Sword-drawing techniques in the past were usually taught with kenjutsu, however as the technique became more prominent, it became its own art. Similar to battojutsu, iaijutsu was a technique for drawing the sword, yet they differed in that iajutsu was more precise and emphasized a smoother, more perfected execution in one stroke. Additionally, when practicing iajutsu, an imaginary person was usually your enemy. Approximately meaning “the art of mental presence and immediate reaction,” iajutsu focuses on drawing the sword, slashing, using chiburi (moving the blade in such as way as to remove blood and tissue) and noto (returning the blade to the scabbard ).
Similar to battojutsu, iaijutsu was a defensive art form. In addition, the art incorporates solo practicing and partnered exercises (kumidachi), which are done with bokken (wooden swords). All types of practice though, stress respectful handling of the sword.
The reason why Iaido and Iaijutsu are usually associated with one another is because they essentially follow the same concept. However, Iaido, meaning "the way of mental presence and immediate reaction," is just a modernization of the art, with mental physical discipline a key aspect of it. This is explained through the transformation from -jutsu to -do, as the 20th century art stressed spiritual and personal growth.