What is Iaido?

Hello my Dear Readers!

By the time you’re reading this, I’m confident that you have already seen plenty of resources regarding Iaido all over the Internet, namely this, this, and this.

You may also do a quick Google search if you happen to be hard-core at looking for more information. And I’m not going to insult your intelligence by saying “there’s tons of it already” and regurgitating information by attempting to turn this article into a “just another Wiki page”.

When being asked “What is Iaido?”, all I can offer you is what I think about this art based on my observation, as well as my personal experience.

First: It is all about the Japanese Sword.

It is all about handling this weapon properly.
Many schools and forums are debating which is the most correct method, focusing on the Te no Uchi, and other terms related to the hand grip and posture as we speak. Plenty of which you will find interesting to learn upon entering your favorite Dojo.

But I don’t think Iaido is all about the technical aspects of the Japanese Sword.
Otherwise, anyone who can read the Japanese Samurai history paired with the ability to memorize all body parts of a human anatomy down to the cellular level, yet who has never stepped into a Dojo can claim to be Genius.

Second: It is all about applications in real life.

Let’s face it. This is no longer 16th century and we are not living in Feudal Japan.
Nobody is expecting us to carry swords and walk down the street. Unless you’re looking for trouble. At best, people will most likely stare at you and think you’re a douchebag. At best.

With that, “What are the applications of Iaido?” may sound way too common in the Martial arts community, expecting to hear answers that sound like: “You can always swing any long and hard object against anyone who swears to hurt you and your family”, and all other smash-that-face-from-stylized-angles variety. Sorry to burst your bubbles ladies and gentlemen but that is not at all the case.

Iaido is trying to convey the message that one “must be prepared” at all costs. From sleeping to waking up, from eating or crossing the street all the way to your school or office, particularly in your daily driving commute that requires your eyes to stay on the road, but with some jerk trying to cut in front of you catching you in surprise. How to react? It’s for you to find out.

Finally: and more importantly, it’s all about “not having to use Martial Arts at all“.

You may have probably heard this proverb lots of times already. Practically speaking, people who intend to do you harm will think that you’re not an easy target, making them think twice before they would actually do it.

With that, the more you practice Iaido (or any Martial Arts for that matter), people will naturally look up to you and treat you with respect. You are held in high regard to the point that people acknowledge you that you indeed practice martial arts, without having you yourself blab about it in Social Media or in real life.

Personally, I’m dreaming of achieving this ideal.

My friends, I know Iaido will sound trivial if I tell you that it is merely about “drawing the sword”, “cutting down an imaginary enemy”, “flicking the blood off the blade” and “resheathing it”. But there is always a tendency that this art gets mistaken for a mere dance with a 500-year-old choreograph, therefore getting you a “Meh~~” from a layman. This art however offers you an entirely different meaning more deeper than just that.

And it is up to you to discover it.

Cheers, and spread the love.

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