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Okuden (Zagyo)

The twenty-one forms of Okuden Ryu are expected to be the third learning stage of Muso Shinden Ryu. The forms are divided into sitting (Zagyo) and standing forms (Tachiwaza). There are some different versions of the forms. Okuden is the hidden and formerly secret level. The true meanings of the forms (Bunkai) are located behind the situations and descriptions, and has even to be recognized.

Note: It is nessecary to practice these Iaido katas only under the guidance of an experienced Iaido instructor! Okuden-Kata are better suited for advanced students. The forms seems to be simple but can lead to accidents. The proper execution requires a lot of experience and overview.

01_Kasumi (temple, literally fog)

In the first form the Iaidoka sits as in all forms of Okuden in Iaihiza. If he feels an attack, he pulls the sword through to horizontal cutting, turns and cuts it in the opposite direction; he lifts the sword above the head to finalize with a two-handed vertical cut at least.
The Iaidoka moves after each cut further to the front until he finally reaches close to the opponent.

02_Sunegakoi (shin guard)

The Iaidoka is sitting in Iaihiza. If he detects a threat that comes out of a person sitting in front of him, it comes to action. He moves to the rear, a deep reverse-handed stroke smashes on the sword of the attacker.
This defense is followed by a vertical two-handed cut.

03_Shihogiri (cut in four directions)

Again the Iaidoka sits in Iaihiza. If he detects a threat posed by surrounding four people, it comes to action. He turns to the left rear, pulls the sword in the sitting up and stabs the enemy in the stomach.
This attack is followed by other vertical two-handed cuts. First, the Iaidoka turns in sitting on the rear left opponent and cut him. Then he goes finally to the right front opponent.

04_Tozume (prepared at the door waiting for an opponent)

The Iaidoka is waiting in Iaihiza. To his right is an entrance. An opponent comes through the entrance. The Iaidoka feel the beginning of an attack. The Iaidoka responds by half-right turns round and draws his sword simultaneously. He shares a diagonal (compare kata Morotetsuki) vertical cut in the face of the attacker, then turns from right to left for another opponent and passes through a final, two-handed cut.

05_Towaki (next to the door)

It is almost the same situation as in the previous kata. In this form the front-seated enemy is attacking. He will be counter attacked with an one-handed horizontal stitch.
A second enemy arrives and rushes into the entrance. The Iaidoka turns on the spot and carries in advance an two-handed vertical cut to the aggressor.

06_Tanashita (under the house floor)

The Iaidoka sits hidden watching the ground below the house (a typical Japanese house). If the enemy is near he moves with a drawing of the sword in a stooping posture from his dugout to the front.
If he is out of his hiding place he lifts the sword for a two-handed vertical cut.

07_Ryozume (restricted side)

Now an iaidoka defends himself from an attack by an opponent coming forward. Laterally there is no room for sweeping motion. The Iaidoka moves out of Iaihiza and forward. He draws his sword in a flowing movement and holds it with both hands in front of him (compare with kata Morotetsuki). With an energetic advance and stretching forward he stabs the opponent. After that Kirioroshi follows.

>> Okuden-02