Hiki waza - チャンス!

One of the weakest points in my kendo is hiki waza. I rarely use them in keiko, mostly because I feel my dojo is too small to be zipping around in all directions and also because I rarely get the chance to practice them.

I had a period of success with hiki waza after returning to Ireland from training in Japan in 2010. While practicing at a friends university I got the chance to practice a lot of hiki waza and took that practice back home with me. I used it during classes at my home dojo and found that my hiki waza improved greatly in both keiko and shiai (scoring 3 times with hiki waza at Mumeishi 3's in London)

Now I find myself instead on the end of hiki strikes from sempai, who with years of practice from their school days are able to spot my weakness. (I also get it a lot from current students who are just blindingly quick from there!)

So my current goal is to improve this aspect!

Ive done a small bit of translation from a kendo book (not perfect, but I understand the gist of it fairly well)


At the moment of making taubazeriai,


Surprisingly puff/let out our breath and "let our "Ki" (spirit/energy) fall away" / let ourselves relax


If you aim for this instant, hiki waza will also become habitually easy

So to sum it up in my understanding.

At the moment of making tsubazeriai, we surprisingly relax, lose focus, release our breath and our concentration. If we aim to attack in this moment then hiki waza will also (like other waza) come naturally.

I've certainly been guilty of letting my attacks fall off upon reaching tsubazeriai. After launching an attack at an opponent and finding that there was infact no opening, or that they have blocked, I would switch off and just reset, lowering my kamae and stepping back to try again. I've cut that out now, but I still see many people doing it.
If you do this in keiko. You will do it in shiai when we get tired our bad habbits come out. Someone will spot it and they will take their opportunity.

So with this in mind I will try to avoid loosing concentration during tsubazeriai, to keep up my attacking spirit and to attack at the moment my opponent relaxes or begins to change his movements.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Please feel free to comment. Especially on the translation! Explanations on grammar points that I have got wrong or how to string sentences together properly, would be greatly appreciated!

Photo of original text below.

From 強くなる剣道入れ入門 (Kendo Manual)