Comments for The reason for fixed stances and handedness

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Sep 12, 2022
Try other poses
by: Anonymous

You can use any posture, jōdan (4 types: right, left, with right or left hand at the tsuba), nitō, gedan, hassō and wakigamae. In modern sport kendo, most of these postures are not effective due to the limited strike zones. Therefore, only chudan, left jōdan and sometimes nitō are used. Try other poses and you will understand why they are not used now.

Jul 19, 2018
Re: The reason for fixed stances and handedness
by: Jason

Dear Imafuji-sensei,

Thank you very much for your answer, I really appreciate it. I suppose while the historical aspect is something that is culturally appropriate, I just think it is indeed a shame to have only one side of the leg and arm to be used as the 'power' side, as I have seen several of my senpai's muscles being really imbalanced!

Kendo-Guide.Com: You're welcome! We call the left side is the "power side" because the right side tends to take over all the movements. It is normal because of how we stand and hold the sword as you described.

If you are after a physically balanced kendo, you can try nitō. Nitō at the moment is very flexible. It has mini and hidari so you can use both arms almost equally. Of course you need a permission from your sensei. As a kendoist, I don’t see any problem to study such stances.

Whatever you do, you probably have your favorite "side". Unless you are very careful you probably use one side more often than the other side. So you can switch your hands and feet position when you do suburi at home for example. If your sensei permits, you can train in a stance you want to take, i.e. jōdan, nitō, gedan, hassō and wakigamae.

I like my students try a lot of things because that makes me think and have a chance to dig kendo more deeply. But that is me so you follow your dojo instructions.

You might think many things don’t make sense. I think that is normal. We don’t live in the era when the samurai used to practice kenjutsu in bōgu. There should be some reasons why they didn’t change their styles or why they changed their styles. And probably we will never know the real reasons. We can only guess, I think.

Hope you keep your diligence in studying kendo so we can preserve the cultural and historical values of kendo in the modern kendo.

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