Nakayama Sensei's iaido training began in 1985 under Kazuo Chiba Shihan. Soon after in 1987, he met Shoji Nishio Shihan, and switched styles to train with him. Nakayama Sensei received his 1st through 3rd degree iaido black belts with the Zen Nippon Iaido Renmei (All Japan Iaido Federation). In 2005, Nishio Shihan passed away, leaving the organization under his successor, Koji Yoshida Shihan. Nakayama Sensei's successive promotions for 4th and 5th degree black belt were in Nishio Ryu Toho Iaido. In 2008, Nakayama Sensei began Iaido classes at Chushinkan Dojo.
James Nakayama and Shoji Nishio, founder of Nishio Ryu Toho Iaido