Chiba Masashi, the champion of refined lessons on Kendo, also known as “Chiba magic”. Studying this will bring quick improvement. A Jodan expert reveals his secrets to you.
Chiba Masashi / Born in Miyagi prefecture in 1944. After graduating from Kogotanourin High School, he was hired by the Metropolitan Police Department. 3 All Japan Championship titles, 2 World team Championship titles, 4 National Police Team Championship titles, 1 National Sports Tournament Title, 1 Meiji village Kendo Championship title. Former occupation; the Metropolitan Police Department honorary teacher of Kendo, Hitotsubashi University Instructor. Hanshi 8th dan.
Photo : Tokue Masayuki
Video : Shiraito Katsuya
KendoJidai : 2011.08
3rd lesson：Shikake Waza for Kote and Men. Crushing the will for Seme and offense.
The techniques in Kendo are divided into Shikake Waza (initiating attacks) and Oji Waza (counter attacking), and first of all it is necessary to be able to rigorously attack. There is a tendency to think that Shikake Waza means merely attacking first, but you will not get an Ippon unless you create an opening.
Just creating momentum by pressuring through strikes and hitting targets on your opponent will likely not get awarded with Ippons. The higher the level, the more pronounced this will show through.
It is necessary to create an opening through Seme, not only when your opponent is waiting, but also when your opponent is applying Seme on you. With the feeling of overwhelming them, a strong sense of readiness is needed in order to crush the opponent’s will to continue their Seme.
When you feel that there is an opening, strike without hesitation. If you hesitate, you will create openings for your opponent. I teach to strike if there is an opening and if there is no opening do not strike until you create one. It means that if there is no opening when you apply Seme on the center, it is also important that you can make full use of Tsuki and Maki techniques to create them.
It is important that your Shinai handling is always directed towards your opponent
I introduced the advancement of your Maai as the first step towards learning how to apply Seme and creating openings. There are three ways of doing this: advancing your Maai without breaking your Kamae, advancing your Maai while suppressing the center from the right, and advancing your Maai while suppressing the center from the left. There is also an element of applying Seme to the hands.
If the opponent shows an opening, you should strike without hesitation, but if they don’t, you can make openings by Hari, Harai and Maki techniques. When using Hari, you should thrust upon the opponent’s Shinai as strong and short as possible, and point your Kensaki at the belly of your opponent. The same principle applies when using Harai. Maki is to be applied just behind the Nakayui of the Shinai of the opponent and after this technique you should also point our Kensaki towards the belly of the opponent. If the focus lies on the motions too much when using these techniques, the Kensaki may get significantly out of the center. If this happens, it is useless to try these techniques as you will end up creating striking opportunities for your opponent. It is necessary to always use Shinai handling which leads to strikes.
Controlling the center with Shinai handling
Haru (to thrust)
Harau (to sweep)
Maku (to rotate)
Sense the intent to strike, and use Hari, Harai and Maki to strike
If the opponent’s Kamae is very solid and difficult to disturb, you can thrust strongly upon the striking part of your opponent’s Shinai from the side with the Shinogi while moving in and immediately strike where the opening is created. Although you are applying power from the side, it is important to step out sharply. This enhances the impact of the thrust.
The Harai technique is a technique of sweeping the opponent’s shinai from the right or left, disturbing the Kamae before striking. The action of sweeping must be the same as the beginning of a strike. When sweeping the opponent’s Shinai from the side, the opponent’s Kensaki will point sideways and the Kamae will be disrupted, but your own Kensaki will also be off center and your Kamae will be disrupted in the same way. Since this will not lead to a hit, you always need to make sure that the opponent’s Kensaki is not pointing towards your body, and your own Kensaki is taking the center; from there you can freely use techniques.
The Maki technique is to entangle your Shinai around the opponent’s Shinai from the right or left and turn it around. I often use a technique after Maki from the left and down, but with Maki it is important to perform it when the opponent is about to step forward.
Hit after Hari
Thrust the opponent’s Shinai away and hit instantly
Hit after Harai
Sweep your opponent’s Shinai and instantly hit Kote
Hit after Maki
Rotate your opponent’s Shinai and instantly hit Men
Debana techniques. Apply Seme, lure out your opponent and mount an attack
Debana techniques capture the moment at which the opponent is about to strike. In examinations, it is necessary to strike at a good timing without hesitation resulting from mutual pressure, and it is well known that the judges will appreciate it when you can capture the best opportunity for Debana Waza.
Debana Men is when you strike Men as your opponent is about to come for Men, and it will not succeed unless you accurately capture the opportunity. Your opponent will move in, so it is important to strike while calculating the distance. It will not succeed if you wait and strike. It will not succeed unless you are already striking when you think you want to strike. You should strike small and sharp, and the left hand should not leave the center of the body while striking firmly.
For Debana Kote, you exercise Seme and make your opponent want to strike, and strike as his Kensaki is slightly raised. You can’t strike with a big movement so it is important to let the Tenouchi do the work and strike small and sharp.
For Debana Waza, the first movement might be made by your opponent, but it won’t succeed if you wait for his strike. You should apply Seme as if you are going to strike or thrust, and capture the moment in which he reacts. It can also be effective to loosen up your Kensaki and invite your opponent.
Lure out your opponent and come over the top with Men
Lure out your opponent and hit Kote