Iaido Kata

Practice makes perfect

Kata can be found in almost all Japanese martial arts. They are complex series of movements which train a fight against one or several imaginary opponents. Iaido has kata done from sitting (Zagi), from standing (Tachiwaza) or while running (Hashirigakari).

Iaido Kata

One purpose of kata is to hand down the essence of a style to future generations. Mugai Ryu is a very puristic style. It refrains from all superfluous movements with the sword or with the body, concentrating on practical efficiency. It’s plainness makes this style look easy. However, with progressing training the student recognizes that this plainness is demanding and effective.

If the Iaidoka can integrate this insight into his everyday life he can lay the foundation of a happy and succesful life beyond his physical training, thus representing the Zen-buddhist way.

One who constantly practices kata does not merely go through the predetermined cuts with the sword but will also develop an understanding of the form and of the intended situation. The mind comes to rest. The practitioner comes to terms with himself.

Mugai Ryu Iaido - Hoshina Sensei

One who constantly practices kata does not merely go through the predetermined cuts with the sword but will also develop an understanding of the form and of the intended situation. The mind comes to rest. The practitioner comes to terms with himself.

Mugai Ryu has the following basic cuts::

  • Makko Giri – a vertical cut from above with both hands
  • Kessa Giri Sa – a cut at an 30 degree angle from above right with both hands
  • Kessa Giri Yuu – a cut at an 30 degree angle from above left with both hands
  • Gyakku Kessa Giri – a single-handed cut at an 45 degree angle from below left
  • Yokoichimonji – a single-handed horizontal cut at heart level

The basic techniques Kihon Ichi (one), Kihon Ni (two) and Kihon San (three) are combined applications of basic cuts and other techniques, similar to a kata, containing all the significant elements of the style and are taught from the beginning.
The basic elements can be found in all other kata and may be looked at as the standard of proficiency of students and masters alike, and are therefore trained intensively by both.

Mugai Ryu Kata - Youchuin

While learning or after having learned the first two basic elements the student is introduced to the first kata. According to the rank of the student or master he learns new kata from a sitting or standing position and later with running, too.

The common structure of an Iaido kata is:

  • Nuki Tsuke – the drawing of the blade and the first cut
  • Furikaburi – bringing the katana back and overhead to be ready again for attack
  • Kiri Tsuke – further cuts
  • Chiburi – shaking off the blood
  • Noto – putting the sword back into the saya (sheath)

Mugai Ryu Iaido Kata

Ein Überblick über alle Formen

Mugai Ryu has 20 open kata, then follow 8 Naiden/Okuden or closed kata which are only taught to high Dan holders and finally 5 secret techniques.

Goyo 五用 (Zagi):

  • Shin 真
  • Ren 連
  • Sa 左
  • Yuu 右
  • Sha 捨

Goka 五箇 (Zagi):

  • Suigetsu 水月
  • Inchuyo 陰中陽
  • Yochuin 陽中陰
  • Hibiki Gaeshi 響き返し
  • Hazumi 破図味

Goou 五応 (Tachiwaza):

  • Munazukushi 胸尽くし
  • Enyo 円要
  • Ryouguruma 両車
  • Nooukuri 野送り
  • Gyokkou 玉光

Hashirigakari 走り懸り:

  • Maegoshi 前腰
  • Musougaeshi 夢想返し
  • Mawarigakari 回り懸かり
  • Migonoteki 右の敵
  • Shiho 四方

Iaido Mugai Ryu