The purpose of this study is to clarify the difference in the application of okuri-ashi datotsu (side-stepping strike) and fumikomi-ashi datotsu (attacking strike) for kendo beginners in order to develop an effective teaching method by which they can acquire the movement of fumikomi in a kendo class.
The subjects of this study were 17 male university students learning kendo. In this study, we discuss how kendo students can best learn to apply the fumikomi technique after learning okuri-ashi in a class by means of skill evaluations and operating analysis for the motion of fumikomi-ashi datotsu after learning the motion of okuri-ashi datotsu.
The results of our study are as follows.
1) The time required to raise and lower the shinai (bamboo practice sword) during fumikomi-ashi datotsu is clearly shorter than for okuri-ashi datotsu.
2) Although there is no significant difference in the movement time of the legs between okuri-ashi datotsu and fumikomi-ashi datotsu, the distance the left foot has to move in fumikomi-ashi datotsu is longer than in okuri-ashi datotsu.
3) The coordination of shinai operation and the movement of the legs: The motion of datotsu in okuri-ashi datotsu is accompanied by a jerking movement of the left foot, however, the motion of datotsu in fumikomi-ashi datotsu is accompanied by a more completed movement of the right foot.
4) According to the observation of images, the skill level in performing fumikomi-ashi datotsu by beginners is clearly lower than that for okuri-ashi datotsu when using a boku-toh (wooden sword) or shinai.
5) With regard to the coordination of shinai operation and the movement of the legs, the firm planting of the right foot is faster than for fumikomi-ashi datotsu for novice kendo practitioners. It seems this study shows similar result to the research done from 41 years ago.
These results suggested that with respect to the coordination of shinai operation and the movement of the legs, the application of okuri-ashi datotsu after learning fumikomi-ashi datotsu remains a difficult learning task.