General theory of hiki-waza.

IMG_2166Hiki-waza is often a very difficult thing to get your head around. You spend a lot of time learning how to cut going forward but suddenly hiki-waza turns that around, literally, and make you do the same thing backwards.
There is that point you reach in jigeko where you cut and go through or you hit taiatare. At this point you can easily be stuck into that mind set of wondering what to do now. Push your opponent back, move to the side, try to get out without being hit.
As with all situations in kendo if you run into something that you don’t know what to do, you should concentrate on that thing, ask sensei what to do and develop a game plan.

So first the foot work. You are meant to push into you opponent and at the moment they push back, lift your left foot and fumikomi with your right, backwards while striking.
Your choice of strike is the next thing to consider.
The theory goes something like this. If you push down, your opponents reaction is to push up, thus you strike dou. If you push up you opponent will push down, thus you strike men. If you push straight forward, they will push straight back thus opening kote.

This is the theory but executing it is another matter. The important thing is that you actually have a game plan to perform hiki-waza instead of striking randomly. This won’t always work of course.

Lastly, don’t hang a round waiting for the right push or pressure. Get in and get out as quick as possible. Choose quickly and don’t give you opponent a chance to think about it because then the instinct kicks in and they will not be able to consciously prevent your cut.


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