Focus on particular points for beginners?

by Michael

Focus on particular points for beginners?

In your personal opinion, should any area of Kendo basics be more emphasized then the rest?  Foot work vs Swing..etc

 As a beginner, I want to have a solid foundation and develop on the fundamentals.  In other words, what are some major pitfalls I should avoid? 

1) Left heel straight

2) No dragging of the feet

3) Anything else?

Thank You  

Answer: Thank you for your post.  That is a very good question.

Basically, you’ve said them yourself.  So I would like to add a little more to them.

More lower body than upper body
As I say everywhere in this site, many tend to concentrate on swinging. Men especially put a lot of efforts and power to it. As a result, they tend to not get the footwork, hence slow improvement.

Footwork must be learned thoroughly.  Especially suri-ashi and okuri-ashi. These are the most difficult footwork in kendō. Once you’ve come to perform them well, your kendō has less difficulties to improve in the future.

Later than Sooner
Now many tend to get into putting bōgu on too soon.  The time is not really the matter but many put bōgu on when they are not ready.   

Bōgu makes everything different.  It makes everything harder to perform.  So  it is very important to have good confidence in your basics.

Get closer
When you are actually hitting a target, say men, instead of focusing on hitting a target, focus on delivering your body forwards.

Many tend to focus on “hitting” a target.  Therefore, they tend to “reach out” their arms to hit a target rather than moving forwards to get closer to their target.

If you try to do the above-mentioned, you must focus on footwork and lower body. 

Hope this helps.

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