Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Kata
Kendo kata are fixed patterns that teach kendoka the basic elements of swordsmanship. The kata include fundamental techniques of attacking and counter-attacking, and have useful practical application in general kendo.
Kata were originally used to preserve the techniques and history of kenjutsu for future generations. Nihon Kendo Kata were standardized in 1912 by combining the kata of many kenjutsu schools into one set. Modern usage of kata is as a teaching tool to learn strike techniques, attack intervals, body movement, sincerity and kigurai (pride).
All are performed by two people: the uchidachi (打太刀), the teacher, and shidachi (仕太刀), the student. The uchidachi makes the first move or attack in each kata. As this is a teaching role, the uchidachi is always the losing side, thus allowing the shidachi to learn and to gain confidence.
In kata, the teacher role always moves first. Both the student and teacher use bokken (a Japanese wooden sword used for training), except in some demonstrations which use blunted katana. The first seven kata use tachi, a long bokken, for both student and teacher. The last three kata use tachi for the teacher and kodachi, a shorter bokken, for student. In general, mastery of the first three kata are required for advancement to 1-Kyu and more for Dan grades.
Nihon Kendō Kata
There are ten Nihon Kendō Kata (日本剣道形). These are generally practised with wooden swords (木刀 bokutō or bokken). Occasionally, real swords or swords with a blunt edge, called kata-yō (形用?) or ha-biki (刃引), may be used for display of kata.
Kata 1: Ippon-me
Kata 2: Nihon-me
Kata 3: Sanbon-me
Kata 4: Yonhon-me
Kata 5: Gohon-me
Kata 6: Roppon-me
Kata 7: Nanahon-me
Kata 8: Ippon-me
Kata 9: Nihon-me
Kata 10: Sanbon-me
For detailed written instructions, refer to this: Blackbelt Wiki – Kendo Kata
There has been criticism of the Nihon Kendo Kata by kendoka due to continued usage of outdated forms. For example, kodachi are no longer used except when wielding two swords. This lead to the development of Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho.
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. Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho also facilitates learning the Nihon Kendo Kata, and because of this was adopted by the All Japan Kendo Federation for use in primary and secondary school. While Nihon Kendo Kata uses all five kamae, Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho uses only Chūdan-no-kamae, the most common stance. Instead of student and teacher roles, there are the equal roles of Motodachi and Kakarite. The Motodachi receives the waza of the Kakarite.
|Name and Technique||Strikes Used|
|Kihon 1: Ippon-uchi no waza||Men, Kote, Dō, Tsuki|
|Kihon 2: Ni/Sandan no waza||Kote, Men|
|Kihon 3: Harai waza||Harai Men|
|Kihon 4: Hiki waza||Tsubazeriai kara no Hiki Doh|
|Kihon 5: Nuki waza||Men, Nuki Doh|
|Kihon 6: Suriage waza||Kote, Suriage Men|
|Kihon 7: Debana waza||Debana kote|
|Kihon 8: Kaeshi waza||Men, Kaeshi Migi-Doh|
|Kihon 9: Uchiotoshi waza||Doh uchiotoshi Men|
Imagine yourself standing underneath a canopy of Cherry Blossom trees (Sakura) in full bloom, its delicate petals slowly dancing in the gentle spring breeze blowing. Its sounds like a scene from a movie right? But for the Japanese people these is no movie, it happens every spring. The annual Hanami – the Japanese tradition of […]
Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum (1) About 30 minute walk from the Kagato station. It’s an institution with a sword museum, a shop, a forge and a sword craft centre. It cost me 500 yen (in November 2014) to enter the museum, but others were free. There were no swordsmiths nor craftsmen except one when […]
Last time, we talked about the history and origin of the game shogi. In this post, we will learn the pieces use in shogi. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text – […]
As kids, we all played games and while living in Japan I wondered what sort of games do kids here play. Were the games they played similar to the games I used to play growing up back home? Do they also roll over the dirt, enjoy playing catch or maybe play hide and seek? Or […]
Monkey in a nursery tale The most famous tale of monkey is “Saru Kani Gassen” (The Battle Between A Monkey And Crabs). Saru is Japanese for monkeys, Kani is crab. Gassen is battle, pronounced as “Kassen” when it’s used as one word, Gassen when it’s a part of a word like “Yuki-gassen” (Snowball Battle). Outline […]
What is “ninja”? From “Mansenshuukai” a.k.a. “Bansenshuukai” (a famous ninjutsu-sho, a book about ninja’s tricks), an excellent ninja is described as one who makes a great success but; Makes no sound Has no odor Remains nameless Never win a name for himself / herself Makes outstanding achievements just like creating this world About the expression […]
In our previous posts about shogi, we learned its history and the pieces that make the game. In this post, we will learn more about the moves of each piece. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 […]
As what we know from our previous posts about holidays in Japan, almost every month in Japan has a national holiday. November is not an exception of that. There are two holidays for the month of November and those are the Culture Day or 文化の日 (Bunka no Hi) on November 3 and Labor Thanksgiving Day […]
Mastering karuta requires a combination of quick reflexes and memorization. And for the Japanese language learner, karuta also offers the perfect blend of procrastination and productivity, a way to work and play at same time. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text […]
In our previous post about the Japanese traditional card game karuta, we listed some of popular karuta variations. In this post, we will post more of these karuta variations and karuta in popular culture. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – […]