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right hand

by Eric
(Melbourne, VIC, Australia )

I am told that I use too much right hand and put too much strength. How to avoid this problem? Can you be more specific as I am always confused about this point, furthermore, since I am not a lefty, how do you put on strength to left hand?


Cheers

Eric

Answer: Thank you for your question. This is a very common question.

It is very normal that the right hand takes control over the left hand due to how we grab our shinai. But if we let the right hand control the shinai, we cannot strike right. Most of the time, people with too much right hand cannot learn a good tenouchi. And moreover, you cannot improve your kendō in the future.

Think like this. You have to grab your sword with the (almost) same amount of strength in both hands in order for us to strike well. It does not matter you are right handed or left handed, control your shinai with both hands.

Now with the left hand, you should lift up your shinai. And with the right hand you should stop your shinai. When you change the angle of your shinai, you should turn your shinai with the right hand. Of course, there is more to it but this is the "basic" mechanics.

Hope this helps.

Comments for right hand

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Aug 06, 2012
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Not about strength.
by: Andrew

Don't think about hitting "strong" or "hard." Those are wrong and will make you use the wrong muscles and often your right hand rather than both hands working together.

A sensei once told me "it's not about strength, it's about speed."

Kendo-Guide.com: Thank you for sharing!

I must add to "it's not about strength, it's about speed.".

People think if they strike hard, they can increase the speed of shinai. It is a common mistake.

In order to gain speed, we have to be relax and have to know when to put strength in where at the appropriate amount.

How do we know that?

Years of experience and lots and lots of strikes and our very patient sensei, sempai and everyone who received our immature strikes that hurt them big time!

Jul 20, 2012
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Relax your arms
by: Anonymous

When you put too much effort in your right hand as you swing, the swing path usually deviate to the right side, and hard to make a solid strike - lots of glancing strikes.

Try to relax both arms - the strength should come from your body and footwork, not your arms.

Kendo-Guide.com: Thanks for your advice!

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