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  • #31
    Questions I would ask if I was a shorter person is.....

    How do I hit the men buton without hitting the mengane?

    Followed by.......

    Is it physically possible without breaking proper form if the heigh difference is beyond a certain threshold?

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    • #32
      Now advice for the OP:

      Crowd your taller opponent. Keep them in a distance where you can hit them, but their shinai will not strike with the monuchi. If they are pushing you around, figure out how to get more weight on the rear leg and relax the upper body. You have a built in advantage by default at close in distances for hiki waza as well as other waza. This will require you to be aggressive to crowd your opponent. Likewise if they have to go backwards all the time to keep at their distance, you are in control and can go forwards faster than they can go backwards. Once you get in that range, take smaller steps when attacking.

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      • #33
        Being 6'4, I am at the oposite end of the spectrum. My sensei for many years was about 5'2, maybe 5'3, and pretty much all of the students that I practiced with were shorter than I. Once your partners are no longer intimidated by someone just because of their size, they have no more trouble getting men on a taller person than they do on a person of the same height.

        Instead of telling you what to do specifically, I will echo what others have said and direct you to your sensei, who is in a better position to know why you are having difficulty.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Daniel Sullivan View Post
          Once your partners are no longer intimidated by someone just because of their size, they have no more trouble getting men on a taller person than they do on a person of the same height.
          That I don't agree with. You still have to longer distance to cover and will still have to cover distance where the opponent can hit you and you can't hit them.

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          • #35
            The best kendoist in my club right now is a woman who is about 5 feet 2 inches (158 cm) tall. She schools us all, tall and short, young and old. I'm quite a bit taller so she stays just outside my hitting distance, then, choosing the moment carefully, she moves in very quickly to a distance where she can hit and I can't. A couple hundred milliseconds later, I'm struck (again).

            We have to know our own hitting distance, and estimate our opponent's. Our own hitting distance depends on our opponent; we must get closer to a taller person than to a shorter person, to strike them on the men.

            The other part is knowing the right moment to enter. IMO, that is a much harder skill to acquire. We have to learn how to build a relationship with the opponent so we can get a good feeling for how they are responding to us. This is another situation in which good manners can help us. In both cases we are cultivating a sympathetic attitude toward another person.

            I think Jakob's advice is the best: Pay careful attention to distance, and keep trying to hit men. I would only add this: Put your best effort into each and every attempt, and reflect on your results. Your natural learning ability will not fail you, have confidence in it. It's just a matter of honest effort, patience, and perseverance. Ganbatte!

            Jonathan

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Kimiko View Post
              Hello, I have been doing kendo for a little over a year, and I am 1kyu. Because I'm short even for a girl (155cm), I find it extremely difficult to fight people who are tall. For example, in the last tournament I went to, I had to fight someone over 6 feet tall. He was aggressive, so I couldn't calm myself down and was pushed down twice. There are people of this height at my dojo as well, and I always have trouble fighting them. I usually go for kote because men is too hard to reach, but taller opponents usually expect this and act accordingly. Any kind of advice or techniques would be greatly appreciated >.<
              Hi there are lots of good advice given already so there is not much to add really. To cut men against a tall opponent you have to develop very good seme and fast smooth ashi sabaki to allow you arrive quickly at a distance where you have an opportunity to cut men. You need to have a good small men technique i.e fast powerful launch from your left foot, good shinai control cutting with minimal angle, very sharp tenouchi etc. but all these things only come with experience and practice. but by focusing on this now I think it's possible to improve

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              • #37
                in a way nothing changes against a taller opponent. only thing different is now you have to be more aware of distance and timing because of opponent's longer reach

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                • #38
                  While you all seem to know so much about Kendo than I, coming from 5'2", I still tend to go for men - mainly kiriotoshi. It's about timing and no fear of getting nailed (your-shinai-can-wound-me-but-not-kill, thinking); hitting Kote is a go-to option but my men is open for their taller reach. Mostly, I regret that when starting out, I didn't work on cutting Doh. As the taller person's strike is coming, shorter people, IMHO, can go in under it, once they've developed the ability to "see" the attack and the footwork/speed to go for it. For a beginner, add a protective pad in the men if possible, and some day...! Maybe interesting is that a 74+ year-old in my Tokyo dojo passed 8-Dan at that age: his technique (as always), Doh.

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