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Points to Observe

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  • Points to Observe

    Hi there, I'm fairly new (about 5 months) and I'm wondering if anyone can give me some tips as to points to observe in a person's swing, such as if they are swinging with their right arm mostly, and the "wringing" of the tsuka. I'd like to be able to see what other's mistakes are of the batch of beginners as well as my own errors.

    If anyone could further explain the aforementioned details and other points to observe in a person's swing, I would greatly appreciate it.

  • #2
    You should grip your sword correctly. A lot of new kendokas develop a "grip-o-death" which constricts your swing. Your grip should be firm but a little relaxed, until the very end where you must tighten it for a sharp swing.

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    • #3
      It's impossible to make a diagnosis without actually seeing the swing, so be careful.

      For the wringing, after completing the cut, check that the palms are facing forward,not towards each other or downwards. You can think about poking your thumbs straight into your opponent during your strike, if that helps. Paying attention to the palm orientation can also help you see if you are gripping too much with the index finger side of your hand as it will be difficult to get the right shinai angle and palm orientation if the grip is incorrect.

      Watch that the shinai is straight and centered during the cut. A too-tight grip will generally cause the shinai to come down off-center or at an angle.

      People hitting with too much right tend to have a bent left elbow and have right shoulders that rise up and push forward. The overemphasized right shoulder creates a twist in the upper body and a forward lean. A strike using the core muscles will tend to cause the body to straighten up, not lean, and the shoulders to square, not twist. It might be helpful to do one-handed suburi with your left hand and to watch the shape of your left wrist, arm, and shoulder and overall posture during the entire movement. Also pay close attention to the way it feels. Compare the movement and feeling to one-handed suburi with just the right hand.

      Again, don't read too much into this. These are just general pointers and can be misleading without someone correcting your swing in real life.

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