Musashi: Sanjugokajo-31- Kim Taylor, Feb 18, 2015

Added with permission from Kim Taylor Nanadan (CKF) Iaido, Rokudan (CKF) Jodo and Niten Ichi Ryu Shidoin, January 2023

The teaching of the folding door


Viewing the body as a folding door is a basic principle of hand to hand fighting. If you stick to your opponent’s body, you should make your body wider and straight and thereby cover the sword of your opponent and also his body, so that there is no space between your body and that of your opponent.

And if you hit your opponent with your body, you should make yourself thin and straight and hit him strongly in the chest with your shoulder so that he is thrown to the floor.

This should be practiced.


This is the last of the articles that deal with fighting in close to your opponent. Here as we mentioned earlier, Musashi tells us that we should make our body wider and straight (tall) in order to cover the sword and the body of the opponent. We are also warned once again that we should make sure there is no space between us and the opponent.

Musashi then goes on to describe how we should attack the opponent’s body by comparing our body to a folding door. When we cover the door is flat-toward the opponent. When we want to strike and cause damage, we move the door to an edge-on position, we strike the opponent in the chest with our left shoulder as hard as we can, so that he is thrown to the floor.

These points are quite clear, and to extend them to more esoteric points by, perhaps talking about “wedge issues” would be rather more irritating than usual I suspect. We will leave this with a simple observation that if you want to do damage by striking it is always best to reduce the contact area so that the force of the strike is amplified. If we perform a body strike (tai atari) with our chest square to the opponent we may move him a bit, if we perform that same strike through our shoulder the impact will be much greater and he will be encouraged to move further and faster.

Kim Taylor

Feb 18, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s