Gyaku do Zanshin and Cuts

by Norther

How would a gyaku do cut be "correctly" done? I normally apply the same concept of a tameshigiri cut, cut with my shoulder rather than my hand (similar to uchidachi in kata no 1).

A lot of my fellow kendoka cuts the gyaku do like a swinging a baseball bat which in terms of speed and power seems to outmatch mine. Can you tell me which the better way is?

How should I perform zanshin for gyaku do (migi do)? Usually as a natural instinct, after cutting the gyaku do I leave my body in the same position that people who perform tameshigiri do after they finish their cut but before unsheathing their katana.

Together with metsuke and a kiai strong enough to hopefully intimidate my opponent enough so he won’t go for another cut. And on that matter how do I perform zanshin for a hiki gyaku do?

Thank you very much

Answer: Thank you for your question. Gyakudo, now by All Japan Kendo Federation, we have to call it hidari-do, is hiki-giri, which means cut by pulling. As you said, it is like tameshi-giri.

However, after you cut the hidari-do, you must go backwards like you are striking hiki-waza (go backwards after striking).

Usually, you step in and when striking hidari-do you step backwards onto the back foot diagonally to your left.

Of course, you will be vulnerable like you are striking hiki-migi-do so make sure you go backwards fairly quickly and take chudan.

But once you cut by pulling your shinai to complete the cut (hiki-giri) many people get closer to their opponent to minimize the risk of getting hit.

Is it correct? It is one of those controversial things but it does give you a point if you successfully complete the “cut by pulling”.

There is a nuki-hidari-do like men-nuki-(migi) do. This as well should be hiki-giri. And it is very hard to go backwards since your opponent is coming toward you. So like the normal nuki-do, you just step to the side (in this case to your left) and complete your zanshi by facing toward your opponent.

You do not want to strike do like batting since we must think about the angle of the blade. But if you make it too sharp in angle, you might not get the target. That is why do is very hard :)

Hope this helps.

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Mar 04, 2016
Gyaku do.
by: Rfoxmich

30+ years of practice and I only made one gyaku-do ippon - last year in the Detroit taikai senior (old guys) division.
It's a technique that I think can be applied too often. I feel this is a strike used under two circumstances:

- Against someone that uses (abuses?) sanpo-mamori. Go in to the men and as they pull up in that sanpo-mamori strike the hidari do that opens up.

- A flincher. - Similar mechanics but be sure you really have clearance for your shinai.

My successful shiai gyaku do was for the first of these. In this case the actual strike footwork was more like nuki-do in that the momentum I made pushing in towards my opponent's men (causing them to lift into sanp-mamori) made it simpler to step out to my left as I struck the do - moving across their body rather than moving backwards.

To be honest I can't really describe exactly how I did it. I just knew going in that this was going to be my best chance for ippon and turned it over to 'auto-pilot' once I started the action. I just know that when it was all over I was past my opponent and there were flags in the air.

captcha: feeble - how my kendo often is.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you, sensei! These days, there is a trend that gyaku-do or hidari-do should be considered as an ippon at the same degree as the migi-do.

The problem is that since it is not seen often as migi-do, it also gets referees off guard :)

Apr 09, 2015
Gyaku do
by: Israel Gamino

Very difficult to do. Very difficult to make it count. My sensei said that element of surprise gives you the advantage. But judges will qualify strictly in this one.

I love to do this particular waza, I am no expert. Sometimes is well done but many times is a mess. I will keep trying and improving.

Mexico City
2nd Dan

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