5 Tips to
Make Your Footwork Smoother

If you have not watched this video, please do so. I am talking about suri-ashi (sliding/gliding footwork) at the beginning of the video, which should be a great tip to make your footwork smoother. 

You will learn some tips to see the principles of kendo in a different angle to make your footwork smoother

You may learn some tips and you can make your footwork smoother after reading this.

BUT after all, you do not have perform good Ki-Ken-Tai-Icchi, then your effort to make your footwork smoother will be meaningless.

So please do not forget about Ki-Ken-Tai-Icchi

What I am trying to tell you is not against all the "rules" of kendo but to

Shift your focus

So please do think this is another way to learn the proper footwork.

1. As long as your back foot is behind the front foot, that is OK.

I understand that you learned to keep the back foot behind the right foot. And I also instruct my students the same thing.

But do not focus on that TOO much.

Many people are trying to do it RIGHT and lose the "smooth" part of the footwork. 

Think like this to make your footwork smoother.

Don't let the back foot to pass the front foot. 

OK? As long as the back foot does not pass the front foot, then you are good. 

2. Don't Slide All The Time

You learn suri-ashi first. We have to slide/glide our feet in kendo. But most of people think that they have to do that all the time. As a result, they drag their back foot.

Don't drag your back foot. 

Important: Sliding ‚Čí Dragging

Sliding/gliding does not mean you should not lift your feet at all. And I will give you another advice on footwork.

This is about both feet actually.

So when moving forward, you tend to drag your back foot. And when moving backwards, you tend to drag your front foot. 

3. Both Heels Up

You should lift up your both heels when you move, if you want to smoothly move.

You learn to lift the heel of your back foot. And that is how I teach too. But if you see the advanced, their heels are always up when moving. 

Smooth = Less Friction

The less friction you have between your feet and the floor, the more smoothly you can move.

We want to have LESS friction. Dragging increases the friction. So you will lose speed.

And if your both feet are up, the "dragging" problem will decrease because the entire sole of the feet are not on the floor.

So remember this. 

When you move, both heels are UP.

4. OK to Lift Up Feet

This is related to dragging and lifting both heels. If you want to make your footwork smoother, then remember that

the entire sole of your feet should not be on the floor all the time.

When going forward, you push your body forward with the back foot. And when you bring your back foot forward, it is OK to lift it up instead of dragging

When going backwards, you push your body backward with the front foot. And when you bring your front foot backward, it is OK to lift it up instead of dragging.

5. Good Coordination

To make your footwork smoother, this is really important. 

I have, so far, talked about small pictures and this is a big picture.

You can do everything right but if you cannot coordinate or integrate your entire movement, then you really cannot make anything smoother.

Don' forget Ki-Ken-Tai-Icchi. That is it.

Once you have the little parts done correctly, then integrate them and make the coordination smoother.

Hope this helps.

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