How to do taiatari properly, without hurting your wrists?

When I receive taiatari, my wrists get compressed and it hurts for a few days. Is there a way to avoid this? How should I hold my hands on the shinai (and where exactly should I hold the shinai)?

Thank you.

Answer: Thank you for your question. I think this is a very common issue.  It is hard to explain with writing but I will try.

  1. Position of your tsuka (i.e. hands). When you do taiatari, bring your hands down so that the middle of tsuka (the handle) comes in front of your stomach.  So the left hand should be a little above the bottom of your dō.

  2. Make sure not to turn your wrists. If your hands turn in i.e. the back of the hands will be against your opponent’s , it hurts. It hurts your knuckles and wrists. Try not to change your grip (of course, you should grab your shinai properly to start with.)

  3. Try not to crush into your opponent. Instead, try to bounce back. Imagine that a ball bounces back off a wall.  

  4. If you do it too much, it does not matter how properly you do it, it hurts.

  5. Taiatari is not just a body “attack”. It involves the movements of your lower body and arms as well. Do not try to push your opponent only with your upper body.

How to fix your taiatari

  1. Check your hand positions with your motodachi.

  2. Rehearse the taiatari process slowly.

    1. Strike men

    2. Bring your hands down

    3. Check your hands positions and feet positions

  3. Instead of powering through, feel the power from your opponent and bounce back when it is appropriate.

  4. Then, try to perform taiatari with the normal speed.

Remember. You do not want to learn into your opponent or crush into your opponent. If you do that, even when you have a good motodachi and he/she will give you a nice taiatari, you won't be able to perform a good taiatari.

Hope this helps.

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Apr 13, 2011
Some Ideas
by: Matt

Left hand position is the same as kamae, should be one fist from the belly button, just the kensen and right hand is higher. You should not be making contact with fists, the impact and force of taiatari comes from the hips and tanden (about three fingers below the belly button), you could put your hands in jodan and still make a taiatari. Also make sure you keep the thumbs pointing down, if you have the habit of turning them up they will get smashed against the dou. Hope these tips help.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Nice! Thanks, Matt!

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