Learn Kendo Kata 3 (Sanbon-me) - Video & Written Instructions

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Learn Kendo Kata 3 (Sanbon-me) - Video & Written Instructions

This page provides details for Kendo kata 3 (Sanbon-me). We have provided video and/or written instructions to help you master this kata.

See the bottom of the page for step-by-step written instructions for this Kendo kata.

For additional kata instruction, please visit the main Kendo Katas section.

Youtube Video of Kendo Kata 3

Written Instructions for Kendo Kata 3

  • Both assume the gedan position (ai-gedan).
  • Beginning on the right foot, both take three big steps forward.
  • In a spirit of mutual combat (ki-arasoi), both move naturally from the ai-gedan to the ai-chudan position.
  • Seeing a chance to act, with directing the tip of his sword slightly to the left of that of the Shidachi, the Uchidachi steps forward on his right foot as he delivers a two-handed horizontal thrust (tsuki) to the solar plexus (suigetsu) of the Shidachi.
  • In making this thrust, the Uchidachi slides the side (shinogi) of his sword blade along the shinogi of Shidachi's sword.
  • The Shidachi, taking one big step to the rear on his left foot, lightly stops the Uchidachi's thrust with the shinogi of the monouchi part of the blade
  • Turning the blade so that its cutting edge can do no harm, the Shidachi parries the Uchidachi's thrust and then thrusts back at the chest area of the Uchidachi (ire-zuki ni nayasu).
  • As he takes one step back on his right foot, the Uchidachi brings the tip of his sword under and around the tip of the sword of the Shidachi and returns the blade, extending both arms and standing in the hidari shizentai posture (where the left foot is placed slightly forward).
  • The Shidachi then steps forward with the left foot with the feeling of thrusting, moving forward with kurai-zume (closing in on the opponent without a waza, but with spirit).
  • Therefore the Uchidachi should, at the same time as drawing back with the left foot, go under the blade of the Shidachi and kaesu (change the direction to the opposite side) the blade and come into the migi (right) shizentai position and while attempting to hold down the blade with the monouchi of the shinogi, is overcome by the spirit of the Shidachi and lowers the kensen, retreating back beginning with the left foot.
  • The Shidachi without hesitation moves forward three quick small steps with kurai-zume, raising the kensen from the chest area to the center of the face. In doing this, he must not relax his mental drive (zanshin).
  • As he takes three small steps backward, beginning with the left foot, the Uchidachi assumes the gedan position.
  • The Uchidachi begins to raise the kensen after the Shidachi has shown complete zanshin. The Shidachi, dependent on the movement of the Uchidachi, lowers the kensen, and retreats beginning with the left and then right. Both the Uchidachi and Shidachi assume the issoku-itto interval and the chudan position. Shidachi retreats in the order left, right, left, and therefore the Uchidachi should move forward in the order of right, left, right, returning to the position where the blades meet, lowering the kensen, and returning to the original position.


  1. Written kata instruction (1-4) courtesy of Norwalk Kendo Dojo, http://www.eanet.com/norwalk/, Added - 01/29/14
  2. All Japan Kendo Federation, http://www.kendo-fik.org/english-page/english-top-page.html, Added - 01/29/14

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