||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (February 2008)|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|Creator||Unknown, sometimes credited to Hayashizaki Jinsuke|
Battōjutsu (抜刀術 battō-jutsu , art of sword drawing) is a Japanese term meaning techniques for engaging a sword. It is often used interchangeably with the terms iaijutsu, battōdō, or iaidō, although each term does have nuances in the Japanese language and different schools of Japanese martial arts may use them to differentiate between techniques (e.g. standing or sitting techniques). The emphasis of training in battō-jutsu is on cutting with the sword. All terms are somewhat more specific than kenjutsu (sword techniques) or kendō (the Way of the sword), as the latter two refer mostly to techniques where the sword is already out of its scabbard (saya) and is therefore engaged in combat.
Battō-jutsu usually incorporates multiple cuts after drawing the sword. The emphasis of training in iaidō is on reaction to unknown situations, or reacting to sudden attack.
It is unclear when the term battō-jutsu first originated. A notable early practitioner was Hayashizaki Jinsuke (c.1546–c.1621), the founder of the Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū and Musō Shinden-ryū schools. His remains are enshrined at Hayashizaki Jinja in the Tōhoku region of Japan.
Ryūha, or Japanese martial traditions, which teach battō-jutsu are relatively uncommon in Japan, and less common in the US and other countries. This is in contrast to the relatively high degree of availability of open hand training, such as karate and aikido. Here is a partial list of ryūha which include what could be called battōjutsu in the broad sense of drawing and cutting from the saya, although some of them more often use the terms iaidō, iaijutsu, or battōdō.
List of schools 
- Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū—Traces back to the Hayashizaki-ryū Iai of Hayashizaki Jinsuke (Late 15th century)
- Musō Shinden-ryū—Traces back to the Hayashizaki-ryū Iai of Hayashizaki Jinsuke (Late 15th century)
- Suiō-ryū Iai Kenpō—Founded around 1600 by Mima Yoichizaemon Kagenobu
- Shin Shin Sekiguchi-ryū — Sekiguchi-ryū was founded by Sekiguchi Yorokuuemon Ujimune.
- Mugai-ryū—Founded in 1693 by Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi, who had previously learned Yamaguchi-ryū kenjutsu.
- Jigen-ryū—Founded by Tōgō Hizen-no-kami Shigetada, its lineage traces back to the Shintō-ryū of Iizasa Chōisai Ienao.
- Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū—Founded in the 15th Century by Iizasa Chōisai Ienao.
- Tamiya Shinken Ryu-Founded by Tamiya Heibei Shigemasa in 16th century.
- Yagyū Shinkage-ryūFrom the Shinkage-ryū of Yagyū Muneyoshi, who studied under Kamiizumi Nobutsuna in the 16th Century.
- Yoshin-ryū—from the Yoshin-ryū founded by Akiyama Shirobei Yoshitoki in the mid 17th Century.
Listed in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten as arts developed after the beginning of the Meiji era.
- Toyama-ryū—Founded in the late 19th, early 20th century to instruct officers at the Toyama Military Academy.
- Nakamura-ryū—Founded by Nakamura Taizaburō in the mid-20th century, who had taught Toyama-ryū at the Toyama Military Academy.
- Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6
- Wagner, Gordon, Donn F. Draeger. Japanese Swordsmanship: Technique and Practice. New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill Inc., 2001.
- Friday, Karl. Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and Samurai Martial Culture. Honolulu, US: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997.
- Obata, Toshishiro. Crimson Steel. Essex, UK: Dragon Books, 1987.
- Obata, Toshishiro. Naked Blade. Essex, UK: Dragon Books, 1985.
- Yamada, Tadashi and Watatani Kiyoshi. Bugei Ryuha Daijiten. Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo Koppi Shuppanbu, 1979.