Can we use different styles (kamae) in shiai?

by viany c.h

Can we use a different style in between shiai in one competition or tournament?


1. I use itto (one sword) style in the first match, and I win, then in the second match with others competitors I use nito.

2. I use jodan-no kamae in the first match, and I win, then I use chudan-no kamae to face the others in the second match.

So my question is: can I do that?

If no, why I can't do that?

If yes, can it be done in a team match? If yes, how should it be done? I mean I must wait until my team win then I can change my shiai style in the next team match? Or I can change my shiai style after I win the match although the team match not finish yet?

I am sorry to ask you these "stupid question", because in my point of view and a few ancient war strategies that I read that we must change our strategy depend on who the opponent is.

Thank you very much for your answer and I am sorry once again if these questions make you to have another small research for the competition rules.

Answer: Don’t apologize. I am sure there are people having the same questions.

I don’t see why not.  You can change your stance if you are able to do so. However, it is quite rare because not many people are good at switching their kamae. And I only see those who switch their stances in some 8th dan tournaments.

Some switch their kamae in the same match. However, I’ve never heard or seen people switching one sword to two during the same match or
from one shiai to another.

I do not recall any regulations about “switching kamae during one shiai” but I am sure you will be frown upon if you switch one sword to two or vice versa during the same shinai.

Why? You have to stop the match for no good reason but for your own selfish reason, winning the match or not losing the match. It is probably considered to be an “action to disrupt the shiai”.  

As we always say on this website, learn chūdan thoroughly. Then learn other stances under a good supervision of a sensei.

Now about team fights.

I am not sure what you mean by changing your stance after your shiai but before the end of the team fight. You usually fight one time in a team fight, unless you can keep fighting as long as you are winning or you are fighting in a daihyōsen or representative match.

This is my personal opinion. I personally think we should learn jōdan and nitō as well. It deepens our understanding of kendō and teaches us many other stuff that we cannot really learn from chūdan.  

However, I am talking about training ourselves not to win or not to lose a match. You should not learn nitō because it looks cool or it is hard to be defeated. Also we should not learn jōdan or nitō because it is more like realistic battle situation. We should not lose our focus here.  

It is true that some people are good at jōdan or nitō. However, we should really know why the ancient samurai such as Musashi tells us that chūdan is the fundamental kamae.  We do really have to study what it means.

Hope this helps.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Any Questions about Kendo.