Iaido is a Japanese martial art associated with smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard or saya, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard or saya.
The purpose of Iaido is to develop awareness, centeredness, sincerity, a calm mind, and mental and physical harmony through the practice of traditional sword techniques. The essence of Iaido is the concept that the body, mind, spirit, and the sword work together in harmony. Through Iaido practice you gain self-respect, courage, poise, and the ability to relax when facing difficult situations. You learn to concentrate your physical and mental power in a single effort in an easy and natural manner; being in the present moment while being aware of all around you.
Modern day iaido exponents typically use an iaito (training sword) for practice. Beginners may use a bokuto/bokken (wooden sword) while the more advanced practitioner might use a shinken (sharpened sword).
In our dojo, we practice Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū, which is one of the most widely practiced schools of iaido in the world. Often referred to simply as “Eishin-ryū,” it claims an unbroken lineage dating back to the sixteenth century.
Farshad Ardestani teaches all iaido classes at Aikido Yoshinkai Burnaby.