My sensei tells me that when I hit men it seems as though I am making a chopping motion not a swinging motion. How can I fix this? I'm not really sure how to tell the difference.
: Thank you for your question. This is a rather common issue, especially among males.
Quite often we describe painful strikes with tensed stiff arms and shoulders as "chopping motion".
Many people think that they have to have a lot of power in their strikes, when they strike. That is not true. You really have to relax when you strike.
You should focus on your footwork rather than striking. As long as your body moves forwards, all you have to do with your sword is to drop it on a target, in this case, men
And then once you have learnt that, you have to start learning tenouchi
, which increase sharpness of your strikes. This is not something you can just learn after a few years of learning kendo. But at least you should know how to do it.
1. Keep your posture nice and straight,
2. keep your shoulders down,
3. relax and
4. deliver your body forwards.
Practice this sequence of movements over and over. Your strikes will improve dramatically.
I hope this helps.