Friday, July 28, 2006

Ti: The Eighth Deadly Technique

I know only a handful of moves in kendo. I'm an anime fan, I love samurai movies, ninjas have their moments for me, but kendo and kenjitsu have never held much pull for me. I did have the opportunity while at Guard Up to learn a thing here an there though, and one of them I think was called nuki. It was a neat move, where you kind of raise your sword and skip back when an opponent is swinging at you, but pretty much that was all it was until one day when I had to substitute for a sick instructor in a class called Sport Armor.
Sport Armor was this class where all the students wore hard plastic motocross armor and helmets. Even though the class was taught with padded swords, the idea was that the armor would allow you to fight at close to full speed and power with less fear of injury. Well, there I was, and while sparring I was holding off the brutal cuts of my opponent, and then it occurred to me to try nuki. I waited for the swing, lifted my sword up and out of the way as the cut swished by me, and found that I could swiftly step forward and chop my opponent cleanly on the forehead. It worked like magic, as if I'd practiced hours and hours and waited insidiously for my chance to strike!
I'm proposing that Ti, our eighth deadly technique is similar to nuki. Ti means to "lift" and I have come to think that it is used much like Jiao as a compound attack. When an opponent cuts for your hand and you are not in a position to use Jiao to wrap them, lift the hand out of the way, let the attack pass, then bring the blade down on their arm or head or wherever with a Pi cut. The lifting of the hands sets you up for the cut, and if timed right, your opponent may still be finishing their first move when you bring the sword back down.
Let's take stock: we have five attacks, three parries, and three counters. Of the three counters, we have one basic counter, and two compound counters. That gives us eleven moves. The final two are special blade controlling techniques which we'll examine next week! Have a great weekend!

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