Tenkai is a prearranged and choreographed, from 25 to 30 seconds long “fight”, in which five persons (wakiyaku) will attack a single central “hero” fighter (shuyaku).
In tenkai both creativity and three-dimensionality are best brought to the stage. The group will design the fight together, which only adds to the team spirit. The timing of the techniques is crucial for the entire fight, and thus merit careful desing an lots of practice. Tenkai thus gives one the opportunity to fully employ the large technique and movement repertoire in taido and also to utilize moves rarely seen in a normal match.
The developer of taido created these team sports to supplement the single ones, since he wanted to emphasize interactivity and sociability amongst the practitioners.
The criteria for points in tenkai include i.a. moving, usage of distance and space, three dimensionality in both offence and defence, the difficulty of the technicues and the realism and feasibility of the attacks. The central “hero’s” (shuyaku) performance will also be graded with regards to the moves used to finish the tenkai and five attackers. Altogether five judges will be evaluating the activities of the contestants. Furthermore, the main judge will observe the central man and the performance as a whole. The central man must win all the five attackers each at a time. Should the total time either exceed or fall short of the parameters, points will be deducted.