Moving Beyond Beginner Level! Be mindful of the air, the sword, and the body vol. 3

Kendo kids wearing Bogu set to prepare Kaiko

Master Kendo Step

The last of the 3 factors is the “body”. This refers to the position and footwork as you pull out the moves of men, kote, do, and tsuki. Especially your foot is very important in your position, posture, and movement.

Kendo Footstep

How to use your foot in stepping

Stepping is a necessary move in order to effect strong strikes. Many players seem to be worried about their stepping. It is one of the walls that beginners tend to hit.

The stepping is especially important in kendo, so it is something to be always mindful during daily practice. One of the characteristics of strong players and seasoned veterans is that their stepping sound is very loud. You can hear a strong, dry “BANG” or “SNAP” sound,

By making a loud stepping sound, you can increase the impact of your strike. It seems easy to create a stepping sound, but beginners cannot do it easily. Some people get the hang of it quickly, but many only make a blunt “bump” sound.

Black and white photo of two Kendo players trying to hit the Men

The reason people make a blunt sound is because they are stepping from their heels. When the bones or the flesh of the heels hit the floor it makes a blunt sound. If you keep practicing while making such a blunt sound, it can also lead to injury. Stepping can be improved with continued practice, but you should first learn the correct movement.

So, we have looked at the “air, sword, and body” over 3 articles. When you are mindful of these three factors and are able to put them into practice during the match, it will be completely different from simply holding a shinai without really knowing what you are doing.

As a kenshi, it is like you are out in the battle field. When you can hold that perspective, perhaps you are ready to move on from beginner level.

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