[ THIS MATERIAL RETRIEVED FROM HAWAIIKENDO.COM WEBSITE, September 18, 2016 ]
NIHON KENDO KATA
From Rod Omoto Sensei, Tacoma, WA
Secrets and short cuts are hidden in this chart. If you can find them they will greatly improve your ability to win a match. However, you must do lots of Suburi and Kiri Kaeshi so that when you discover the secrets, your Waza will just happen. It's your choice. You can use it anytime with anyone.
Relationship: Who creates the relationship and when? If he creates the relationship, I am under his control.
1. According to Takano Sasaburo Sensei, the Shitachi is the main character and the Uchitachi is the supporting character.
2. The Shitachi is the one who pressures Uchitachi so that Uchitachi has to respond to Shitachi's pressure.
3. Most of the foot work in present day Kendo is stamping, jumping, kicking, etc., but the movements in Kata are Suri-ashi. All in smooth Ayumi-ashi or Tsugi-ashi without any abrupt exciting movements.
4. However, because this is a predetermined form of Kata, and the Uchitachi is the leader, the Uchitachi must have compassion towards the Shitachi as though saying "Are you ready for the next move?" And because the Shitachi is in a position to pressure the Uchitachi, he would have the bold attitude like saying "I am ready anytime you are. Go ahead, make your move and I am with you on the spot."
5. There are no Harai Waza, Maki Otoshi Waza or Kiri Otoshi Waza. This could be interpreted as "The opponent's sword is in the way and bothering me. Therefore I must first do something with his sword before I execute a Waza." There could be numerous Waza with Harai, Maki Otoshi or Kiri Otoshi, like Harai Men, Harai Kote, etc. The same goes for Maki Otoshi Waza. However, both Harai and Maki Otoshi could be a Seme having sword contact without Datotsu. Therefore, "I must wait for my Teki (opponent) to respond to my sword contact Seme."
6. Breath control in relationship is very important. "Can I synchronize my Teki breath to my advantage so that I can detect his movement before he makes his move?"
Note on Nihon Kendo Kata: Blade Contact
There are two ways to cut: Non-blade contact and Blade contact.
Non-blade Contact: there are three kinds of Waza with non-blade contact.
1. Where your Seme is so strong that the Teki freezes. In this case, you just walk into your Teki and strike.
2. Where your Seme is strong enough you force your Teki to make his first move. Then you use your Debana Sen and strike.
3. Where your Seme is strong enough you force your Teki to make his first move. Then you use your Nuki Waza, and let your Teki strike first then make your strike. (ie, Kata #1, Men Nuki Men; Kata #2, Kote Nuki Kote; Kata #7, Men Nuki Do)
Blade Contact: there are three kinds of blade contact Waza.
1. Nayashi Waza, where you slide away Teki's thrust Tsuki and thrust back. (ie, Kata #3, Tsuki Nayashi Tsuki)
2. Kaeshi Waza, where you clip Teki's sword and make a Men cut. (ie, Kata #4, Tsuki Kaeshi Men; Kodachi #1 and #2, Men Kaeshi Men, to the right and left, respectively)
3. Suri-age Waza, where you clip Teki's sword on the right and make a Men cut. (ie, Kata #5, Men Suri-age Men) A small Suri-age Kote is where you clip Teki's sword on the left and make a Kote cut (ie, Kata #6, Kote Suri-age Kote)
4. The others are on Kodachi Kata #3: Suri-age, Suri-otoshi, and Suri-komi.
I have also discussed at Myoho-ji about how to maintain Kata performance in the center of the Dojo. Uchitachi maintains the center, Shitachi does the "one-inch engagement."
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