United States Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu Gennankai


Training Information

Iaijustu is are techniques of drawing and cutting with the Japanese sword, or katana. Tamiya Ryu is a specific school of iaijutsu which is described as both a Martial Art (bujutsu) and a Martial Way (budo).

Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu is distinguished by its emphasis on practicing basic techniques (Kihon). In other words, to properly learn kata means studying in great detail: 1) how to cut using the scabbard opening (Saya-guchi) and 2) how to use the scabbard hand (Saya-te). As a serious course of study, learning Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu involves having a clear understanding of the laws known as “Tamiya Nobility and Tamiya Purity.”

Practice is conducted in a non-competitive environment.


As a koryu (a school established before the Meiji Restoration) the primary mode of training is kata. Kata are prearranged forms of practice design to instill the princles of the art into the student through repeated pratice. Iaijutsu kata are performed solo and usually consist of three phases:

  1. Nukitsuke - The initial sword draw
  2. Kiritsuke - A follow up strike
  3. Noutou - Resheathing the blade

The techniques of Tamiya Ryu are taught in two volumes. The kata are followed by a third volume of paired techniques only taught once the student has completed their initial study of the solo kata.

Omote no maki

Pin and draw
Protect the body
Mawari kakari
Turn and draw
Mune no katana
Sword at the chest
Tsuka hazushi
Remove from the hilt
Tsuki tome
Stop the tsuki
White wave
Running body
Drive away
Moutain summit

Koran no maki

Tachiwaza, standing techines
Meeting the sword
Water reflection
Twisting sword
Steel to the left
Steel to the right
Mount Fuji
Wind through the pines
Night storm
Suwariwaza, sitting techniques
Negative turn around cut
Positive turn around cut
Tsukikage no tachi
Moonshadow sword
Flying bird
Mysterous mind
Village clouds

Besides kata, basics are drilled as a group to warm up at the start of practice and paired exercises are practiced with bokuto (wooden swords) to study timing and distance (ma'ai).


The equipment used depends on the experience level of the particular student.

Students new to our organization are simply required to wear clothing that will allow them to move around with ease. Loaner bokuto (wooden sword) and obi (belt) will be provided when first starting out.

Ungraded students that have become deshi wear a standard Karate/Judo style gi and will be begin using iaito (an alloy based sword that is unable to hold an edge).

Graded students wear white iai style uwagi (a short sleeve top) with kaku obi and black hakama (pleated trouser). Instructors will typically wear the same as graded students but with a black uwagi, unless it is a formal occasion.

In all cases, knee pads are highly recommended. Blades that have an edge or might be able to hold an edge are never allowed during class.

All equipment must be inspected by the instructor before being used by a student in class.