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  • Follow-through after shomen, kote

    Gentleman,

    I've been practicing kendo for about a year now. I do have, however, some doubts still clinging on to my mind.

    First, after the shomen strike, the footwork in the followthrough is supposed to be Okuriashi or Ayumiashi? i've seen people do both. Personally I use Okuriashi, but that makes me slower than the ayumiashi people.

    Second, after a kote strike, should I try to follow-through (and possibly poke my opponent's arm, or it's enough to stop with zanshin after the kote strike?

    Third, is the kirikaeshi at kyu level be fast or in a compassed rythmn?

    Fourth, what is needed for ikkyu and how much time until the exam?

    Thank you so much,

    Alex

  • #2
    I'll try to answer these questions, but I'm sure one of the more advanced board members will correct me where I'm wrong.
    First, after the shomen strike, the footwork in the followthrough is supposed to be Okuriashi or Ayumiashi? i've seen people do both. Personally I use Okuriashi, but that makes me slower than the ayumiashi people.
    Okuriashi. I've been taught ayumiashi is only for when you are really far away from your opponent, like 3 or 4 steps outside of striking distance. Sure, it's easier to be faster using ayumiashi. After all, that's what you've been practicing since you were about 2 years old, but it doesn't leave you in position to strike again if need be. Bad kamae is bad kamae, whether the problem is with your feet or kensaki.
    Second, after a kote strike, should I try to follow-through (and possibly poke my opponent's arm, or it's enough to stop with zanshin after the kote strike?
    Push through. That goes for all strikes. If your monouchi is on their kote, you are at a distance for them to strike you back just as easily. If you are worried about poking your opponent in the arm, just move your tip so you don't hit them.
    Third, is the kirikaeshi at kyu level be fast or in a compassed rythmn?
    I don't know what you mean by "a compassed rhythm." The advice I'd give is "Do it as fast as you [and your motodachi] can do it correctly." It also depends on what the goal of doing kirikaeshi is at the time. Sometimes we do it as fast as we can, even if it gets sloppy, as endurance training. Sometimes we do it very slowly in order to make each strike as perfect as possible.
    Fourth, what is needed for ikkyu and how much time until the exam?
    The depends almost entirely on your local federation. And do you mean what waza, what kata, etc or what details the examiners are looking for. For example, tobikomi kote men from someone going for ikkyu will be different than someone going for godan.

    Comment


    • #3
      grading

      Hie !
      for a list of grading requirements, have a look at : http://www.kendo.org.uk/current/grq400.htm . It is on the British Kendo Association web site and is just about the only usefull thing there, with the list of dojos... those are only the technical requirements, though, the particulars, in term of time, written exam and format, will vary widelly froom federation to federation. however, yoour Sensei should be able to advise you. can''t remember who wrote them , though...
      hope this helps !
      Antonin

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      • #4
        Hmmmm

        Hi,

        I think no one *really* cuts and goes through on kote-uchi, men and do, sure... but kote? It looks daft. Beginner kihon maybe....

        In my opinion a good kote either peels away, right or left, or you are left in a strong central position, for attack or defense. I didnt say duck your head, btw !!!

        What do people think?

        (antonin, have faith in the bka website ... its in for a big change really soon )

        Cheers,

        Comment


        • #5
          George and Alex,
          At the my dojo here in Japan I've been told a good kote finishes with the kensen aimed back at the partners throat with total zanshin ready to strike again .

          Having also had a little experience training at junior high schools here they seem to teach the kids practice a variety of kote uchi exits. Off to the left, to the right, and as above finishing in front of your partner on zanshin with kensen aimed at the throat ready to follow up.

          Comment


          • #6
            For kirikaishi...
            I've been doing kendo for a year, too -- just passed my sho-dan test (here in Japan). I've been training mainly with high school and junior high school kids (those are the only people who rank as low as me) and I've seen them do really fast, kirikaishi with between 11 and 19 strokes -- seems like whatever catches their fancy -- with no okiku (big) strikes, BUT I think it's totally incorrect to do it that way. Everey sensei I've seen here does big, somewhat slow-medium strikes (and never more than 9) and they've all instructed me to do the same. So: fast, crazy strikes in wild numbers -- NOPE, don't do it, would be my advice.

            Originally posted by Boso
            George and Alex,
            At the my dojo here in Japan I've been told a good kote finishes with the kensen aimed back at the partners throat with total zanshin ready to strike again .

            Having also had a little experience training at junior high schools here they seem to teach the kids practice a variety of kote uchi exits. Off to the left, to the right, and as above finishing in front of your partner on zanshin with kensen aimed at the throat ready to follow up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Alex
              When you do kirikaeshi, do it purposefully. Make sure that you have the correct distance, arms stretched (not bent and look like you're cramped due to bad distance) aiming for the men and hitting with the monouchi. Things I'm sure that you already know. Don't rush (a mistake many people make), but don't be relaxed either. Show a strong spirit in that you are really cutting, rather than going through the motions.
              K

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alexpollijr
                I've been practicing kendo for about a year now. I do have, however, some doubts still clinging on to my mind.
                First, after the shomen strike, the footwork in the followthrough is supposed to be Okuriashi or Ayumiashi?

                Normal kendo footwork after the cut, no running!

                Second, after a kote strike, should I try to follow-through (and possibly poke my opponent's arm, or it's enough to stop with zanshin after the kote strike?

                You should move in some direction, forward, back, sideways, whatever. The basic one is to move forward and pass on the left. If you find your shinai gets tangled up, lift the tip up and left a bit after the cut.

                Third, is the kirikaeshi at kyu level be fast or in a compassed rythmn?

                Kirikaeshi at any level should be correct, so if your form is incorrect, slow down. You would be surprised how slowly you can go and still pass the exam - the judges don't care about speed one bit, especially at kyu level. Check your left hand at the top of the upswing. If it isn't overtop of your head, you're not big enough - slow down.

                Fourth, what is needed for ikkyu and how much time until the exam?

                Most federations don't specify any minimum time to ikkyu. For ikkyu mostly you need decent basics and to show a lot of spirit. See the previously posted links for detailed guidelines.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Second, after a kote strike, should I try to follow-through (and possibly poke my opponent's arm, or it's enough to stop with zanshin after the kote strike?"

                  I was told at a seminar last weekend by a well respected 7th Dan, that you should not cut through after stricking Kote-uchi, but should continue going a forward direction and if anything end up in Tsuba Zeriai. I believe this was to do with maintainance of eye contact, and it was correct zanshin to maintain eye contact after a cut which may not cause certain death. However, this is only my interpretation of what was told to us on the day.

                  hope this helps.

                  A

                  p.s. as for the kirikaeshi, i was told to perform it slowly with correct form and rythm, as oppose to fast with little form. i did this for my Ikkyu grading and i passed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can answer for the kirikaeshi for kyus thing.

                    The kirikaeshi should have a good rhythm and be smooth. That is not too fast and not too mechanical. Do it at a comfortable pace. If you feel like you are losing your rhythm or if you are missing, slow down a bit, take it easy and watch your form. Lastly, the men-uchi should hit just that.. The men. It looks REALLY bad if you miss.

                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      Seems like this thread has been brought back from the dead from long ago .

                      It's interesting to see that fundamental topics like these are still being discussed.

                      - Alexandre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Kendo is all about the basics after all. This is true for the newest newbie and the most respected 8 dan hanshi.
                        At kyu level, form and spirit are far far far more important than speed. If you really watch the people who seem to do ayumiashi after a men, you'll find they are wrong or they actually do okuriashi for a step or two then switch to ayumiashi to get more distance, not a great technique but I have known a few people who do it this way.
                        After kote, move forward and try to get in a position for zanshin, if you can't tsubazeriai may be where you end up. Either is fine as long as your form makes your intent clear to the judges.
                        In kirikaeshi, full, big strokes, proper distance, no helicoptering motions.

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