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Tsuki zanshin

by Olga
(Ukraine)

When showing zanshin after tsuki strike we take chudan no kamae and do not pass throw. But if we are too close to the opponent after tsuki, can we step backwards to be in issoku distance? Should this be done fast as during hiki techniques?


Can you please describe how we should show zanshin correctly in tsuki.

Answer: Thank you for your question.

Tsuki is a bit unique technique in kendō. You have to pull back your arms in order to get your sword out of your opponent throat. That’s what is happening there.

So firstly, tuski is not a tap but you have to push your opponent back at the moment of contact. I see people just tapping on tsuki-dare (target) but it is not considered as tsuki.

>> Should this be done fast as during hiki techniques?

You do not have to come back to issoku itto no ma after tsuki but usually after tsuki your opponent also goes backwards because of the impact. So you have a sufficient space to take chudan without taking a large step backwards. But you should not execute tsuki when you are too close to your opponent.

The late Murayama sensei’s special technique was to execute a tsuki when his opponent was stepping back from the tsuba-zeriai position. Zanshin is the same. After his tsuki, pull his shinai back and step back a bit. He won an 8-dan champ with this tsuki.

But we are talking about an 8-dan champion here so just practice normal tsuki if you are able to control your shinai.

Hope this helps.

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