Shinai World

Attacking with your body in kendo.

One of the most common things in kendo is kenshi attacking with their hands first, this is because we are so eager to take that point that we throw everything we got with our hands first.

Attacking with your hands may be fast at first, but it creates many bad habits that will hinder our kendo in the future.

Some of the most common problems that you may develop from not using your body are:

  • Lack of Ki-Ken-Tai ichi.
  • Lack of power on your strike.
  • Lack of Zanshin.
  • Left foot slipping when attacking.
  • Lack of forward motion.
  • Dragging of the left foot after fumikomi.

You would notice someone not using their body at the moment of strike because it looks as if they are stretching and reaching towards the target.

First to promote the proper use of the body during kendo, it is important to have good kamae, understand the proper use of footwork engaging your hips, and how to properly use fumikomi and fumikiri.

Putting all of those elements together may be hard, but staying away from using speed and breaking down the motions you will be able to start getting rid of bad habits and start getting stronger ippons.


The following video shows a great example of using your body when attacking as well as a short drill you can practice to promote the proper way of attacking, notice how the hands and shinai are kept on kamae until the very last moment.


Please be mindful that there’s a difference between the exercise shown above and the use of seme, this exercise is an example of the body motion going into the attack.


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