Comments for How to build reaction time?

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Jul 28, 2015
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Like a compressed spring!
by: Anonymous

Here is something I noticed...

With intermediate beginners their "normal" kendo stance tend to be leaned back or leaned in and their body is just in neutral like a uncompressed spring.

When they attack they have to shift their weight as if they are putting the gear into drive, compressing the spring, and then make the strike.

I find that in order to improve on this, beginners should focus on how their body shifts during an attack. This "body shift" does take a good ½-¾ second long which is an eternity in kendo.

The more experienced kenshi appear to have already shifted their body to the edge of being able to attack, like a spring that’s been compressed as far as possible.

To be able to do this better, during basic drills, do men strikes from hitting distance without any additional footwork.

Start with big men, then smaller men, and then sashi men. Because there are no additional footwork before the hit, people are not able to use their momentum for hitting and if they aren’t used to it, this type of hitting is slower for them.

To be able to strike with no "pre-footwork" you have to lunge and strike as if you are a compressed spring.

For me, I tend to shift my weight a little forward but still standing straight and tall and feeling like I’m barely holding myself from doing fumikomi and striking. I think this will help your body be able to react faster.

Outside of Kendo you can do other exercises.

Sprint intervals are a great way to build up fast twitch muscles needed for quick movement. Unlike slow jogging, sprinting requires the use of all of the muscles in the legs, torso, chest, and even arms to squeeze out every bit of power and speed.

Being able to sprint fast means you need to accelerate fast, and maintain that speed. Many beginners tend to accelerate slowly from the starting line because they aren’t used to going from zero to 100% power in a blink of an eye.

Hopefully this makes sense and is a little helpful.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing your great exercise! I am sure it is very helpful!

Just one thing. I know nowadays sashi men is used "super" small men. But many sensei do not like the term and it is (I think it is still) something that is frowned upon. Please take a look at this article, Sashi Men.

Thank you again for sharing!!

May 21, 2015
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practice is the only way to get faster
by: Jean-Christophe Helary

The only way to improve "reaction time" is to practice all sorts of exercises. Mostly kakarigeiko and uchikomigeiko, also ooji-wasa exercises, when properly executed (when the motodachi executes sincere strikes that aim at hitting and not at giving you a hint to strike).

Kihon is also good, if you focus on striking as fast as you can after you noticed the opening. The difference between an opening in kihon and an opening in jigeiko for ex, is that people are not used to work their kihon as if they were real strikes aiming at a ippon.

Because only the opening is expressed and not the strike that follows, which may make you feel that you have more time to react. Just don't think that way and focus on reacting the fastest possible.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing! Kakari-geiko is absolutely a good idea!

May 20, 2015
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Reaction time
by: Anonymous

Have the same problem. Here's what I've been doing.

Try working on Kihon type footwork so your feet don't get stuck to the ground. Getting feet moving seems to waste the most time. I try to squeeze the ground between my toes and the ball of my foot (like I'm grabbing the floor) this seems to put "ki" in my footwork.

Pressing forward slowly and relentlessly will force them to move which is easier to react to.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for sharing! Studying how things work is the best way to learn!

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