17 February 2015

What makes a point (an Ippon) in Kendo - by Peter Ong Sensei

The following article was written by Peter Ong Sensei, on his observations at a shimpan seminar conducted by Sumi Sensei. It is a good primer for the upcoming Shimpan Seminar to be held at NUS on 8th of March. Please see details of the event here.

Reproduced with permission.

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What makes a point (an Ippon) in Kendo - v1.1


During a Referee Seminar in the Spring of 2010, Sumi Sensei, covered the topic of "Yukodatotsu requirements for Ippon" (a valid point during a Kendo competition).

While the requirements he highlighted were important for Referees to correctly award points during Shiai, I find that the true value of Sensei's lesson transcend the Shiai-Jo (Tournament Court).

His teachings can serve as a guide to perfect our Kendo during training.

What are the requirements for Yukodatotsu:
1) High level of Spirit (Hayashi Kunio Sensei also spoke about Energy in our Kendo)
2) Correct Posture
3) Correct area of Shinai (Monouchi)
4) Striking at the correct target area of the Opponent's armour
5) Direction of the sword edge (Hasuji)
6) Zanshin

Factors that leads to good Yukodatotsu:
1) Strength of strike (What is the correct strength of the strike? Hard? Soft? You should check with your Sensei)
2) Clearness of strike
3) Tenouchi (Wrist work) - Sae
4) Body control (before, during and after Yukodatotsu)
5) Timing
6) Opportunity (chance)
7) Maai (Distance)

(In addition to these requirements and factors, able to understand and execute Ki, Ken, Tai no ichi.)

Hopefully, the next time we step into the dojo, we can pay attention to the above pointers during regular practices.

Safe training.
Peter Ong

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