(Kick down the royal tower / Reverse the moon’s wane)
As typical with our Bujinkan martial arts, the meaning of the technique name can be very complex and deep in meaning. This is definitely one of those names. It is going to take a few seconds to explain this one.
First, the first character of “Keto” is 闕, pronounced “ke”, meaning a richly decorated stone or wood tower serving as a status symbol of prominence. The construction of these kinds of monuments dates back more than 3,000 years in China and are very similar in nature to the obelisks found in Egypt. They are usually found in imperial palaces, holy sites and can sometimes serve as a kind of watchtower along a castle wall.
This character also has two other meanings which are important to the understanding of the feeling this name is trying to convey. This character can also be read as “kake” meaning fragment, splinter and also the sharp crescent shape of the wane of the moon.
The second character 倒, read as “to”, means to knock down, knock over, collapse, ruin, to throw down, to kill, to defeat and maybe most importantly, reverse.
So in this name we have a lot of clues to the movement and ideas in this technique. We can see that the kick can be thought of as a stomping kind of kick as would be required to topple a great object such as one of these towers. Another idea that should be taken into consideration is the reaction of the opponent when you strike at his face. He will throw his head and chest back leaving his feet where they are. This will cause him to be bent backward with his belly region protruding like the wane of the moon. Your job is to kick it in and reverse it the other way. In other words kick right through him as hard as you can and send him flying the opposite direction in a crescent shape. In other words to, “reverse the moon’s wane.”
- The opponent kicks at me with his right leg.
- I step back and out with my left leg and kick the opponent’s right leg with my right leg from the bottom.
- The opponent changes and throws a right punch.
- I block the punch with my left arm and quickly attack the opponent’s face with “Shako Ken”. At the same time he reacts by throwing his head back I stomp kick through his lower chest with my heel.
The opponent falls backwards.
Note: It is best to visualize kicking down a great tower when practicing your kicks. This will train your kicks to be so strong; people will say you can reverse the crescent of the moon with your kicks.