Kenjutsu Reishiki

The first portion is from the Nihon Godogeiko in Woodinville in 2013. Kawana Katsumi is shidachi; Shimizu Yuji is uchidachi. Notice that they don’t do it exactly the same. After Kawana Sensei places the sword down, there’s a little hip swing, with his left knee moving slightly forward. Shimizu Sensei doesn’t do this. Kawana Sensei notices this and adapts to match Shimizu Sensei in the remainder of the reishiki. After they pick up the swords, they bring the right hand to the inguinal notch, with the left knee moving forward into a position that is pretty much the same as for uchidachi reishiki with the jo.

Note the distance between them when they have the odachi in seigan. On the return to position at the end, I’d say that Shimizu Sensei’s toku is higher than I like it. Kawana Sensei’s is more like what I’m after.

With the kodachi, shidachi places first the left knee down, then the right, BEFORE placing the short sword in front of him. He does the same when he goes back to pick it up, but then he leaves the left knee down when he brings the kodachi back to his right hip. He returns to sonkyo when he places the kodachi in front of him again.

The second clip is from a video of kenjutsu taught by Nishioka Sensei. The quality is nasty and the sound out of sync, but you can see what you need to see. Note that Nishioka Sensei corrects Ishiko Sensei (who is acting as uchidachi) about the little hip swivel. You can see here that the left knee moves definitively forward, nearly as much as it does when retrieving the sword. Also, note that Ishiko Sensei doesn’t quite have Nishioka Sensei’s timing down. Both swords (whether long or short) should be placed down at the same time, with uchidachi leading slightly.

Two other points: none of them are starting with the feet together. They all step forward into hasso. Also, note the way Nishioka Sensei takes his initial hasso, by going through seigan. This is not incorrect. We do it the way Relnick Sensei prefers. The key point is that both partners should do it the same way. I don’t have a definitive answer on my preference at this point. I do it both ways.

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