Kendo Kata Study: General Points

Kata etiquette is not so difficult. Most of them are the same as kendo, and of course, there are some general points in the kata study. But there are some things that we do differently in kata from kendo.

For example, in kata, we carry our bokutō in our right hand until we take the taitō position. There are senseis that we should carry our shinai in our right hand in kendo as well but we should carry our shinai in our left hand in sagetō position. Just follow what your sensei tells you to do.

* Mitsu-gashira: In the video, I used the term, Mitsu-gashira. But yokote is more commonly used. Please remember yokote rather than mitsu-gashira.

I carry my shinai in my right hand when I carry my bōgu set with me. So bōgu set in my left hand and shinai in the right hand. And when I carry my men, I carry it in my left hand under my left arm pit and shinai in the right hand.

Different dojos have different rules and reasons behind the rules. So we cannot really say which one is right or wrong.

General Points When Practicing Kata

These are the general points that we follow during the kendo kata where I instruct.

They are introduced in the video but listed below as well.

Mind you that they are what we do and not necessarily what you do at your dojo. Please follow the instruction at your dojo.

  • Heels together, toes apart (45 degrees)
  • Grab your sword relatively tightly in the sagetō position, so no one can snatch it
  • Pay attention to the angle of your sword in the taitō position
  • Bow to the shōmen in the angle of 30 degrees
  • Bend from the hip when bowing
  • Your left hand should be on the side of your thigh when carrying your sword in your right hand
  • Look into your opponent’s eyes when bowing to each other
  • Keep your neck tucked in
  • Bow to each other when passing by in case of switching your position with your partner
  • Restart from kamae wo toita jōtai if you have to stop in a half way through
  • When in the taitō position, your right hand comes to the front of the thigh
  • The triangle part of the sword, mitsu-gashira, should be touching. * Please remember the term, yokote, than mitsu-gashira. 
  • Kensaki should be about the knee level
  • Do not loosen your left hand when you turn your sword to the kamae wo toita jōtai.
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