Iaito – Unsharpened Practice Sword
An Iaito is a form of Katana that has a blunt edge as opposed to the sharp edged Shinken. It is mostly used as a practice sword in the Japanese Martial Arts of Iaido, Kenjutsu and Ninjutsu. An Iaito (along with the wooden Bokken) allows the techniques of ‘Batto’ (sword drawing) and ‘Noto’ (the returning of the sword to the saya/sheath) to be practiced more safely.
As with Shinken, a genuine Iaito will be made from high grade carbon steel. In better (high quality) versions, an Iaito will still feature the ‘Hammon’ (the tempered pattern along the length of the blades edge) that are prominent on a well-made katana, especially Nihonto. In fact, many Iaito are crafted in exactly the same way as Shinken (only foregoing the sharpening process).
Iaito Informational Video