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In person iaido at Greenwood Aikido

Iaido is taught as part of our Aikido classes at Greenwood Aikido. Iaido (ee-ai-doe) is the art of the Japanese sword or katana. A special form of iaido called Aiki Toho Iaido was developed by Shoji Nishio Shihan. This is the study of iaido as it relates to Aikido. Studying this method provides a deep understanding into the principles of both sword and the empty hand practice of Aikido. The practice of iaido is an integral part of our regular Aikido training.

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Here’s how to get started at Greenwood Aikido…

Online iaido program (distance learning)

There are many people who do not live near our dojo, but still have an interest in this advancing in their study of Aiki Toho Iaido. To serve these individuals we offer an online resource which also includes personal feedback and guidance taking the student to black belt level.

The online Aiki Toho Iaido course lets you perform all the necessary study and preparation on your own, at your own speed along with personal feedback and expert guidance from Greenwood Sensei. You can complete all of your pre-black belt tests online. However, when you are ready to take your black belt you will have to attend an in person preparation class and perform your test in person at one of our regular California seminars.

The process looks like this:

  1. Enroll in online course ($25/month) below
  2. Complete Module 1
  3. Submit your requirements by video for your individual Module Evaluation ($35)
  4. When your Module Evaluation is successful the next Module on your membership area will be opened for you.
  5. Repeat for each Module  (2 or 3 modules per kyu) and each kyu level
  6. After all Module Evaluations in your current level are complete submit a video of your kyu test ($50)
  7. After you complete all 6 kyu levels submit an application for shodan testing and we’ll schedule your in person test.


There are 6 ranks before shodan called kyu. Kyu ranks count backward with the beginning rank 6th kyu, then 5th kyu, etc. 1st kyu is the rank immediately before shodan.

The study program is divided into individual Modules. Each Module is focused on a specific form and is broken into smaller Lessons. For each rank you first study and practice the required Module. When you feel ready you will record yourself and post the video as private on YouTube. Then you’ll submit the video with payment for the evaluation ($35). We’ll review what you’re doing well and areas you’ll want to improve.

Once your Module Evaluation is approved your membership will be opened for access to the next module.

After you’ve successfully completed the required Module Evaluations for a kyu test you can go ahead and submit a video of yourself performing the requirements along with payment for your kyu ranking ($50).

Once you’ve completed all 6 of the kyu levels you’ll apply to take your shodan test at one of our regular seminars in California typically held 2-3 times a year. You will arrive a day prior to your test date for an intensive half day final preparation workshop.

The table below shows the process of training along with the minimum time in months required before each Module Evaluation.

Rank Months since last eval Iaido Form Name Aikido Form Name Chiburi Module
6th kyu 1 Shohatto
beginning sword form
(no aikido technique)
Eishin-ryu (yoko) 1
1 Ukenagashi
aihanmi ikkyo omote Eishin-ryu 2
5th kyu 1 Ushirogiri
gyakuhanmi kaitennage Eishin-ryu 3
1 Zengogiri
aihanmi shihonage omote Eishin-ryu 4
4th kyu 1 Sayugiri
gyakuhanmi shihonage omote Eishin-ryu 5
1 Tsukaosae
gyakuhanmi nikyo Eishin-ryu 6
3rd kyu 1 Tekubiosae
aihanmi nikkyo Eishin-ryu 7
1 Kawashitsuki
shomenuchi/tsuki sankyo Eishin-ryu 8
1 Tsukekomi
shomenuchi/tsuki kotegaeshi Katori-ryu (flip) 9
2nd kyu 2 Tsume
shomenuchi/aihanmi iriminage Katori-ryu 10
2 Sanpogiri
gyakuhanmi uchikaiten sankyo Katori-ryu 11
2 Shihogiri
shomen/yokomen sankyo Katori-ryu (drip) 12
1st kyu 2 Nukiawase
shomen/yokomen gokyo Suio-ryu (drip front) 13
2 Todome
gyakyuhanmi yonkyo Eishin-ryu (yoko) 14
2 Suemonogiri
test cutting
(no aikido technique)
Eishin-ryu 15
Shodan * 3 3 forms from the 15 16
2 additional Level 1 aikido technique forms
1 additional form as requested by examiner

* Shodan test requires 1 day in person preparation training prior to testing in person in California.



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