Kirikaeshi speed and distance

by Olga

1. Quite often I see the kirikaeshi is performed in high speed during keiko or grading exams. And some senseis require high-speed kirikaeshi. Others talk about the slow-speed kirikaeshi, when every strike is very sharp and the motion is slow. So when dan grading what kirikaeshi is preferable?

2. When starting kirikaeshi what distance should be between the kakarite and motodachi: big distance when shinais are not touching or when kensens are touching?

Answer: Thank you for your questions.

1. The most important question is “Can you do it correctly?”.

If you cannot do it correctly, then it does not matter what dan you are, you should not do it fast. The best thing is that you can do it correctly and smoothly.

a. Learn and perform it correctly and slowly

b. Make it smoother. (speed is not an issue here)

c. Make it sharper. (learn tenouchi)

d. Put everything together and challenge yourself (fast and strong) correctly.

e. Not being able to do it correctly when doing it fast? Go back to the slow kirikaeshi.

2. Issoku ittō no ma is always the basic distance. Now depending on intentions of senseis, you may be told to start from tō-ma. I also prefer tō-ma to chika-ma but I usually tell my students to start from issoku ittō no ma.

Hope this helps.

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Jun 18, 2012
by: Tanno

Another reason the kirikaeshi is so fast for everybody is because of the one breathing in the whole kirikaeshi exercise. It's quite easy to make 2 breaths in the whole kirikaeshi exercise, but with one breath it's really difficult.

Hear them closely and you'll understand and try to time them. You can't hold it much longer.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay of posting it here.

Until people can do kirikaeshi correctly, I do not think it is a good idea to do it with one breath. A benefit is that it is challenging. But the demerits are

1. kirikaeshi becomes too small
2. sword and body (footwork) will be discoordinated
3. learning a bad way of breathing

so until you know what to do, you should concentrate on doing it correctly.

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