Are you having a hard time to improve your kata? Did you know you cannot do kata like you do kendo with the shinai? There are certain points on how to improve your kendo kata. Let's find out how!
Forget about what you do with the shinai. Think how you can do the kata with the bokuto. You need to change how you swing the sword in the kata. How then how do you change the way you swing the sword in the kata? There are the points of how to improve your kata...
Many people execute their techniques too small. And most of the time that is because you are swinging the sword too fast. When you do it too fast, you get tensed. This is a bad circulation.
You certainly do not want to look like you are in a hurry. You should look like you know what you are doing and you are in control.
Which person do you trust, the one who look confident or the one who are just going through the motions?
You should be relax to look confident. If you are tense, you cannot move freely. Do you want to be tied up when you do kendo? You are doing that when you get tensed up.
In the Book of Five Rings, apparently Musashi says that you should not rely on speed nor strength.
It is simply if you rely on only speed, you aren't very practical. When the time Musashi lived, they used to fight outside. That means you might fight on mud, rocks and grass. That means there is no flat wooden floor. And there might be obstacles around like logs and stones.
Imagine... Do you think you can run around and cut into your opponent when you have logs and rocks around you? No, right? So here is what you should know.
You should know when to swing fast and strong. So...when?
What is Riai? It is the concept or meanings. Let's say you are the uchitachi and doing Kata No.2. You are in chudan and you execute a cut. When do you think you should make your swing faster?
You should be relaxed when you lift your sword up. Also you should be relaxed when you start swinging down your sword. But the right before you cut into the shitachi's kote, your strike should start becoming powerful. But not as powerful as you are cutting into the men, because kote is not as big as the skull.
If you know what you are doing, then you can use your body and sword more effectively.
Unfortunately, the kata instruction book doesn't tell us all the riai that we should know. But that is a part of the reasons why we should train and study the kata as often as possible.
I have some kata videos for you to study. Here there are:
Hope these help!