a MMB! Kendo Blog: Sharp Kote Cut

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, March 21, 2005


忍耐 + 掌握人生
Sharp Kote Cut

I trained at Master Kim's dojo tonight. Including tonight, there are only two more training sessions before the National Championships this weekend.

There were 6 people training tonight - Master Kim, Jimmy, 3 Korean kids and me. The first half of tonight session was standard routine - warm-up stretching, suburi. We then practiced kirikaeshi, kihon and seme waza, debane kote, uchiotoshi men. Tonight training was more focused on techniques rather than stamina. We were told to cut down our training intensity to half that of last week in the week leading up to the Championships. With less than one week to go till the Championships, now it all comes down to the mind. Visualisation would be a good way to help me to prepare for the competition.

The two points Master Kim pointed out tonight were about my kote cuts. I was cutting the kote in an angle. The shinai did not land flat on top of my opponent's right kote. Instead, the kenzen was pointing skyward and so the shinai was hitting the side of the kote. The problem was that my wrist was way below the kote level and so there was no way the shinai would land horizontally on my opponent's kote.

To fix the kote problem, there are a number of things to note:
  • Relax right hand / arm
  • The position of the right arm - the forearm should be closer to the body when relaxed
  • Check the cutting distance
  • Cut with correct part of shinai
  • Shinai should land flat on kote
  • Left arm should do the shinai swing motion
Initially, I practiced a few kote cuts with left hand only until I was confident that the shinai could land flat on the kote and cut with the correct part of shinai. Then I also gripped with my right hand and I could instantly feel the improvement in my kote cut. It had become so much sharper and stronger and you could see it was a clear kote cut.

It gave me so much more confidence with my kote cut tonight. I must remember this kote cut feeling so that I could use it in the competitions. Must keep practicing and visualising this perfect kote cut.

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