Aggression in shiai

by sean

I am not very aggressive while in shiai and my instructor says that I should be attacking all the time.

To demonstrate this, he gave us a "lesson" and all he did was strike and force us backwards. He only followed through on a few strikes and didn't seem to have a lot of zanshin. He has done this before as well, just striking shōmen over and over without actually attacking.

Is this the proper way to do shiai? I know I should be more forward, but just attacking like this seems to be a waste of breath and energy.

Answer: I think he was just demonstrating how “aggressive” you could be.

I also tell my students to keep striking until they get a valid cut. Aggressive sometimes mean “persistence”.

Many people stop striking even when they don’t get a valid cut, and to me there are openings. Of course, it happens to everyone including me.

I think your instructor wanted to tell you not to stop when you can still have an opportunity to strike.

Hope this helps.

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