Kendo Kata

Photo courtesy of Kendo Monochrome

Kendo Kata are fixed patterns that teach kendoka (kendo practitioners) the basic elements of swordsmanship. There are two roles, uchidachi (打太刀), the teacher, and shidachi (仕太刀), the student. Kata were originally used to preserve the techniques and history of kenjutsu for future generations. Modern usage of kata is as a teaching tool to learn strike techniques, attack intervals, body movement, sincerity and kigurai (pride).

There are two types of Kendo kata. Nihon Kendo Kata was first finalized in 1912, in which the first seven kata use tachi(a long bokken) for both student and teacher, and the last three kata use tachi for the teacher and kodachi(a shorter bokken) for student.

Nihon Kendo Kata receives criticism for continued usage of outdated forms. For example, kodachi are no longer used except when wielding two swords. This led to the development of the second type, Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho.

Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho is a new form of bokken training that is directly translatable to bogu Kendo. The first four waza are focused on attacking initiaion techniques, while the last five are focused on techniques for responding to an attack. Here is the technique table for Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho.

Name and Technique (Kihon) Strikes Used
Ippon-uchi no waza Men, Kote, Dō, Tsuki
Ni/Sandan no waza Kote, Men
Harai waza Harai Men
Hiki waza Tsubazeriai kara no Hiki Doh
Nuki waza Men, Nuki Doh
Suriage waza Kote, Suriage Men
Debana waza Debana kote
Kaeshi waza Men, Kaeshi Migi-Doh
Uchiotoshi waza Doh uchiotoshi Men

Ippon-uchi no waza

Single cuts: Men, Kote, Dō, Tsuki

Ni/Sandan no waza

Two continuous cuts: Kote and Men

Harai waza

Harai waza: Harai Men (using omote the left side of your sword)

Hiki waza

Hiki waza: Hiki Dō (the right dō)

Nuki waza

Nuki waza: Men Nuki Dō (the right dō)

Suriage waza

Suriage waza: Kote Suriage Men(using ura the right side of your sword)

Debana waza

Debana waza: Debana Kote

Kaeshi waza

Kaeshi waza: Men Kaeshi Dō (the right dō)

Uchiotoshi waza

Uchiotoshi waza: Dō Uchiotoshi Men (the right dō)


Wikipedia: Kendo Kata
Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon Waza Keiko Ho

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