- 武道学研究 (ISSN:02879700)
- vol.14, no.1, pp.27-35, 1981-10-30 (Released:2012-11-27)
Iai originated in the practical combative techniques known as battd (striking instantly with a sword while rapidly unsheathing it in one stroke) which were born during the ages of civil and martial disorder. These martial techniques, batto, as they yielded to the necessities of the subsequent ages of peace underwent drastic transformations in terms of both the way the techniques were preformed and their ideological forntations, and gradually developed into what is now known as iai. Within the process of this development, in terms of physical technique, the trend toward the practice of the art from a sitting posture occupies a central position. This central position is shared on the mental side with the philosophical reorientation of the art toward one possessing the fundamental nature of being directed toward a defensive response to a sudden and unexpected attack such as what might occurr even in an orderly society. This kind of iai, in both its physical and intellectual characteristics, was well suited to the peaceful social conditions of Tokugawa society. Iai was the model martial art for an age of social order. By developing in this way, undergoing many technical vicissitudes, the adoption of sitting in the formal posture of seiza, the use of the samurai's uchi-gatana (long sword worn through the belt with edge upwards) instead of the soldier's tachi (long sword slung from the belt with edge downward), and assuming the character of a mental discipline practiced without an opponent, iai eventually realized its standard form which has been preserved down to the present time.