Sempai Says, “Renshū This…” (Dō)


is a diagonal cut across the torso. This is something I still struggle with, especially the zanshin and footwork part. We usually hit the right side of the opponent’s dō  but the left side (gyaku–dō) is acceptable too, except the strike needs to be a lot stronger because traditionally, that’s the place where the daisho (a pair of big and small swords) was worn, and so you’ll have to cut through it too to get to the torso.

Here are some of my notes taken from various sources regarding Dō.

  • Hit dou whilst you are in front of your opponent and then move diagonally for your zanshin, do not hit after you have moved.
  • Make sure you hit the side of the dou and do no just scrape across the front.
  • Dou is more likely to be successful as an ojiwaza, either as nuki or kaeshi–do against men attack.
  • “Because we are effectively cutting diagonally across our opponents’ body, we need to change our grip on the shinai as we go through. There are 2 ways to do this; either slide the left hand up the tsuka, so that it joins the right hand, or release the left hand completely so that the shinai does not impede our movement.” –– Geoff Salmon–sensei
  • “(Gyaku–dō) is usually performed as a hikiwaza… the cutting motion is also that of hikigiri with the left hand being pushed forward before the strike and then being pulled in towards your own abdomen.”–– Geoff Salmon sensei

Share your thoughts?

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