About this blog..

This is a blog that I started in April 2006, just after I first put on my bogu (kendo armour). It collects the advices given by more experienced kendo practitioners as well as those from my own experiences. Both technical and the mental aspects of kendo are written in the blog. I hope someone will find them useful or interesting at least!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

More on the hand grip

To elaborate on the method of gripping the shinai I talked about in my last blog entry, I extract some figures from the manuscript from Toshio Matsumoto (9th Dan Hanshi), the same document which I quoted for describing the Natural Stance Kamae.

The position of the end of hand grip should rest in the left hand as shown here:

The two muscles circled in the upper figure should be used to squeeze the end of shinai. (Aki Suzuki Sensei form Tokyo once told me the same.) Likewise, the same muscles of the right hand have also the same function.

The feeling is like supporting an egg with these two muscles without breaking it, as shown above.

The right hand should grip the shinai in a way that is hard outside but soft/flexible inside. To explain, he use the analogy of a "bull crap under the sun (hi na ta gu so)", which is hard outside but soft inside (rather interesting don't you think ;)?).

The position and angle of the thumb should be straight and relaxed, directed roughly parallel to the floor, as shown below:

This is connected to what I described with the right hand grip in my last entry.

Hope the above information helps!

Friday, November 05, 2010

V-shape hand grip

After two weeks of absence, my feet become slow again. After striking, I felt that I was dragging my feet over the floor.

However, Hsu Sensei corrected the way I hold the shinai with my right hand. I should hold it in such a way that makes the V-shape more apparent, facing myself. In other words my index finger is less perpendicular to the hand grip. This way, I naturally use more of my little finger for clutching the shinai.

I really want to get the speed up with my men cut. The slowness seems to have something to do with my foot work. Maybe it's because I don't push fast enough with my left foot, and my body center is not low enough. An indicator is the sound of fumigomi. The ideal should be a sharp "slapping" sound as almost all the japanese kendokas seem to have somehow.