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Weird strikes in shiai

by Olga
(Ukraine)

Very often during shiai we can see some weird strikes, e.g. kote is often executed with curved posture. Like on this picture from FIK website: http://www.kendo-fik.org/english-page/phot-jif/Todofuken2008-2.jpg


And during seminar we are always told about the straight posture. So why then such weird strikes are often counted as ippon if they hit a target no matter the posture?

Kendo-Guide.Com: This issue is quite often asked and here is what I tell my students. It is totally Japanese kendoists’ faults. Of course, we, the Japanese, are told to keep the straight posture no matter what. And in shiai, points are given to those who hit a target.

Of course, they should satisfy all the criteria to make their strikes valid. However, unfortunately there seems like a tendency to give points without even looking at zanshin properly.

Now having said that, please remember that shiai is a place where you test YOURSELF. What we must remember is to follow the teachings that have been passed onto this generation. Do not give in to the TREND. Trends come and go but these teachings have been passed on for a reason. That is these teachings are THE PRINCIPLE that never change.

That is why you do not really see Sumi sensei (a well-known 8-dan) with distorted postures after he strikes.

Also you should remember that in shiai people do not want to lose. And people try to avoid getting hit by their opponent. In shiai, when you get hit, you will likely to lose that match, right?

Of course, that should not be an excuse to have such a distorted posture. We choose to train ourselves to stay strong so we will be able to fight off such weaknesses as “I do not want to get hit”.

Win and lose in shiai is a moment of your life. Winning over your own weak feelings will be your lifetime benefit. Please do not be blinded by a shiai trend. Please keep in mind why you are doing kendō.

Hope this helps.

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