a Japanese discipline of swordsmanship.

Throughout the 20th century, a number of Iaido organizations were formed, including the All Japan Kendo Federation from which we stem.


Schools

Musō Shinden-ryū

A popular version of techniques from seiza (sitting position) created by Nakayama Hakudō (1872 - 1958) in the 1932. The Musō Shinden-ryū is an interpretation of one of the Jinsuke-Eishin lines, called Shimomura-ha.

Our club teaches Musō Shinden-ryū but invite and welcome members of other Iaido schools to train with us.

Lineage chart to come.


Our Lineage

Muso Shinden-ryu (Shimomura-ha Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu)

Matsuyoshi Teisuke (Shinsuke) Hisanari 松吉貞助久成

Yamakawa Kyuzo Yukikatsu (Yukio) 山川久蔵幸雄

Shimomura (Tsubouchi) Moichi (Seisure) Sadamasa 下村茂市定政

Hosokawa (Gisho) Yoshimasa (Yoshiuma) (After Oe Masamichi Shikei) 細川義昌

Nakayama (Hakudo) (Yushin) Hiromichi 中山博道

Danzaki, Tomoaki (1906 – 2003)

Mitsuzuka, Takeshi (1926 – 2008)

Yamamoto, Shotaro (1927 2013)

Chris Gilham (1971 - )


Ranks & Grading

The All Japan Kendo Federation defined the grading requirements for ZNKR Seitei Iaido in 1968. Dan ranks are awarded to Iaido practitioners who attend grading sessions and show a mastery of the skills and kata required for the attempted rank.

Within Canada, the Canadian Kendo Federation governs the ranks and teaching of Iaido. However, many other organizations exist outside of Canada which perform similar governing tasks. 

While all practitioners of Iaido have the opportunity to attend gradings and achieve official ranks, they are not necessary for practicing Iaido. Some of our members hold ranks in Iaido, while others just continue to practice without the pressure of grading.


Iaido Clothing & Equipment

Iaido practitioners, called iaidoka, begin training with a wooden practice sword (bokuto or bokken). As training progresses, they invest in an iaito, a dull-blade training sword.

Advanced practitioners can use a shinken (live blade). Only iaito and shinken are allowed when grading.

The Iaido uniform consists of a black gi, hakama and obi. The sheathed sword is inserted through the obi. The sheath (saya), is secured to the uniform by tying a silk or cotton cord (sageo), to the hakama. Beginners may use loose-fitting clothing suitable for exercise when they start training.