Kendo Keiko-kai for ladies


As you know, the tournament is only with ladies in WKC and EKC, not mixed. So It is important that we sometimes train with ladies and learn each other. For European people, the physical difference between man and lady may not be very big… but speed and power is certainly different. If speed, power and striking opportunity is different, we need to get used to it.

Reason why I started Ladies’ training

  • To cheer up ladies’ kendo, having good time!
  • To learn each other

Theme of keiko-kai : Foot and Tenouchi

I will organize training focusing on Foot and Tenouchi. In Kendo, foot is much more important than arms. If you train footwork more, Kendo itself will improve. Also, If your hand grip and tenouchi is not good, it will affect your strike directly.
In regular training, it is difficult to make time to train only footwork or tenouchi, so in this keiko-kai, I would like to make training time that we cannot do daily keiko.

I would like to use Japanese Kendo video to help our understandings!

Good and bad tenouchi

*Anne Zwart translated videos into English! Thank you!
From 3:50-5:30, example of good tenouchi and bad tenouchi

From 8:30-12:20, example of good tenouchi and bad tenouchi

Tenouchi is critical to kendo, knowing how to perform tenouchi will change your kendo radically. People ask how to hit harder, faster, how to increase snap and a nice sound, how to hit kotemen smoothly -> tenouchi is the answer.

Bad tenouchi: feels heavy, impactful, it hurts to receive, the shinai lingers on kote/men/do surface. The left hand is used as the turning axis, the right hand pushes and pulls as the right elbow is engaged to move. Hands are turned to the side of the grip when lifting the shinai and turned back to kamae position when hitting, as if squeezing out a wet cloth.

Good tenouchi: doesn’t hurt, moment of impact lasts shortly and the shinai goes away immediately (power only goes into moment of contact.) The right hand is used as the turning axis, push and pull is performed with the left hand; at point of verticality some space is created between fingers and hand in the grip of the left hand which is closed quickly by squeezing your hand and returning your left arm to beginning position (think more of closing the distance in your left hand than squeezing out a wet cloth). The tip will wobble up and down a little at the moment of tenouchi.

Tenouchi in practice techniques

From 14:40-Last, example of good tenouchi and bad tenouchi

-> In kotemen: the slight lift after a hit with good tenouchi allows for a quicker progression into men.
-> in suburi: simply moving the shinai along its path will not help you train tenouchi. Make every hit a real strike, using force only at the imagined moment of contact.

Tenouchi in daily life: knocking on a door, hitting on a drum with sticks, waving a fan, wiggling a pencil to make it look like as if it’s made of rubber, hitting a fly with a fly swatter, bouncing a basketball, hitting a nail in with a hammer. But these are all one-handed actions! Tenouchi is hard to perform with two hands.
A strike is like hitting a fly; if you hit too hard or move too much too soon the fly will notice and run away.

How to grip shinai

From 12:20-14:10, how to grip shinai

Keiko Time table

10:00-10:25 suburi with shinai *1
10:30-10:50 basic training
10:50-11:00 Uchikomi *2
11:00-11:10 beak
11:10-11:30 jigeiko
11:30-11:55 shiai keiko
11:55-12:00 kirikaeshi

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