Hiki waza practice

I joined a junior/senior high school keiko kai this month where students from both schools practiced together with past graduates and the high school kendo teacher.

My Japanese Senpai from Ireland, Takenaga San asked me to join in with his high school Sensei and some of his class mates and kohai.
I traveled to kanagawa Budokan and practiced for about 3 hours with students from Asano Gakuen (combined junior and senior high school). Keiko was lead by Maekawa Sensei, who was my sempais teacher in high school.

The class was split into kihon, oikomi, and jigeiko.

There were a lot of great ideas but my favorite was the hiki waza practice which I'll describe below.

Make groups of three people. Have them
line up with the first person (attacker) at one side I the dojo, the second (motodachi 1) in the middle and the last person (motodachi 2)on the other side of the dojo.
Have the second and last person face the first.

The first person is the one doing the exercise, he begins attacking the person in the middle completing a set of forward attacks followed by hiki waza, a men strike takes him past the person in the middle and he then alternates between the two motodachi doing another set of attacks.

It sounds difficult, and it is! But with practice it will be easy and a great way to build speed, stamina and waza

The first set of attacks is

Men, hiki men
Kote-men, hiki kote
Men, hiki do
Kote-men, hiki do
And then men, passing through with zanshin.

The attacker pushes past the first motodachi and is now in the middle facing the other motodachi, he immediately begins attacking. After each hiki waza he turns to face the other motodachi.

The sequence is

Men, hiki men (turn after zanshin)
Kote-men, hiki do (turn after zanshin)
Finish with men or kote men

The first motodachi now becomes the attacker, and the set is repeated.

This was a great exercise to do and would work well with most levels.

You could make a variant where after passing the first motodachi, the attacker. Has to perform oji waza instead of hiki waza.

Great fun all round!