Hazushiwaza avoiding techniques

These are not illustrated but consist in allowing the attacker to almost complete his stroke, then suddenly avoid the cut and reply before he can recover. It is not considered good form to 'dodge' about or 'duck' and Hazushi-waza are performed in correct posture, normally raising the blade at the same time.

Hazushi-waza can be performed by stepping backwards or to the side and also by releasing the right hand and cutting or thrusting with the left, as described before. If we move too soon the opponent will merely follow and if cutting against a real Master one normally thinks the blow has landed and in this moment the reply suddenly snaps in as a complete surprise. This precise timing is not a matter of judgement but a certain feeling or sense that develops with training, an intuitive feeling for the correct time to move which can only be discussed in the vaguest of terms.

These are the more common counter-techniques and in any case where the blade is to be swept aside or touched, the defending blade should have the cutting edge turned away to follow the spirit of the old sword techniques.

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