KENDO FUNDEMENTALS

- Nihon Kendo Kata (3 sessions)
- Shinpan Scenarios (2 sessions)
- Basic Seme Techniques
- Shikake Waza and Ouji Waza (2 sessions)
- Proper Donning and Care of Kendo Equipment
- Sword Handling
- Instructing the Beginners
- Other instruction as appropriate for session

NIHON KENDO KATA

BRIEF HISTORY
KATA is the essence of a KENDO school, with all the techniques that have been tested in combat During TOKUGAWA period, there were over 200 schools of KENDO
Major schools gathered for the first time to establish a 10form KATA for the Imperial Police in 1886 (KEISHI RYU)
BUTOKU-KAI established the 3-form KATA in 1906 to promote KENDO in grade schools
KENDO became part of requisite curriculum in intermediate and high schools in 1911
A KATA Committee by BUTOKU-KAI in cooperation with the Tokyo Tertiary School of Education (Koutou Shihan) presented the 10-form Japan Imperial KENDO KATA in 1913 In 1917, the KATA was revised with additional details After the World War II, the KATA was renamed NIHON KENDO KATA
VALUES
Etiquette and demeanor
Proper posture always, not only at practice Observe opponent's movements and thought (KAN-KEN NO METSUKE) Become agile Correct bad habits and learn to handle KATANA Assume proper MAAI in various situations Build KIAI and develop concentration Learn not only the technique, but also reasons and logic of WAZA Develop poise and elegance associated with KENDO PREMISES

Practice predefined steps but perform with flexibility Maintain focus from the first REI to the last, especially when retreating after each KATA UCHITACHI is the senior and SHITACHI is the student, so UCHITACHI always leads and SHITACHI responds Learn not only the steps but also the reasons and logic of the WAZA (RIAI) and variation of speed and strength (EN-KYU-KYO-JAKU: slowfaststrongweak) GENERAL KEY POINTS Always look at each other's eyes and not at the DATOTSU point (exception: UCHITACHI in #7) Move forward from the front foot and retreat from the back foot TACHI NO KATA starts after UCHITACHI sees a proper opportunity to strike (KI WO MITE...); KODACHI NO KATA starts as SHITACHI tries to encroach into the MAAI (IRIMI); UCHITACHI and SHITACHI must remember this timing SHITACHI always shows ZANSHIN after each KATA, and UCHITACHI moves after seeing this Use SURIASHI quietly; beware especially in #2, #3 and #6 After the DATOTSU bring the hind foot immediately up to the heel of the front foot to a proper gait, release shoulder tension, focus power to lower abdomen, and strike from the hip (whole body, not just arms) MONOUCHI must reach the DATOTSU point with force until the blade is about 10 cm away (with practice, at a paper's thickness) Coming into MAAI or retreating, hold breath to stabilize the body; inhale deeply before stepping forward, approach at once, then strike with KIAI (exhale) and power in the lower abdomen; while in MAAI, breath shallow, quietly, and naturally from the diaphragm so as not to let the opponent sense your breathing KIAI is "Yah!" for UCHITACHI and "Toh!" for SHITACHI, with distinct loud voice with power from the lower abdomen

1 IPPONME (TACHI)

UCHITACHI in MOROTE HIDARI JODAN and SHITACHI in MOROTE MIGI JODAN, move to MAAI, UCHITACHI from the left foot and SHITACHI from the right SHITACHI shows SEN (pressure), then, at the right opportunity, UCHITACHI strikes SHOMEN to overcome this pressure; "strike" means to "cut through"; UCHITACHI attempts to strike through the TSUKA all the way down to below GEDAN (fast, strong, large arc) SHITACHI averts this by stepping back and extending the arms in the KENSEN's direction (KENSEN does not spring back down); UCHITACHI leans slightly forward at the end After SHITACHI strikes back (fast, strong) with GO NO SEN, immediately UCHITACHI steps one step back in OKURIASHI and SHITACHI lowers the KENSEN to the UCHITACHI's center of face (between eyes); then as UCHITACHI retreats another step, SHITACHI follows with HIDARI JODAN deliberately and shows ZANSHIN As UCHITACHI raises KATANA and straighten up, SHITACHI retreats to CHUDAN This KATA teaches SEN, power, courage, conviction, faith, justice, truth

Link