Nukitsuke: The art of drawing the sword from its scabbard (saya)
Kiritsuke: Killing an opponent with one sword stroke
Chiburi: Flipping the blood from the blade
Noto: Returning the sword to its scabbard (saya)
Sword practice includes bowing, drawing, parrying, cutting, and returning the sword to the scabbard.
The first steps in learning iaido are to:
A.) Practice rei (bowing etiquette)
B.) Properly holding and moving the unsharpened long sword (iaito)
C.) Learning to stand, step, shuffle and pivot
The next steps are the traditional forms known as kata. Each kata teaches principles for proper handling of the sword. Many of the forms are hundreds of years old. Many people have practiced these same forms throughout the centuries. Iaido holds a great tradition.
A.) Draw the sword (iaito, bokken or katana) from its saya
B.) Hold your sword in both hands with the butt of the sword handle (tsukagashira) even with your waist, one fist's length away from your body (chudan-no-kamae)
C.) Point the sword tip of the blade (kissake) at your opponent's throat
D.) Take 3 steps forward and attack
Kiso-Iai Form Names:
1. IPPON ME - MAKKO GIRI
2. NIHON ME - MOROTE ZUKI
3. SANBON ME - MIGI KESA GIRI
4. YONHON ME - HIDARI KESA GIRI
5. GOHON ME - TSUKI O SURI AGETE, HIDARI KESA GIRI
6. ROPPON ME - SURI OTOSHITE, MAKKO GIRI
These eight KATA all contain two actions:
1st action: Nukitsuke (drawing the sword from its scabbard)
2nd action: Kiritsuke (killing an opponent with one sword stroke)
1. IPPON ME - MAE NO TEKI (opponent in front)
2. NIHON ME - MIGI NO TEKI (opponent to your right)
3. SANBON ME - HIDARI NO TEKI (opponent to your left)
4. YONHON ME - USHIRO NO TEKI (opponent in back)
5. GOHON ME - CHOKUZEN NO TEKI (opponent very close in front)
6. ROPPON ME - ZENGO NO TEKI (opponents in front and back)
7. NANAHON ME - SAYU NO TEKI (opponents to your left and right)
8. HACHIHON ME - TASU NO TEKI (multiple opponents)
IPPON ME: Frontal Attack
Draw nukitsuke upwards cutting diagonally (45 degrees) from lower left to upper right with one hand. (gyaku-kesa-giri)
NIHON ME: Attack to your right
Draw nukitsuke cutting horizontally from the left side with one hand. (suihei-giri)
Draw nukitsuke to your left side, swinging the sword in a horizontal slashing action from left to right. Be sure to use your hips when cutting.
SANBON ME: Attack to your left
The third attack is a one-handed thrust (katate-tsuki) to your left side.
YONHON ME: Attacking behind you
The fourth attack is a quick turn around clockwise. Drawing nukitsuke cutting downward upper left/lower right (hidari-kesa-giri) one-handed.
GOHON ME: Frontal Attack
The fifth attack is a vertical up/down cut (makko-giri) with both hands.
ROPPON ME: Attack to your left
The sixth attack is to an opponent on your left cutting downward (migi-kesa-giri) with both hands.
NANAHON ME: Attack to your right
The seventh attack is cutting down (hidari-kesa-gake) opponent to your right with both hands.
HACHIHON ME: Attack to your back
The eighth attack is (ukenagashi) attacking opponent from behind cutting upper right to lower left. (migi-kesa-giri)
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