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  • hitting kote and men

    In the past when i have tried to hit kote without using suriage waza, i always find myself taking a step in towards their right foot to hit kote but i always seem to run into the kensen to achieve this. What am i doing wrong? Could someone offer some advice on how to counteract this?

    Also when going for men, i have been taught to use seme and go straight through without using again suriage waza. When i do this i lift my shinai but when doing so i use the curve of my shinai to move my opponent off centre. Am i doing the right thing?

    If you have any other info you'd like to share, please do so

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    In order to get past the kensen to get to kote you must control the center.

    You have to get their kensen off center before you can sucessfully strike kote.

    Others will have details on how to do this.

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    • #3
      The only way i know to get someone off centre is to use suriage-waza, but im trying to use seme

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Commander
        In the past when i have tried to hit kote without using suriage waza, i always find myself taking a step in towards their right foot to hit kote but i always seem to run into the kensen to achieve this. What am i doing wrong? Could someone offer some advice on how to counteract this?

        Also when going for men, i have been taught to use seme and go straight through without using again suriage waza. When i do this i lift my shinai but when doing so i use the curve of my shinai to move my opponent off centre. Am i doing the right thing?

        If you have any other info you'd like to share, please do so

        Thanks in advance!
        Something that my sensei have been showing me is this:

        When you go in to make a strike, whatever it may be, kote or men or tsuki, slightly slide your shinai along your opponent's shinai towards their throat. This will move them off center enough to go in and make the strike, but you need to do it as part of your strike; if you don't you will be wasting time, and more than likely your opponent will notice and close the opening.

        That's what I've been told, anyways. I'll ask my sensei tonight and see what else they can tell me on the subject.

        Good luck.

        [EDIT] I just re-read your second question and it's basically what I was saying. But that is what would help you with hitting kote as well.

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        • #5
          Thanks, Pan-Chan

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Commander
            The only way i know to get someone off centre is to use suriage-waza, but im trying to use seme
            That's not suriage waza. Suriage waza is an oji waza, which means you do it as your opponent's strike is coming in, not just to knock their shinai out of the way. (See the Nuts and Bolts series in Kendo World. Have you done kata no. 5 yet?) If you don't know that by now I would suggest you shouldn't be worrying too much about this issue yet.

            Try using your footwork to move around and take centre. There could be a lot of reasons why things aren't going the way you want, but you've got to just keep practicing, and store away in your head how different opponents react to different approaches. There is a lot more to seme than just what you do with your shinai, and that takes a lot of practice to start to get the hang of.

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            • #7
              Um as i've not graded yet, i only know Kata 1-3.

              My mistake lol i will try moving around to trick them off centre.

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              • #8
                On the other hand I've seen some kyu grades do an extremely lame thing where they make a step to your right and then attempt to come in for kote diagonally. Thats not whats meant here (I think).

                Originally posted by Hamish
                store away in your head how different opponents react to different approaches
                This neatly sums up the entirety of my thought process in jigeiko for the past few months. Couldn't articulate it though, thanks Hamish!

                Commander, have you read Honda Sensei's articles for kyu grade or shodan/nidan jigeiko? You should read especially about feining.

                For example if you act exactly as though you're going for men, an opponent may raise their hands to block and open up kote, since that was your target all along you can pick it off cleanly.

                Or if you're fighting someone of your level or below and want to build your confidence, push their shinai over to the left exposing your kote to them. Try not to be too obvious though. They're taught to hit your kote, and most do. Once they go for it, just do a nice big nuki-men (like haya-suburi, jump back then fumikomi forward with your shinai). Done right there isn't much they can do... unless they were playing you for some kaeshi or nuki waza for the resultant men.

                I'm about the same grade as you, so remember I'm full of shit. Both of these examples are shiai approved, so I'm just posting what worked for me

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                • #9
                  Hmm i like the sound of this.

                  So when avoiding the kote, i jump back slightly into jodan then move forward for men?

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                  • #10
                    Yeah but, this is difficult to explain over the internet so make sure you run EVERYTHING by Mr.Kincaid first (you're at Glasgow right?). In this case just ask 'whats kote-nuki-men'? Also the timing shouldn't be 'he's coming for kote, oh lets jump back into jodan, now lets go forward...' it should be 'kote-ba-bang'. The men needs to be bigger than jigeiko men, left hand all the way up to eye level, otherwise you won't avoid the incoming kote. Some sensei teach it without the step back, but I was taught to do it this way by Yanai sensei, so I'm not arguing with him.

                    Remember that this is just an example and may be suited to the way I was taught Kendo, and might not work as well for you. I'm more consistent with nuki/debana waza than things like osae or harai waza, you may be the other way round. I was just trying to give an example of something you can try to create an opening.

                    In this case, as Hamish said, try to see how different people react to your advertised kote. I've found that if you push too far off centre people will just drop their kensen and move back to centre from under you. The only reason I know that is because I've tried it, and remembered what happened.

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                    • #11
                      Im at Glasgow

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                      • #12
                        Ah kote nuki men, i like that one a lot. I was taught to just quickly raise my arms to avoid the kote, then the men is wide open and you have already lifted your shinai. Its kinda tricky though, even in waza-geiko when you know exactly what is about to come you still get hit often because you got to be so damn quick. The subsequent men uchi is not worth noting, it will hit and will be fast enough, no doubt about that.

                        But lifting your arms up quick enough is not easy. You have to raise both arms close to your do. If you just raise your arms the normal way your opponent will hit your kote most certainly. I was taught to specifically pull up my right hand fast upwards, the left will follow automatically. And that works for me. Just be sure to keep your kote close to your body, then you dont need to take a step backwards. This might work for really fast or small people, for me it doesnt. I cant make a proper men fast enough after taking a step (more like a leap to be fast enough) backwards.

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                        • #13
                          you raise your arms as soon as your opponent begins to swing the shinai down and also step back to avoid the strike. when you raise your arms, use a large movement so that your opponent does not hit kote.

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                          • #14
                            noted. Thanks alot

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                            • #15
                              Maybe don't take that step toward their right foot but go straight in? Doing so will brush aside their shinai as you come down toward kote. Or, make that step to your left/his right a bit smaller.

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