Batto/Iai (Classic Samurai Sword)

(Ee-ah-ee-do) "Iai is the scabbard, once the sword is drawn; the rest is kenjutsu." This is the definition given by a contemporary Japanese master, but it may require some further explanation. Iaido includes the many different techniques for drawing the long sword from its scabbard and in the same move and successive moves using the weapon offensively against an opponent or opponents. It is the study of real sword cutting techniques in every day life. It is also the study of how to return the blade to the sheath on the completion of the movements without loss of zanshin or awareness of the immediate situation. In Iai, the student performs all practice alone. The techniques are extremely varied and are made from crouching, sitting, reclining, standing or walking postures. Every angle of attack is studied. In Iai, there is always a superb concentration, a striving after perfection. Is of the greatest importance that the student thoroughly understand the real meaning of each part of the forms. This is not just theoretical or academic practice; it must be real. The opponent, although imaginary, must really exist, actually be seen by the swordsman. It is not in any sense a sport. The forms require long and serious study to perfect. Iai, is truly a warrior art.