Ki Ken Tai

I've gotten two comments from my sensei and am trying to review on it.

1) My cuts lack "snap", or overuse of the right shoulder (I think that's what he meant), but I don't necessarily hit very hard to begin with and often "pull back" on cuts that might hurt, such as kote. I was wondering how I get the "snap".

2) My timing between fumikomi step and the swing is off by a split second. Sensei mentions he hears the sound is split into two. Is my step timing incorrect? Should I start to swing before stepping forward?

Thank you very much for all the information you put out.

Answer: Thank you for your questions.

1) About snap. We call it tenouchi in kendō terminology and it is very hard to explain and get it right. You do not pull back your shinai.

It is more like “filtering out the impact of strike without losing the power and speed”. And remind you it hurts but it gives a different kind of pain from whacking.

The mechanism is simple. You tighten your right hand (which should be relaxed until you hit a target) at the moment of hitting a target. The strength of the right and left hands should be about the same.

I have a tenouchi video for Kendo For Life Newsletter Subscribers. It is done by the late Keisuke Murayama sensei (8-dan, winner of 8-dan championships).

2) It is very hard for me to tell you what you should do because there is no description about which one is faster, shinai or fumikomi?

Either case, this happens because you are not confident of striking from certain distance because unconsciously you think you might not reach.

So practice from a distance that you comfortably strike men.

So your fumikomi (right foot landing) and strike (shinai hitting men) will occur at the same time.

If you do this over and over until you feel comfortable, then do the same thing from a further distance.

Hope this helps!

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