The practice is largely done in the form of kata, and also by actual cutting and thrusting of the blade against water-soaked rolled mats and bamboo poles. The practice tool is either bokken (wooden sword) or real sword (katana, tachi, etc.).
Some ancient sword schools still exist, such as Katori Shinto Ryu, Kashima Shinto Ryu, Kashima Shin ryu. As in other koryu arts, belt colour is not used to show the practitioners ability. Instead of grades, licences such as menkyo kaiden are given.