The most important piece of equipment for practicing Iaido. You get a sword at the earliest after about half a year of practice (with the wooden sword = Bokken ).
Hover over the parts of the sword illustration above. The names of the individual parts are shown (sorry—in German yet).
Technical terms katana
The quality problem seems to be solved in Germany. Almost every dealer knows that the swords (= Iaito) offered for Iaido training must be stable enough under liability law. An Iaito as a sports device is not sharp, hardened or folded. It has a (relatively) blunt die-cast alloy blade and decent, solid equipment. You can reliably order swords online in Japan. Chinese brands are doubtful (not all of them).
There are many ways to order. Orders in / from Japan are ideal. These dealers deliver and bill correctly and there are hardly any difficulties. However, you may have to Fight with customs fees & transport costs along with delivery times. German retailers have also established themselves.
|Iaido24||Very friendly and competent, usable selection of equipment affordable starter set.|
|Tozando||The traditional supplier from Japan. Large selection and recurring campaign weeks.|
|Yamatobudogu||The traditional supplier from Japan. Large selection and cheap.|
|Seido||The traditional supplier from Japan. Large selection and sorted from cheap to expensive.|
|Nihonto||German specialist for real weapons. Assessment, restoration & trading of Japanese swords.|
Perfect sword length
The length of the blade is specified by reputable dealers with the Japanese measure of Shaku (1 Shaku = 30.3 cm). The length of the sword is measured in a straight line from the tip of the blade to the habaki. The following table provides information on choosing the correct length. Strong people and advanced users choose a longer length. Women and slim Iaidoka can also take smaller swords.
|Height||Shaku||Length in cm|
|155 – 160 cm||2,30 Shaku||69,7 cm|
|160 – 165 cm||2,35 Shaku||71,2 cm|
|165 – 170 cm||2,40 Shaku||72,7 cm|
|170 – 175 cm||2,45 Shaku||74,2 cm|
|175 – 180 cm||2,55 Shaku||75,8 cm|
|180 – 185 cm||2,60 Shaku||77,3 cm|
|185 – 190 cm||2,65 Shaku||78,8 cm|
|190 – 200 cm||2,70 Shaku||83,3 cm|
When with a sword?
The right time to start practicing Iaido with a sword can be relaxed. Intensive learning of the kata arouses the desire to try everything with a sword. A bokken seems to place too little strain on the practitioner. A lot can be learned in the ›swordless time‹. Bokken exercises are useful for beginners. The shapes and movements are relieved of complex sword handling.
First you learn the sequence of the forms yourself. The refinement of the technique, the memorizing of technical terms and mastering certain details (eg Chiburi) take a long time. This process can take two to five years for Seitei-Iai (starter forms). An Iaidogi (training clothing) is purchased – light movement in Iaido clothing is demanding. Sitting down correctly, walking, folding the iaigi takes some getting used to. When the movement is adjusted, the Hakama no longer slips, the Obi (belt) does not wear off and the knots remain tight. Basically, an Iaito can be purchased at this time.
Used Iaito purchase
As a beginner you can buy a used Iaito. So you can get to the first Iaito cheaply. Many exercisers change the sword length after a relatively short time (1 to 2 years of training) and buy a new blade. There are some quality features that you should check before buying a used egg ito. Safety first!