No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Kiriotoshi

    I'm starting to try to really work kiriotoshi, but having a little bit of difficulty with it...

    This video was recommended to me:

    and I also wound up watching this follow-up here:

    (Thoughts? Comments?)

    I'm thinking maybe there's something to this footwok, where it appears Shiina-sensei (in the vids) is saying you need to step your right foot onto the same line as aite's right foot...(??)

    I haven't tried that yet (will tonight), but I get very mixed results when just going straight forward. When I do it against much less-experienced players, I'm getting mixed results. Sometimes they're actually (and inadvertently or unintentionally) getting kiriotoshi on me... I do believe my tenouchi/shibori is fine... it seems to be an angle of attack issue and, just as much, a timing issue.

    to me, there's clearly a timing issue going on, and I did watch this video (pressed for time didn't get to see the whole thing before wanting to type this all out before running off to practice):
    ...where Takizawa-sensei is saying "it's not oji-waza.. suriage is oji waza, but kiriotoshi is 'like' a "downwards suriage" ... ok, that makes some sense (I think)...

    It seems to me that this is NOT supposed to be a swing where you're doing a very tight-angled sayumen... if I do that, I'm just as likely to bounce straight off aite's shinai and not hit his men..

    Anyway, the question is --- What is actually involved in this swing?

    Setting aside the timing issue for a moment, is the idea something along the lines of swinging straight down, but, say, swinging straight down above the aite's right eyeball (vs. swinging for the center of the men)? ..It seems I've tried that before, but when my body is moving straight forward, then my posture is getting goofy swinging off-center (ostensibly, seems like I wind up swinging this tight-angled sayumen as mentioned before)..

    Or is there something to this idea of moving the right foot towards aite's right foot, that as you are also moving forward (or, I guess, technically, your body is moving obliquely, hidari-mai), the combination of doing that and swinging down makes your swing necessarily coming pretty much above aite's right eye, and the body movement + straight swing, winds up knocking aite aside and puts your attack dead on center of men?

    ...sorry for confusing writing... having a tough time articulating it while i'm pressed for time.. hope it makes some sense..


    thanks in advance for any thoughts/hints/tips/insight...

  • #2
    Here's another insight from Takizawa-sensei:


    • #3
      Great videos!

      I dream of the day when I learn to perform it properly ...


      • #4
        Last year Ishiyama Mutsunori sensei teached us the basic kiriotoshi (itto ryu) using a bokken exercise similar to that showed in the following video at 0.40. In the next days he would be here again (2012 kendo in Chianti seminar) and maybe I will obtain more direct information on the argument.


        • #5
          Thanks Raffa! Nice also to see Chiba Masashi Sensei explaining Kata #6. His movements, "poetry in motion."


          • #6
            Originally posted by Raffa View Post
            Last year Ishiyama Mutsunori sensei teached us the basic kiriotoshi (itto ryu) using a bokken exercise similar to that showed in the following video at 0.40. In the next days he would be here again (2012 kendo in Chianti seminar) and maybe I will obtain more direct information on the argument.
            I was once shown an Itto-ryu kiriotoshi exercise that looks similar (maybe same). I briefly described it in this post (5th paragraph). Note I mistakenly called it kirioroshi instead of kiriotoshi. The former is simply making a downward cut (as opposed to say diagonal or horizontal) while the latter is cutting through another's cut. Orosu is to drop while otosu is to topple.


            • #7
              I'm at work so i cant watch the vids.. I've had it explained to me that kiriotoshi is more successful when cutting with the lower muscles of the arm (big cutting action) compared to a 'wristy cut'.

              I'm only passing on what ive been told, please dont shoot me down.


              • #8
                Tried it last night..... very frustrating. Gonna take some dedicated practice...

                Thanks for the responses thus far...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by damocles View Post
                  Here's another insight from Takizawa-sensei:
                  This video is fantastic. Major lightbulb moment. I do not think I can execute the waza and no one's ever taught it to me, but it explained something I'd seen and that's been used on me in a way I hadn't understood before.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tango View Post
                    Anyway, the question is --- What is actually involved in this swing?
                    For me, the more difficult the waza, the simpler I have to keep the underlying principle, otherwise my brain gets tied up in a knot thinking about all the angles and various permutations. And kiriotoshi is about as difficult as a waza gets.

                    I don't consciously practice kiriotoshi, but it does happen from time to time in ai-men situations -- but only when I'm up against a much less experienced opponent; someone who generally tends to swing big. I dunno about moving the right foot toward my opponent's right foot. Never thought about that for men waza, quite honestly. For me, when kiriotoshi does happen, it FEELS like it's because my opponent's tenouchi not as strong as mine. Dunno if that's what's actually going on, but that's what it FEELS like on my end.

                    When I'm going ai-men against someone, I've never thought, "Oh, let me try kiriotoshi against him/her." I'm just going for ai-uchi timing, and if it happens, it happens.


                    • #11
                      Wensday evenenig, during the dinner after practise I asked Ishiyama sensei about this.
                      Here is what I have understanded.
                      First, Ittoryu waza aim to nullify the enemy sword, and the kata reflect this.
                      Kiriothoshi is a go no sen waza, but the mental state to execute it is sen no sen.
                      Is wrong to think that your sword go "over" that of the aite, instead we must think of keeping it in touch with the aite one, shinogi vs shinogi.
                      Another important point is that the aite last third of the sword must come in contact with the 2/3 portion of our sword.
                      In the end the Sensei added that there are various kind of kiriothoshi in Ittoryu, that used with a straight men attack is the basic one.


                      • #12
                        IMO kiriotoshi is one of the most gangster, dominating, demoralizing waza. I think of the Alex Bennett interview when he talks about the old guys dominating.
                        When M sensei blasts me with it, I notice that I've already "pulled the trigger" with my tenouchi as he is on the very end of his upswing. Then he does HIS tenouchi, blasts though my shinai and I'm dead. I've also noticed some sensei will also stand taller and cut up and over you.


                        • #13
                          last three posts there are very interesting... raffa -- thanks for asking your sensei about it... these are all things that I'll be keeping in mind as I work on this waza..

                          @kapp -- it's been a a while since i've had keiko with M... seems that everytime i've been in front of him, though, he's doing or working on something different (either that, or just as likely, I'm doing something different and he's just adjusting to whatever whacky-ness I am doing..).. Anyway, your point about the tenouchi is also interesting because i've experienced the same thing against him...

                          much to dwell on...


                          • #14
                            Hi Tango

                            Yeah, kiriotoshi is not easy...personally I prefer uchiotosihi because you have better control over the aite and you can use it in different situations. You can't with kiriotoshi. As far as the mechanics between the two, it's basically the same except for the timing and footwork.

                            I think the demonstration in the video were good. Imo, I think the most common mistake people make is that they focus too much on the parry. If you focus too much on this, you're swing becomes exaggerated. It's wasted movement. Another issue is how you swing the shinai up, in kendo...there are very few waza that *begin* with some sort of movement involving the hands/wrists. Harai, osae and kaeshi come to mind. With most don't want to bend the wrists or elbows in the beginning for two reasons: 1) it's easy to read and 2) your kote is open. (dekote). In my dojo, doing this is mechanically incorrect and you'll have a hard time executing the waza. I'm not implying you do this but they're many who do.

                            Imo...I also think kiriotoshi to be a risky waza against experienced kenshi being susceptible to dekote, nuki/migi doh. To me kendo is like jian ken po, sometimes I just hope that I guess right executing a particular waza.

                            With that said...just to add to what's in the video...this is what I think you need to focus on.

                            1) Know your maai. You need to have a good understanding of this because this affects how you fumikomi. When you think about you're maai interacting with the aite, a good kendoka will always intiate an attack from where he's most confident i.e. attack from a position that's advantageous. Your maai needs to able to adapt to this. You learn this stuff in kihon.

                            2) The swing. The swing is exactly the same as a small men or (kote) nuki men. Your swing needs to be straight and true. What I do is raise the shinai from my shoulders (my hands and elbows don't move) until my hands are at face level and bend my wrists back to a point where my kensen points straight up. (no farther) I use my shoulders and left hand simultaneously and cut straight down.

                            There are a couple factors to consider how far back you need to bend your wrists...1) The size of the aites men strike. the smaller and faster the cut, the less you need to bend back the wrists. 2) The height of the aite. The taller or bigger the cut, the more you bend the wrists. In both cases, you don't need to raise your shinai any higher than face level.

                            3) I was taught to fumikomi from the hips. So this a little different from the video. What I do is push and turn my hips slightly to the left, How far I fumikomi depends on the situation. When i turn my hips... this slightly alters the path on my downswing. If you time this right, your shinai should naturally parry the aites shinai and strike his men.

                            All of this of coarse is easier said than done...but I hope it's some help to you. Gambare.


                            • #15
                              thanks, g-chan... i was having some difficulty trying to understand the video's point, although clearly, sensei was saying something about the level at which the hands come up.. and apparently, a lot of shoulder when coming up (looking very stiff, nevermind)...

                              also, your point about bending the wrists.. and the distance... well, everything. Last week's practice, I think I was focusing so much on just the timing aspects and I wasn't per se adjusting my normal swing, and this was getting things all screwed up...

                              what you say makes sense to me, so i'll try it at practice tonight..
                              thanks very much to all the insights (thus far)... hopefully some more folks will add even more (good, bad or ugly)...