Iaido - Aikido Toho Iai
Iaido is the fine art of drawing a Japanese sword, known as a katana. Iaido focuses on the precise and fluid movement of the draw, cut, and sheathing of the sword. The katana was considered to be the ultimate destructive weapon of the Samurai and many believed the Samurai’s spirit was contained within their sword. In Aikido Toho Iai developed by Shoji Nishio Shihan, the sword, and the spirit within it, is a benevolent way of guiding an opponent to a more peaceful and human path. The sword movement is “otonashi”, or silent, meaning there is little or no contact between blades. The sword is viewed as a teaching and informing tool rather than a weapon, and illuminates the relationship between the sword and the empty hand techniques in Aikido. Nishio Shihan’s successor, Koji Yoshida Shihan, continues to honor and evolve the elegant and martially effective art of Aikido Toho Iai.