How to build reaction time?

by Matthew Cooper

Hey my name is Matthew Cooper. I'm a 1st kyu from Australia. I have an issue, mainly with shiai and jigeko.

The issue is that my reaction is rather slow. Mentally the split second I see an opening my mind reacts to attack, however my body is rather slow lagging behind about 0.5 - 1 sec or even 2 seconds at times. Is there a way I can build the reaction time of my body?

Answer: Thank you for your question. One thing I can tell you is that you are probably “looking” at your opponent when he/she starts moving.

There is a wise term in kendo, that is “Kan Ken no Metsuke”. For the detailed explanation, please click the link.

Basically you should try to “sense” your opponent’s motion. To practice, you should start guessing your opponent’s moves. And as soon as you sense your opponent is moving, you should strike.

Of course, you do not get everything right. But this is a good exercise to practice how to “sense” your opponent movements.

Hope this helps.

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