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Jan 04, 2012
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Even 'worse' than kakarigeiko
by: Anonymous

Once you can do uchikomi geiko well, and have graduated to kakari geiko...there are two practices that are 'even worse'.

- Ai kakari - both participants are doing kakari geiko with each other at the same time. This helps you judge in a split millisecond which target is appropriate as you both are breaking into your distances. Only attacks.. no oji-waza allowed.

- Ai kakari -variation (Imafuji sensei does this have a name?)... both participants break in to attack however you can also apply oji waza..this develops the proper feeling of oji waza as not waiting for the opponent but pressing in to get a reaction. The goal is to attack and hit first, so this should look like ai-kakari mostly with a few oji waza thrown in...as few as possible.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you again for well-described explanation. I don’t think there is a name for that. One is ai-gakari with oji techniques and one is without oji techniques. Probably that’s who teachers would call them :)


Jan 04, 2012
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Getting to Kakari geiko.
by: Anonymous

Kakari geiko done properly and well is very difficult. It may not be something you can do immediately.

First I want to define Kakari geiko. In 'true' kakari geiko, the motodachi is holding kamae and the kakarite must break in through the kamae. If the motodachi senses that the attacker's attack is not sufficiently committed or did not break in well they can and should perform an appropriate oji-waza. This, of course must be done keeping in mind the abilities of the attacker.

There are two practices that lead up to kakari-geiko: Yakusoku Uchikomi and Uchikomi-geiko.

Yakusoku means a promise so Yakusoku Uchikomi are patterned drills that are done with the intensity of kakari-geiko..however the motodachi is opening the way.

For example at Shudokan in Osaka-jo Koen we often did men (going through) and the kote-men coming back the other way. The idea is again to have the spirit of 'going nuts' but to have a structure on which to hang it. You can invent many different patterns and most dojos have a favorite version of this...however the goal is to get through it as quickly as possible just barely holding your form together.

Uchikomi geiko is like kakari geiko in that the attacker does not know what they are going to attack, however rather than requiring the attacker to open up the motodachi, the motodachi opens up for the attacker...and therefore sets the pattern of attacks.

Kakari-geiko may not be something people are ready for initially...more in my next post since I don't want to run over the limit.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for well-described explanation on uchikomi and kakari-geiko. These terms differ from dojo to dojo. At my dojo, we didn't use the term, yakusoku. Shihan told us what to do and we just copied it. :)


Jan 04, 2012
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Kakari geiko.
by: Anonymous

Seconding Imafuji sensei's suggestions to do kakari geiko. This develops the ability to instantly attack when the chance comes/is created. Doing it in good form also develops the ability to attack properly when the chance comes.

Last (academic) year several of my students were very keen to 'improve their shiai skills' they were hinting to me that they wanted to do shiai practice regularly. I ignored that hint and asked them 'if they wanted to train for shiai like they do in Japanese universities'. They grabbed that bait and said yes. I told them that of the universities whose practices I knew about or of (kokushikan, saitama, waseda, osaka), the one they were most likely to be able to survive was Osaka-University ... if we built up to it.

By the time the Detroit tournament rolled around, they were doing about 12-15 min of kakari geiko (as 15 second intervals, exchanging motodachi for kakarite and then exchanging partners). This improved their shiai incredibly, and we had good results at the Detroit tournament as well as sweeping the top results at the Midwest U.S. Student tournament college men and team divisions, as well as taking second place in the women's division.

However, to me more gratifying that the fact that we had those results was the fact that the students did this with good straight kendo rather than 'shiai trickery' and 'funky cutting'.

They worked hard, and in the end that's what you have to do to improve your 'speed' or rather your action/reaction.

Kakari-geiko may not be something people are ready for initially...more in my next post since I don't want to run over the limit.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for your comment. Very useful not only for students but for instructors, R sensei!


Jan 02, 2012
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Hand speed
by: Tanno

I have already trained with my feet, but what of the hands?

I noticed some kenshi being quite fast with their suburis, especially Japanese and Chinese. My sensei told me to train my hands by doing debana kote, debana men, and debana kote-men 100 times each attack type, while we have wrist weights on.

Unfortunately, I overdid it and my right arm and shoulder got swollen, and I had to go to see a doc to check on it. Much worse are the spasms in the shoulder. I told about it to my sensei and said that my whole arm has a problem and need to be tested. :(

When I get to be healed, what do you suggest, Imafuji-sensei?

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for your comment.

Adding a weight sounds like a good idea to increase speed but as you described it causes injuries. So it is very important for you to repeat the same movement again and again without any weights.

An article I read from a Japanese kendo magazine says something interesting in terms of speed. It is unfortunate that I don't remember which article was. It was like this…

A researcher found that one could swing a shiai faster after he swung a lighter shiai than a heavier shiai. Now I don't remember why, but that's what this researcher found. When I found this article I will write about it more here.

As I wrote as an answer to the original question, I think it is very important for us to develop the basic physical strengths first. After all, those who have very good basic physical strengths will have less injuries and more endurance to train harder and longer.

Hope this helps.


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