Fumikomi is one hurdle that many beginners must clear. In this page I would like to introduce how to practice fumikomi.
Firstly we learn issoku itto no ma. This is the basic distance, and we must learn to strike a men with one step.
If your training partner is tall and has long arms, it is probably hard to reach him/her with one step.
Therefore, when you are a beginner, I suggest that you should have a partner about the same height as you.
Firstly, you should feel confident, so you must know the distance you can reach motodachi's men without fumikomi. If you can reach without fumikomi, you can reach with fumikomi easily.
You should reach your motodachi's men with one step and one cut. If you move the left foot, then it is not one step. We are trying to learn to strike fumikomi from issoku itto no ma.
Secondly once you feel comfortable with the distance and can strike a men with one step without your form falling into pieces, then take a little bit further distance. You then take a bigger step in without fumikomi.
You may feel odd or difficult to maintain balance. Keep the body straight and maintain balance. You must learn how your body loses balance and so how you should control the balance.
Once you feel comfortable and confident with the distance, try to do fumikomi. You may find it hard to do, but do not give up. Not many people can do it right on the first try.
Lastly, practice it until you can strike your motodachi's men from issoku itto no ma without cheating. Do not skip this part. If you skip this part then you will never get it and will find it very hard to improve your kendo.
Now once you put men on, it is hard to practice fumikomi like I mentioned, so if you want to practice your fumikomi, you may have to do it before or after your training as a club.
You may ask your kendo mate to receive your strike.