Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kirikaeshi and kihon uchikaeshi




This post is a reference for our members as to what is expected by the terms, kirikaeshi and kihon uchikaeshi.

The video above is what kirikaeshi is. This is required for certain kyu gradings, and is performed by all Kendo clubs. The version above is without taiatari, the form favoured by Yano sensei at the Kenshikan.



This video shows what we now perform at Nanseikan in place of kirikaeshi. It is called kihon uchikaeshi to distinguish it from standard kirikaeshi.

When performing kihon uchikaeshi, the kakarite starts by calling out "uchikaeshi!"

The format is three kihon uchi waza, followed (without taiatari) by the usual nine times sayumen, four forwards and five backwards.

It is called kihon uchikaeshi because these initial three strikes can be varied through all the basic ippon-uchi waza (single strikes) and ni-san-dan uchi (multiple strikes).

This is an efficient way to combine practicing a structured drill like kirikaeshi that includes a role for the motodachi, as well as kihon waza with proper zanshin. In a club that only trains once a week, making the most of our two hours is important.

I worked on this problem for a long time. I knew kirikaeshi was too important to discard, but I resented the amount of time it took up, especially the amount of time it took to teach to beginners. And our club has had a problem with members having poor zanshin.

Kihon uchikaeshi solves all these problems, and also gives us a special little aspect of difference, like a dialect in language, that gives our club a slightly separate identity from other Kendo clubs in Melbourne.

If you're visiting Nanseikan, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the format of kihon uchikaeshi. It's pretty simple.