How do the wrists move during a strike?

by Francesco Sisini

Dear Sensei,

My Iaido sensei told me to keep the wrists firm during a cut. I tried this also for kendo founding that my strike is more controlled but my kendo sensei (a different guy) tells me to start the shinai strike by rotating the wrists. I'm a little confused.

Can you help me figure out how to move the wrists during the strike? Something changes in the small strike?

Thank you very much for your Help.


Answer: Thanks for your question. There should not be a huge difference but kendo is after all different from iaidō.

In iaidō, you execute a cut and pull your sword in (hiki-giri). In kendo, we execute a cut and push our shinai forward (oshi-giri). So if your wrists are too firm, it is hard to execute oshi-giri and going forward.

We do have a flicking motion at the impact of a strike. But it has more to do with tenouchi (function of your palms) but it is very hard to do. So don’t worry about it now.

I think it depends on what kind of iaidō you are doing. And I cannot say what is right and what is wrong.

What you should do is do what your iaidō sensei tells you to do when learning iaidō and do what you are told to do by your kendo sensei when you are doing kendo. You should learn how to do both separately.

Hope this helps.

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