First Time Fumikomi?
Learn it step by step.

This "first time fumikomi" article introduces the idea of fumikomi and how we can perform it better and more easily.

I have written two articles and made two videos dedicated to fumikomi.

Doesn’t this fact prove that fumikomi is one of the most difficult movements in kendo?

If you have read these articles and watched the videos, please read this article as a review.

If you have not read or watched the articles and videos mentioned above,please read this article first.

I will introduce the links to the pages with the other fumikomi articles and videos at the end of this article.

Why do we do fumikomi?

It is to reach our training partner or your opponent. From issoku itto no ma, we have to reach our training partner or your opponent with one step.

Without fumikomi, it is very hard to reach our training partner or your opponent with one step. Even though fumikomi is translated as "lunge" or "stomping", the movement looks more like "jumping-in".

However, we do not want to jump up but forwards. If we want to reach our training partner we should jump forwards not up. This is an easy concept.

What makes fumikomi difficult?

No.1 reason is that people try to strike too hard. People try to strike their training partner with their sword. This makes fumikomi more difficult than it is.

Many think that they cannot reach their training partner with one fumikomi from issoku itto no ma. Yes, it is very hard to do. So they try to reach their training partner by stretching out their arms. This stops them from learning the correct fumikomi.

How should we learn fumikomi?

Step by step. This is the time we should go back to the basic movements. Especially it is the first time fumikomi for you.

We should go all the way back to sankyodo. And from there, we try to do a bit of fumikomi. We've got to know how fumikomi feels like first. Then, GRADUALLY make the distance further from our training partner.

How can we improve?

1. Be strong and keep trying.
We all know that it is hard so don't give up. Try and try. This is not something we can get right at the first trial. Even Japanese kids who train nearly every day cannot get it right for a long time. It probably took me at least 2 years to perform fumikomi-like movement. I was 7 when I started kendo.

2. Do not cheat.
Since it is hard to reach our training partner with one fumikomi, people tend to cheat to get closer to their training partner.

Common cheating to shorten the distance between you and your training partner is tsugi-ashi and ayumi-ashi. If you develop these habits, it makes even harder to learn the correct fumikomi from issoku itto no ma.

3. Use your body rather than brain.
Once you know the mechanism and what you should be doing, all you have to do is "just do it". It helps you if you imitate those who can perform fumikomi well. If you do not have one around you whom you can imitate, you can imitate my fumikomi. Mine isn’t too bad.

Remember it takes time to get fumikomi right. So it is normal for beginners not to be able to do it straight away. It is not normal for beginners to get it right after they have tried a few times. If you cannot do it, it is normal so don’t get frustrated.

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