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Taiatari in Jigeiko

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  • Taiatari in Jigeiko

    I've come far enough into kendo to start doing Jigeiko at the end of class with the other armor students in my class.

    I'm a rather short person and yesterday during I noticed that when in Taiatari i'm raising my hands too much and getting pushed back too easy (most other armor students being taller than myself). If I have my hands low where they are supposed to be I'm gonna end up pushing off on the other person's Do.

    Keeping correct form might force the other person to lower their hands too low forcing THEM out of position but if they don't would pushing off on Do be considered bad form even though it's the correct position for my height ?

    I'm sure I will work this out with further practice but figured I would post a thread and fish for ideas from other people whom might of noticed this.


  • #2
    Just My Personal Humble Opinion

    My feeling on your question is that I would work on my own form, do what YOU need to do, because if you're adjusting to where the opponent's hands are, you're doing what your opponent wants you to do. At that point, you are at a disadvantage (seme), so that when you use the correct form for your height, you force your opponent to adjust to you and you are at an advantage.

    I am much taller than my two senseis and my sempai, in fact, I'm taller than most of the people in my dojo. I do what I have to do in my own form, and if my opponent doesn't adjust to me, then I don't try to adjust to my opponent. That's not to say I don't react, but I don't let my opponent determine my form, posture, strokes, etc.

    This is something that you should be able to discuss with your sensei or sempai, and see what they tell you.

    Good luck and keep up good form in taiatari - it pays off!


    • #3

      First, beyond learning how to deal with it, pushing is a waste of time in practice. It happens in real matches, but your time is better spent doing other things. Just as if you were against someone of the same height, but a lot heavier and stronger, just evade rapidly to the side. When you develop this, it can leave your opponent at a disadvantage and they will stop pushing.


      • #4
        It seems to me that the most important thing with taiatari is make contact with your opponent pushing from the hara. My sempai is a much lighter person than myself, yet he can withstand my taiatari AND deliver one to me that will knock me off-balance. I was under the impression that taiatari has very little to do with the upper body. Can anyone clear that up? Sorry to hijack!!!


        • #5
          Think about your balance between your feet. That could also be a big part of your getting pushed back.


          • #6
            About receiving tai-atari:

            Learn to receive tai-atari properly in kirikaeshi - that's one way of improving it. Make sure that your hands are in front of your belly and that they don't collapse upon receiving tai-atari. Instead, use your hips to "cushion" it. Also, you should be balanced in terms of your footwork (some have said to lean slightly forward).


            • #7
              Stay with your hands at where you need them to be. If you raise your hands, you are raising your whole center of gravity. With a high center of gravity, you are easy to throw off balance and tip over. Keep your hands where you need them to be when you taiatari. If you crash into the person... so what... it happens all the time. But if you raise your hands, you will be pushed all over the place.

              To experiment and see how a lower center of gravity is helpful, get into a pushing match with a friend. You'll see that actually the lower you get the easier it is to stand against the pushing force against you. Experiment by pushing using more of your upper body and be taller and you will get thrown around. That is why you should be moving and taiatari-ing from your hara/waist area. Pushing with upper body will make you lose. Your strength will come from your lower body, legs and waist.


              • #8
                I agree with most of the posts on this thread so far. Keep your arms in the correct position for your body for taiatari. Taiatari literally means "body hit/attack," so although the position of your arms are important, the most important thing is that your body (the hips and lower extremities) are into the attack.

                Now if you are talking about tsubasuriai, where the two opponents' tsuba are meeting, you may have to adjust your arm position with opponents of different heights.