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Looks like fun! The group appears to have an impeccable lineage and has been discussed before. Hard to tell much from these short grabs as the footage has obviously been edited for maximum action/controversy. I'd like to see a whole training from start to finish. First impression is it looks pretty sloppy and not terribly intimidating i.e. few of the tsuki or grapples show much effect. I wanted to see some ripping-off-men (it's got a name in Japanese but I forget...) or at least a good ashibarai or osotogari where the opponent goes flying. One chap seems to just ditch his shinai and go for his opponent's head. If they are just allowed to go for it then I want to see tomoe-nage! Or even better, some kind of rush technique when drawing the shinai, using the tsukagashira like in ganmenate! b
Halifax Kendo Club www.halifaxkendo.org
When the student is ready, the master appears. -Buddhist Proverb
Why so light?...The French word for sword is sabre. And we prefer light sabres. - ScottUK
As the video is posted by GekikenOrg, which is a group headed by Jack Chen in Hong Kong--he's made appearances here and Sword Forum--I suspect that a lot of the footage presented contains people who are not regularly training at the Ikkenkai.
So, I have studied some hand to hand combat and would be pretty comfortable in such a training session. And I, too, am curious about what such rough and tumble kendo would be, or how I might use my hands and feet in addition to my sword in a "real fight." What I'm wondering based on the above is if there are some parameters to address how you might use all your weapons. For one thing, why drop your sword so you can rip off a guy's men? Why not hang on to your sword and jab it up under the guy's armpits, perhaps with that technique we learned in iaido - I think it's called hanmi? Where you grasp the tsuka with your right hand, put your left palm on the back of the blade, and guide the kensen into your opponent's flesh?
If the aim is to win by ripping off the guy's men than I'll just block, drop my shain, grab your arms, push them out of the way, etc. Or men-taiatari, double leg scoop...
I imagine that some of the HEMA/ARMA guys might have a better idea tatics wise or may have better rulesets for those sorts of situations. I can say that I do occasionally workout with a guy who practices at police dojos and if we both wind up on the ground, a daito is fairly worthless given the length of the blade and the distance between bodies. At that point, dropping your sword to take the other guys men might make more sense, whereas if you had a shoto you could jam it into various places.
Last time I played with that guy and dropped him to the ground, I just did a darse choke on him.