Reaction to seme and hiraki-ashi

by Kseniia
(Ukraine)

I'm quite new to kendo and haven't had any shiai yet. But I'm curious about what should I do, when I see my opponent do seme and obviously is going to attack. In other words should I step backwards if I’m not sure that I can block or attack him back or should I take any other actions?


And another question unrelated to previous is: please, give me some advice on how to practice hiraki-ashi? It is because each time, when I step to the left and concentrated on making strike with shinai my right foot goes way back left one, so it looks more like ballroom dancing than kendo move.

Answer: Thank you for your question.

1. About what to do about seme: Since you are new, you should not think about seme much. You have to learn “when” to strike and your distance. Number one thing for you to do is when you see your opponent coming, STRIKE. Do not step back or try to counterattack when you do not know your distance.

Now you will get struck a lot because you are a beginner. But it is OK. It is very normal. Do not think that you should do something about the seme of more advanced people.

2. Hiraki-ashi: If your right foot is going to the left too far, follow these steps.

1. you just have to practice slowly so you understand when you should stop your right foot.

2 You should look at the right foot while doing hiraki-ashi. By doing this you understand the process of the right hiraki-ashi.

3. Then remember how it feels like when you do it right.

Do this alone then when you have someone to check your hiraki-ashi, ask him/her to check you.

Mind you that the back foot should also be straight. It is very common that the back foot faces outside after performing hiraki-ashi.

Hope this helps.

PS...This might help you; Kendo Footwork.

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