Men Uchi, how high should it be ?
by Min Chih Wang
I am always told by my Sensei that when we do Kukan datotsu in Men uchi (Men suburi), one should have the eye level in the Nakayui part of the shinai, that means that the shinai ends up a little bit higher that when we have the eye level at the kensen.
Personally I think one should have the eye level at the kensen, because the cutting action of the shinai should be completed, like cutting from the forehead down to the chin level. That is more convincing theory for me. If the eye level is at the nakayui level, the action cutting is incomplete.
Of course I always follow my sensei’s advice, but once he saw me when I was teaching my students in a different way, he wasn't very pleased.
I only have one year experience teaching beginners (by the permission of my sensei), and I will like to teach correctly to them, so they can develop a correct way in Men uchi.
Thank you for your question, Min. That is very hard if you have different methods from your sensei. But you and your sensei do want to teach your students correctly.
The one thing I consider the nakayui method problematic is that it can vary depending on the nakayui is. We know that the nakayui moves. That is problematic. And the bokuto and the iaito don't have nakayui so again it is problematic.
The kensaki, on the other hand, doesn't move so it works as a good checking point.
I do have some trouble with the kensaki method as well. People tend to have their hands too low when they strike. So I also teach where their hands should be.
Hope this helps.