More insight in Suburi motion and proper posture

by Lucas

In my study to improve my suburi, I was rewatching some of your videos when I heard some things about the armpit.

Now, I have been struggling recently to make my posture better to strike properly, but I am still lost about the feeling of "getting your shoulders down" after the strike. Sometimes I can tell when I roll my shoulders forward and up, but when I try to keep them down and back, when I strike, I don't know how much that changes because of the arm becoming more stretched.

So, because of that video, I started wondering about the feeling that must be kept in the armpit. As I could explore, the feeling on the armpit changes when I place my shoulders in different places.

So, how sensei feel his armpit in kamae and at the strike, with and without the bogu (as I think the do would change things a little)? Like, they are always closed, as the arm would rub with the side of the body, or would they feel more "open" as the arm would not rub with the side of the body, and things like that.

Also, sensei always say to keep the buttocks tight to help the posture. Would be a good idea to do the same things with the shoulders blade muscles? (to keep the shoulders back)

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Answer: Thanks for your questions! And I might not have understood your questions correctly but I will give you my answers anyway. So if you think I am not
answering your questions, please let me know.

Armpit: Armpits and elbows are connected so if your elbows are pointing out rather than down then your armpits tend to open when striking. Then tendency wise, when your elbows are out, your shoulders come up a bit.

Mind you though. If you try to close your armpits too much then it will create different problems so as long as your armpits are naturally closed that is OK. If you feel you are rubbing your do, you might be squeezing your armpits too much.

Shoulders Down: As long as you are relax on your shoulders that is good. When you strike men, probably your shoulders will come up a little bit because your shinai won’t go through your opponent’s body. At my current level, all I can say is to you is to relax your shoulders when striking. For suburi, you can definitely lower your shoulders.

Shoulder Blade Muscles: I do not tighten those muscles at the moment because it feels like it limits my movements. Instead I make sure to position my shoulder blades down and connects the muscles with the lower body. Just feeling wise. I cannot explain exactly how to do it because I have no idea how to do it. I just imagine to connect all the muscles at the back of my body. How effective it is or if it improves kendo or not is still unknown. I am just trying this as experiment.

Please do ask me more questions until I give you good answers. Thank you!

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