Kata in Japanese means "form" or "model". This is the definition of defined movements, which are assembled as elements of the respective martial art.
These determined forms in Iaido were developed from the systematic study of all imaginable situations, setups and surprise attacks, for the purpose of using the sword effectively in a real situation. In these forms, the sword is drawn against one or more imaginary opponents, the attack is parried and, after the opponent is incapacitated, the sword is again sheathed. Each of these actions takes place in strictly defined movement patterns, whose perfection is the aim of practice.
In the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu the following Katas are trained:
The Toho series is a compilation of Katas from different schools and is used for comparison in competitions. It is included in every school within the Zen Nihon Iaido Renmei.