Shinai charging doubts

by Lorenzo

Hello Sensei. There's a thing that I never understood during my Kendo training.

We usually work a lot doing suburi even because the cut should look real. So, particular focus is put on the "charge phase" of the cut. Indeed, during the training we charge as a real cut! But, during Ji-geiko or Shiai-geiko, the charge of the shinai is really short, indeed that charge look fake to me (no offense about Kendo in general, I'm talking about my club).

Looks like we're only trying to hit each other with a bamboo stick faster than our opponent! I can't understand this! Is Kendo like this? Is it a teaching error of my sensei? (He has 6 years of practice).

I can't understand if it is just my bad point of view. Because when it's happen, I lose the deep Kendo's purpose honestly. I'm trying to understand if my Kendo club is a real one.

Thank you for your time!

Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry about my late response. I think your questions is…

  • Why don’t we strike in jigeiko or shiai as big as we do in suburi or the basic drills?

Kendo is derived from samurai swordsmanship, but we are not learning how to USE the SWORD. We “discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana (sword)”.

We value the history and culture of the samurai swordsmanship and learn them through the martial art called kendo that was used to be a part of the samurai training system.

If you think your kendo mates look like hitting that is because they haven’t trained enough. The well-trained kendoists can execute powerful strikes even when they execute small strikes.

In addition, the way we use the katana and shinai is different. You cut through with the katana but with the shinai we cannot cut through. The reason is obvious. So we cannot strike as strong as we might do with the katana. If we do, we will hurt our training partners badly.

If you are having a hard time to understand how to execute a strike with massive power, let me know! I will find a video that will probably convince you how small strikes are also powerful.


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