“Kendo is about striking your opponent when he comes in.”
Tomiyoshi Kai sensei from Nobeoka Shudokan, from whom we received our very first kendo instructions, used to tell us: “In kendo, we confront our opponent and find openings during mutual seme. I am practicing every day so that I can strike at the moment when the opponent tries to move. There are three gaps in Kendo: in kamae, in movement, and in the soul. Openings during movement will appear in even the most powerful player. I try to capture this flash of a moment during mutual seme.”
In my case, when I land techniques, it is almost always a men-technique. I use debana waza a lot in particular, and since I am tall, my specialty naturally became men-techniques focusing around debana-men. Currently, I try to disturb my opponent and strike without disturbing my own posture.
Sato Hiromitsu, born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1973. Went to Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences from Takachiho High School, started serving at the Osaka Police Department after graduation. WKC individual and team title, 3rd place in the All Japan Championship, All Japan Police Championship individual and team titles, National Sports Tournament title, etc. Currently, he is platoon leader of the Osaka Police Department Riot Police.
Bait with the right foot, disturb with the left while applying tame
As with any technique, it is well known that it will not succeed without seme. If you hit in the dark, you will only be countered by kote, so in recent years I have come to especially value the build up to the strike.
When applying seme, I use my right foot to feel out my opponent. When you put your right foot forward and the pressure is effective, the opponent will respond by retreating, raising his hands or striking. He won’t react easily of course, so try to keep it as small and precise as possible and take the center with the kensaki.
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