Small men questions

by Emilie

I've seen your small men video, and yesterday I tried to do it on geiko but... my sensei told me I was not doing it right. He tried to explain what I was doing wrong, but I didn't understand :(

Firstly, I bring the shinai a little close to me with the left hand (I push a little forwards), and then I hit the opponent, still with the left hand. But there is no good impact, some senpais told me it's a weak cut.

Could you please explain a method to do good small men?

I saw your video, but it's a little quick, I can't see the movement I must do.

Sorry for my bad English. It's hard to explain. And a happy New Year!

Thanks a lot

Answer: Small men cut is a small version of a big men cut. So you still have to use your elbows and wrists. That means your cut still has to have a certain degree of up-and-down movement. This is the idea of the “basic” small men cut.

What you described about your met cut gives me an impression that your cut is executed by moving your arms back and forth. In other words, you pull your hands in (close to your body) and push your arms forwards involving not-much of up-and-down movement. So there is less cutting movement.

It is quite likely that I am wrong since I cannot actually see what you are doing

Now this cutting movement can be created in various ways as shown in the video. Some do it with their wrists. Some do it with their elbows. Your shinai has to go up and down onto the target you are aiming at.

One more thing. When your tenouchi is inappropriate, the cut cannot be as sharp as it should be. This is not something we can get after a few years of training. It takes a long time. As the late Murayama sensei (8th dan) said in the video, he was told his tenouchi was not very good even though he was 8th dan.

Of course, his tenouchi was very very good but he was still trying to improve his tenouchi. Most of people can get decent tenouchi by the time they become 2nd dan. From there, a journey to improve tenouchi starts.

So I want you to make sure that you lift your shinai up a little higher than you did at the dojo. Make sure you push yourself really hard when you step forwards to execute a men cut.

When your right foot lands, pull yourself up and forwards. In this way, you can increase the force of going towards your training partner/opponent without killing the speed of your body going forwards.

Hope this helps.

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