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  • New BKA rules on tsuki

    Recently a set of guidelines, which will apparently soon be upgraded to fixed rules, were put up on the BKA website (www.kendo.org.uk) so that everybody can be sure of what's expected of them. I'm sure anyone who saw the confusion at the Bowden this year will agree that this is an excellent idea that should be supported.
    However, I'm interested in what people (BKA members or not) think of the changes regarding the use of tsuki. A quick glance at the site will allow you to find out what these are. Personally, I have my concerns. Firstly, as I understand from a mail sent around a UK-based list, the changes in the junior sections have been made based upon standards in Japan for that age group. If that is the case, I have to wonder why the Japanese rule (can use, but can't score) seems to have been changed into a plain 'can't use'. In these preliminary guidelines it's not made completely clear, but it does look as if using tsuki will be classified as an illegal action. Although I do think that some limitation at junior levels is appropriate, I can't help but wonder why there's a need to go further than they have in Japan, where the rules have been in place for years and seem to work just fine.
    Another issue is the restriction of tsuki in mixed matches at adult level. I can certainly understand why this has been suggested, as there is risk of injury when tsuki is used inappropriately. However, I can't help but wonder whether this is a step in the wrong direction. As I see it, the main reason for the atmosphere of mistrust that surrounds tsuki in the UK (I know this has been discussed before) is the fact that there are very few people who practice it regularly and have polished their technique to a level similar to their men or kote cuts. If we start banning tsuki techniques in certain instances in competition, this is bound to further increase people's reluctance to learn how to do it properly, which I think would be a terrible shame, as I consider tsuki to be an essential technique, both in itself and for what it can contribute to your kendo in general. I'm not the person who has to clean up the mess if a tsuki-based accident does occur in a competition, so I'm in no position to say 'don't ban it!' but what I would be happy to see is a more concerted effort to teach tsuki correctly in the UK (just as the national team coach does when visiting other dojos), which I think could be just as effective at reducing accidents in the long term as restrictions on its use, and would hopefully alow us to reach a position where restrictions were no longer required.
    On a personal note, tsuki is a tecnique that has become pretty integral to my kendo and I really don't like the idea of it being removed. It allows my opponent to make certain defensive moves which would be easily punishable if only tsuki were alowed. In purely technical terms, I don't see the removal of tsuki as much of a step away from the removal of, let's say, do as a target. But my personal feelings aren't really that important. I'm more concerned with how such a change might affect the development of people's kendo. What do you think?

  • #2
    Ambivalence

    I'm a bit mixed with this. Not many Kenshi that I have seen can perform a tsuki very adequate (Morote or Katate). I'm one of them. I have also seen many missed tsukis and the following result on various parts of the body after Keiko under the shower. I have also had some hickeys on my arms, breast, neck and sometimes the lateral sides of my neck. I have seen someone being tsuki'd and couldn't speak for a week afterwards. I think there is something to say to make it illegal. I agree also that it should be an integral part of the curriculum. In my opinion it is an very advanced technique and should thus only be performed by advanced people but I have seen Rokudans doing tsuki and they weren't better than mine. Maybe if the Men would provide some more protection than it would be ok. Then again with this attitude we end up in Power Rangers suits with the maximum protection. I don't know really what to make of it. It does make being a Shinpan life a bit easier though maybe that's why they decided to change the rules. Then again if your Kensen is in the middle then the Tsuki that you give should theoretically be on target. This is indeed a very difficult matter.

    Comment


    • #3
      The new shiai rules have been badly thought out and seemingly rushed through after the Bowden fiasco, as they made up the rules on the spot, several hours into the event and reflects the level of inconsistency in the BKA at the moment.
      I queried about the new tsuki-rule in terms of mixed matches (ie Bowden) and what would happen if either side took jodan/nito/etc and the answer was "erhhh, still not allowed".
      Also, mukaezuki is also not allowed (whenever tsuki is 'restricted') , which I really can't see how they can enforce?..give hansoku everytime someone runs into your shinai?.
      It's utter nonsense.

      Jakob

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JSchmidt
        I queried about the new tsuki-rule in terms of mixed matches (ie Bowden) and what would happen if either side took jodan/nito/etc and the answer was "erhhh, still not allowed".
        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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        • #5
          dont ban it.... teach it.

          i was never taught tsuki constructively for years... what a waste. now i fire it in whenever i have the chance (and sometimes when I dont.... ).

          i think people in the U.K. [and other places] overreact to a missed kote or do.... giving it the full-on professional foul. it really annoys me.... we arent trying to become ballerinas here!!!! so when a miss-thrust tsuki goes astray.... start counting the oscars nominations.

          the best way to learn in an environment where your association/instructor frowns on it is to find a kendo-pal to team up with and agree "ok, tsuki is on, anytime" ... then you can both train without the fear that you are going to be taken as some sort of evil bastard if you try tsuki on them and vice-versa.

          no offence to any ballerinas.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fonsz
            Not many Kenshi that I have seen can perform a tsuki very adequate (Morote or Katate). I'm one of them. I have also seen many missed tsukis and the following result on various parts of the body after Keiko under the shower. I have also had some hickeys on my arms, breast, neck and sometimes the lateral sides of my neck. I have seen someone being tsuki'd and couldn't speak for a week afterwards. I think there is something to say to make it illegal. I agree also that it should be an integral part of the curriculum. In my opinion it is an very advanced technique and should thus only be performed by advanced people but I have seen Rokudans doing tsuki and they weren't better than mine.
            The thing is, I don't believe that these problems occur because tsuki is bad, but because people are bad at tsuki. We've all had beginners wound us with missed kote/do cuts, and seen stars from a heavy men cut, but with training these problems go away. I believe it's the same with tsuki - but people don't practice it enough to reach that stage. Becuase people don't practice enough to get good and safe, some people want to ban it. If it gets banned, less people will practice it - it just gets worse and worse. You say that you think tsuki is an advanced technique, and this is certainly not an uncommon opinion - but I disagree. Seriously, if people can't hit tsuki reliably, as far as I'm concerned they can't hit men properly either, it's just that the fact that it's a large target allows them to get away with it. I honestly believe that.
            In case you're curious, I'm only able to practice once to twice per week right now, but when I was practicing properly (in the UK, not Japan) I would say that the time I dedicated to the most basic hits were something like men 25%, tsuki (morote and katate) 15%, kote 15%, kote-men 20%, do 15% and gyaku do 10% (of course I practiced hiki waza, oji waza etc, but this is just the very basics). Those are obviously not exact figures, but can't be too far off. These days I don't think I ever do jigeiko with somebody without throwing in at least a couple of tsuki, but because I've learnt control I never get complaints. I'm not saying that everybody should do as I do, but I do wish more people actually practiced tsuki rather than just complained about it. I know that the early stages of tsuki practice can be scary and painful, but get past it and your kendo will have a whole new aspect to it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JSchmidt
              The new shiai rules have been badly thought out and seemingly rushed through after the Bowden fiasco, as they made up the rules on the spot, several hours into the event and reflects the level of inconsistency in the BKA at the moment.
              Jakob
              What's the Bowden fiasco?

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry, but what is mixed match.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kuzu70
                  What's the Bowden fiasco?
                  Halfway through the competition they suddenly announced that team members couldn't be less than 18 years of age, something that, as far as I know, nobody knew about beforehand. At least 2 people had to retire because of this, which was pretty screwed up, as both people, despite being under 18, were actually much more skilled than the majority of adult participants, and had travelled a considerable distance to get there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KenShi_JoB
                    Sorry, but what is mixed match.
                    man against woman.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JSchmidt
                      Also, mukaezuki is also not allowed (whenever tsuki is 'restricted') , which I really can't see how they can enforce?..give hansoku everytime someone runs into your shinai?.
                      It's utter nonsense.

                      Jakob
                      So, by these rules if I attack without having the centre and I am stopped by the other shinai, tho ther person gets the hansoku?
                      That's rubbish.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lloromannic
                        So, by these rules if I attack without having the centre and I am stopped by the other shinai, tho ther person gets the hansoku?
                        That's rubbish.
                        Well, I didn't mention it as the original post was getting a little long, but being able to judge what's an attempt at tsuki and what's down to a clumsy opponent would be near impossible, and bound to cause resentment against referees. So basically I agree with your conclusion.
                        Also, isn't it a bit sketchy to suddenly deviate from the IKF rules?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kingofmyrrh
                          Well, I didn't mention it as the original post was getting a little long, but being able to judge what's an attempt at tsuki and what's down to a clumsy opponent would be near impossible, and bound to cause resentment against referees. So basically I agree with your conclusion.
                          Also, isn't it a bit sketchy to suddenly deviate from the IKF rules?
                          Well done tsuki is no more different than a Men, Kote or Do strike. I prefer getting tsuki-ed than kote-ed really. Besides it is a great chance to toss the other person's shinai away. Tsuki-Uchiotoshi-Men is one of my preferred waza.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The whole reason that this came about is the attitude of some of the high grades in the BKA where they fell you are insulting them if you tsuki them. This then results in people hearing how much tsuki is a bad thing, therefore these people then fear tsuki, they fear to do it and fear to recieve it, thus fueling the whole tsuki being rude idea, because more and more people are afraid of it. This is utter nonsense, its the worst thing that can happen, they are basically trying to do away with 25% of kendo! The next step that this path will take is the complete abolition of tsuki in the UK, you can see it coming.


                            I think at the next AGM I'm gonna make a stand for all reasonable kendoka. I think I'm going to push for Honda sensei to write an article on tsuki as well, maybe that can help to destroy the myth around it.

                            Who's with me?!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The great I AM
                              The whole reason that this came about is the attitude of some of the high grades in the BKA where they fell you are insulting them if you tsuki them. This then results in people hearing how much tsuki is a bad thing, therefore these people then fear tsuki, they fear to do it and fear to recieve it, thus fueling the whole tsuki being rude idea, because more and more people are afraid of it. This is utter nonsense, its the worst thing that can happen, they are basically trying to do away with 25% of kendo! The next step that this path will take is the complete abolition of tsuki in the UK, you can see it coming.


                              I think at the next AGM I'm gonna make a stand for all reasonable kendoka. I think I'm going to push for Honda sensei to write an article on tsuki as well, maybe that can help to destroy the myth around it.

                              Who's with me?!!!
                              RRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGG GHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
                              I'm with you! Well, I won't be here at the next AGM, but I've no intention of stopping using what I see as an integral part of kendo, even if it gets me disqualified. I've heard a number of theories as to 'why', yours being one of them, but which ever is the real reason, the fact is that the 'vicious cycle' of tsuki fear and rejection is a real problem. One time at which a decent number of dojo leaders get together is the high grade practice. Perhaps if we could somehow persuade them to incorporate tsuki training, and tsuki teaching training, then we might have a chance of reversing the unfortunate decline of tsuki.

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