Last night, aside from another etiquette review, we focused on the center line.
I hope that by now it is very clear that the center line is where kendo all plays out. If you have the center, your opponent will have a harder time attacking you. If you have the center, you are more likely to have a good opening. If you attack through the center, you are more likely to land a proper blow. If you attack through the center, you may always attempt a thrust to tsuki.
Class was spent on kihon; no waza at all. And all exercises were meant to reinforce the basic attack through the center. Sjoer-sempai often sees our kendoka hunt for suki in kihon practice, which is superfluous and not the point of the exercise. In kihon practice, motodachi will provide an opening and it’s kakarite’s job to neatly attack straight through the center. So don’t do harai waza, or osae waza, or weird sweeping motions unless that is what we’re practicing.
We practiced the following:
- Kirikaeshi, with motodachi both receiving on the men and on the shinai
- Oki men, chisai men, oki kote-men, chisai kote-men
- Hiki men, men taiatari hiki-men
- Men passing motodachi then hiki men, kote-men passing motodachi then hiki men
This sequence culminated in uchikomi geiko, with all of these exercises in one long string of attacks. In each of these cases it was paramount that motodachi provide an opening and kakarite to neatly move through center.