Halifax Kendo Club

San Satsu Ho

The "San Satsu Ho" or (literally) "Three Laws" are three guidelines on how to defeat an opponent in Kendo. The following are my personal interpretations. Comments are welcome!

Ken o Korosu.

"Kill the Sword." Control the opponents kamae such that it becomes ineffective against you. The "Ken" is the source of the opponents ability to attack as well as their only method of defense. "Ken o Korosu", and your opponent can't attack nor can they defend against yours.


Ki o Korosu.

"Kill the Spirit." Mentally dominate your opponent, such that they begin to doubt themselves and hesitate in their actions. Doubt and hesitation creates openings in your opponents defenses, and flaws in their offensive techniques. "Ki o Korosu" and your opponent is defeated before you even attack them.


Waza o Korosu.

"Kill Techniques". Disrupt your opponents techniques such that they become ineffective against you. The term "techniques" refers to both mental and physical technique. If the opponent attacks you, parry it; Sweep it to oneside and couter attack. Mental techniques refer to ploys or lures that your opponent will attempt in order to break your kamae, or confuse their intent towards you. Reamin steady, and holding a strong kamae with kigurai will always overcome your opponents attempts.


Definition: Ken. The Sword.

Definition: Kamae. A Kendoka's stance, or posture with respect to them holding their sword.

Definition: Kigurai. Pride or "Presence". In Kendo, kigurai is expressed through ones "body language".