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flinching away from Men Cut

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  • flinching away from Men Cut

    I don't seem able to stop myself from flinching when being hit men. when it is a bit of a surprise it is not so bad, but when it is practise and you stand there and recieve kirikaesh or men, i don't seem able to stop myself.

    i don't feel afraid, i think it is just that natural human tendency to shy away from head blows. i boxed at school and never had this.

    any ideas on how to control it?

  • #2
    Practice. Eventually you'll get used. I myself never did it but saw people who did and eventually they ceased to do it.

    We have to keep in mind that everyone with less than three years of experience in kendo is a beginner by definition. Sometimes, people get too hard on themselves.

    Shodan, Nidan, they're beginner's grades. The party starts to get interesting at Sandan and on.


    • #3
      Practice Recieving Hits

      Matthew....Alex is right in that it is just time and practice.....why not practice recieving men strikes....just focus on your partner and zero in your Zanshin on them....don't move or look away...just take what comes.....and before you know it you will be taking hits with the best of them....not even thinking about it


      • #4
        Hello Matthew. Damn is Jeff Humm getting heavy handed with you? lol

        I have come across the problem. Not just Men strikes but flinching away from other stuff.

        I have always tried to explain that we are not using real swords anymore and no one is going to die as a result. Enjoy your practice and learn from being hit.

        As Jerry says you need to spend good time on the receiving end to learn a lot rather than just striking

        Eventualy you will be able to strike back a bit!



        • #5

          A continuation of the thread "you've been doing kendo too long when..."

          ... someone tries to hit you in the head with a magazine and you instinctively lower your head to receive it...


          • #6
            everyone knows everyone don't they?

            Jeff Sensei is fine, and in any case there is no way i am gonna flinch from the sensei, but some of the less experienced members of the dojo hit you so hard the brains come out of your arse.

            and you know who they are, and you are standing in front of them and you feel yourself shrinking back consumed by anxiety about the hit that is coming....


            • #7
              Mmm, er... my Journal entry 19 Aug 02 (Matthew, were you away or you're not paying attention )

              "Jikeiko is not Shiai, so do not be afraid of being hit on the head. You are not trying to win points, and you will not be losing one. Keep your posture and do not move your head. No blocking and no dodging. Do not mind if your opponent hit you, but rather pay attention to giving a good cut..."
              -- Humm Sensei

              And sometimes it's very useful to watch how people do good cuts by looking forward into their eyes (esp in Kihon).

              Meanwhile I'm trying to escape from "Conan Men" by looking UP a bit at the moment of impact (instead of ducking down)... So that the very edge part of the leather + Men-gane will be receiving it, and not the back of my head...


              • #8
                do you take dictation during the session?

                looking up and taking the hit on the men-gane helps certainly, but the problem is psychological.

                my conscious mind knows that i won't be really hurt, and that it is better from all points of view to face your opponent, head up and unafraid. the problem is that my unconscious mind won't buy into this and lets me down.

                so, i stand there, all set to look my opponent in the eye, and meet the blow unflinchingly on my men-gane, and, oh ****, i flinch as i see the shinai come towards my head.

                i don't suffer during jigeiko because i am moving as well and so am distracted from my fear.

                the answer is mastery of the unconscious by the conscious mind. anyone know any short cuts to that?


                • #9
                  Dont worry about getting hit focus on the tech your partner is using. If they are new a little help go's along way if they are Sempi watch thier tech and thier movement if you focus on this you will not have time to worry about getting hit.


                  • #10
                    Matthew I know how you feel. Even in Japan some people are somewhat over zealous.

                    One guy used to try and take my hand off. He would physicaly hit the floor if he missed. My sensei at that time (now departed) laughingly said my chudan wasnt strong enough. I worked on it and sure enough the over-strong ones are a bit more predictable and get impaled as they took so much time to do those "big" cuts.

                    If some one used to try that on Jeff he would up-end them as they came in. Bit dangerous but effective!

                    I had a Junior high school boy last year that was very good But he had a nasty habit of pile driving the men-gane and would break one shinai per session. I had him do hours of kakari geiko to try and appreciate relaxed kendo after getting worn down and he didnt ever tire!

                    But Matthew what if you did Kenjutsu? We dont wear armour! Cuts finish lower than Gedan a few centimeters off the floor. The only advantage is you do know whats coming but.... you don't know when. You have to read it right and respond or get injured. Only one broken finger up to now as I didnt raise my hands quick enough to parry. Sensei has been down a few times, twice as a result of a 6ft Bo.

                    Still its not table tennis we do is it?



                    • #11
                      Still its not table tennis we do is it?

                      Indeed its not.

                      Actually, one of the worst habits when taking a men strike is gritting your teeth. Ouch. I went to a week long Kendo camp a little while back, it was great, but by the end of the week I thought my teeth had turned to dust.


                      • #12
                        Aha, I'm not alone!