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Should kensen bounce up in suburi?

by Olga
(Ukraine)

When we make suburi (men, kote, do) should kensen bounce up because of tenouchi or it has to stop sharply at some level without bouncing up?


I saw some senseis emphasize that the tip of shinai bounces vertically up as if we stroke real men or kote, not imaginary ones. Some other senseis say that we have to stop shinai sharply in suburi.

Answer:  What is your sensei’s opinion? I tell my students to stop their kensaki (the tip of the sword) at whatever the target they are striking in suburi.

It is very important for many people to get the hang of controlling a sword, which takes a long time and millions of suburi and strikes.

Many people bounce their shinai up because they are not really controlling their shinai. In other words, their shinai bounces up because they are stiff. This is true for most of beginners.

In my opinion, bouncing up is a result of “hitting a target”. So if you are not hitting a target, a shinai should not bounce up.

When people cannot control their shinai so cannot stop their shinai at a target sharply, I tell them to do suburi at speed they can stop their shinai.

It is my opinion.
Hope this helps.

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Mar 16, 2010
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Re: Should kensen bounce up in suburi
by: Olga

My sensei says the same - sharply stop your shinai at the certain level without bouncing.

The reason I have asked the question is that at one seminar I saw the 6 dan sensei did suburi bouncing up his kensen a little bit.

Really a little and then his kensen stopped at certain level. May be I was watching poorly or noticing accidentally not good variants of suburi..

Thanks for the good answer.

Kendo-Guide.Com: I think you are right. I am sure that many people bounce their shinai a bit. Probably they are not even aware of it.  Good eyes!

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