IAIDO KATA SHODAN
Hands at sides facing north. Bow.
Perform sword bow. Left hand on scabbard, right hand grips hilt from underneath. Withdraw sword halfway so that buttcap is in line with solar plexus. Snap back into sheath. Now hands at sides and bow again.
Stepping up high with right foot, step out into a deep horse stance facing north. While stepping, bring fists in front of breasts then down into ready position, fists at 45o angles (if you were holding swords, they would be crossed at face height).
Step northeast with left foot into a left front stance and execute a palm heel strike with left hand while grasping hilt with right.
Pivot on the balls of your feet into a right front stance facing south. As you pivot, draw sword and slice across your southern opponent's chest.
Let sword circle overhead to meet your left hand (directly above head) and execute a downward slice following your centerline.
Raise sword back over left shoulder and execute a diagonal cut to end in front of right knee. Your shoulder should be turned into your opponent.
Place left palm (facing south) against spine of blade (fingers perpendicular to blade) as you block to the south (sword vertical, point up).
Maintain hand position on sword as you bring it high over left shoulder while moving left foot (pivoting on right) and rotating 135o to the left, to end in a left front stance facing northwest. As sword comes down it will slice (vertically) down the northwestern opponent's centerline.
Bringing right arm back slightly into chamber, the sword is now thrust into that same opponent's belly. Allow left hand to ride down the spine and end up at the guard.
Withdraw sword from belly and, using left hand, flip it so it points down the forearm and past the elbow, edge outward. Look over right shoulder and thrust toward the southeast.
C-step backward with left foot into right front stance facing north while flipping sword down to follow left forearm and extend past left elbow, right hand against side of blade. Look over left shoulder and thrust toward southwest.
C-step back with right foot into left front stance facing north while flipping sword high one more time to be under right forearm. Look over right shoulder and thrust to southeast.
Step with left foot placing it behind and to the right of your right foot. Pivot 180o to the left (ending in a front stance facing south) executing a sweeping chop to your southern opponent’s neck followed immediately by a wide circular backhand slice across that same neck by the blade in your right hand.
Now reverse the direction of your slice, from your left to your right, again across the neck.
Following the arc, let your right hand sweep behind you. Now execute an overhead stab to the fallen body of your southern opponent. 1st keai point.
Hold sword with left hand by placing palm face up and holding up tsuba (sword is still in opponent’s body) between middle & ring fingers. Now turn your head & upper body toward a threat from the north and slowly outstretch your right hand into a shuto block (forearm in outward block position, hand open with fingers up and heel of hand facing opponent) toward the north.
Arc sword overhead so hilt lands in right hand as you step forward (north) into a left front stance. Now step with right foot just to the left of your left foot, on right toes. Bending down (to avoid a strike) you will thrust your sword up into your northern opponent’s ribcage with edge of blade facing west, left palm resting on the topside of the blade near tsuba.
Withdraw sword from ribcage and, using left hand, flip it so it points down the forearm and past the elbow, edge outward (east). As sword comes to rest you will be stepping with right foot into a deep horse stance facing north. Both hands will come to ready position (downward block positions, blade still under right arm).
Swing right arm in a horizontal arc toward the left so that guard (tsuba) is near sheath opening. Twist right wrist and draw sword across scabbard and resheath.
Turn your attention (and your head) to the west as you shift your weight over your right leg and execute a warding block with right hand, palm up, above obi and left hand in an extended shuto block towards the west (move left arm out slowly & deliberately with a snap at the end).
Grab hilt and draw sword with right hand and execute a reinforced horizontal strike to the west (right to left) with left hand on spine of blade. Move into the cut by stepping right foot behind & to the left of your left foot.
Pivot 180o to the right on the ball of your left foot, lifting the right foot and landing in a right front stance facing east. As you step, bring the sword overhead and perform a 2-handed horizontal cut to the eastern opponent’s neck (from your right, cutting left). Sword stops in front of you.
Shuffle forward (east) into another right front stance as you swing the sword overhead and perform a horizontal cut to the other side of his neck (left to right, sword stopping in front).
Shuffle forward again maintaining a right front stance and perform another horizontal cut to the opponent’s neck on your right side.
Chamber left elbow back then thrust the blade down & eastward between the eastern opponent’s legs, almost stabbing the floor.
Quickly slide your left foot southward past the right foot, turning your body toward the west and lifting the blade in a wide circle overhead, cleaving your opponent from crotch to head, and ending in a left front stance facing west with the sword in guard position (upright in front of you at a 45o angle at tip).
Step forward (west) with right foot into right front stance and block to the west by holding sword at a 45o angle from lower right (right hand & hilt) to upper left (tip of blade). Left hand is at center of spine perpendicular to blade.
Next you will take 2 steps westward (1st left foot, then right) while whipping the tip of your blade out in front of you in small clockwise circles to encircle opponent’s blade and disarm. Then circle blade ‘largely’ overhead and, as right foot lands, execute a horizontal cut from your right Arms should not be too far away from body, left elbow should be high (at left ear height).
Remove left hand and allow blade to drop to the left and execute a figure eight before whipping blade under right armpit. As you spin blade, step back (east) with right foot to end in a horseback stance, body facing north, eyes west. As right foot falls and blade seats under armpit, extend left hand to west in a knife-hand block.
Grab hilt with left hand from underneath and spin blade away and up to grab with right hand as blade comes to vertical. Execute a ‘large’ blood shake and resheath.
Bring fists to ready stance and exhale.
Look to the west and draw sword. Bring spine to left hand in front of face and ‘pinch’ spine in front of tsuba. Now draw sword eastward until ‘pinch’ is at center of spine. Spin sword pivoting on left pinch to catch hilt after 360o revolution with tsuba near pinkie.
Drop right hand so sword goes behind right arm. Extend left hand in focus position to the left.
Crescent kick with right foot to left hand (toward west) and land in horse stance, body facing south, eyes west. As you kick, circle right hand around body to chamber in front of obi. As you step down, thrust west stabbing the western opponent’s stomach with left hand reinforcing at buttcap.
Pull sword from opponent and flip in front of you by holding sword with left hand. Grab sword as it comes to vertical with right hand, tsuba near thumb. Maintain deep horse stance, 2 hands on sword by right ear, eyes east.
Extend left hand to focus position toward east. Pull left hand back to sheath and extend sword in vertical position as a block as you raise right foot and perform front kick to east. Land in a right front stance and execute a 1 handed horizontal strike to cut off eastern opponent’s head (your left-to-right).
Pivot left 135o to 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. 2nd keai point.
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.
Resheath sword, drawing right foot up to left as sword enters scabbard. With hands at sides, bow.