In Japanese the word for sword is ken, and in writing the character for ken in reference to fighting adversaries and opponents, it is written with the meaning of "seeing", as in seeing the decisive move clearly in battle. The sword cut can take a life or be used as a metaphor or symbol - as in cutting through the barriers in our minds toward our own personal growth.

There are four basic movements to Iaido forms, called katas: drawing the sword from the sheath the cut (or cuts) the movement (removal of blood from the sword after the cut) the re-sheath The Japanese sword has a long history of use in warfare, and many of the traditional katas (forms) standing or kneeling, are currently still practiced. Now in times of peace many new styles of swordsmanship have been created.


Gil Morales Suigetsu Dojo Iaido students study Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido which was founded by Shoji Nishio Shihan and is currently led by Koji Yoshida Shihan. Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido bases many of its principles on empty hand Aikido techniques. Hakko Densho Ryu and Aikido are styles whose roots are founded in Daitoryu Aiki Jujutsu and have many similar principles. Because of these similarities, Hakko Densho Ryu students will find the study of Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido to be particularly meaningful.

The Suigetsu Dojo Iaido Program was founded by Dara Masi Shihan. She continues to manage the Iaido program and administers all testing. We offer classes in Iaido for adults and children. Suigetsu Dojo and is one of very few martial arts schools training and ranking children in this art.


Dara Masi, Shihan is ranked at Nidan in both Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido founded by Shoji Nishio, Shihan and Soshoryu Heihodo Iaido, founded by Masakazu Tazaki. She currently trains in Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido as a student of Koji Yoshida, Shihan and Michele Benzamin-Miki, Sensei. Koji Yoshida, Shihan is Shoji Nishio’s personally appointed successor and the founder of the Nishikaze Aikido Society of America. Michele Sensei holds the rank of 6th dan in Aikido and 5th dan in Nishio-ryu Toho Iaido. She is a member of the board and Vice President of the Nishikaze Aikido Society of America.