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Changing grip against nito and jodan

by Jeong
(Cypress)

When I was using nito against my sensei, he changed grip from only to his left hand or right hand. Why is he doing that?


Answer:  I am sure you were puzzled. :) You see such switching against jōdan. By grabbing a shinai with one hand and switching your hands, it is hard for jōdan to aim. 

Jōdan cannot strike your right kote if you have your shinai only in your left (or right) hand, even for a second.  

Why grabbing the shinai in the right hand?


Usually we take hira seigan no kamae (the kensaki of shinai points at the left hand of jōdan). It is not a normal chūdan. Thus, we can strike the left kote of our opponent if they are not in chūdan (ref:  Datotsu to Hidari Kote).

Theoretically, the left kote is valid if your opponent is not in the normal chūdan.   So if you take hira seigan, your opponent can strike your left kote.

However, many do not strike the left hand because it is harder to be recognized as a valid cut. So many do not strike the left kote in matches or shiai.

Remember this: Switching only occurs briefly.

I think your sensei tries to distract your focus. And probably he was successful because you were thinking “what the hell is he doing?”, right?
And I suggest that you should ask your sensei why too. He may give you some different answers from what I gave you here!

PS...A video for your kendo study.

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