Isshujiai Seminar in Obernai


The last weekend of June the Kendo club of Obernai, in Alsace  have invited the Belgian sensei Tyl Dermine and David D’hose to teach them how to practice naginata and how to do good fight against it. Like in 2016 it was an excellent way for them to explore our great martial art and for us to present it within a little one weekend formula that I will demonstrate here and works perfectly with kendoka.


Well first of all you need to provide naginata and sune ate in sufficient quantity for the seminar.

This time it start at 10:00

  • Explain in 5 minutes what is atarashii naginata and what are the main differences with kendo: basically as it is a long weapon you will have to manage a different distance and you will work with your profile instead of the front.
  • 15 min exercises without naginata learning how to deal with footwork doing  fumikae-ashi movement.  Learning how to deal with the length of the weapon doing kurikomi kuridashi and learning how to deal with the tenouchi.
  • 10 minutes learning the kamae and doing exercices changing them. You have to know that the manipulation of the weapon and the distance is a very difficult exercise for a kendo ka, and managing a new distance is another one also:
  • 20 minutes with a partner doing taisabaki trying to keep a good distance between the two monouchi.

After that, we start with the learning of the men uchi, sayu soku men uchi and sayu soku sune uchi, in order to reach a first uchikaechi by noon. You have to know that the kendo ka might learn faster than the usual student as he is use to a martial art close to yours, but you need to understand the difference between those two in order to help him to progress fast in his progression in naginata. Reduce the strength in his arms as he will use them strongly. Turn his hips and help him to be aware of the length of his new weapon.

  • The first half of the afternoon I suggest to teach Ippon mae, Yonhon mae and Gohon mae in 1h30 minutes, in order to give him an interesting overview of the available techniques.
  • And the second half of the afternoon will be devoted to bogu practice with precision strike. Starting with uchikaeshi and going further with few precision strike to get use to distance.

We have finished the day doing a great party with the French guys that have a special recipe of Flamekuche

The next day starting at 9 am I suggest to divide the group in two with half member using naginata and the other shinai so that we can start doing exercise against each other.

  • The first half morning will be devoted to sune uchi strike as this is brand new for kendo ka. They have to understand that from the beginning of the fight they are vulnerable and should be ready to defend and counter attack. They should learn how to strike sune ate as well with their shinai. They should learn how to move differently as one step men won’t reach the naginata fighter in front of them in the same way it was against a kendo ka, he is to far now. Beside of this they should learn that the naginata fighter will move backward and use opportunity that the kendo players are not used to.
  • Naginata will have to learn the danger of the hitikake strike, the speed of a kendo ka, they will learn how to keep them far and use more kamae to disturb them.
  • The last part of the day will be devoted to isshugeiko where two people will fight and we will all discuss the reasons why we agree or not with the strike and how to improve the movement of each of them.

Finally we will all do free practice for 15 minutes.


It was a great weekend thank you Obernai Kendo members, I hope someday they will practice regularly naginata.