Body movement when striking kote

by Olga

When we strike kote we have an impulse like we do while performing other strikes, so our body moves forward. As a result it may appear that our shinai crashes into do dai/mune or into tsuki dare.

So what should we do not to bump into do dai/mune or into tsuki dare with shinai?

Should we move our shinai immediately aside when hitting kote bu to avoid bump?

If we move shinai aside here, isn't it quite hard not to smear the strike?

And where should we go if we perform kote strike and immediately move shinai aside?

And how to show zanshin in the case when our shinai is not in the center but moved somewhere aside? (Some people move shinai aside and then go very close to opponent by their body side pushing the opponent back. Is that zanshin?)

When we do kote-men (big kote and big men), we stop our body after striking kote and point with the kensaki at motodachi's tsuki dare. Then we strike men. Isn't it unnatural to reduce our body impulse to stop and then perform men?

Answer:  About kote strike. If you are performing the basic kote strike, you pass through after striking kote, right?

Now if you have a good tenouchi, your shinai should bounce up.

You see people going forwards and getting close to their opponent after striking a kote.  Yes, that is right. We do that.  And probably you see such actions in shiai, because they do not want to get a counterattack.

If you watch kōdansha (people with high grade), they do not really run into their opponent after striking a kote.

See. They are in the different phases of kendō. When you are young and participate in many tournaments, you must move fast and quickly. These people are in the physical side of kendō.

Once we get to the certain level (most of the time we are getting old by that level), we start to work on our mental side of kendō.

When this happens, we do not run into our opponent after executing a kote strike.

Zanshin includes physical kamae and mental kamae.  When you are close to your opponent and cannot take chūdan, we show zanshin with our mental kamae, i.e. you are mentally ready so you can strike or counterattack when necessary.

About kote oyobi men strike. It is unnatural to stop after kote. Have asked why you do that at your club? Some sensei might have told someone in your club to practice that for some reasons.

Comments for Body movement when striking kote

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Mar 29, 2015
by: frankeinstien

When striking a kote I always lose my body balance. And I asked my trainer for a better solution to make my balance a controlled one. But he tried a lot to make my body language better. But still there is problem.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your comment! How do you lose balance?

Feb 15, 2010
by: Matt

Always keep your shinai in the center, after kote.  If a motodachi doesn?t move you should be poking them in throat if you are hitting kote going straight.

If you are looking for a way to get thru cleanly you can go right or left, again still striking in the center. Left is the easiest, you take a small step out with the left foot to the left and strike kote (in the center) going left.

If done correctly you should rub shoulders with the motodachi if they don?t move. You can also go right, but the seme is more difficult (and more obvious) and it is not as clean. You should try practicing this occasionally when doing kote.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for your comment. I would say your way is for the advanced

If we are talking about the basic kote strike, we would not do what described here.

As I said in the last post, the shinai will bounce up when your tenouchi is right. Many people intentionally PULL their shinai up after striking kote, and somehow their shinai is way behind their body and their head is as low as their opponent?s waist to avoid counter-attack.

We all know that posture is not good.

When you want to strike kote and men continuously, you want to keep your shinai in the center. Not necessary pointing at the tsuki but the center.

Now if you are practicing for real situation such as jigeiko and shiai, you may want to keep it mind what Matt described here.

When we strike kote from ch?dan and straight to kote, we do not really get close to our opponent.  Why? It is because our opponent?s shinai is quite likely to be still in front of us.

Kote strikes become sharp and compact in jigeiko and shiai compared to the basic kote strike. 

If you are still in the dangerous zone (your opponent can get you), you do not want to move your shinai away from the center of your body.  If your shinai is in the center of your body, your shinai should be aiming at your opponent?s throat.

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