KIRI-KAESHI Kiri-kaeshi, the repetition of strokes, is the best way for the kendoist to exercise collectively the basic action that he has learned. In Japan it is common for the beginner to practice just kirikaeshi for the first two years of starting kendo. This training method is critical for beginners and advanced students of kendo because it improves the action of the body, develops good footwork, accurate attacks, correct grip of the shinai, good ma-ai (distance between kendoka) and good ki-ken-tai-no-ichi (spirit, sword, body in unison). TECHNIQUE OF KIRI-KAESHI Kiri-kaeshi from attacking position- First assume chudan-no-kamae at issoku-itto-no-ma-ai and deliver a men strike, then strike opponents left side of his men then the right side, left men then right men moving forward, then moving backwards strike opponents left men then right men left men then right men finally striking the left side of your opponents men , then take a step back and assume chudan-no-kamae at a distance of issoku-itto-no-ma-ai and then repeat the exercise once more. When you are back into issoku-itto-no- ma-ai once more strike opponents shomen and then go past him, turn and then receive kiri-kaeshi for him. When attacking use okuri-ashi foot movement. IMPORTANT POINT TO WATCH 1. Make your movements as large as possible. 2. Movements of your body must accompany all movements of your hands and feet, and perform all motions in an unbroken series. 3. When swinging the shinai upwards, make sure that it reaches a point well above your head. 4. Make the left and right strokes at an angle of about 45 degrees, beginning with a strike to opponents left side of men. 5. Finish with a frontal men strike after taking sufficient ma-ai, then repeat the exercise. 6. Beginners must practice correctly with slow big movements rather than with speed. 7. Always end with a strike to the left side of your opponents men. 8. Always keep your body upright and straight with your chin in towards your chest. KIRI-KAESHI FROM RECEIVER (MOTODACHI) POSITION When your opponent strikes your men you must allow him to strike it properly. You must receive his strikes by holding your shinai straight up in front of yourself. First moving backwards you must first block your opponents shinai to your left side then right side, left side then right side, then moving forward block to your left side then right side, left side then right side, then finally to your left side, then stop moving forward and let your opponent continue moving backwards until he has reached the distance of issoku-itto-no-ma-ai and you are both in chudan-no-kamae then repeat the exercise once more. When you are both back in issoku-itto-no-ma-ai once more let your opponent strike your shomen then you must step to one side and let your opponent go through turn and both assume chudan-no-kamae at a distance of issoku-itto-no-ma-ai and finish. When receiving use ayumi-ashi foot movement. IMPORTANT POINTS TO WATCH 1. When blocking, your shinai should be in an almost vertical position, keep your left fist at about hip height and your right fist at about chest height. Do not allow either fist to rise. 2. Motodachi must ensure that his opponents left fist is raised above their head. 3. Check the angle of the strikes are at about 45 degrees.
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