How to have a strong hit?

by Mark

Every time I'm doing jigeiko I notice that my hits are weak. Weak in the sense that it can be easily deflected especially when my shinai clashes to my opponent's shinai during concurrent men strikes. I would like to ask for some advice for me to have strong hits or should I say to have hits that will count. Thank you very much.



Answer: Thank you or your question, Mark! And it is a good question. If you think your strikes are easily deflected, it has probably nothing to do with the strength of your strike. Your opponent is changing the direction of your shinai like Aikido.

And as a kendoist who wants to work on the strength of his strikes, I have some suggestions. I am still working on how I can make my strikes stronger so they might not work for you. Just suggestions.

  • Stop thinking to hit a target but to cut down a target: This is critical. You must lift up your shinai to execute your strike. Using the wrists is very important but striking with Only wrists makes your strikes weaker.

  • Each strike must be “completed” i.e. no hesitation: Many stop their strikes in a half way through. If that is the case, you must focus on completing your strikes.

  • Study how the balance between the right hand (oshi-te) and the left hand (hiki-te) should work: Oshi-te means the “pushing hand” and hiki-te means the “pulling hand”. You do not want to focus on pushing or pulling but you need to think about a good balance between those. At the moment of your strike contacting on the target, you need to use these hands very effectively. It is all about the balance.

  • Re-analyze your Ki-Ken-Tai-Icchi: This is an ultimate challenge. There are so many points that we need to focus. My biggest focus now is the hiki-tsuke (snapping up the blackfoot forward). And the timing of the weight shift and the height of the body (the center of gravity). I have been working on this but there are only a few times that I felt good about my Ki-Ken-Tai-Icchi. And it doesn't mean these few ki-ken-tai-icchi was perfect. I just felt good :)

Hope this helps!

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