Timing and 3D Seme: Shinai, Body, and Mind

by Burm Kim
(E. Lansing, Mi, USA)

I understand that every kenshi (even the very high ranking senseis and players at the top level) have a thing called okuri. Through practice and experience we learn to hide and minimize this gap before we attack called okuri. I feel like as humans we will always have this no matter what, because we are not perfect. Just how well we hide or minimize it is the difference?

1. Whether we are fighting an opponent that is stronger than me or weaker than me, I see chances and openings for me to strike. I have several scenarios painted inside my head on what I will do and how the opponent will react.

Sometimes I see openings but I am not able to strike (on stronger guys or weaker guys) because I feel like my tame is not ready fast enough. I feel like when I hit AI-MEN (which I consider my best waza)I know the center line is about even with me and the opponent (when they are stronger) but sometimes I lose the AI-UCHI because they have faster tame than I do. How do I build my tame faster?

2. I feel in my kendo when I attack, I feel my own okuri. I know what it feels like and when it happens. What are the ways I can minimize this even more? When I am fighting someone (strong or weak) I can feel my own okuri when I am about to attack. But I think to myself in my thoughts, if I can feel my own okuri.

If the opponent is much weaker, I know for a fact that they cannot feel or sense my okuri, hence them countering my attack or doing ai-uchi with me makes it impossible for them. But when I am fighting at my own level or someone stronger, how can I attack when I sense my own okuri before I attack? If I can feel myself have okuri how would someone stronger or
at my level not sense that? If they sense it, they will be able to take advantage of it.

If that is the case, how can I ever attack? If I feel myself that its very obvious how would a stronger opponent not know? What kind of practice can I do more of so I will be able to hide my okuri even more? I already do a lot of uchikomi, kakari, butsukari, and oikomi keiko. Is there anything else I can/should be doing?

2.1. I thought about a few ways to avoid this but I am not 100% sure if it is correct.

A). Cut my attack into separate steps: instead of hitting a one rhythm men, sneak in continuously using suriashi and ashisabaki and hit men.

B). Use katsugi waza, but I do not like katsugi waza because I feel naked when I do this. What do you think? Is this correct?

Answer: Thank you for your post. I’ve never heard of okure as you described. Do you mean “okure” (delay)? I am not sure what okure really means but I cannot think of the alternative word for it. I do not know what you mean by “this gap” in “to hide and minimize this gap before we attack called okuri”.

Anyway, you are probably relying on your height and speed. It is perfectly OK but if you just do so, like you described, it does not work on people stronger than you. Because…

They know their distance…

You should apply the solutions you presented here. You have solutions. Try them over and over. Since people are different, some techniques work on different people. You should be able to perform many things so that you will be able to create more openings.

The best solution is to apply all you know. You sound you know a lot so if you apply and test one thing at a time, you will start getting when to use what.

Hope this helps.

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Aug 01, 2013

You are correct with Okure - It is the delay between mind and movement I think. But I know what he means.

Jun 05, 2011
My mistake >,<
by: Burm Kim

Yes Okori, is what i meant

I am sorry for the mix up...

Jun 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

I think he means okori?

Kendo-Guide.Com: Ohhhh! Must be.
Okori is a status that your opponent (or you) are just about to move physically and/or mentally. Is that what you mean, Burm?

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