Iaido is composed of three ideograms.
“I” stands for the attitude of the person in different situations. Thus, the body has no fear and has a high level of attention and is ready to act at any time.
“Ai” stands for the ability to quickly adjust to an external situation with which the person is confronted. The person’s attitude is open, receptive and flexible.
“Do” stands for the way. In this, man strives for a harmonious way of life. From these ideograms it is evident that Iaido has a spiritual dimension. The name Iaido has been used only since 1930. Batto – Ho is an older term, but it lacks the mental level.
Forms of practice
Traditionally swordsmanship is trained in two opposite ways. On the one hand, the individual movements are studied. This is the kata form, where training is done with the iaito. Each person practices on his own. This type is often called Tandoku Renshu. On the other hand, the fight with the partner is learned. To avoid injuries, the bokken, a wooden sword, is used. The work with the Bokken and a partner is called Kenjutsu or Kumitachi or Sotai Renshu.
The Iaito is the beginner’s sword. It is a copy of a katana. Its blade is blunt and usually an aluminum-zinc alloy.
There is a third form of practice for higher level students. Here the student practices cutting tatami with a katana, the sharp sword.