ZNKR iai


Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei iai, also shortened as ZNKR iaido or Seitei iaido, was developed during the 1960s by teachers from several different old japanese sword schools (koryu). The aim was to develop a common system of grading, as well as provide the opportunity to practice and compete together despite being from different styles of iai. Initially seven representative kata was chosen from among the koryu styles, in order to give students a good foundation and insight into iaido. Later three more kata were developed and added in 1981, with the last two added in 2000.

You can see the ZNKR kata demonstrated by Ogura-sensei here, including how to greet the sword (reiho). An example of competitive iai can be seen in a video filmed by Kendo World, of the 2013 All Japan championships.


ZNKR kata:


SEIZA NO BU [sitting]

  • 1 Mae (前) Front
  • 2 Ushiro (後ろ) Rear
  • 3 Ukenagashi (受け流し) Receive, parry and cut

TATEHIZA NO BU [sitting with raised knee]

  • 4 Tsuka-ate (柄当て) Striking with the hilt

TACHI IAI NO BU [standing]

  • 5 Kesagiri (袈裟切り) Diagonal cut
  • 6 Morote-tsuki (諸手突き) Two-handed thrust
  • 7 Sanpōgiri (三方切り) Cutting in three directions
  • 8 Ganmen-ate (顔面当て) Hit to the face
  • 9 Soete-tsuki (添え手突き) Joined hand thrust
  • 10 Shihōgiri (四方切り) Cutting in four directions
  • 11 Sōgiri (総切り) Complete cuts.
  • 12 Nukiuchi (抜き打ち) Sudden draw