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Shidachi in Kendo No.7. Cannot kneel down so what to do in the standing position

by Joe Clark
(Sidney, OH, USA)

Sensei,


Due to bad knees and arthritic feet, I cannot drop down into the kneeling position as shidachi in Nanahonme in kata.

The regular kata requires shidachi to turn and face uchidachi after striking "do" and assuming the kneeling position with the weight on the left foot, and the right knee on the floor, right foot having toes curled under (which I cannot do!).

Shidachi then places his bokuto in waki-gamae, hiding the blade from uchidachi, then in a large sweeping motion, brings his bokuto over his head and confronts uchidachi with his kensen, while remaining on his right knee.

I cannot go down, and if I am allowed to remain standing as shidachi, when I perform the do cut and then look back toward uchidachi as I put my bokuto in waki-gamae, I should have my weight on my left foot with my right foot behind me.

Should I step forward with my right foot to simulate shidachi rising from the floor, or should I step back with my left foot, so that I am now in the traditional kendo stance of right foot slightly forward of left foot?

Thank you.

Answer: Thank you for your question. You just should not switch your feet positions. You’ve got to do everything in the same way but in the standing position. Since your uchitachi will take a step backward, you should step forward onto the right foot from waki-gamae so you are not in the normal.

Hope this helps.

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