Following on from my post on debana men, I would like to add some thoughts on degote. Whilst not perhaps as spectacular as a good debana men, it is a great shiai technique.
It is more or less impossible to hit kote, when your opponent is in a strong, secure chudan kamae. You have to make him open the target, either by physically knocking his shinai to the right, or by making him show the kotebuton by lifting his shinai. Degote relies on this upward movement.
My preferred approach to this waza is as follows – From isoku ito ma, raise the point of your shinai to the right, in the direction of your opponent’s left eye. This should be only a slight movement. You need do no more than squeeze gently with the little finger of your left hand to make the point move. As you do this, it is likely, (although not guaranteed), that your opponent will see the chance to hit your men and start to lift his shinai. As soon as he does this push off from your left foot and hit kote. The footwork and weight distribution should be the same as for debana men, but because kote is closer, you should not have to travel as far forward. Do not wait until his hand is in the air, you should strike at the beginning of his move so that although you now see the target, it should still be parallel with the ground.
Degote is a small technique, but do not make the mistake of just using your left hand as a pivot and pushing with your right. You should try to lift your left hand and throw it forward, taking your right hand with it. Do not have the feeling of chopping down. Instead think about flicking the point out and forward like a chameleon’s tongue catching a fly. Also your body should be square on to your opponent’s kote. It helps to move your right foot across the centre line as you attack so that you finish with the toes of your right foot in line with the toes of your opponent’s right foot.
Finally your zanshin should be correct, either pointing your shinai to the opponents centre, or if one or both of you is moving forward quickly, stop in tsubazeriai. Do not spoil the technique by twisting or ducking. Keep your posture.