Relying on a few techniques or having a variety?

by Felipe

The most interesting part of kendo training for me is the practice of oji-waza. Though I consider myself a beginner, with 2 years and a half of kendo practice, I'm starting to get confident with my suriage-waza, against both men and kote.

In my dojo we use to train all the kinds of oji-waza we are able to perform (kaeshi-waza, nuki-waza and debana-waza). But, normally, the decision of which kind of oji-waza to use is up to each one to decide.

Recently, a friend started to use uchiotoshi with success, other friend is having a great success with her nuki-do and I started to use suriage eagerly after my senpai have praised me on my first attempts.

I like all these techniques, but I still don't feel like I can perform decently a kaeshi-waza or a debana, for example.

Do you think it's better to keep training all the varieties of waza equally, or once I have got confident with a particular one, I should work specially to develop this one in order to acquire a tokui waza?

Thank you for all the attention you pay to help developing people's kendo around the world.

Answer: Thank you for your question. And wow! You must be very talented! Your friend can do uchiotoshi? If your friend can do men uchiotoshi men, that would be awesome! I mean men kiriotoshi men. Apparently there is a difference between uchiotoshi and kiriotoshi. Uchiotoshi involves two motions but kiriotoshi involves one. Sorry this is not the question you asked.

Since I am not very skillful, I can only learn one technique at a time. Firstly, when I was young, I didn’t execute any do strikes. I started learning do strikes especially men kaeshi do when I became 4-dan.

So if you are a fast learner and I would say why not start learning varieties of techniques. If you are like me, a slow learner, then you should practice one at a time.

It is definitely a good idea to have a technique that you can always get a valid cut, i.e. tokui waza. If you have more than one tokui waza, that would be a great advantage without a doubt.

Keep up the good work! One day, we shall meet and do keiko together!

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