Reprinted from the British KENDO Association News, Spring 2000

The concept of "Kesa-no-Hitotachi"

The ancestor and founder of Iaido, the Master Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu also called "Hayashizaki- Myojin" (honorary title given to a Master after his death) and the "Kesa-no-Hitotachi" concept.

If you are in front of a fellow of the worst kind, don't draw your sword, nor cut him, nor kill him and don't let him draw his sword, nor cut you, nor kill you, but instead kindly sermonise him to bring him back to his senses. This is the mental attitude to adopt under such circumstances. However, if this fellow refuses to be persuaded, then you will have to resign yourself to kill him (and then guide him to God).

This is the message the founder of Iaido wanted to teach to us.

Detailed research and perspicacity are the main rules of the mental attitude of people practising Iaido. Besides, traps in which men at arms of this period should never fall into were pride, brutality, high vanity and lack of compassion. They were asked to strictly respect what they had been taught so they could avoid these traps. Consequently, by a deep introspection, the practice of the Five Cardinal Virtues: natural kindness, equity, respect, justice and honesty is fundamental.

The quintessence of Iaido in Japanese is "Saya-no-uchi". Self-control, both physical and mental, should help men of goodwill communicate with each other in a better way.

Finally, the ultimate object of Iaido study and practice is directly related to the fundamental education of the Human Being the full sense of the word.