Modern iaido is based upon ancient techniques that allowed Japanese warriors from the feudal period to be able to defend themselves by quickly drawing their swords and cutting down adversaries in the event of an unsuspected attack.
Training is based on the study and practice of kata or forms involving drawing, cutting and re sheathing actions from a variety of seated and standing situations.
For the most part, forms are practised in a solo fashion against an imaginary opponent with paired exercises being introduced at advanced levels.
Study principally involves the Seitai Kata (standard forms) of the All Japan Kendo Federation or Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei (ZNKR). The original Seitei Iaido curriculum was developed by a technical committee of the ZNKR which brought together Iaido leaders from the many Koryu (a term for Japanese martial arts that predate the Meiji era). In 1968 the committee introduced a set of 7 kata that were heavily influenced by the forms and techniques of a broad cross section of the Koryu. In 1981 a further 3 kata were added and again in 2000 another 2 were added bringing the set currently to a total of 12.
These 12 Seitei Kata encompass the principles of sword handling are the basis of a system of training that offers significantly challenging yet rewarding study. The movements are often simple but can be very difficult to master. Ongoing practice builds the skill and understanding needed to perform each kata with precision and control.
Seitei is probably the most widely practised system of iaido in Japan and has a significant following throughout the world and is used as a basis for grading and competition.
Outside of the Seitei curriculum, from time to time Kuroyama Budokai will undertake sessions in Tameshigiri, the practise of test cutting with a live sword using rolled straw mats. This practice was popularized in the Edo period (17th century) for testing the quality of Japanese swords but continues to this day with a focus on the practitioner's control and precision with a sword.
For more advanced students, deeper study of Iaido is achieved through the practise of one of many Koryu. At Kuroyama Budokai the principle Koryu studied is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Koryu Iaido. It is one of the most widely practiced schools of Iaido and claims an unbroken lineage dating back from the sixteenth century.
International Kendo Federation (FIK) - is the internationally recognised world-wide federation of national Kendo, Iaido and Jodo.
Australian Kendo Renmei (AKR) is the FIK recognised organisation in Australia. It is also recognised by the Australian Sports Commission as the National Sporting Organisation (NSO) to develop Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in Australia.
ACT Kendo Renmei (ACTKR) - is the AKR recognised affiliate organisation for the devlopment of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in the ACT.