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Good Practice Techniques for Striking Do, for Tall Kendoka

by Davin H
(Alexandria, VA)

Good Practice Techniques for Striking Do, for Tall Kendoka


I'm a fairly tall person (6'2"/189cm). I find that in shiai and jigeiko, I tend to hit above the do and onto my partner's ribs.

This is of course painful for the folks I'm hitting, and a few have commented about it.

I'm trying to work on this, but I'm having trouble finding good ways to practice outside of jigeiko. My do cuts in suburi are good, but suburi cuts assume that you're striking someone of the same height -- I haven't seen a suburi that helps in practicing strikes below one's own waist height.

Is there an exercise or suburi that could help me develop this skill?

Thanks in advance.

Answer: Thank you for your question. It is a very common problem. I am not as tall as you are, but since I am about 180 cm tall, I am not very good at striking . Now I strike kaeshi and so forth but my favorite is men strike.

Personally I had never practiced striking dō until I received 4-dan. Then I started practicing kaeshi and nuki .

Having said that, what you have to do when you strike is that you never look away. Many people are not looking at their target when striking . Because you're taller than most of people, it is hard for you to look at their When your strike it. Maybe you're doing that too.

This is number one reason that people cannot strike properly.

There's one more thing that I want you to analyze yourself. Maybe you are too close to your opponent. Because you're tall, maybe you have long arms too. That means if you're too close it is hard for you to hit the target properly.

If you're too close it is very difficult to pull out your shiai after striking . Besides you have long arms so it is even more difficult for you to pull out your shiai if you are too close.

1. Look at your opponent’s when striking.

2. Learn your distance for strike

3. do it slowly when you're learning

I think if you do those three of the above, you can improve your Striking. But I would suggest that you try to improve your men and kote-men strikes before you move on to strikes. Mind you, strikes are not easy. :)

Hope this helps.

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Dec 31, 2011
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Do Strike
by: Tanno

Hey, I understand that this is a very serious problem when hitting people. There's only a way to properly hit do. You need to lower yourself as if you're going to do seiza. I have tall co-kenshi and they lowered himself and found themselves to hit proper do when they lowered themselves. This is the only way to hit him.

Every person has his disadvantages. I have disadvantages because I cannot reach the men of the tall people. I'm 1.75m tall. I wish there would be a way to jump so that I can reach the proper men, but I think it's banned in shiais. You guys do have the advantage to hit me easily at men, but the slight disadvantage to hit kote and do. My only hits against the tall people like you are kote, do and tsuki.

That's all I can provide.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your information. Striking with kneeling down is an old style. It is called orishiki-dō. Well, you get down on your left knee and strike dō. You don't see this often now. It is easy to imagine what would happen. Your opponent quite likely will trip over.

Trying a lot of thing is very important but make sure your posture is. And don't do anything that destroys your basics and posture.

Hope this helps.

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