Ukenagashi is one of the most important drills in Kenjutsu and Iaido. Some say that if there is only one thing to learn in Kenjutsu this is the drill. With a strong Ukenagashi one can go out on the battlefield and parry and strike the opponent.

As the videos show one can practice Ukenagashi from the left, right or both sides as well as with alternating stance. The important thing to remember is to take your time and master the form. Speed is not important. Concentrate on the flow of the motion.

The Ukenagashi technique can be performed from a horsestance, naihanchin dachi, or frontstance, zenkutsu dachi. Also, important is not to lean forward too much, though from both stances a slight lean forward is acceptable. Make sure that when you raise your hands above your head that you can see your opponent from under your arms. Make sure that the katana or iaito is positioned properly at the shoulder in order to protect from the cutting blade of the opponent. Safeguard against sticking out your elbows or bending your back too much. Take precaution not to open your hands on the grip when performing the technique. Your grip should be firm but not tight and obviously not too loose. Lastly when completing the Shomen Uchi cut make sure to come down straight and to stop without pointing the Kisaki “point of the sword” to the ground. The Kisaki should be pointed at the face of the opponent.

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