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How to perform correct and effective Taiatari?

by Markus
(Germany)

I would like to know how to perform correct taiatari in combination with fumikomi. It often happens on men strikes that the opponent blocks and both crash together with taiatari into tsubazeri-ai.


I often have the problem that when I’m fighting with people that are physically bigger and stronger I get pushed away and get out of balance. It often feels like running into a wall and bouncing back.

How can I prevent this using the basic correct taiatari?
Can you perhaps make a video showing the correct taiatari?

Answer: Taiatari is a very hard technique to acquire. It is very effective even in you are in tsubazeri-ai. I saw my sensei did taiatari in tsubazeri-ai and the other guy just collapsed.

It is said that taiatari should be performed with the left leg and left part of your back and it is not a push but a blow. It is a very short impact where the word “push” does not explain the true nature of taiatari.

People tend to push their opponent back with the right hand. This probably makes you feel that your push is really strong but your opponent is not feeling much.

When you do taiatari, you want to lower your body a little bit with your hands close to your body. At the moment that you execute a taiatari, push your opponent “up and back” rather than pushing “straight back”.

When you do so, in stead of crashing into your opponent flat, i.e. your shinai is right on your do , give it a little push with your arms as well.

It does not matter how correctly you execute a taiatari against a big guys, it is probably impossible to break the law of physics.

So I would say, use a taiatari wisely. You do not have to crash into your opponent square. You can execute a taiatari a bit off the centre of your opponent. It is not a cheating. It is a very wise technique.

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Apr 01, 2009
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No pushing
by: Matt

I agree and with everything said above but would like to add my 2 cents. When doing tai atari don't approach it as pushing your aite. Pushing comes from your upper-body, pushing your sholders forward and breaking shisei. Lots of people in shiai i've played with at the nidan and shodan level do it this way. It comes off as very rough and when they lean forward I can step to the side and make them fall. (pushing depends on their being something to push). The best way I've seen tai atari explained is its an extra fumikomi (fumikiri is more accurate) where your right foot doesn't move. Contact point is somewhere between siegetsu (spelling?) and tanden (having a big hara makes it easier). The force should be an impulse with the power being transferred from your left foot pushing into your torso and into the aite's torso. Thinking about it as a pure physics problem it seems easy, however it is a technique I personally struggle a lot with, and it takes plenty of practice with good motodachi.

Mar 17, 2009
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Effective & Correct Taiatari
by: John M.

Effective & Correct Taiatari

In addition to Masahiro, I would like to mention a couple of things I have learned in the past.

Your position of your hands and elbows are very important as you make contact. Your left hand should be at the same level as chudan kamae but slightly left of center line.

Consequently your right hand will move slightly off center to the right, with shinai lifted up of course, your right hand will be mid chest or a little lower.

This will help to stop your elbows from crushing into your do and your shinai will be at slight angle rather than straight up also.

Breathing is very important. Do not inhale as you make contact; it helps if you hold your breath, with air in as contact is made; don't expend all your air. Feel that you have strong hara (sort of tense stomach muscles).

Actually we don't do taiatari too often. We do have a special class with practice a couple times a year - but for new students or less then two years of kendo I don't encourage them to do it too often until later in their kendo career.

This should be read along Masahiro's advice.

Kendo-Guide.Com:Exellent description. Thank you for that! I agree with beginners? taiatari. I?d rather teach my beginners going straight towards motodachi (receiver). It is very important for beginners to maintain a good posture after they strike. Taitatari is an advanced technique so they should gradually learn it.

Good advice on breathing. We certainly do not want to inhale especially when receiving taiatari. It does not work.

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