Skip to main content

Kihon Kata pt. 2

I've been meaning to do this post for a little while, since my first post on the subject only covered the first five Kihon Kata (there are 9 of them).  This one will go over what I have learned about Kihon Kata six through eight.  Please remember that these are my own thoughts on the subject and shouldn't be taken as "Kata Law."  Also, if you'd like to see my previous post on Kihon Kata, it can be found here.Here we go!

6 - Suriage Waza.  Kote-Suriage Men.  Motodachi steps in for Kote, and Kakarite responds with Suriage Men.  Suriage is an upward, arc-shaped movement of the blade that is used to deflect an opponent's incoming strike.  During this kata, Kakarite takes a slight step back for the suriage movement and then forward for the Men strike.  It should all be done as one movement, with no pauses in between.  Motodachi and Kakarite both take one step back to their starting positions while coming to kamae simultaneously.
7 - Debana Waza.  Debana Kote.  Motodachi takes a half-step forward while beginning to raise hands for a strike.  Kakarite responds by stepping forward with a small Kote strike.  I find this one odd because Motodachi doesn't make any strike of their own, they simply motion to making a strike by taking a half-step forward and slightly raising their kensen.  Kakarite takes one step back to kamae, and one more step back for distance.  Motodachi takes a half-step back and comes to kamae with Kakarite's last step.
8 - Kaeshi Waza.  Men-Kaeshi Do.  This kata is very similar to kata five (Nuki Waza) except that instead of immediately stepping to the side Kakarite delays their step to perform the block and counter-attack.  The Japanese-English Kendo Dictionary defines Kaeshi waza as "The action of blocking a strike and rotating one's shinai to the other side of an opponent's shinai," and this can be seen in the kata.  As Motodachi steps in to strike Men, Kakarite raises their bokken up with the tsuka pointing down and to the left and the kensen pointing up and to the right.  The left hands comes out of center slightly to the left for the block, and Motodachi's bokken should strike down on the lower portion of Kakarite's bokken, near the tsuba.  At this time Kakarite rotates the bokken around to the left, bringing the left hand back into the centerline  to deliver the Do strike.  The step forward and slightly to the right is started with the kaeshi block and the left foot snaps into place as the Do strike lands.  The rest is exactly like kata five, with both partners taking an angled step back and to the right, coming to kamae, and then taking a step to the left to reach their starting positions.  The most important thing that I've noticed as I practice this kata is the timing.  The timing of the block/counter-attack has to be almost at the last second.  You have to make Motodachi feel as if they are going to get a valid strike and cut you down, then at the last second you deliver the block and counter.  This kata is definitely easier understood when it is seen, and there are plenty of videos out there on the internet that show the steps that are done.

Again, these are my own interpretations of the kata, and many other people can expand on the principles and movements that are done, so it's always a good idea to ask your sensei about them if you are curious.  Our dojo has been actively implementing these kata for a while now, and the results are definitely visible in the up-and-coming beginners, intermediate, and advanced people that have had the privilege of learning and studying them.


Popular posts from this blog

The Ups and Downs of Kendo

Anyone that knows me knows that I love kendo.  I don't think I could do as much as I do with it if I didn't.  But loving kendo doesn't mean that it's easy.  Far from it, in fact!  If anyone says otherwise I would honestly question if they're doing it right.  From the first day where everything is brand new, to years down the road where you're trying to figure out the mental side of things, it's a challenge.

I've often had times when I just wasn't getting something.  Whether it was a new waza, or a new timing for an existing waza, or any other number of things that came up during training, sometimes things didn't click with me, and I would have many, many practices that felt fruitless.  It seems that every time that happened, though, If I kept at it and practiced, it would eventually click with me.  I'd wake up one day and "get it".  Not to say I'd be perfect at it, but the overall shape or timing would suddenly be there.  It r…


I've joined an online club.  Many of you, if you are reading, may have seen it or are even members yourselves.  It's called the Hundred Suburi Club 2018, on Facebook.  Check it out if you'd like!  This may be a shameless plug for it, but that's ok, it's my blog.  It's been fun joining in with other like-minded people around the world to share this experience.  I didn't necessarily join for the suburi itself; I've already been doing that consistently on my own time anyway.  For me it's more the community aspect of it, and being able to cheer on and motivate others, as they do the same for me, and share our stories back and forth.  Kendo really is a friendly group, and this gives me another way to meet and greet new people.  With that being said, though, it does make me think of my own suburi and practice and small tidbits of info that I've collected or realized throughout the years.  I want to present some of that, BUT please please please, if y…

Return to Form

It's been a while.  At first it was because I was just busy with work and life and training (always training!) but then I let this blog slip away from me and it kept slipping and slipping...and here we are, a full year has passed without any new entries.  It's time to change that!  I have always loved not only reading blogs myself, looking for little pieces of info or advice or a new take on something to give me another perspective, and I've also enjoyed sharing the information that I have, as well as the experiences and the ups and downs of kendo life.  I'm not perfect, it's definitely not high-level stuff, but I have a passion for it.  And hopefully I can keep that going for many years to come. So today it's time to get back to it!  I'll do my very best to keep this updated regularly with new entries.  This is also a perfect chance to reflect back on the last year.

2017 was a HUGE year for me, kendo-wise.  So much happened that I'm actually pretty bu…