Usual Do strike but going forward to the left

by Olga

What should we pay attention to when striking opponent's right do and going forward not to our right but to the left?

And can we perform that strike at all (or maybe we only have to go forward to our right when striking do)?

I am not familiar with this strike. I've just seen it once and so would like to know a little bit more about it. Thank you.

Answer: Good question! When you strike this , you are usually performing tobikomi or you are using men kaeshi with hiraki-ashi. Since we are not pulling out our sword out like the normal strike, it is “oshi-giri (a cut by pushing)”.

Tobikomi dō

Tobikomi means “jump in” or “dive in”. You literally throw your body at your opponent like you are diving forwards. This is totally “sutemi (committed)” technique.

  1. You put pressures on your opponent as you are going for his/her men.

  2. Your opponent lifts their hands up to block your men strike.

  3. Your opponent’s is wide open.

  4. You dive in to strike the .

If you dive in with the right foot, your head probably goes as low as your opponents . As a result, you will be very vulnerable if you miss.

I did this once in shiai when I was a high school student and got a point. Since I really dove straight into my opponent, I could not pass. It was very clean cut so I got it but if I missed, that would been pretty ugly :)

You can step onto the left foot; just like uchitachi
in kata No.7. Take a step forwards onto the right foot and instead of striking men on the second step you strike .  This way, you can maintain your balance but still vulnerable.

Unfortunately, not many people use this in shiai anymore because it is hard to get a point. And also it is very vulnerable. ¬†Apparently this is an “old” technique.

Migi- (the right waist) strike with hiraki-ashi (side-step)

I think it is easier to understand by this picture than my writing. Take a look at the second picture from the top.

Migi Do with Hiraki Ashi
(Picture: p. 84, Kendō Nippon 2010 No.414 August)

I want you to notice that the striker did not disconnect her “ki”. In other words, she has a good zanshin there.

If you use these techniques in shiai, they probably are not going to ippon (valid). Why? Because they are not very “common” and not many people don’t practice these.

I understand that these should not be reasons not to be “valid” but that is a fact.

There are many techniques we don’t use now and I am not talking about throws, foot sweeps and so forth. Kendō shiai became “speed” oriented so these techniques are not seen “useful” in shiai.

But it does not mean you should not practice. Go ahead and practice. Some Japanese people may tell you that these are not real techniques. Don’t argue with them. If they never learned these techniques, of course they think these are not real techniques.

If you have a chance to talk to over 50s or 60s sensei, they may show you how. Until then, study these movements on your own. It makes you THINK :)

Hope this helps.

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