Legal Kendo Strike?

by Kurt Belisle

I have a question regarding two strikes with which I have had some success in the past. I have never seen these strikes used or described and I am starting to wonder if they are even officially allowed.

Several years ago when I was beginning Kendo I noticed that many of my fellow Kendoka were holding their shinai loosely with their right hands. Even higher-level practitioners would fall into this habit.

It was simple to step into striking range and strike their shinai just above the Tsuba causing them to drop the shinai with their right hand. I would then transition into a men strike. What do the official rules say about disarming strikes? Are they allowed?

The second strike I used with some success was a deflecting strike which seemed to work against taller opponents.

Taller opponents often like to strike men because their height gives them a reach advantage. I would create an opening for a men strike for my opponent against myself. Once my opponent attacked, I would then direct a men strike slightly off-center at their approaching shinai.

Their shinai would be deflected to the side missing the target (me) and my off-center men strike would be deflected back on center to create a men strike on my opponent. Is this allowed?

Thanks for your support.


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