Iaido, the Way of the Sword, is the art of drawing and using the traditional Japanese sword. Iaido was practiced by the ancient Samurai for centuries.
Iaido consists of a number of techniques, or waza, that represent combative situations where generally one or more opponents initiate an attack. Although the waza represent combative encounters, the deeper purposes of iaido are to develop mental discipline, awareness, and mental and physical harmony through practice and control of body and sword movements.
Iaido is not considered a sport, but rather an ancient traditional art based on a unique oral tradition for the development of mind, body, and spirit. This art form has been passed from teachers to students in an unbroken line over hundreds of years, so it is the responsibility of each practitioner to learn and practice the techniques correctly so that the tradition is preserved and can be passed on intact to the next generation.
Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, meaning "peerless, direct transmission, true faith style", is the most widely practiced style of Iaido in Japan. It has a lineage of roughly 450 years, making it the second oldest martial art form in Japan.