When is enough Zanshin for Jodan

by Gabriel Paredes
(Lima-Peru )

Can you please tell me what is considered "GOOD ZANSHIN" for different jōdan no kamae techniques?

For example :

Zanshin for katate (one-handed) men: Is it better to pass through the opponent for any of the sides or to crash him as going forward? Or doing some kind of mawari movement without losing opponent's sight?

Zanshin for Katate Kote: Is it better to just hit the kote and stay in Zanshin while loud kiai or to move forward to the left?

I ask because I want to seriously take jōdan no kamae and I see a good improvement in my kendo and I'm doing well with this kamae, also the only instructors here for jōdan tell me some different things and wanted to know your opinions.


PS: Sorry for my poor English.

Answer: Don’t worry about your English. I am not a native English speaker either.

Now if you can properly take zanshin in chūdan, you should not worry about zanshin in jōdan as well.

You must strike towards your opponent. You can pass through only when your opponent gives way, which is rare to happen in jigeiko or shiai.

Zanshin is to be prepared for the next occurrence, either your attack or your opponent’s. So as long as you are taking zanshin (prepared) mentally and physically, that should be good. Please watch a video below.

The guy in jōdan is Mr. Shōdai who won the All Japan Kendo Championships in 2008.

He executes a kote around 0:21. As soon as he knew he did not get the kote, he prepared for a counterattack from his opponent and also he fixed his posture so that he could be ready to execute his strike.

Soon after that, he executes a katate men. He passed through. It is because his opponent struck his hidari (left) kote and moved slightly to his right.

This is another one. Around 0:44, he executes a katate men. See how he passes through and turns around?

He passes through because, again, his opponent strikes the hidari kote of Mr. Shōdai and moves slightly to his right.

Here I found a video of a great jōdan sensei. You can see how he takes his zanshin.

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