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Hitting top of men (futon) versus mengane on taller opponents

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  • Hitting top of men (futon) versus mengane on taller opponents

    When I try to hit men on taller opponents, I sometimes find it difficult to hit the futon instead of the mengane. I have to get the left hand quite high, and then at impact I get an downward angle in the wrists that I shouldn't have? I also keep my hands quite close on the handle...otherwise I feel that I overextend the right shoulder and might start to bend the left arm.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    I know what you mean. I used to also lean into hit taller people because you have a longer distance to cover with them. I have seen other do keiko with taller opponents, theyreally stretch their arms out so they hit the propper part o the men at the correct angle.

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    • #3
      **I aposolgise in advance if I'm pointing the obvious out to you.**

      How tall are you?

      Resonable height difference shouldn't be a problem if you stike from the correct distance (think levers), but it doesn't take much to be to close.

      Um. Thinking about it that probably wasn't very helpful. Hmmm. Still, check the visio skills
      Last edited by shred_lord; 27th July 2006, 10:28 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tantadi
        When I try to hit men on taller opponents, I sometimes find it difficult to hit the futon instead of the mengane. I have to get the left hand quite high, and then at impact I get an downward angle in the wrists that I shouldn't have? I also keep my hands quite close on the handle...otherwise I feel that I overextend the right shoulder and might start to bend the left arm.

        Any thoughts on this?
        One of my fellow kendoka is very tall compared to me. 1,90-2m compared to my 1,58. To make a good men I have to step in very close. I also put my hands closer together. This is fine to avoid leaning forward or cutting too stiffly. The most important part is to get into the right distance. You have to be very fast. Use seme and look for openings. It's the only way for me to strike a correct men. Most of the time when doing ji-geiko or shiai I use various kote and do techniques on tall opponents...but one or two men is good surprise actions. Just watch out for counter moves! Your men is very very easy to hit!

        K

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        • #5
          I'm 168 cm. The guys are from about 180 and above up to..195 (?)Mostly I'm standing too far away. I have to get my arms higher up than the person doing it correctly in the diagram. Then I get the weird angle in the wrists. And it is difficult to do tenouchi.

          To illustrate:
          On the left, look at the right kote angle (!), and still misses the futon because of being to close and opponent tilting head.
          http://www.uky.edu/StudentOrgs/Kendo/picture1.jpg

          Also on the left, will score?..Again that really stretched right kote (that I avoid by keeing my hands closer, but then I have to angle my left..)

          http://www.dublinkendo.com/men-bw-s.jpg

          Actually I like to try men on tall guys because they aren't expecting me to try it. :-)
          Last edited by tantadi; 3rd May 2005, 10:56 PM.

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          • #6
            I'm 165cm and I also find it hard to hit the futon of tall people, especially if my opponent tilts his/her head backward. If the height disparity is too big, it is impossible to hit futon. One can only bend one's wrists so much.

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            • #7
              Don't artificially bend your wrist or elbow. Just use good tenouchi and lots of snap. If there is a huge height difference it will be quite difficult but if it's only moderate it should be fine.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kaede
                One of my fellow kendoka is very tall compared to me. 1,90-2m compared to my 1,58. To make a good men I have to step in very close. I also put my hands closer together. This is fine to avoid leaning forward or cutting too stiffly.

                K
                Real big height difference!...the thing about putting hands close together, is that you lose some control of the kensen accuracy and tenouchi. I've been told to hit men harder, I also miss at times, so I guess I have to try to get the right hand a little further out.

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                • #9
                  like neil said, good snap and tenouchi will bend the shinai at the last third, making it possible to cut head futon even in a difficult angle.

                  also, i've been told by sensei that if your opponent moves his head backwards or attacks with his head uprisen, AND you hit mengane WHERE the futon SHOULD BE, it's ippon. in this case even if you hit metal, that's men ari.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paburo
                    also, i've been told by sensei that if your opponent moves his head backwards or attacks with his head uprisen, AND you hit mengane WHERE the futon SHOULD BE, it's ippon. in this case even if you hit metal, that's men ari.
                    I was about to say the same thing.
                    In my experience, if you hit with a good tenouchi, even if you touch the mengane, the shinai will flex and touch the menfuton with a nice sound. The shimpan will give the point. I'm 196cm and have been hit like that many times. It's only dangerous for your shinai if you cut on the center bar of the mengane.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tantadi
                      Real big height difference!...the thing about putting hands close together, is that you lose some control of the kensen accuracy and tenouchi. I've been told to hit men harder, I also miss at times, so I guess I have to try to get the right hand a little further out.
                      There shouldn't actually be any problem with tenouchi or accuracy if you put the right hand closer toward the left hand when you do a men. You are supposed to have the force and the control in your left hand. Right hand is for stearing the cut in the right direction if necessary.

                      If you find this difficult I suggest that you begin to practice men cuts with left hand only against a taller opponent. When you feel comfortable with this just put your right hand lightly on top of the tsukagawa. The right hand should be placed at the same distance as it is from the inside of your elbow to your hand. If you are under average height the tsukagawa is usually too long. The most relaxed position, most of the time, is the one mentioned above. Tha distance of you lower arm and hand.

                      // K

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                      • #12
                        We have a guy in our club who is 6'5'' ( that's about 196 cm) and even I (at 180 cm) have a noticeably tougher time hitting him because of his height. It gives me a lot of sympathy for the difficulties faced by smaller kendoists.

                        The only thing I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned is the timing of the wrist extension. If the wrists are extending too late one is more likely to hit the men-gane.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kaede
                          There shouldn't actually be any problem with tenouchi or accuracy if you put the right hand closer toward the left hand when you do a men. You are supposed to have the force and the control in your left hand. Right hand is for stearing the cut in the right direction if necessary.



                          // K
                          mm..but my instructors have told me so ;-). And there is a noticable difference in control. Try doing suburi in front of a mirror, and have a clear stop at each cut. Watch the tip. I guess this also relates to wrist and hand strength.

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                          • #14
                            is this for practice or for shiai? my opinion is that if it is for shiai you should know that you're at a disadvantage to a person much taller than you if you try to go for their men. what you should do however is try to focus on kote and do as they are more accessible to us vertically challenged people. but this is soley my opinion so dont slack off on practicing men as it is one of the basic hits.

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                            • #15
                              Both, and for gradings. I see your point, but at this level (beginner) I think I have to focus on getting all the tools to work before specializing in one of them.

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