13 November 2015

Mifune accepts challenges from high level students





This is a fantastic old film of one of the greats of Judo, Mifune Kyuzo sensei (10th dan).  If only there were as comprehensive film records of the greats of Kendo like Mochida, Ogawa, Saito et al.

Even though I'm no Judo man, it's great to see Mifune's softness, "like an empty jacket" as one of the commenters puts it. I have no doubt that any of his challengers would put me flat on the mat in a heartbeat! The other thing I find astounding is the range of ways that Mifune disrupts his opponents' attacks.

If you watch this on Youtube and see the links you might be tempted to watch some modern videos from the IJF. If you do, you'll see amazing athleticism, but be warned you'll also see such awful reiho that your eyes will bleed.

7 November 2015

Zanshin for kote





Go to 19:36. This is Sawada sensei's explanation to his students of the correct method for zanshin after kote, as mentioned at training today.


A brief summary of his points:

  • the title says the technique is "tobikomi kote"
  • (the girls are obviously taught to drive forward strongly after kote)
  • After striking kote, raise the sword but keep your left fist as the pivot point, in other words at at the same height, don't move it up or down but keep it in the centre, in front of your hara.
  • It is in this position that you move forward and crash into your opponent.
  • There should be a definite space between your hands and your body, as there should be in your kamae also; that is, there should be space between your left fist and your stomach.
  • Don't let this position crumble on contact with your opponent so that the space between your hands and your body disappears. If it does, you won't be able to do a hiki waza (cut going backwards) if the need arises.
  • If you bring the sword back vertically against your body after striking kote (a common high school affectation) you create a space of three steps to your opponent. 
  • If you keep the large space between your hands and your body after striking kote as described, the space between you is only two steps, meaning you reach your opponent quicker.
  • If you reach your opponent in this position and it unbalances them, you are ready to do hiki waza.
  • It's always a good thing to keep this kind of neatness to your Kendo (i.e. not doing exaggerated movements after kote).