Fall over when performing fumikomi

by Olga

Some people fall over when they are doing fumikomi - their right foot catches on hakama and as a result they cannot finish fumikomi normally and fall down or even injure their toes.

What the reason can be? Is the problem in too long hakama or that may occur because of incorrect posture (knees are bent etc.)? Can you please advise any solution?

Answer: This is a common problem.  I will list some possible causes and solutions.

  1. Hakama is too long. It should hide your legs up to your ankles.

  2. A striker lifts his/her foot right up instead of forwards. (knee’s up too high).

  3. Striking from a distance (or they think they cannot reach).

  4. The striker’s right toe is pointing upwards instead of towards their opponent.

  5. A striker is leaning forward (reaching out their arms without pushing their feet forwards).


  1. Adjust the length of hakama.

  2. Tell him/her move their right foot forwards as if they are going to step on their motoachi’s left foot.

  3. Have him/her closer to motodachni (chikama).

  4. Use No.2 technique.

  5. Use No.3 technique and tell them to stop trying too hard. Have them to concentrate on “delivering their body forwards” rather than “hitting a target”.

Hope this helps.

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Mar 22, 2010
Foot Position for Fumikomi
by: John Maisonneuve

This might be of some help; something I was taught quite early on by my sensei.
Either for doing fumikomi or even just any ashi (footwork) like okuri, I find that as my front foot, right foot, advances, I have trained myself to relax my advancing front foot. So doing makes the front part of the foot to be slighly down instead of up with toes upward (and possibly catching the hakamam). It also has the advantage of the foot for fumikomi being either slightly front down when connecting with the floor or flat, thereby not causing to hit the floor with the heel which is quite bad.
As Imafuji Hiro said, front leg should be reaching forward not upward like a bicycle motion but more parallel to the floor.

Mar 17, 2010
by: Olga

Thanks a lot! I believe many people now can find their own causes and improve their kendo by not falling over at least :)

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