Iaidō (居合道?) is a Japanese martial art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. While new students of iaidō may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, many of those who study iaidō use an unsharpened sword (iaitō). Advanced practitioners of iaidō use a sharpened metal sword (shinken).
Because iaidō teaches the use of actual metal weaponry, it is almost entirely based on the teaching of forms, or kata. Multiple person kata do exist within some forms of iaido, but the iaidōka (practitioners of iaidō) will usually use bokken for such kata practice. Iaidō does not include direct competition or sparring of any kind. Because of this non-competitive aspect, and iaidō’s emphasis on precise, controlled, fluid motion, it is sometimes referred to as “moving Zen.”