a MMB! Kendo Blog: Kaeshi-do like an 8th Dan

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, March 26, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Kaeshi-do like an 8th Dan

I went to the UNSW keiko tonight.

Nuki / Kaeshi Do
The class practiced men-(nuki/kaeshi)-do during the waza focus session. Normally I get really frustrated when executing nuki or kaeshi do, as I found it very hard to grasp the timing and coordination to execute the cut correctly. However, today I had a lightbulb moment. My movements were so smooth, the impact and timing felt so nice, I just wanted to keep practicing nuki / kaeshi do over and over again. It was such a pleasure.

Usually when I practiced against a very high grade visiting Japanese Sensei (e.g. 7th and 8th dan sensei), I would endeavour to do nice kihon cuts. And most of the time, these Sensei love to do either suriage-men or kaeshi-do to counter my men cuts. No matter how fast and small my men cuts were, they were always able to counter them. Their grasp of timing was very precise and their movement was very minimal.

I think I have received enough of those counter-cuts that tonight, I was able to visualise myself being those high-grade Japanese sensei, imitating their actions, and 'feel' how they execute kaeshi-do.

So during the following men-taisuru-waza session, I chose to continue my practice on nuki-do / kaeshi-do. I felt so nice and effortless to execute nuki / kaeshi do when the timing and coordination were spot on. Although there were times when my practicing partners were able to cut my men, overall I could feel the cuts were solid and coordinated. My cut was in front of my body, and my arms were not cramped up. So that was very good.

Jigeiko with Sano Sensei
My last free jigeiko of the night was with Sano Sensei. It was a very nice jigeiko with high intensity. I was also in my shiai mood so I was quite sharp and focused.

However, during my second cut when I did a tobikomi men, Sano Sensei did a nuki-do on me. And that made me really made me think. Why was Sano Sensei able to do a nuki do on me? I knew the answer. My cut was too half-hearted and hesitant, and therefore there was no explosiveness in the cut, giving Sensei enough time to react and counter. So immediately after that, I have been really exploding my kote-men cuts. And it was good to learn from just that early nuki-do incident.

Feedbacks from Sano Sensei:
  • Timing was good
  • Cuts were a bit light on several occassions. Sensei suggested me to aim the terminal point a bit lower than the target to increase the impact on the target.


  • Cool! The nuki-do/kaeshi-do sounds really exciting :-) Well done Vivian!

    By Anonymous Cameron Wilding, at Wednesday, March 28, 2007 8:11:00 PM  

  • Well, another well written article, as usual.

    I also do feel frustrated when practicing men-kaeshi/nuki-do. Although it's true that I've been practicing kendo for a short period, it's good to see that it's not an easy task to grasp the concept of timing.

    Any "recomendations"?


    By Blogger Leon, at Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:14:00 AM  

  • I am a novice in nuki/kaeshi-do, so my recommendations might be limited, but here are a few points that I place more emphasis on when I practice:

    - at the moment of impact, check the height of the arms. Make sure they stay low (in front of your abs). Common problem is that arms are too high, resulting in baseball swing-type of movement.
    - the point of impact should occur diagonally in front of the body.
    - right foot step diagonally forward to the side.
    - one smooth continuous movement. Don't separate to up and down movements.
    - Nuki/kaeshi-do are only effective if you can pre-empt or suck your opponent in to do a men cut.
    - It is better to aim for doing nuki-do, as it allows more time for yourself to action.

    These are the few points that I am trying to achieve when practicing nuki/kaeshi-do.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, March 29, 2007 2:09:00 PM  

  • Thank you very much! I intend to slowly start grasping those concepts. And I'll be looking forward to your next update :)

    Thanks again, and good luck in your study and kendo!

    By Blogger Leon, at Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:44:00 PM  

  • Hello Vivian. I´m a humble little shodan kenshi from Madrid, Spain...(k, I´m not humble at all...I´m a fat-head :p hah,hah)
    Just wanted to say I just discovered your blog and it´s fantastic. For long I craved for a kendo-oriented blog and yours is a terrific one. Most interesting.
    Incidentally (the world is such a little place) I read about Dino Zafirakos at an older post, and he´s training in Spain currently. We met at a recent taikai at Valencia and another one at Barcelona (Kurasawa Cup). I just know him from a few words and a few blows,lol,but one of my dojo mates (my dojo is called kenwakai) is in very good terms with him, I think.
    Anyway,...thanks for the great info! I will keep an eye on you..err, on your blog, heh,heh.

    By Anonymous HandsomeW, at Friday, March 30, 2007 4:52:00 AM  

  • Thanks Leon. I will do my best in study and kendo. :)

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, April 01, 2007 2:30:00 PM  

  • Hey HandsomeW,

    What a small world indeed! Thank you for leaving a message here. It's my pleasure to know you.

    Are you in Paburo's dojo? I talked to Dino the other day, and mentioned about you.

    By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, April 01, 2007 2:38:00 PM  

  • Precisely! Paburo is my dojo mate. ;) Thanks for replying. I just came back from the Spain kendo Championship and I´m tired, but it´s great when you feel you gave your best even if you didn´t reach the finals. With this I just leave some heavy competition-oriented weeks and can concentrate again for a few months on improving my form and overall kendo. Akisuna Saito Sensei reaches tomorrow Madrid and he will be giving us some of his great lessons so great timing there.
    Maybe one day we will fight a geiko Vivian...even though you´re as far as you could possible be from Spain! ;) I just read you´re part of your national team...your kendo must be really strong!

    By Anonymous HandsomeW, at Monday, April 02, 2007 8:14:00 AM  

  • hello vivian!

    sorry i'm late. and yes, mr. hadsomeW is my dojo mate. my makiwara-punching bag if you may hahaha just kidding. kenwakai is the best dojo in madrid everrrr :D

    aaah it's a shame Dino lives in barcelona, he is my new 'gaijin' drinking buddy @ the sayonara parties haha. viv, you too def need to come for a visit (or a stay!) to madrid, we'll treat you to free beers and ippon shoubu... doesn't that just sound utterly appealing? *wink wink* haha.

    take care and good keiko. now i'll comment your last entry :] jaa.

    P.S. i CAN'T do nuki dou... i just bloody can't. my body is unable to perform any action resembling nuki-dou lol. it's too risky i think. on the other hand, men kaeshi dou is a regular for me. i even get some ippon in shiai out of it sometimes. though when i'm HEATED and miss it's not a nice thing to see! ask hadsomeW... he's got a bruise the size of a volley ball on his thigh hahaha (sorry mate...)

    By Anonymous paburo aka musashi, at Wednesday, April 04, 2007 5:39:00 PM  

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