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tenouchi is the quick tightening of the grip at the moment that you strike the target. ideally, you want to keep your grip relaxed until that moment because any extra tension in your muscles will only slow you down. a nice tenouchi is critical in achieving that nice sharp hit without using bone-crushing force. also, when you use tenouchi, as opposed to the inertia of the shinai, you can stop the shinai within inches even when you miss the target.