Iaido Techniques




Introduction: Iaido Techniques

About: Im 17 years old. I love to build things, mainly weaponry and planes. I like hard core music and im on instructables just about every hour of the day.

This will teach you some of the techniques of Iaido.

Step 1: Releaseing the Blade

Press thumb up against the tsuba (hand guard) while holding the sheath of the sword.This should release the blade from the sheath.(no image needed)

Step 2: NUKI TSUKE (draw and Cut)

From A sitting position (sitting on your feet toes pointed back and your knees touching the ground) you take your right hand and grasp the tsuka (handle)(your sitting position should stay the same except that you toes should now be under you so you can stand up if needed). Then you start to draw the sword from the saya and, start rotating both the saya and blade so that the ha (cutting edge) is pointing to your left after you have drawn half the blade. While you are doing this you should be on your left knee and your right foot should be on the ground next to it. Wile you are continuing to draw out the blade you should be rotating your upper torso slowly and when the blade is free from the saya you swing your arm that is holding the sword to your right. Have some self control when you do this, don't knock yourself over.

(Pics are no of me but will be replaced by me sometime soon)

Step 3: KIRI TSUKE (finishing Cut)

The sword is raised to a jodan (upper, above the head) position (furi kaburi). The right hand moves so that it does not block your vision. Grasp the tsuka with the left hand in the proper cutting position in a very relaxed grip. No further movements or adjustments of the hands on the handle should be made before immediately cutting down. As in all big and powerful movements, the tip of the sword must start. This is accomplished by first tightening the grip of the tsuka and then rotate your wrists as your arms start their movement forward-downward. The feeling should be of throwing away the tip as far as possible. You should step forward with your right foot at the same time, so that your legs have the same position as in the end of nukitsuke. Your arms should be slightly bent throughout the cut. The cut finishes so that the tsuba is slightly lower than the right knee, and even with the kneecap. The kissaki points down slightly to clear the groin of the opponent. The eyes follow the drop of the foe to the floor, not the tip of the sword. Grasp the tsuka with the left hand just above the tsuka gashira for more power. The cut is made as soon as the power can be applied with the left hand. The pause at the top is less than 1/2 second if there is one at all. Kiri otoshi is done at full speed and power with the feeling of cutting through anything that's in the way. The tip of the sword (kissaki) should lead the motion, not the arms. The right hand's movement is like throwing something as far away as possible, left hand is like rotate (forward-upward) and then strongly down. Stop the cut by gripping tightly with both hands, most with the pinky and ring fingers, some with the long finger. The index fingers and thumbs are not gripping just laying on the tsuka.

Step 4: Nihonme, Ushiro (rear)

In this move the swordsman is seated in the formal seiza position (the position i told you about in the first step). When he/she senses an attack from an opposing individual from behind, the swordsman acts by simultaneously drawing his sword and rotating 180°. The swordsman acts with a horizontal strike to the head of his attacker. You do this by going from the sitting position to standing on your left leg but still kneeling on your right. You then spin your right leg while swinging the sword to your right at your opponent. Then, after moving forward, he/she strikes with a lethal overhead cut. (You hold the sword like in instruction number 2)

Step 5: Yonhonme, Tsukaate (Strike With the Handle of the Sword)

The swordsman is seated in a posture which allows his right knee to be raised off the ground. This seated posture, called take-hiza, was common for swordsmen who wore full armor, to facilitate standing. The swordsman in this situation is confronted with two attackers, one in front and one in back. Using the butt-end of his sword's hilt (tsuka kashira), the swordsman delivers a temporarily disabling strike to the solar plexus of the attacker in front. He quickly rotates 90° to dispose of his rear attacker with a horizontal thrust of his sword (tsuki), followed by a frontal pivot, to deliver the mortal overhead strike to his original stunned opponent in front.

Step 6: Thanks

More will be added soon when i have more time.

Thanks to

for pics and some info



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    55 Discussions

    Meh, i bought a fake, non sharpend one at a gunshow. Took it out to my bench grinder, and its pretty sharp. Some more explaining (ie better pics) could be used.

    12 replies

    What you sharpened Sgt Waffles, was an Iaito -- the training sword for Iai. I did the same thing a couple of decades ago and ruined a very expensive training sword, so I could have a 'real' one. I eventually bought an antique sword in Gunto mounts (katana in WW II sword furniture) and after building a traditional saya (sheath) and tsuka (handle), I trained with that one. I thought I was getting pretty good at Iaido after a year or two and one day, started to move 'way too fast in a kata and wound up running the sword through my hand. I embarrassed to admit this on a public forum. There's a reason that swords were the weapon of choice for several thousand years. They DO remove human limbs without much problem or training at all. You know how you can cut your finger with your pocket knife? Now imagine that cutting power applied with a lever (as in physics). Like anything else, don't imagine that the movies tell you much truth about combat. If you've ever fired a pistol and tried to hit a target at any distance, cowboys shooting from the back of a galloping horse is a waste of bullets. Most of the practice of Iaido is inside your head; readying your mind to respond with deadly calm to a very close and deadly attack. Thousands of repetitions, trying to get to the point where the sword draws itself.

    hehe, shooting guns from horseback i dont know about, but i saw a guy shoot 6 out of 7 arrows from a crossbow and hit a target 40ish ft away on a moving horse after 10mins instruction. hehe he missed the 7th cos he fell off the horse what u have to do is compensate for the horses rhythm, if its at a gallop/trot/canter its pace has a set up-down rhythm (to maximise its own efficiency) all u have to do is know when to fire and so long as you have an alright aim to begin with you shud be okay :)

    Wow, this is confusing...lol. Anyone else do any non-weapon-utilizing martial arts like brazilian jujitsu or muay thai? I could use a new sparring partner in te wichita ks area. just a thought.

    I dont need to spend money on swords right now. I need to buy some more fish. Had a poweroutage, and it wiped out half of my stock in my 55.

    Wow.... YOU CAN???? you must be pretty amazing.... Oh, and FYI: Yoko Ichimonji is an awesome sword move that you can do by learning the I-ai style ( draw cut style ). This totally awesome moves actually delivers a short focused 'energy' wave and will extend a normal sword attack to about 10 meters at the max. But a beginner's Yoko Ichimonji is just a strengthened version of a normal draw cut...... ( I think ) and YES, it does exist. Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, I don't really know much about that move either

    idk even know if its posible lol but i ment if i could find out how to do it i would teach you lol