Iaido (art of drawing the Japanese sword) (居合道)

Iaido is a kind of martial art that was developed from the battojutsu (technique of drawing a sword) called Iai.

Iaido is a self-discipline that represents not only training in technique but also the maturing of the person by learning how to use a Japanese sword such as drawing it, sheathing it and other manners.

Currently, a sequence of techniques from drawing a sword to sheathing it while in a seated position is considered as an independent martial art only in Japan, but in fact it is very rare.

Each organization has a kyu-and-dan grading system, so that a performer who works hard, performs kata (standard form of a movement, posture, etc. in martial arts, sport, etc.) and ultimately passes a certain audition and examination (whether it is written or oral depends on the organization) can receive a dan-i (qualification of rank) or a title such as Hanshi (the top rank), Kyoshi (prestigious title) or Renshi (senior teacher). In the kyu grading system, the first kyu is the highest grade, but in the dan grading system the more advanced the training is, the larger the number of the grade becomes, thus enabling performers to ascend the ladder of grades interminably. Currently, each organization has an authorized highest dan-i, but in some organizations a Hanshi of the tenth dan is the final stage and ultimate goal.
(Each organization has established a different goal.)

Difference from swordplay
The difference from swordplay is that the kata of iaido is made on the assumption that it's played on the floor; another point is that iaido puts emphasis on the awareness on drawing and sheathing the sword.

Enbukai (public demonstration)
Enbukai is conducted several times a year, mainly as an event in which performers demonstrate wazamae (kata). Additionally, it is sometimes conducted as a hono-enbu in order to report the result of daily training at a Shinto shrine.

In the game of iaido, performers don't kill each other but instead perform each school's kata; and if the organization includes several schools, an established kata also, whereupon they're evaluated on the performance of wazamae (kata) and judged by majority vote using flags or grades. In higher dan-i, some organizations don't conduct games but just conduct demonstration performances.

On May 4, 1954, the All Japan Iaido Federation was founded. In 1956, the All Japan Kendo Federation established the All Japan Kendo Federation Iai. In 1975, Dai Nippon Iaido Renmei (Great Japan Iaido Federation) was inaugurated.

[Original Japanese]