Iaido has its origin attributed to Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu (1542-1621). The aim of Iaido’s practice is to learn how to draw the sword as a way to overcome the opponents. It is a path through which the practitioners seek to train their mind and body by developing a spiritual appreciation of the relationship between life and death, movement and stillness.
The practice of Iai is usually done by visualizing imaginary enemies in accordance with the principles of each kata. However, for didactic purposes, it is possible to perform the movements with other practitioners. Currently the practitioner uses an iaito, a Japanese sword with a metal alloy blade and sharpenless. It is possible for more advanced practitioners to use shinken, steel swords sharpened.
At the end of 1972, at the invitation of Kobayashi Sensei, Shikanai Sensei was introduced to Omura Tadaji Sensei. For Kobayashi Sensei it was essential for practitioners of Japanese martial arts to know how to deal with the sword, as it is the basis of all of them. Omura Sensei was born in the year 1894 and at the age of sixteen he started training with Hakudo Nakayama Sensei. Continuing the legacy of his master, Omura Sensei dedicated his life to teaching Iaido at the Yuishin Dojo in Suginami.
The first contact with Omura Sensei was remarkable, his technique and spirituality impressed Shikanai Sensei. This was years before Iai was presented by Kobayashi Sensei, in a demonstration of traditional martial arts. Knowing how to handle the sword was a dream that Shikanai Sensei carried since his childhood when he used to play samurai with friends and brothers. For the first three months, Shikanai Sensei started to train only the technique of drawing and sheathing the sword, which Omura Sensei had taught him in the first class. Only after that period, of repeated training, he was taught, in one go, three different katas.
Shikanai Sensei trained at Yuishin Dojo, under the supervision of Omura Sensei, for two years and eight months until he came to Brazil. Upon arriving, he continued with his daily training routine, which attracted the attention of his Aikido students in Rio de Janeiro. As happened in relation to Jodo, Shikanai Sensei turned to the São Paulo Federation of Kendo, presided over by Tadashi Tamaki at the time, to continue his practice. However, it was reported that there were no reports of Iaido practitioners in the country. Gradually, accepting the requests of his students to join the training, the first classes of Iaido started to appear. This practice was repeated after Shikanai Sensei’s departure to Belo Horizonte, where he teaches regularly until today.