Iaido is the art of drawing the sword from its scabbard (nukitsuke), killing an opponent with one stroke of the sword (kiritsuke), flipping blood from the blade (chiburi) and returning the sword to its scabbard (noto). Traditional Kendo is the art of using the sword outside the scabbard. Modern Kendo includes the practice of students wearing protective armor (bugi) and striking each other (keiko) with bamboo swords (shinai).

Iaido has strong philosophical and historical ties to Kenjutsu. It was practiced by Japanese warriors for centuries. Swords were the primary weapons of the ancient Samurai (Japanese warrior class). They wore two shinkken (real swords) known as daisho. One was long (katana) and the other was short (wakizashi). Most Iaido training today is with the katana.

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