Another one of the basic cuts in Japanese swordsmanship. This cut consists of a diagonal cut from one shoulder to the hip on the opposite side. The term "kesa giri" comes from the fact that Buddhists wore a sash that went diagonally across their chest from shoulder to hip. The sash was called a kesa, hence kesa giri, or sash cut.

Although the cut itself looks very simple, it is broken down into a couple of steps.

First, while your katana is drawn, you bring the blade over your head and you bring your feet together. This is done to throw off your opponent. From here, you can go into a kiri otoshi or do a kesa giri from either direction. That means there are three distinct places from where your attack can come from.

Next, you bring the katana down in a diagonal motion. If you are doing solo practice, it should go from left shoulder to the right hip of your imaginary opponent (or from right shoulder to left hip, depending on which direction you're practicing). As you bring the sword down, you move one of your feet backwards. This allows you to put weight into the blow as you sink downwards slightly. The foot you move back should be the direction your slice moves to. If your attack goes from left to right, you move your right foot backwards and vice versa.

The cut ends a little distance away from your own hip (did you remember to pull backwards on the katana during the strike?). If you had been facing a real human opponent, you would have just sliced through most of his important vital organs.

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