Cutting & striking

Cutting = damaging the body or killing the opponent
Striking =  controlling opponent with intent as the major component.
Atemi waza Tomiki style : attacking the dynamical weak point with the purpose to control or throwing the opponent

When Kenji Tomiki formulated his concept on the use of atemi waza in randori, he was very clear about the non-damaging aspect of the use of atemi waza. There are 2 ways to do atemi waza:

  • attacking dynamical weak point with the purpuse to control or to throw
  • attacking physiological weak point with the purpose to kill or damage

Many psysiological weak points are also dynamical weak points. For example “kasumi” (see chart) and “uto” (see chart) can be used as a target during gyaku-gamae-ate, a technique from basic kata.

Tomiki described the anatomical weak points in his book Judo & Aikido. The chart with the vital point is the same as the vital points often used in Kodokan Judo Kata with a shinken-gata concept. Kodokan Kime no kata is such an example.

Vital points

Tomiki Aikido Koryu no kata dai san is an aikido example how to use “atemi” according the shinken-gata method as seen from the attackers (uke) point of view. The role of tori is different and based upon the the non-damaging concept of Kenji Tomiki when he formulated his theory on how to use atemi waza in randori. Tori has no intention to kill or damage opponent.  Controlling and/or throwing safely is a sign of human behaviour based upon non-aggressive actions. This concept can be clearly seen in tachi tai tachi (Koryu no kata dai san)

Cutting & striking in Koryu no kata dai san – tachi tai tachi

Daisan tachi tai tachi : uchidachi (uke) is cutting to damage or kill, shidachi (tori) is striking with the purpose to control uchidachi.

The performance of this part of the Dai-san-kata is based upon the non-damaging concept of Kenji Tomiki when he formulated his theory on how to use atemi waza in randori. Shidachi (tori) has no intention to kill or damage opponent.

  1. The intention of Uchidachi is to make the cut by raising the sword and cutting through the target, which is the wrist joint. Shidachi simultaneously raises their sword and strikes centrally to the face of Uchidachi; this stops their cut.
  2. The intention of Uchidachi is to make the cut by raising the sword and cutting through the target, which is the wrist joint. Shidachi strikes at the face of Uchidachi whilst avoiding to Shidachi’s left. The strike ends at Shidachi’s left temple.
  3. The intention of Uchidachi is to make the cut by raising the sword and cutting through the target, which is the wrist joint. Shidachi strikes at the face of Uchidachi whilst avoiding to Shidachi’s right. The strike ends at Shidachi’s right temple and with Uchidachi in an upright left posture.
  4. The intention of Uchidachi is to raise the sword and make the cut to the wrist of Shidachi whilst they are defending. Shidachi Tsuki’s to the throat of Uchidachi before the downward cut begins. Shidachi exerts control by driving Uchidachi backwards. The intent of Shidachi is to control the movement of Uchidachi and not to cut them.
  5. The intention of Uchidachi is to make the cut by raising the sword and cutting through the target, which is the wrist joint of Shidachi. As the cut begins Shidachi strikes the exposed right armpit of Uchidachi. The sword is not dragged across Uchidachi’s torso but is used to control Uchidachi.
  6. The intention of Uchidachi is to make a cut by raising the sword and cutting through the target, which is the right wrist joint of Shidachi. Uchidachi responds using a Nagashi action to Uchidachi’s sword ending with a wrist strike and threat to Uchidachi’s torso.
  7. The intention of Uchidachi is to make a cut by raising the sword and cut through the target, which is the right wrist joint of Shidachi. Shidachi responds by rotating the sword blade so that the Ha is up. The right hand uses an outside turn action; the left hand allows the Tsuka to slip through the grip remaining thumb edge up. Uchidachi’s cut strikes Shidachi’s sword and by using Nagashi action, Uchidachi’s power is used to propel the sword around whereby Shidachi can make a controlling strike to Uchidachi’s right temple.
  8. Shidachi drives Uchidachi backwards using two swift steps and a third more controlled and deliberate whilst both swords are carefully raised to the Hasso position or stance. Uchidachi lowers their sword to behind their left leg and then raises their sword to make a downward cut to Shidachi’s leading leg. As the cut almost completes Shidachi steps back whilst bringing their sword down towards Uchidachi’s sword using Nagashi movement. Shidachi attempts to control Uchidachi by raising their sword. Uchidachi sees the opening on the right side of Shidachi’s Torso and attempts to Tsuki (Left foot leading, blade out). Using Nagashi movement Shidachi draws Uchidachi into making a Tsuki to the left side of Shidachi’s Torso (Right foot leading, blade out). Using Nagashi movement Shidachi draws Uchidachi on and into making a Yokomen cut to Shidachi’s head. Using Nagashi movement Shidachi draws Uchidachi’s sword upwards which exposes Shidachi’s left, inviting Uchidachi to make a downward cut. Shidachi avoids the cut using Hikimawari footwork and delivers a final controlling strike to Uchidachi’s left temple.

UCHIDACHI
(打太刀) means “striking/attacking sword” and is one of the two roles in kata of Budō and Bujutsu and is deemed as the teacher.

SHIDACHI
(受太刀) means “doing/receiving sword” and is the second of the two roles in kata of Budō and Bujutsu and is the student.

SUIGETSU (Solar Plexus)
The Solar Plexus is a complex of ganglia and radiating nerves of the sympathetic system at the pit of the stomach.

NAGASHI
Floating, slicing or sliding action may partly describe this. Nagashi is a skill of meeting the attacking power and deviate in a desired direction.

Footwork during cutting or striking

Footwork during cutting or striking is built upon “rolling foot” action. When the front foot is rolling, the back foot is sliding (tsugi ashi) forward. There is no “one-two” action in the footwork. Both feet are moving in one continuous pace.

Another feature is turning the feet during cutting or striking. This can be practised during “gassho exercise”, an exercise for striking but also neutralizing a strike  to the head by using a “nagashi” movement. Nagashi is a skill of meeting the attacking power and deviate in a desired direction.

Koryu no kata dai san has may sequences where a nagashi movement is used. Some examples during suwari waza.

 

About shobukaidojo

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

1 Response

  1. […] The same feeling we can see in the behaviour of Kenji Tomiki & Hideo Ohba followers. Although it is lesser spiritual, if we go deeper into the philosophy of those Aikido masters, we will discover a very fundamental moral code. Some elements of this code are commented in another article : Cutting and striking. […]

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