The Path to Passing the Kendo Promotional Examination Part 3

Written by Hayashi Takahiro, Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan(Tozando)

About the 2-dan examination

This time, I’m going to talk a bit about the 2-dan examination. In addition to refining the basic movements, manners and etiquette required in the Shodan examination, you are also required to use Oji-waza (応じ技), in other words, reacting and counter attacking.

Not only will your striking techniques be examined, but also how you react and counter when your opponent attacks you will be thoroughly tested during the practical examination.

There are many basic techniques such as going avoiding a hit to the Men and going for the Do, or avoiding a strike to the Kote and going for the Men and so on, but to execute such a technique you will first need to react to your opponent’s attack to make an opening for a counter attack.

Tozando Complete Kendo Beginners Set

Some representatives approach for this would be Suriage, Kaeshi and Nuki. Some more advanced techniques would be Suri-otoshi, Uchi-otoshi, Kiri-otoshi, etc.

In the numerous exchanges during a Shiai, it is important to react to and counter your opponent’s techniques. This is one of the things that will be tested during the 2-dan examination.

Although I plan to talk more in detail about each technique in another installment, this time I would like to talk about an effective way of attacking when applying these techniques.

Deluxe Pitch Orizazashi Kendo Bogu Set

If you want to successfully execute a Men-Kaeshi-Do, you need to let your opponent strike at your Men, or else the technique cannot be used. If you are too aggressive and you let out too much of your Ki, your opponent will not step in and hit you. So you have to lead your opponent by letting your guard down slightly in a way that he can see, for the area where you want him to hit, inviting him to hit you exactly where you want him to.

For example, keep attacking relentlessly, keeping your expression stern, while relaxing your guard just for a split-second in the area where you want the opponent to hit and at the same time, you also relax your expression for a split-second. By doing this, you can fool your opponent into thinking that you have lost your concentration and invite him to try to hit you.

Once you have created this opening, and can take advantage of it, you will have no problems in passing the practical exam of the 2-dan examination.