Kendo Ashi-sabaki training(Kanda Tomohiro)


In 2019 from August 2 (Fri) to August 4 (Sun) the annual Amsterdam Kendo Summer Seminar was held. In this report, the contents of the seminar will be presented in text and video.
If you participated in the seminar, please remember to incorporate it into your regular practice.

Sensei’s Profile

Kanda Tomohiro
5th dan
All Japan Students Kendo Team Championship title
All Japan Student Kendo Championship Individual Participation
Kanto Student Kendo Team Championship 2nd place
Kanto Student Kendo Individual Championship 3rd place
National Prefectural Competition Tournament Participation
National Teachers’ Championship 3rd place / Excellent Player Award
All Japan Championship Participation

Kendo Ashi-sabaki

In shiai, footwork is extremely important in response to various movements. Kanda sensei has a variety of achievements such as participating in the All Japan Kendo Championships, participating in the All Japan Prefectural Championship, 3rd place in the National Teachers’ Championship, winning the All Japan Student Team Championship, and participating in the All Japan Student Individual Championship. “In high school, I was taught the importance of footwork and I still prioritize it.” Iwamoto Takamitsu sensei, former teacher of Kanda sensei, became a high school teacher in Oita after attending the prestigious kendo clubs of PL Gakuen and University of Tsukuba. In 2008 Iwamoto led his high school team to victory in the Inter-High Championship and managed to participate many times after that by being victorious in the preliminaries.
Look back on Kanda-sensei’s footage in this video and make use of it in your daily practice!

Practice items

  • Suriashi
  • Backward suriashi
  • Backward and forward suriashi
  • Suriashi in pairs
  • Fast suriashi in pairs
  • Fast kote men oikomi

If you want to practice footwork in regular exercises, it is a good idea to make several lines and go back and forth like during the seminar. If the distance is short, you can do more increase the quantity of the exercise
Depending on the number of people, about 15 – 20 minutes is ideal.
Keep yourself motivated by increasing or decreasing the quantity of exercise depending your level.

Backward suriashi

For backward suriashi, it is key to move quick and swift.
If you are leaning forward out of fear when performing hiki-waza, you can’t strike fast.
You will be able to strike and move backwards quickly when you lean backward to the point where you fall over, and turn that into backwards momentum. It is important to make sure you don’t trip, and make small steps for quick suriashi.

Forward and backward suriashi

This is a practice method where you go forwards and backwards in suriashi. It is important to keep the effort of moving your body as low as possible by using small and quick steps.

Suriashi in pairs

When practicing suriashi in pairs, it is important to maintain kamae during the exercise. You must have a good sense of how your partner moves, otherwise you will end up in a range which is too far or too close.

Kote-men oikomi

Kote-men oikomi isn’t done with only one foot, so don’t do fumikomi with your body weight only your right foot. For fast kote-men oikomi, make your fumikomi faster and your swings smaller. Don’t neglect your footwork by focusing too much on your upper body. This practice method is useful to increase smooth movement for shiai.

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