Most of the practice of iaidō consists of learning and performing katas (precise movement sequences), mostly performed alone and corresponding to a scenario. They start either standing (tachi iai), kneeling on the ground (seiza), or in a position with only one knee on the ground (tate hiza). These forms constitute as many teaching aids and allow the transmission of all the techniques of a school.
These katas are basically made up of the same four steps:
There is also an important part specific to many kata depending on the school: furikabutte, the action of “brandishing the sword”. Many variations, cuts, thrust strikes, strikes with the hilt of the saber, are added in some kata.
These katas must be “inhabited” by the practitioner, and induce fundamental notions specific to all budō: