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  • Shiai questions

    I recently completed my first shiai (All California Open Tournament), and have many questions that I hope will improve my preformance in the next one.

    1.) Does anyone know any really good ways to block taietari kote / quick kote? I've been recently using the hariemae from the kihon kata, but in practical application there are indeed few occasions in which it can be properly utilized. Also, for taietari, it's difficult to remain defensive while still attacking, especially if I'm responding with men / do, and I was wondering if anyone has any good tips.

    2.) Because this was my first real shiai, I didn't try any of my keiko techniques (nuki-do or taking jodan). However, I was wondering the legitimacy of utilizing other kamae. I know that one may take any kamae during such a match, and indeed saw a person using jodan, but does anyone use any other kamae such as hasso? In my mind, it seems that hasso is much better for defense, as it allows for better coverage of the kote and easy flexibility for blocking men/do. Also, does anyone here use nuki-do in shiai?

    3.) Lastly, any good tips for practicing the head-dodge? Not being able to do that really killed me on the first hit.

    Thanks for listening.

  • #2
    Hello and congrats after your first shiai,

    If I may be so bold, I would like to quote Gendzwill-san on some good advice he gave on head-dodging (ducking).

    >It's a bad habit. Do you think you're any less dead because you took the cut on your shoulder? The >only time ducking is worthwhile is in shiai, but even then it's a last-ditch kind of thing. The problem >with ducking in shiai is it's hard to avoid taking that habit into your regular practice.

    In my club, many people practice it and most agree it is a bad habit to have (so why do they do it?) Perhaps this could define your style of kendo: competitive or martial-artistic.

    As for the other point about kamae, I recently finished a shia last Sunday and all participants except one stuck with chu-dan. Of course, the one who choose jo-dan in all his bouts won the 3-dan and below trophy. Interesting...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kichigai
      1.) Does anyone know any really good ways to block taietari kote / quick kote?
      If you're in the position of having to block it, you're probably too late. Avoid giving the opening. As a beginner, your best bet when closing is to rebound and get away as soon as possible. Avoid getting tangled up in tsuba-zeriai a lot.
      2.) Because this was my first real shiai, I didn't try any of my keiko techniques (nuki-do or taking jodan).
      Nuki-doh is useful. Arbitrarily taking jodan is not. You're either a chudan player or a jodan player, and sounds like you're still working out your chudan.
      In my mind, it seems that hasso is much better for defense, as it allows for better coverage of the kote and easy flexibility for blocking men/do.
      Hasso leaves your left kote wide open. Jodan players sometimes use it to transition from chudan to jodan if the distance is a little tight. As a general kamae though it's not too functional. Historically, it's a modified jodan to avoid interference from the helmet in battle armour. As we don't have that particular problem in kendo, jodan works better. You shouldn't use either yet.
      3.) Lastly, any good tips for practicing the head-dodge?
      Yeah - don't.
      Last edited by Neil Gendzwill; 8th September 2004, 02:53 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I echo Neil's advice, "Yeah, don't." In addition to what Pauly said, think of it this way: worrying about dodging the head will only slow you down, making you second-guess yourself, and constipate your attacks. Instead, only worry about attacking strong and attacking fast.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kichigai
          I recently completed my first shiai (All California Open Tournament), and have many questions that I hope will improve my preformance in the next one.

          1.) Does anyone know any really good ways to block taietari kote / quick kote? I've been recently using the hariemae from the kihon kata, but in practical application there are indeed few occasions in which it can be properly utilized. Also, for taietari, it's difficult to remain defensive while still attacking, especially if I'm responding with men / do, and I was wondering if anyone has any good tips.

          2.) Because this was my first real shiai, I didn't try any of my keiko techniques (nuki-do or taking jodan). However, I was wondering the legitimacy of utilizing other kamae. I know that one may take any kamae during such a match, and indeed saw a person using jodan, but does anyone use any other kamae such as hasso? In my mind, it seems that hasso is much better for defense, as it allows for better coverage of the kote and easy flexibility for blocking men/do. Also, does anyone here use nuki-do in shiai?

          3.) Lastly, any good tips for practicing the head-dodge? Not being able to do that really killed me on the first hit.

          Thanks for listening.
          Hi mate,

          I am probably not the right person to answer this for you (hardly mr. WKC), but i'll offer my opinion, it works ok for me.

          1). I am not quite sure what you mean by taiatari kote (hiki kote maybe??) but non the less, there is no real 'best' oji-waza. You simplyt have to use what works best for you. And unfortunately the best defence in my opinion against a quick opponent, is to be even quicker. Train hard to become the fastest, and remember relaxation=fluidity=speed.

          2). As for the kamae, hasso is a dangerous kamae to take in shiai, i have faced more than one opponent who 'had a go' at hasso. My first simple reaction is a good strong left-kote. There seems to be argument over whether this is valid datotsu or not, but either way, it shakes thier kamae.
          as for nuki-dou, i currently don't use it.

          3). as for the head dodge, i suppose i should say 'don't do that', but i don't know of a succesful shiai-sha who doesn't use it to escape a sticky situation, even the japanese guys at the WKC. No it is not 'good' kendo. however, we are not all 'good' at kendo, so those of us that don't have impenetrable oji-waza yet, still need to avoid defeat. Be careful though, do not break posture too much, or you'll end up on your a$$. ALWAYS be in a position from which you can attack!

          Also, what i (in my limited experience) would consider most important for success in shiai is to be fearless.And do not play defensive, nobody can defend forever. This is not easy, however, always have the strongest mind and the strongest heart, no matter who the opponent. Give everything to your cuts, sacrifice yourself to the attack, and believe you will be successful. The outcome can be determined in sonkyo.

          oh, and lastly, keep calm, don't let adrenaline get the best of you. And don't make $##t up, stick to the kendo you have been taught, there are no waza or kamae that are yet to be discovered.

          hope it helps. if not then i apologize for writing a load of useless crap.

          Andy Fisher
          DSKYK Preston
          Great Britain

          Please note:- I am in no way saying that this is the 'correct' method, nor am i suggesting that this should be the 'correct' method. Also i am not claiming that this is what is taught in my dojo, or it's affiliates. This is simply my opinion, and it works for me, at this stage in my kendo career it's 'validity' does not overly concern me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kichigai
            3.) Lastly, any good tips for practicing the head-dodge? Not being able to do that really killed me on the first hit.
            3 better ways how not to get hit on men

            1. perfect superstrong Kamae with plenty of fighting spirit- your best defence at all!

            2. Use shinai to block or footwork to move in order to avoid being hit - if your oponents gets off tempo or off balance hit him in return quickly.

            3. "Read", observe your oponent - anticipate your oponent's men-uchi and make oji-waza, or lure him to attack you when YOU want and make oji-waza (or de-kote or de-men). Kinda advanced, but works good when you are enough self-confident.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by D'Artagnan
              as for the head dodge, i suppose i should say 'don't do that', but i don't know of a succesful shiai-sha who doesn't use it to escape a sticky situation, even the japanese guys at the WKC.
              Seriously? My experience has been the opposite. Sure, I see it sometimes, but the strongest players that I see are winning because they are doing good, strong attacks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kichigai
                ... Lastly, any good tips for practicing the head-dodge?...
                Go to a kumdo dojang.



                Thank you. Thank you. I'll be at the Sands Casino & Hotel all week long.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow! Such a great response! Thanks, everyone!

                  I'm definitely not doing head dodging then. Taking Kendo for the martial arts aspect of it, and not the sportive, I don't think I'll try that out, and instead, as one of you mentioned, just overpower them with kiai and leave nothing to attack.

                  While I do like Jodan, and have used it quite effectively in keiko, I'm going to stick with chudan for now. Thanks, Neil.

                  Thanks again all!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Charlie
                    Seriously? My experience has been the opposite. Sure, I see it sometimes, but the strongest players that I see are winning because they are doing good, strong attacks.
                    of course, good strong attacks are what makes the difference between winning and losing. However, even the great guys make tiny errors. But they never just stand there and trust they wont be stuck. they move thier head, albeit slightly. I mean i'm not talking about HUGE back bending dodges. just small movements, that help you not be there. but hey, what do i know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kichigai
                      I recently completed my first shiai (All California Open Tournament), and have many questions that I hope will improve my preformance in the next one.

                      1.) Does anyone know any really good ways to block taietari kote / quick kote? I've been recently using the hariemae from the kihon kata, but in practical application there are indeed few occasions in which it can be properly utilized. Also, for taietari, it's difficult to remain defensive while still attacking, especially if I'm responding with men / do, and I was wondering if anyone has any good tips.
                      hmmm as for the quicky point scoring kotes, nuki men is quite easy, arms up strike down and go forward forward. Remember some kote's in shiai are not throught the center, if you keep center you'll see how effective chudan is ^_^

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        countering the head-dodge

                        Seeing as the head dodge has featured a lot in this thread, i'd like to pop in with a comment & question.

                        During ji-geiko at a seminar last week i was a bit shocked by a few members of other dojo that did the head dodge repeatedly. Besides having been taught, "Don't do it," it also just looks silly, what with kendo being so much about proper form.

                        My question is about tips in sparring against a head-dodger. At that moment, you've committed to men, so i assume you just go through with zanshin. But otherwise, do you try and anticipate the dodge and aim for it (which also might look a bit silly - i.e. sayu-men by default), or do you just switch to going for other suki?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Duh, i suppose one could just work on increasing speed for men-uchi, a fraction before the dodge is even possible. But anyway, any thoughts?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hm.

                            My thoughts are if they are head-dodging they are not completing their own cuts. So just keep cutting until they knock it off. Usually when I see the head dodge it is after they have launched their attack or as they are launching their attack, then they twist their head to the side. My thinking is, if you just launched your attack, it should hit, in which case you won the point. Why dodge? You're only slowing yourself down. I suppose the head dodge is done in the hopes that your attack will hit and your opponent's will miss because you moved your head. What might have been ai-uchi is, instead, you cutting and not getting cut in return. *shrug* Sounds like a waste of time to me! Your practice time is better spent just growing stronger in basic attacks.

                            When I get this in jigeiko I slam them on the shoulder - not on purpose, just that's where my men would have been! Anywho, my advice would be, just keep cutting, don't let them distract you from clean kendo. If you can alter your attack as it descends so that it finds them in their new location, fine. If not, complete the attack, tai atari/go through, hiki/turn around, and try, try again!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlie
                              Hm.

                              My thoughts are if they are head-dodging they are not completing their own cuts. So just keep cutting until they knock it off. Usually when I see the head dodge it is after they have launched their attack or as they are launching their attack, then they twist their head to the side. My thinking is, if you just launched your attack, it should hit, in which case you won the point. Why dodge? You're only slowing yourself down. I suppose the head dodge is done in the hopes that your attack will hit and your opponent's will miss because you moved your head. What might have been ai-uchi is, instead, you cutting and not getting cut in return. *shrug* Sounds like a waste of time to me! Your practice time is better spent just growing stronger in basic attacks.
                              WOW I totally agree . Sorry, I wasn't refering to dodging the head whilst making a cut, that's crazy. It is essential, IMO, that when cutting, that your posture remains sound. otherwise before long you're gonna hit the deck.

                              I also agree that the best method for defeating the head dodger, is to hit thier men before they move it (i.e. quickly).

                              I will only resort to a head dodge if

                              1). i am basically stood still, with good (lower) posture
                              2). It is literally the ONLY or LAST thing left to do to avoid defeat.

                              will i do this at the British Open? Hell yes
                              will i do this at my grading in October? Hell no.

                              Comment

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