IAIDO KATA SAN
(all cuts are 2-handed unless specified)
(Differences from Kata Ni are italicized)
Begin with feet together, hands at sides, facing north. Bow.
Sword bow: Grab hilt from underneath, just below tsuba, and extend arm forward with a snap so that tsuba is in line with obi. Snap sword back into sheath with authority. Now bow, right hand at side, left hand on sheath.
Draw sword, tip to ceiling, and step out with right foot into a horse stance. Execute a right blood strike (from above left shoulder arcing down towards right foot) shifting weight forward onto right leg.
Center weight in a horse stance again and perform 2 blood shakes (wide counter-clockwise circles with tip of sword. Presume starting point is at 6:00).
Resheath: Draw spine of sword through left thumb & forefinger across top of sheath until tip falls into sheath opening. Position right fist so that sword is aligned with sheath. Snap sword back into sheath.
Grasp hilt from beneath and draw sword in a wide horizontal arc (left to right) across the northern opponent's chest. Continue arc to your right and turn hilt 270o counter-clockwise to draw the sword down the centerline of your eastern opponent's body. Then position sword in a high rise block to the east (arm slightly bent, sword tip is pointing 45o down to the east).
Lower right arm slightly, then snap head left and perform an outward block to the west with your left arm.
Rotate sword in a horizontal arc so it meets your left palm (facing north) above your head. Spin left 180o pivoting on right foot to land in a left front stance facing east and thrust blade under left armpit (to stab to the west) leaving left hand on spine to reinforce.
Draw sword forward out of opponent's body and spin sword 3 times (on right, on left and on right) as you take 3 steps forward (east). Ending in right front stance, stab vertically down into the chest of the fallen body in front of you (in line with your centerline) and again to the body's groin (to the right of your right foot).
Bring left foot back into a horse stance facing north, but keep upper torso facing east, as you position sword in a high rise block to the east (as before).
Bring right foot back into a cat stance facing east (left toes point north, left knee bent supporting 90% of weight, on ball of right foot whose toes are pointing east). Bring sword horizontal at neck height pointing east and cup left palm around butt (of sword, that is!)
Thrust sword due east while taking one step east with right foot the bringing ball of left foot to rest about 6" to the right of your right heel. Keai point.
Flip right hand to grab hilt from beneath (standard grip).
Step back into horse stance with left foot (facing north) and pull sword from opponent's chest arcing sword overhead and executing a right blood strike (from above left shoulder arcing down towards right foot) shifting weight forward onto right leg.
Raise sword to right shoulder and execute a left horizontal cut, shifting weight over left leg.
Move index finger to top side of hilt, let tip drop to the right then flip it back using wrist & fingers to start sword pivoting between fore & middle fingers. As tip points down (360o into arc) grab hilt so that tsuba is below pinky. Rotate wrist 90o more, following current arc, so that sword is horizontal, sort of pointing northeasterly. Turn upper torso to face north, centering weight in a horse stance, as you extend right arm way over to the left, so tip of sword is in front of your solar plexus. Now rotate wrist 180o clockwise and lower right arm to draw sword between left forefinger and thumb, across sheath opening. Continue the resheath motion.
Turn head to the west and flip sword out of the sheath (index finger underneath hilt, middle finger above. Draw sword out and flip it into your palm). Grip hilt with both hands just behind right ear, chin in crook of left arm, blade vertical, elbows pointing high (east & west) in a deep horse stance (northward).
Step with right foot into a right front stance facing west while executing a horizontal cut.
Rotate sword to point up and throw a jump right front kick (lift left knee and push off with right foot. As your right foot leaves ground, throw front kick and land with left foot first) landing in a right front stance again.
Remove left hand and let tip of sword drop (down and on left side of body) then rotate wrist spinning sword in an upward arc from behind and spin once again on your right side. Continue circle on right and extend right elbow past blade's intended path so that blade ends up under armpit, edge up.
Circle sword back in front and perform a reinforced block to the west (left hand on spine at blade's mid-point, blade at 45o angle pointing up and left, as if pressed against a wall). Shuffle forward (west) with this block.
Move left foot back (northward) into a deep horse stance facing south, reinforced block forward is vertical. Left palm should also be vertical (fingers pointing up) on spine.
Pull sword back toward you slightly, grasp with 2 hands and take 2 steps west, left foot first, landing in a right front stance facing west. As you take first step, allow sword to drop counter-clockwise from vertical and "follow your left foot". During 2nd step bring sword up near right elbow and execute a left knee chop to western opponent. Bring sword back to right shoulder and execute a left horizontal cut to same opponent.
Remove left hand and rotate right wrist so that sword is vertical. Spin left 180o pivoting on right foot, landing in a horse stance facing north, and execute an elbow strike to the head of the same western opponent, knocking his head off his shoulders. 2nd keai point.
Execute a 1-hand horizontal cut to the east, remaining in a horse stance facing north.
Face northwest and point tip of sword northwest also. Cross wrists, left on top, and grab spine just above tsuba in crook of left thumb. Roll sword up between crook of left thumb and across palm, rotating left wrist to aid the momentum of the roll, and catch hilt with right hand once sword has made 360o revolution.
Grasp hilt with both hands and thrust forward (northwest) as you step forward with right foot into a right front stance.
Withdraw sword from opponent, step back with right foot into a horse stance facing north. As you step, execute a wide, one-handed, counter-clockwise blood shake ending down & to the right.
Shift weight over right leg and bathe sword on left sleeve (across bicep with forearm horizontal, palm slightly raised).
Step up with left foot to meet right. Sword in "salute" position (both hands on hilt holding sword in front of chest, blade vertical, edge forward).
Step out to the east with right foot, moving weight over right leg, looking towards the west. Hold sword with 1-hand, right fist in front of right temple, edge up, angled 45o down towards left foot. "Pinch" the spine with your left thumb & forefinger just above the tsuba.
Draw sword through thumb & forefinger about 6", then spin sword 360o by pivoting on the "pinch" and flicking right wrist down as you release. Catch the hilt as it comes around with tsuba against pinky.
Remove left hand to sheath, center weight in the horse stance facing north, bring right hand down to your side so the sword tucks behind your arm (tip toward your right ear, edge to the south).
Extend right arm way over to the left, so tip of sword is in front of your solar plexus. Now rotate wrist 180o clockwise and lower right arm to draw sword between left forefinger and thumb, across sheath opening. When tip falls into hole, position right fist so that sword is aligned with sheath. Snap sword into sheath with authority and bring right foot next to left. Bow with hands at sides.