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Apr 27, 2009
Motodachi performance
by: Matt

I was always taught if you are motodachi for unchikomi you should be working harder and sweating more that kakarite, if you aren't then you are not doing a good enough job.

For smaller dojos where everyone in bogu has to receive (like the ones I usually practice at), being motodachi is great practice for kendo, you have the opportunity to practice maai, crisp footwork, kamae and ki, however it is sad to see a lot of people see this as 'rest' time and waste the opportunity.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Another good post. Thank you. I tell my students about this many times. This must be understood all the kendoists out there.

However, another thing that I realised that many Japanese high graders do not play a good role model. We learn the importance of motodachi all the time in Japan and we always see the 7th dan, 8th dan and 9th dan motodachi, who perform motodachi really nicely.

However, we also see motodachi at 1st dan, 2nd dan, 3rd dan, 4th dan, 5th dan, and 6th dan level. We can see the development of motodachi there.

Unfortunately, if you do not have those different levels at the dojo but only one instructor you do not have much chance to watch his/her motodachi.

And the instructor should realise that he/she is the only one raw model for his/her students. Most of the time, the instructor lacks this awareness. The instructor should take time to show how mododachi should be performed.

I recently thought about the importance of instructing the motodachi performance again.

Jan 14, 2009
Yakusoku Uchikomi
by: Matt

I have heard it called yakusoku uchikomi or pattern uchikomi in the USA.

Sometimes an instructor will just say uchikomi, men thru kote men back 3 times, which is essentially the same thing, a promise or guaranteed target so that it is easier to practice being in perfect kamae when you turn around without having to also look for an opening.

I also found this useful when I first started being motodachi because it is easier to make a good distance for aite without worrying about also making openings since they are pre determined.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your comment. It is really great of you for mentioning motodachi and the distance. It is a great way to learn a good distance.

So if motodachi is not just standing there being hit. Motodachi can learn his/her distance, his/her partner?s distance and tai-sabaki/ashi-sabaki. Thanks!

For those who are not familiar with the terms.

Kamae: stance (most of the time, chudan)
Motodachi: receiver
Aite: partner/opponent (It is used to refer to a person who train with/fight you.)
Tai-sabaki: Body movements
Ashi-sabaki: Footwork

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