Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Iaido (居合道 iaidō), also sometimes called iaijutsu (居合術 iaijutsu) or battojutsu (抜刀術 battōjutsu) is a sword based Japanese martial art that trains the motions associated with drawing a katana from its sheath, striking an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then re-sheathing the katana with smooth, controlled movement. Modern day exponents typically use iaito instead of shinken at least in beginning stages of study.
The emphasis is on drawing the sword and attacking as quickly as possible. Starting positions can be from combative postures or from everyday sitting or standing positions. The ability to react quickly from different starting positions was considered essential for a samurai.
The Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu included iaijutsu in its curriculum in 15th century, and first schools dedicated exclusively to sword drawing appeared some time during the late 16th or early 17th century. Most modern schools consider a samurai called Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu (1546-1621) as the originator of iaido. Not much is known about his life, and some scholars doubt his existence as a historical figure. The two largest schools of iaido that are practised today, Muso Shinden-ryu and Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu, both claim a lineage starting with Hayashizaki.
While not a hard and fast rule, frequently the word iaido is used to refer to the modern self improvement oriented form taught by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) and other iaido associations while iaijutsu is used for the older, combative techniques of the koryu. The word iaido itself was coined by Nakayama Hakudo in early 20th century. Before that various other names like battō, battōjutsu, or saya no uchi were used instead.
The most important part of Iai, sometimes called the 'life of iai', is nukitsuke. This is a very quick draw accomplished by drawing the sword out of the saya (scabbard) while drawing the saya itself back. The blade can be brought out of the scabbard and used in a slashing motion very quickly using nukitsuke.
The two main classical styles (koryu) of iaido practiced worldwide are Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu and Muso Shinden-ryu. They resemble each other quite strongly because they branched off from one style sometime in the 17th century.
There are several branches of Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu that are practised today. One person who is considered to be a headmaster is Miura Takeyuki Hirefusa, who holds a 9th dan in MJER.
There are several lines of transmission extant for Muso Shinden-ryu also. One of them claims Mitsuzuka Takeshi as the headmaster, second one (those who are affiliated with Nippon Iaido Kyokai) regard Takada Gakudō as their head teacher.
A newer style of iaijutsu is Toyama-ryu battōjutsu. This is a style originating in the late 19th century, and taught primarily to officers in the Second World War. It is different from the older styles in the sense that it favors quick and sudden, rather than smooth and deliberate, movements. Neither the older styles nor Toyama-ryu can be said to be more effective.
- Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu
- Muso Shinden-ryu
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details