After the Meiji Restoration the feudal period of Japan was over. The edict from the Emperor that saw the abolition of the wearing of the swords by the samurai, also saw the abandonment of many of the martial arts that had been bred into the warrior class for countless generations. The art of kenjutsu fell into decline as the samurai were forced to turn to other areas of occupation for Japan had entered the modern era and was hungry for industrialisation to catch up with the rest of the world.
However, although swords were banned, the warrior did not need an opponent to practice iai-jutsu, this could be done alone. Slowly the combative aspects of the many schools of iai-jutsu became absorbed and students concerned themselves with training as a means of personal development of mind, body and spirit. This way iai-jutsu eventually became iai-do.