Introduction of Taiatari

What Is Taitari

Taiatari is a kendo technique which requires good balance, and strength from the core.

Taiatari is actually also called body that is exactly what happens. Two kendoka come together and crash their bodies together. Sometimes this can happen when one kendoka does not move to the side. It can be used to make your opponent feel out of balance, and also can be used before hiki – waza. But taitari is also a very good technique to use to increase your spirit, and to get used to going forward, or going through.

When practicing taitari, at the moment of impact, kendoka need to use their full energy. When doing this, automatically kiai increases as does our energy within. This feeling of full energy is what drives kendoka forward when hitting. Therefore taitari technique helps the kendoka feel that moment of full energy and going through. In order to do this well, the energy must remain in the lower part of the body, this can take away the effort from the arms and relax our shoulders. Therefore the focus of the movement is transferred from the upper to the lower body, which is how kendoka should move.

Taitari is therefore a very useful and important movement to practice. It may help with balance, confidence and also help moving forward with full spirit while maintaining proper posture.

How to perform Taitari correctly

It is very important when doing taiatari, you meet your opponent with your back straight. At the moment of impact, you should take a small step forward, and meet his force with your body, NOT with your arms or hands. Many people make the mistake of pushing their arms out in front, but this can only cause injury to your arms or hands, and also takes your centre of gravity away from the centre of your body. In doing this, it is very easy for you to be pushed away, or even fall back.

When taking the step forward to meet your opponent, you must bring your shinai down to your dantien, close your body. In this way, your centre of gravity is focused from your body, and not the hands.

The best way to get into the correct position, is to start from kamae.

The two kendoka should then move slowly towards each other brining their shinai closer to each other, and eventually meeting together. In this way, the kote are not in contact, and the tsuka of the shinai are in contact instead. This stops any injuries to the hands or fingers.

As the picture shows, the two kendoka are very close to each other. Their backs are straight and they are pushing with their bodies, rather than the hands or arms.

Performing taiatari can be quite difficult and intimidating, especially when faced with a large stronger opponent. But with practice, you will become more confident to carry it out.

The main points to remember:

    • Move forward with a straight back

    • Take a small step forward as you make contact with your opponent

    • Keep the energy within lower part of body, in this way you are able to ‘absorb’ the opponents movement

    • Do not push with hands or arms, this will only increase the risk of injury.

    • Use full energy from the legs.