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Jan 02, 2010
Fighting Tactics
by: Anonymous

So, how would you fight a person with naginata?

Kendo-Guide.Com: You take gedan to protect your shin because naginata aims at your shin.  However, their attacks are very flexible, so if you try to defend your shin too much, they will attack your men and tsuki.  

I have seen so many people who became a victim of naginata attacks (men and tsuki) because they protected their shin too much.  I am one of them :)

Feb 12, 2009
by: Anonymous

Yes, I know what you mean, but this is not kendo. They do wear bogu, but they use naginata-type shinai. My dojo has actually participated in a kendo vs naginata competition. They are two different things though.

It had something to do with the change in the way of fighting. Long spears or halberds were not often used anymore by samurai, so they were left at home, where the samurai's wife would learn to use it to fight off robbers while the samurai was gone. (it's why it's only practiced by women as far as I know)

Kendo-Guide.Com: Since I do not study this kind of history as my profession, I cannot say this with 100% of confidence but you are right about how naginata became a weapon for women.

Naginata was used in battle fields. For example, we can see these warriors with naginata in this picture about Jisho-Jieino Ran, so called Genpei Gassen (1180-185).

Since you mentioned kendo vs. naginata, I would like to share my experience in that area.

In my dojo in Japan, we used to fight against naginata once a year. My dojo is actually the headquarters of Naginata Federation so these naginata fighters were (still are, I think) top class.

Naginata fighters can use not only the blade side but the other end, called ishizuki. When we get into tsubazeri-ai with a naginata fighter, she/he strikes your shin with ishizuki and also the blade. Amazing move. Don?t you agree?

The way they swing their naginata around is amazing. It is very hard to get into our distance to strike (uchima) against naginata. If we are too careful with their strike to shins, they will strike your men or execute a thrust from a distance that kendoists cannot imagine.

I grew up watching these top class naginata fighters so I still don?t like to fight against naginata. I know what they are capable of. Naginata is a very cool weapon.

Feb 09, 2009
by: Richard

The girls were probably practising Naginata. The clothing is similar to kendo, as is the armour (bogu) with some subtle differences.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Yes. Naginata bogu looks a bit different. They wear men, kote, do and tare, which we wear in kendo, and also sune (or sune-ate). Sune is a shin protector. When we fight against naginata, we also wear sune so naginata fighters can strike our shins.

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