Eishin-Ryū Seitei Iaidō
Believing that the practice of iaidō would
make better and more samurai-like swordsmen of its members, 1969
the Zen Nippon Kendō Renmei ("All-Japan Kendo Federation") formed
a committee of experts comprised of representatives of several major
styles of iaidō and iaijutsu to develop a standardized (seitei)
curriculum for training in iaidō by ZNKR members.
Representing Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū on this ZNKR
committee was Masaoka Kasumi of the organization that would be
reconstituted as the Nippon Kobudō Jikishin-Kai six years later.
Drawing from all styles of iaidō represented, this committee
assembled seven (7) kata they believed to be a synopsis of the art
of iaidō . Three more kata were added to these seven
in 1981, and two more in 2000 to arrive at the current collection:
In the 40 years since it's creation, Seitei Iaidō has grown to be the most widely practiced system of iaidō in the world. As a result of this popularity, the IWU obtained permission from the Jikishin-Kai International to teach the Seitei kata as part of its instruction in iaijutsu. This means that IWU Budōkai members can use this knowledge at practically any dōjō anywhere in the world and find only minor variations in the performance of the kata.
A Comprehensive Approach. In developing this program for the Budōkai Pellman Sensei made three essential modifications to the ZNKR system: (1) all of the kata are performed using the principles of Eishin-Ryū for stance, movement, and cutting technique, so there are slight variations from the way the kata have been standardized by the ZNKR, (2) kata training is supplemented with practice of the Eishin-Ryū tachiuchi no kurai partner exercises and practicing the bunkai (practical application) of Kesagiri, Ukenagashi, Tsuka-ate, Shihōgiri, and Nukiuchi with partners, and (3) the kata are augmented with three additional techniques (Yamaoroshi, Shisumi, and Yoru no Tachi) to make the curriculum more robust and comprehensive.
First Phase of Training. Since the Seitei Kata are a standardized and generalized form of iaidō , they serve as an excellent introduction to the art for college students. In most koryū systems, students spend several years learning techniques in seiza and/or tatehiza seated postures before being introduced to standing techniques. The Seitei Kata provide IWU Budōkai members an overview of the art early in their training, so it is used to introduce students to iaidō. After becoming familiar with the basics, students then progress to training in traditional Musō Jikiden Eishin-Ryū. Testing requirements for promotion to all ranks up to shodan are available for the Seitei program.