Cutting properly

by James
(Connecticut)

When cutting do I push the sword outward and forward with my right hand while swinging with the wrist of the left hand, or do I just let the left hand take care of the entire swing?


This may seem like an obvious question to some, but I do not have a Dojo to train in (that I can afford), so I ask this question.

Please be extremely detailed, so I don't miss anything.

Answer: I think you are asking me about kendo, so I will tell you what I always tell my students.

If you were my student, I would say, don’t worry too much. I presume that you are a beginner. Let the left hand take care of all the swinging movement while you are a beginner. If you try to swing the sword fast or strongly, you will mess up your basics. Do you remember the right handed kendo?

Once you lift your sword up above your head, instead of trying to strike or swing it down, drop it. That means you have no strength in your arms. And stop the sword wherever you wish to stop it, i.e. at men height, kote height and so on.

Swinging a sword is not a difficult part of kendo. Combining all the movements together is the most difficult part of kendo. Concentrate more on putting footwork, strike, fumikomi, and body movement together.

I know this is not an answer you were looking for. Trust me this though. When you start thinking about striking, you try to “strike”. As a result, your right hand becomes very stiff. That is not what you want.

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