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by Juan Esteban Alvarez
(Medellin, Colombia)

I was wondering when is the best moment to perform Katsugi-waza?

Thank you.

Best wishes from Colombia

Answer: Thank you for your question. Please refer to “how is katsugi waza applied to shiai”.

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how is katsugi waza applied to shiai

by aaron
(grand junction, colorado, usa)

If I understand katsugi waza, it is the use of alternate guard positions. 

If I have that right then I can see jodan and gedan used.  But I would like your view on such as hasso and the waki-gamae stances. 

Do they have application in shiai and how?

Answer: Thank you for your post.  Katsugi waza is not a guard position. It is a shikake waza.

What to do?

Usually we lift our shinai up to the left shoulder (this motion is called katsugi) with or without taking  a step forwards onto the right foot.  When your opponent gets surprised by your katsugi motion and make an opening, then you can strike wherever is opened.

See the video below. Around 3:06, Furukawa sensei (red) executes a katsugi men.

When to use it?

When you cannot see an opening, you use this technique to make an opening.  If you use this too often, your opponent will strike you when you do the katsugi motion. And it is quite dangerous when your opponent is waiting for an opportunity to execute a debana waza.

How to use it

When you do the katsugi motion, your motion must be big; otherwise, it does not really work. Main purpose of this is to surprise your opponent by this motion (move your opponent’s mind).

Hasso and waki-gamae:  Hasso and waki-gamae are the stances that you have to wait and see what your opponent will do.

In the modern kendō, our movements are mostly forwards and backwards; less side movements. And it is very difficult to execute techniques with side steps because the speed of coming forwards is too fast. Well but we all know it is not impossible because many sensei do that on those young kendoists with speed.

So hasso and waki-gamae are not very effective. Beside, waki-gamae is to execute cuts from the underneath. We cannot strike the lower body, armpits or the back of the kote so basically waki-gamae is not for the modern kendō.

Hope this helps.

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