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Re: Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

PostPosted: 10 Nov 2012 17:05
by NeilG
Sorry, I use cross-check as a term Canadians would understand. The kendo term is taiatari "body crash", in fencing I think they say corps-a-corps but it is not nearly as violent as the kendo version. After the attack, you continue your motion into the opponent and slam into him, generally hilt to hilt. Most guys his size I would knock on their ass, after which I would get a chance to hit while he is down, so long as the attack continued on from the crash.

As far as breaking posture, yes feints can be used, body movement etc. At their level it is more mental pressure.

During the taiatari bit I was using big swings and he was letting me hit, it was a drill As far as how I attacked him otherwise it didn't matter what kind of cuts I used or where and how I attacked, he shut me down. It would take a strong international level player to score on him in tournament I believe, and that was not me.

No direct advice from him as he has no English and I was just another face on the crowd.

Re: Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

PostPosted: 11 Nov 2012 00:50
by Chidokan
Although I no longer do kendo due to a bike crash, I still continue the iaido and partner work involved in it. Over the years though I have been lucky enough to fence against several 8 dan kendoka, and my iaido sensei was an 8 dan hanshi for longer than I had been alive when I first met him.
A couple of interesting points in regard to sparring... the old guys have done it so long they have seen it all, and see it coming a mile away.. The ones you hit LET you hit them to encourage you when you do something right. It was one of the most frustrating matches I ever had, when after 12 years of hard kendo training this tiny old guy took me apart, telling me which cut he was doing next before he did it. I have been taught as an instructor to fence one level above my opponent, so that they always felt they had a chance of hitting me, and to encourage a good strike and not foul it up 'just because I can'.
For the partner work in my iai ryu, there is a similar approach of teaching encouragement as a mentor, so the technique is harmonious not 'crash and bash'. Note this work should not really be started until 5 dan(ten years or so) as a high level of control, understanding of distance, and ability to watch your partner is required.
As a further observation, it was pointed out to me that after 5 dan you just tweak techniques, rather than make major leaps in technical skill, so the emphasis then drifts more to the other aspects of spirit and etiquette, which should be in equal proportion. Long term we aim to have the technical side done as a natural/instinctive reaction to what is in the mind, however note this would be technically perfect with no errors... with the ultimate goal of being a person no one would wish to attack, and if they did they could not win. There is more to JSA than just the technical side, and I have always been encouraged to read, watch and do as much as I can in order to advance the three aspects above.

PostPosted: 23 Nov 2016 17:29
by Ulrich von L...n
A fascinating article:

Forsaken Kendo — Katate guntō-jutsu
October 10, 2016 | Featured, History, Kendo

By Baptiste Tavernier

Re: Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

PostPosted: 29 Nov 2016 01:00
by Thearos
Excellent read, thanks ! Katate gunto-jutsu as a dead end...

PostPosted: 19 Jun 2018 05:48
by Ulrich von L...n
In 2012 on page 7 we discussed Maeda's encounter with a Western fencer.
I wrote:It is worth noting the strange mask worn by the "kendoka".

Now we can identify this fencing mask with a reasonable certainty. I think it is Parise's type 2 mask (secondo mod. Parise). ... vedek.html

In this blog entry there is a good picture of this mask from an Italian exhibition catalogue (2006).

PostPosted: 19 Jun 2018 05:50
by Ulrich von L...n
There is another version of the Maeda vs Western fencer picture with a short Japanese inscription.
Hopefully this could provide some additional information. ... -east.html

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018 05:43
by Ulrich von L...n
The transscription of the Japanese text from the picture:

フエンツンク゛_対_ 剣道 _左_前田

The picture was published on page 200 in Bunasawa, Nori, Murray, John: Mitsuyo Maeda, The Toughest Man Who Ever Lived (2nd ed.). Judo Journal, 2007. The Japanese text is accompanied by the following English inscription: „Maeda (Left) challenges fencer with wooden sword”.

With some luck and the help of Google translator I have tried to translate Japanese characters. The result: fencing vs kendo, Maeda (left). Later this preliminary version has been checked by a Hungarian guy who lives in Japan and could read Japanese texts. So unfortunately the Japanese version does not support the claim that Maeda holds a wooden sword. Anyway it is interesting to have a Japanese confirmation on the identity of the pictured Japanese fencer.

PostPosted: 30 Jun 2018 15:45
by Ulrich von L...n
Count Koma and fencing

Two very interesting pictures of the grandfather of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be found in which Mitsuyo Maeda is fighting against western saber fencers. Maeda was a seasoned instructor at the kodokan and was sent in the West by Kano at the turn of the century to help promote Judo. [...]

It is unclear what type of kenjutsu Maeda was practicing and what the context of these pictures was, but it shows that some kind of exchange took place between Japanese and European martial artists.

Batamax: Kenjutsu Gaijin: The first Western students of Japanese swordsmanship (2013)

PostPosted: 10 Jan 2019 07:45
by Ulrich von L...n
Another well documented encounter between a Japanese kendoka and a Western fencer.

Ando Kozo, the 7th dan kendoka and Wojciech Zabłocki, Polish sabre fencer (Olympic silver medalist in 1956, 1960) met in Poland in May 1976. Several photos were taken during their fencing. Later Zabłocki gave a short summary of the event. ... 2a2e49.jpg

More photos:

Re: Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

PostPosted: 11 Jan 2019 03:25
by Thearos
who won ?

PostPosted: 13 Jan 2019 17:37
by Ulrich von L...n
This fencing bout ended in a draw.

Google translation of the Polish text:

„In May 1976, at the invitation of the Japanese Embassy, a group of representatives of the All-Japanese Kendo Federation visited Poland and trained together with the Polish kenshi. Keiko was also invited to the famous Polish swordsman, Wojciech Zabłocki - Olympic medalist from Melbourne, Rome and Tokyo.

According to the accounts of the witnesses, the duel ended in a draw.

Here's how, many years later, Wojciech Zabłocki describes his experiences with Japanese fencing: "I was invited for joint training in order to analyze the basic offensive and defensive actions with the bamboo shinai. I managed to fight Japanese sword versus European saber. I chose a fencing sword from the late nineteenth century, heavier, with a 20 mm wide, slightly curved blade.

The art of wielding a shinai bamboo sword is similar to real Japanese fencing. The speed and efficiency of the cut consists in using the lever of both hands and attacking, reminiscent of a fencing throw. The defensive actions (zasłony) rely mainly on reflections. In the 90s I conducted joint training and demonstration of the clash of the hussar saber with the Japanese sword, which was fought by Professor Wojciech Cynarski (6 dan iaido). It was relatively the easiest to hit the "Japanese" in hand, but it was necessary to be very careful about his repeated attacks on the stomach - after pairing the cut on the head (men) it was not necessary to answer immediately, but to retry and then respond. "- the quote comes from the book Wojciech Zabłocki "Szable Świata" by Bellona publishing house...

PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019 17:29
by Ulrich von L...n
A short review of an excellent encounter between a kendoka and a HEMA fencer (2019). ... astic.html

Re: Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

PostPosted: 28 Mar 2019 22:53
by Thearos
The commentary is pretty excellent too, with attention to issues of time and esp, measure (so difficult to get right !!)

PostPosted: 06 May 2019 19:06
by Ulrich von L...n
On 26th July 2010 an interesting and informative section called Comparisons with Western Fencing was added to Kendo article on Wikipedia. Unfortunately later - in April 2011 - the whole thing was completely deleted from the article.

So I have decided to save it: ... rison.html