Iaido Sword – Practice Sword

Name: Iaido sword
Blade Length: Depends on the height and strength of the user
Handle Length: Depends on the height and strength of the user
Weight: Depends on the blade length, tsuka length and fitting options
Used By: Beginners Those with Advance Skills; Those who practice martial arts and sport
Function: For competitions only
Place of Origin: Japan
Date Produced: Mid 1500s


Iaido is an abbreviation of iai, a modern Japanese martial arts and sport that emphasizes the ability to draw a sword fast in response to an attack. This practice started in the mid-1500s where Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu organized it. After Japan’s feudal system has collapse, the founders of modern discipline borrowed the theory. It was in 1932 when the Japanese discipline incorporating this practice was approve. After these came organizations that begin to incorporate this in their martial arts or sports discipline. Thus the practice of Japanese martial discipline began again. This sport is associated with smoothly controlled movements from the drawing of the sword from its scabbard or saya to striking or cutting an opponent. Beginners usually use wooden swords like the blunt edged iaito but, practitioners who are skilled use shard edged word or shinken. Practitioners of this sport are referred to as Iaidoka. This practice encompasses different styles of swordsmanship which is non-combative in nature. This is performed partially in solo as an issue of kata to show the strategies and mastery gain by the practitioner. This sport is influence by Confucianism, Zen, Taoism and Bushido. This is a sport that does not need a sparring partner of any kind. By the time a practitioner has mastered his craft he is quick to draw the sword and simultaneously move it back into the saya in one fluid movement.

Conservative Arts

Iaido is considered to be a conservative arts. In Japanese culture, conformity is important and the same can be said about this practice where there are certain restrictions. Part of doing iaido is about developing ideas and polishing a sense of traditional Japanese Kenjutsu and Bushido. There is a lot of customizing that can be done with the sword but, it will still remain like a traditional handmade Katana sword. It is a must to own a sword that withstand continuous practice. For those who practice this art, shinken will refer to a Katana.  Such swords like gunto can be nice because of its historical value however, it is too short for Iaido. If in case a sword like this was purchase it needs to have a modified saya since gunto uses a tachi type arrangement.

Practice Makes It Perfect

Practicing with long and heavy swords will become a burden later on because it will cause pain in your shoulder and back. There are cases when the Iaido user can suffer from tendonitis. Most Iaido or kendo sensei or teachers agree that regardless of the style, the shinken should be light enough for one hand practices. Some might view Kendo or Iaido and considered as a practical discipline. Swords for Iaido can be from Iaito to shinken. Normally, a Katana is used to practice. For new members, using a Iaito would be a good idea to avoid injury, until you get better. It would be better for beginners to practice first before buying an Shinken sword. It is better to get a good Iaido sword, as it would be embarrassing and dangerous to buy a sword that are of inferior quality. Some swords can cause danger and accidents when swing in the wrong direction. It has the tendency to hit other members or the user. To be able to use a sword it must conform to both safety and aesthetic standards.