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Shinai Hanase

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  • Shinai Hanase

    Let's have a new thread with a simple question:

    "What would you do when you drop your shinai?"

    Not only in shiai, where everything will stop and you'll get hansoku (sp?)... is there any alternative?

    Also in keiko and real life situation (, probably you'll end up using aikido, ha...)

    Any idea?

  • #2
    Hey Mingshi,
    In a shiai I have heard it is ok to run and hold the other competitor when your shinai leaves your hands to avoid hansoku but I don't know if that is true, probably not. Otherwise I would say it will be announced hansoku and you just continue with the match.

    In keiko I would pick it up as soon as possible whilst avoiding the other fighter but if you get cut- well- too bad.
    In the position of the person who is left holding thier shinai I would be inclined to cut if the other person does not pick up thier shinai quickly enough which would show a lack of concern/zanshin and basically asking to be cut. I suppose it comes down to the actual person, some people cut the other straight away so as to remind them not to drop thier shinai again, others just let them pick it up.
    In a shiai the person who cuts straight after the other has lost thier shinai will certainly be awarded with a yuko-datotsu.
    As for real life well... I don't think I would carry a shinai around the streets but when people did carry arms I suppose they drew out thier Wakazasi as a second defence.
    Good question though, I will be interested in other opinions too!!
    Last edited by John W; 20th April 2002, 11:38 AM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by John W
      Hey Mingshi,

      As for real life well... I don't think I would carry a shinai around the streets but when people did carry arms I suppose they drew out thier Wakazasi as a second defence.
      Good question though, I will be interested in other opinions too!

      You need the Wakizashi to commit seppuku if you have lost your main sword its for close quarter work, not as an alternative.

      Saying this I just came home after a Renshujia Could not help notice how messy some of the Kendo is becoming. Shinai getting trapped under the arms in the bogu etc. Not as clean as it used too be



      • #4
        the reason I'm asking is mainly because I feel I've droped my shinai too often.... most of the time not really dropped, but only holding it with one hand
        So when I drop it, all I can think of is get out of danger, i.e. run my ass off away from the enemy......
        In shiai the court is relatively small to run elsewhere..... is that why you'll grab your enemy's sword? (that's far too dangerous!) ...I don't know which way will be easier for the enemy to get ippon~

        Hey Hyaku-san, life's not that bad. You'll commit seppuku if you've lost the main one? What about people in Ni-to?
        And if someone chop your arm off, do you have to do the same? (well, comic books they always fight with anything that can be a weapon, or it became freehand combat.....)

        Umm... shinai under arm is DANGEROUS! I'm short so people miss a lot of Do on me, but if the sword is real, my ribs would be cut off!!


        • #5
          (Greetings, this is my first post.)

          In regards to shinai hanashi, I think there are really only two courses of action: closing the distance between yourself and your opponent (what JohnW said), or creating a greater distance between yourself and your opponent. Both with the intent that either your opponent cannot strike or cannot strike correctly.

          Unfortunately, either way, it ends up being a hansoku...

          People react differently to shinai hanashi, but the best example I've ever seen was in some very old footage of Nakano-sensei (I believe) vs. some other ridiculously high ranking guy at one of the earlier AJKC's. The other guy did a maki-waza on Nakano and the shinai just flew right out of Nakano's hands, falling outside of the shiai-jo. The amazing thing was that Nakano didn't startle at all -- he just calmly backed off, keeping his eyes on his opponent the entire time -- and his opponent couldn't attack! I think that is the best example of seme I've ever seen.

          As to whether one should take advantage of an opponent's dropped shinai... I imagine there are a lot of different philosophies concerning this... but a really good article on it is on Shimano Ryoichi's Kendo Laboratory website ( -- item 2 (Be a Bushi).


          • #6
            We are taught at our dojo to immediately wrap your arms around your opponent to prevent them from striking you. I have also seen this in tournaments, but many times the judges usually stop the match. It can be very embarrassing to drop your shinai, I have seen them role across the court after being dropped, so I don't know if I would try to pick it up.

            Jon csensits


            • #7
              heh, My senior today was telling me about a championship fight in Canberra between the (then) australian champ and the (now) current australian champ.

              The former champ fell over and, according to my senior, most of the time one should try to score a cut before the referee calls stop. But the current champ decided to not take a hit and proceeded to walk back to his side, thinking the umpire had called stop. Unfortunately, nothing was stopped and the former champ got back up, picked up his shinai, calmly strolled over to his opponent and executed a perfect men cut as he turned back around.



              • #8
                In re: the Australian champ match -- that's more a lesson about not stopping before the shushin calls "yame", rather than shinai hanashi.

                Still, I think the high road is holding your opponent in check, rather than take advantage of the situation.