Another waza. Here, someone tries to trap you in a narrow place, where you normally couldn't fight effectively, but Kabezoe teaches you to draw, cut, chiburi, and noto in a tight spot. It is also part of the Okuden (Advanced) Tachiwaza (standing) set and I just learned it this past Saturday. Ryozume is the suwariwaza (seated) equivalent.

Kabezoe - Against the Wall

Terms –

Bakufu – Shogunal system of government

Saya – Scabbard

Kissaki – Tip of the sword

Mine – Back of the sword. Also, Mune

Ayumiashi – Footwork in which you walk normally, left, right

Nukitsuke – Drawing the sword

Furikaburi – Raising the sword

Kirioroshi – Killing cut

Chiburi – Motion that sheds blood from the blade

Noto – Sheathing the sword

I made my way to Edo to rejoice in the kill that I had made. My opponent was strong, but he was not strong enough to defeat my Hiten Miturugi Ryu. My use of the ruse was quite inventive if I did say so myself. While I always had to watch out for the Shinsengumi, I liked the festive atmosphere of Edo where there was always something to see or do.

I trod down the busy streets, looking for my favorite watering hole, always on the watch for a possible ambush. To my credit, I felt, rather than saw, a man making his way through the throngs, closing on me. I scoffed, looking for a way to turn the tables and I quickly stepped into a narrow alley. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him change directions, heading for me. He was probably out to get revenge for my last kill, but who knew…it could be for the dozens of kills I had made.

I picked up the pace down the alley, no wider than my shoulders and I heard the rapid footsteps behind me. The chase was on. I accelerated to a sprint and so did he, but he was gaining. "Hitokiri!" I heard him yell, his voice dripping with venom. I heard him begin to draw his weapon. It was time.

I rose on the balls of my feet and pivoted in place as I did nukitsuke upward to avoid hitting the walls. He saw my move and his eyes opened wide with surprise. He had expected to cut me down from behind, but now we stood, face to face. In a flash, my blade came down in kirioroshi. The man stood there for a second before his sword clattered to the ground. He gurgled blood for another second before he fell in two pieces, half and half. No revenge today. I made a small flicking motion with my wrist, scattering drops of blood from my blade along the wall in chiburi. My weapon flashed upward once more in noto and I slid the blade slowly back into the saya as I settled back down on my heels.

I made a snort as I stepped over the body to make my way back into the crowd and to my favorite inn. After all, the sake wouldn't drink itself.