Feet movement in hiki waza

by Olga

Can hiki waza be correctly performed with suri ashi without stomping with the right foot when striking? (Smoothly moving backwards, and quickly)

What are the main points of correct feet movement in hiki and is there some certain foot-hand coordination (or some types of it) in hiki waza?

Thanks for your question and another good question.

This is also controversial and there are always two ways. With and without fumikomi.

This is the golden rule: Do as your teacher tells you to do.

Having said that, I am going to share my knowledge with you.

Many say do hiki waza with stomping. And also many including well-known senseis say without stomping i.e. suri ashi

Also there are two opinions about how we should do with the shinai after hiki men, which is we should lift our shinai up after striking hiki men and we should keep the shinai down at the men height after striking hikimen.

If you do hiki waza without stomping in shiai (match), there is a strong possibility that you will not get a point. But if you execute a hiki waza on a good opportunity and with good tenouchi and good posture and kiai, you should be able to get a point.

I have gone through 3 kendō how to books (Japanese) and 2 official instructional books (Japanese) just in case I could find something about footwork for hiki waza.

Nothing about footwork nor shinai after striking hiki men.

Again we do not have one straight answer for this. But again when I said inFumikomi = stomping?, my personal opinion is we do not have to do "stomping" when we strike hiki waza either.

What about lifting the shinai over the head?

Since there are two ways, I think both of them should be accepted as the correct ways.

My personal advice…

If you lift your sword up above your head after striking hiki men, it makes you easier to go backwards. What it means is that you can go backwards faster so it makes it less likely for your opponent to catch up with you.

The stomping is, I think, to make the "hiki" (going backwards) movement faster and sharper.

The correct hiki waza hand-feet coordination is the one we do in kihon (the basics).

1. When the left foot goes backwards, the sword should be lifted.

2. When you strike, the right foot should goes backwards following the left foot.

Hope this helps.

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