Gyaku do Zanshin and Cuts
How would a gyaku do cut be "correctly" done? I normally apply the same concept of a tameshigiri cut, cut with my shoulder rather than my hand (similar to uchidachi in kata no 1).
A lot of my fellow kendoka cuts the gyaku do like a swinging a baseball bat which in terms of speed and power seems to outmatch mine. Can you tell me which the better way is?
How should I perform zanshin for gyaku do (migi do)? Usually as a natural instinct, after cutting the gyaku do I leave my body in the same position that people who perform tameshigiri do after they finish their cut but before unsheathing their katana.
Together with metsuke and a kiai strong enough to hopefully intimidate my opponent enough so he won’t go for another cut. And on that matter how do I perform zanshin for a hiki gyaku do?
Thank you very muchAnswer:
Thank you for your question. Gyakudo, now by All Japan Kendo Federation, we have to call it hidari-do, is hiki-giri, which means cut by pulling. As you said, it is like tameshi-giri.
However, after you cut the hidari-do, you must go backwards like you are striking hiki-waza (go backwards after striking).
Usually, you step in and when striking hidari-do you step backwards onto the back foot diagonally to your left.
Of course, you will be vulnerable like you are striking hiki-migi-do so make sure you go backwards fairly quickly and take chudan.
But once you cut by pulling your shinai to complete the cut (hiki-giri) many people get closer to their opponent to minimize the risk of getting hit.
Is it correct? It is one of those controversial things but it does give you a point if you successfully complete the “cut by pulling”.
There is a nuki-hidari-do like men-nuki-(migi) do. This as well should be hiki-giri. And it is very hard to go backwards since your opponent is coming toward you. So like the normal nuki-do, you just step to the side (in this case to your left) and complete your zanshi by facing toward your opponent.
You do not want to strike do like batting since we must think about the angle of the blade. But if you make it too sharp in angle, you might not get the target. That is why do is very hard :)
Hope this helps.