Iaido - Art of the Japanese Sword

Come learn the Way of the Drawing and Cutting with the Japanese Sword in Dublin Kendo, the home of Authentic Japanese Weapon Arts. Here, under the guidance of our qualified instructors you can study the "Way of Preparation". Suitable for young and old, complete beginners and experienced athletes.

Here is a demonstration of Iai from Ame Agarau (After the Rain), a great Samurai flick.

Learn more about Iaido

What is Iaido? 

Iaido is the art of Japanese Swordsmanship. How to draw, cut and sheathe the Japanese Sword. It is also a highly detailed and involved study of military strategic thought and samurai philosophy in motion.  

The word itself has a number of meanings and interpretations. Each is dependant of a subjective translation as the word itself, like many Japanese martial concepts does not translate into English at all easily. The word is comprised of 3 Japanese characters: i-ai-do.

Roughly, “I” comes from Iru, to be; Ai (as in Aikido) means coming together, harmony, or love; and means road, or Way (in the Buddhist sense). Loosely translated then, Iaido means being in harmony with one’s surroundings, always being prepared for any eventuality.

Dynamic and Thought Provoking

Training in Iai involves a number of distinct yet interrelated disciplines:

Tanren - This is physical conditioning as taught in feudal Japan. It is comprised of a series of body weight and equipped drills. These drills increase psychical conditioning, fitness, strength and improve body movement and co-ordination. They also, importantly contribute to the spirit of the practitioner, training them to develop endurance, perseverance, humility, dedication and more.

Waza - These are the techniques of Zen Ken Ren Iai, this is a syllabus created to introduce the correct use of the Japanese Sword. All our senior instructors are also students of Koryu Iai (these are the centuries old styles of Iai). ZNKR Iai is the core teachings of our club and teaches the foundations of Iaido. In virtually all schools of Iai, the kata/waza are composed of four essential elements. These are:

  • Nukitsuke – The initial draw and simultaneous cut.
  • Kiritsuke – The decisive finishing cut.
  • Chiburui – A symbolic shaking of blood from the blade.
  • Noto – Sheathing the sword.

Practically all kata have these fundamental parts in some combination or other, but may also include blocks, deflections, thrusts, and multiple cuts, depending on the scenario. Iai kata are performed solitary  against imaginary opponents, called kassoteki, or teki. (There are also partner kata at more advanced levels). 

Developing Awareness and Insight

The fact that there is no real adversary means the Iaido-ka (Iaido practitioner) needs to be aware of where teki is at all times, and to focus his techniques accordingly. This demands intense concentration from the Iaidoka. Each kata, though outwardly simple, has myriad technical details that can make it fiendishly difficult to master. Indeed, a single kata could easily take a lifetime’s study, and still not be perfected. However, it is this quest for almost unattainable perfection that makes Iai what it is – a Way of strengthening the body, developing the character, and forging the Spirit.

How Can I Start Training in Iaido?

It's really easy. Our Iaido Beginners Course is intended for practitioners with no prior experience in Iaido aged 16 and above (participants under 18 years of age require authorisation from a parent or guardian to enroll).

All of the instructors in our Beginners Course have achieved at least the ranking of 4th Dan in Iaido, have multiple years of Iaido coaching experience, and have represented Ireland in multiple international competitions abroad.

At the end of our 8-week Iaido Beginners Course, you will be expected to be able to:

  • Draw and Cut in a single fluid motion
  • Deliver a decisive finishing cut
  • Strike, thrust, cut, block, deflect and parry correctly
  • Defend against multiple opponents
  • Quickly and efficiently move to face an attacker
  • Fight at close, medium and long-range distances with a sword
  • And so much more.

Learn more - here

Beginners Course Registration

Regular Membership

If you're already practicing or want to join the club after the beginners course the details are as follows:

  • Regular Membership: €50 per month
  • Concessionary Membership (students or unwaged): €25 per month
  • Children (6 to 16-years old): €20 per month

This covers your classes fees for as many classes per week as you wish to attend for the month. That means if you take just 1 class a week, it's only €12.50 a session. If you take 4 classes a week it works out at just €3.12 a session

Both the club and federation are non-profit organizations and all fees go towards hall rental and other expenses related to running the club, such as insurance, governing body fees, and events. Of course, please let us know confidentially if you have any problems, we want you to train and this is more important than money. 

Training Times and Locations

IAIDO - The Way of Preparation

Monday - Beginners

19:00 - 20:20 **

St. John Bosco Youth Centre,

Davitt Road,


Dublin 12

Wednesday - All Levels

19:00 - 20:30**

St. Joseph's C.B.S. Secondary School,


Dublin 3

Saturday - All Levels


The Ballybough Community Youth & Sports Centre,

49 Ballybough Road,


Dublin 3

** Due to building restrictions, Saturday and Monday classes are unfortunately cancelled on bank holiday weekends.

Check out some our Dojo Iaido Videos!

The following are some recent clips from our seminars and public demonstrations. 

Dublin Kendo at Shurikon 2020

A short fun video showing the members of Dublin Kendo Demonstrating Iaido, Jodo and Kendo. And some general fun behind the scenes moments as we enjoyed the 'con.

Iaido Embu at Irish National Kendo Championships 2017 

"At last weekend's Irish National Kendo Championships and Ambassador's Cup, a demonstration of the Japanese martial art of Iaido was held. Iaido translates into English as "the way of mental presence and immediate reaction" and derives from samurai tradition". Courtesy of the Embassy of Japan in Ireland.

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