Perhaps one of the most philosophical of all Japanese Budo, the martial art of Iaido may at first seem like a paradox. The art is based on a non-combative physical & mental discipline with the use of a razor sharp Katana, the goal being complete control of mind & body.

There is a strong connection between the sword & the practitioner. Sensai can be seen here seated in ‘seiza’ and performing a sword cleaning ritual. The katana is thought of as more of an extension of the mind rather than an extension of the hand.


katana, sword, samurai, iaido, budo, martial art


  • annacuypers
    annacuypersalmost 5 years ago

    Fantastic composition, colortones and lighting Matt, a very strong and intruiging image and text with it. I don’t know anything about it but I find it very interesting to read " the katana as an extension of the mind ", I think we can learn a lot from that in the West… well done, x anna

  • Thanks Anna! I’m not sure I did a good job with my description. It’s hard to summarise in a couple of paragraphs. I think you are right in that we can learn from the concept. It’s often easy to blame ‘weapon’ when perhaps its not the weapon but the person weilding it that is the real problem.

    – Matt Bottos

  • DragonFlyer
    DragonFlyeralmost 5 years ago

    Matt the lighting and tonality of this just glows! It’s stunning – yet with this wonderful sense of totally calm and peaceful, mindful control – beautiful – I feel like I could stare at this image for ages
    K xx

  • Thanks Kallena… that’s a great observation and its what I was trying to convey with the image. It’s really amazing to see someone during the practice of Iaido. During the cleaning process it’s quite calm & meditative. During the actually drawing of the sword (Seitei-gata) there is an amazing explosive intensity yet still very calm & controlled.

    – Matt Bottos

  • simoneb
    simonebover 4 years ago

    Superbly lit Matt and the pov and angle of the shot is sensational. Great work!

  • vaquera
    vaqueraover 4 years ago

    Exellent !

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaabout 4 years ago


  • Robyn Scafone
    Robyn Scafoneover 1 year ago

    Fantastic pic and explanation. Thank you for sharing.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait