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How do I know if I'm doing Suburi correctly

Not a pleasant picuture but that is where you should have a blister if has to have one....

Not a pleasant picuture but that is where you should have a blister if has to have one....

Greetings Imafuji Sensei!


I've been practicing kendo for a month now, once every week to be exact. During my spare time I maximize it by doing suburi alone at home so that I can further improve my men uchi.

I was just wondering if is there any way for me to know myself if I am doing it correctly as I want to avoid practicing the wrong thing. During my alone suburis I experience a slight pain in my left hand which lead to a blister in my pointing finger.

After a while during my swings the tsuba tends to hit the back of my head as it goes down to strike men (since my sensei encourages us to do "big swings"). I usually do 100 suburi's during my personal training time.

Should I feel any sort of pain or what should I feel to know if I am doing suburi correctly?

Sorry in advance if this question seems too vague and lacks information.

Thank you

Answer: Thank you very much for your question. And sorry for the delay of my reply.

First of all, you should remember what you are taught at your dōjō. Try to remember in detail. This is the start.

Many people do listen to their instructors, but it doesn't mean they remember what they are told at the dojo. Unfortunately, the majority of people start just swinging their swords.

Instead of listening, you should be watching very carefully trying to burn the movements that you are learning at the dōjō into your memory so you can play it in your head at home.

In other words, your goal at the dojo is not only to learn what your instructors say but also you have to copy what your instructors are doing. In that way you can visualize what they were doing at the dojo and copy the movements at home.

You should have a blister at the bottom of your little finger, now on your pointing finger.

If you hit your head with the tsuba, your right hand is too low. This usually happens when your right hand is lower than the left hand. Your right hand shouldn't be lower than the left hand. Kendo fundamental movements should be big, not small until you learn them thoroughly.

The most important thing is to learn the correct form. So you should know where your right hand should be, left hand should be, how your elbows are bent and sore forth. You must learn these at the dojo. And then try to re-create that at home.

I know this is not much help but at least you now know what you should be doing at the dojo and home. You copy the movements at the dojo and re-create them outside the dojo when you train alone.

Hope this helps!


PS... You should not have any blisters but if you have to have one, the bottom of the left little finger is a good place. I am not very proud of having a blister though...

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