What is Iaido?

Iaido, as a distinct martial art, dates back to the beginning of the 17th Century. Many schools have developed over the last 400 years, but most schools worldwide teach Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei Seitei no Gata (often known as Seitei Iai). This is a set of twelve common techniques that teach the principles and foundations of Iai, and provide a common basis for examination and competition.

In addition to Seitei, we teach the much older Muso Shinden Ryu, which consists of approximately 45 techniques starting from kneeling, sitting and standing positions. It takes several years to learn these techniques, so we practice them regularly. These, like the Seitei Iai kata, are solo forms practiced against an imaginary opponent. Muso Shinden Ryu also contains a set of two-person forms practiced with wooden swords (bokken).
Iaido is not a sport, although there are occasional competitions, and the techniques are not an effective form of self-defence in the modern world. However, the attitude of self-development and self-examination that Iaido encourages makes the practitioner more able to cope with any situation that life throws at him.

Here are some photos taken of club members both present and past, and you can find more information about Iai here.