Master the tips for kendo stepping! A shortcut to improving your ability with efficient practice methods

Stepping in Kendo is an important technique that determines the outcome of a match.

For swordsmen at any stage, from beginners to experts, improving the accuracy and speed of their stepping will lead to improvements in their overall technique.


In this article, we will explain step-by-step the basic tips for stepping into Kendo, as well as more advanced techniques.

We will also introduce practice methods suitable for each level, so please use them in your daily practice.

Furthermore, we will delve into how to choose the appropriate equipment and practice equipment to support stepping.

Please use this article as your guide to deepen your Kendo stepping techniques and improve your performance in matches.



Introduction: What is Kendo’s stepping?

In Kendo, “stepping” refers to the action of effectively and quickly closing the distance when attacking an opponent.

This technique plays a central role in Kendo matches and training, and is the basis for a swordsman’s strikes against his opponent.


Accurate execution of the step is based on the Kendo philosophy of “unity of spirit, sword, and body.”

This is the idea that the true meaning of stepping is completed only when the swordsman’s consciousness (ki), the movement of the sword, and the movement of his body are completely integrated.

Through this step, the swordsman can make his attacks more effective and at the same time gain a defensive advantage.


Furthermore, the technique of stepping is not just about speed and force, but also requires an understanding of timing and distance, how to use your body, and the ability to read your opponent’s movements.

By properly combining these elements, you can make effective hits in an instant.


Therefore, stomping is a very important element when learning Kendo, and in order for a swordsman to acquire high-level techniques, he must deeply understand and master the correct technique and spirit of stomping. Required.




Basic techniques for stepping

Acquiring stepping techniques in Kendo is directly connected to improving the basic abilities of a swordsman.

In particular, correct posture, how to move your feet, how to distance effectively, and an understanding of timing greatly affect the accuracy of your technique.


Correct posture and how to move your feet

The posture in kendo is also called the “median stance,” and it is important to keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and relaxed.

The basic technique for walking is a technique called “suriashi.”

This suriashi allows you to quickly and quietly change positions by sliding the soles of your feet off the floor.

This movement minimizes noise and vibration to the opponent, making the movement less predictable.


Effective distancing and timing

When stepping in, it is extremely important to accurately grasp the distance between you and your opponent.

Range refers to the distance an attack can reach, and by understanding this distance, you can maximize the effectiveness of your attacks.

Regarding timing, it is important to assess your opponent’s movements and take advantage of the opening to attack.

For example, by stepping in at the moment when your opponent is slowing down, such as when he or she is momentarily holding up an attack or when a technique is breaking, you will be able to deliver an effective blow.


By learning these basic techniques and incorporating them into your practice, you can improve the quality of your stepping in Kendo.

It is important to build on the foundation of correct techniques and further learn applied techniques to deepen your own Kendo skills.




Stepping practice method for beginners

For beginners who have just started Kendo, acquiring the technique of stepping is very important in order to solidify the basics of Kendo.

Here, we will explain how to practice stepping, starting with basic drills, as well as common mistakes made during practice and how to correct them.


Stepping practice starting with basic drills

Beginners should start by mastering stepping while maintaining the correct posture.

As a basic drill, it is effective to first decide on a location and practice repeatedly stepping towards that location.

At this time, it is important to maintain the correct way of moving your feet (suriashi), the direction of your body, and the position of the sword.

It is also recommended to check your posture by practicing in front of a mirror and visually see any areas for improvement.


Common mistakes when practicing and how to correct them

Common mistakes beginners make when practicing stepping include losing their balance, stepping too shallow, or using too much force.

To correct these mistakes, it is helpful to adopt the following methods:

  • If your body is out of balance: To correct your posture, sit back, straighten your back, and always try to look forward. It is also important to be conscious of keeping your body in a straight line when stepping.
  • If your foot is shallow: To get a sense of the distance, practice repeatedly so that you can press firmly to the desired point. It is effective to practice stepping at different lengths to adjust the sense of distance.
  • If you’re straining too much: It’s important to practice in a relaxed state to adjust the amount of force you apply. In particular, it is a good idea to be conscious of not putting unnecessary force on your shoulders and arms, and to do the movements while regulating your breathing.


By being aware of these practice methods and precautions, beginners will be able to effectively improve their stepping techniques in Kendo.



Advanced techniques for intermediate and advanced users

In order to further develop their skills, intermediate and advanced Kendo players need to understand and implement advanced training methods and arena tactics that increase speed and accuracy.

Here, we’ll detail ways to improve those techniques and step-up tactics that will be useful in real matches.


Advanced exercises to increase speed and accuracy

Intermediate and advanced players are recommended to incorporate the following exercises to simultaneously improve accuracy and speed of technique:

  • Repetitive practice: Repeat the stepping motion many times in a short period of time to develop muscle memory.
  • Resistance training: By adding weights to your feet, you create a situation where you need more force than when you normally press down, developing leg strength and explosive power.
  • Video analysis: Take a video of your stepping motion to check the details of your technique and make corrections. In particular, review the speed and sharpness of the pedal stroke.
  • Timing practice: Practice predicting your opponent’s movements and timing your steps accordingly. Pair practice with an opponent is effective for this.


Tactics for stepping into the stadium

Stepping into the arena is not just about technical aspects, but also involves a lot of strategic elements. Intermediate and advanced players will benefit from learning the following tactics:

  • Read your opponent’s habits: Observe your opponent’s movement patterns and reaction characteristics, and use that information to choose the timing and method of your attack.
  • Use feints: Use feints (fake movements) to confuse the opponent, and then attack from a timing or direction that makes it difficult for the opponent to react during the actual attack.
  • Increase the speed of situational judgment: Develop the ability to quickly judge the situation during a match and immediately select the optimal strategy.



By learning these advanced practice methods and tactics, intermediate and advanced Kendo players can further perfect their techniques and greatly improve their success rate in matches.



Training equipment and support systems

In order to effectively improve your kendo stepping techniques, it is important to use appropriate training equipment and cooperate with your instructor.

Here, we’ll discuss recommended equipment and accessories to enhance your stepping, and how to work effectively with your instructor.


Recommended equipment and accessories to enhance your stepping

Useful equipment to enhance your stepping practice includes:

  • Stepping mat: A specially designed stepping mat has a non-slip surface that improves foot stability when stepping. It also has a shock absorption function, which reduces the strain on your joints.
  • Weighted Vest: A weighted vest that you wear on your body while stepping can help improve your strength and endurance. In particular, you can train your leg strength, allowing you to move more easily during actual matches.
  • Balance disc: A disc used to develop balance in stepping, strengthening foot stability and core muscles through exercises on unstable surfaces.


How to collaborate with instructors

Cooperation with the instructor is extremely important when practicing Kendo. Effective ways to collaborate include:

  • Receiving regular feedback: By receiving regular technical feedback from your instructor, you can accurately understand your own technical deficiencies and clarify areas for improvement.
  • Collaborative goal setting: By setting short-term and long-term goals with your instructor and creating a practice plan to achieve them, you can maintain motivation and efficiently improve your skills.
  • Utilizing video analysis: Analyzing videos of practices and games with your instructor is an effective way to visually evaluate your own movements and discuss specific improvement measures.



Through collaboration with these training tools and instructors, you can more effectively strengthen your Kendo stepping techniques and aim to improve your overall performance.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Troubleshooting

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, answers, and solutions to common problems regarding Kendo stepping.

This will enable you to deal with a variety of situations that you may face in Kendo practice or competition.


Questions and answers regarding stepping in

  1. Q: I tend to lose my balance when pressing down. How can I improve?

    • A: In order to maintain balance when stepping on the pedals, first make sure that your basic posture is correct. Keep your back straight and be careful where you step. It is also effective to practice training your sense of balance, such as by using a balance disc.
  2. Q: I am told that it is slow to press down. How can I make it faster?

    • A: In order to increase the speed of stepping, it is important to strengthen the muscle strength of the legs and make the movements smoother through repeated practice. Training using a weighted vest and short distance sprints are effective.
  3. Q: I feel that the pressing force is weak, how can I improve it?

    • A: Powerful stepping requires strengthening the lower body. Regularly perform leg-strengthening exercises like squats and calf raises, and develop practical strength with special stepping drills.


Solutions to common problems

  • Problem: It is easy for the opponent to read when stepping in.

    • Solution: By varying the stepping motion, it becomes less predictable. It’s a good idea to develop the technique of using feints or delaying your timing a little to see your opponent’s reaction before stepping in.
  • Problem: My feet hurt when I step on them.

    • Solution: Make sure you are wearing appropriate kendo shoes or tabi, and if necessary, change them to better fit your feet. Also, check to see if the shape of your foot is correct when you step on it, and reconsider whether you are putting too much strain on it due to the wrong shape.



Through these FAQs and troubleshooting, you can address common issues in Kendo stepping techniques and practice more effectively.





The stepping technique in Kendo is an important element that greatly influences the results of matches and training.

In this article, we have provided detailed explanations of practice methods, training equipment, and solutions to common problems for a wide range of levels, from beginners to experts, regarding kendo.

  • Beginners should start by mastering basic drills, correct posture, and how to move their feet, and then gradually learn the distance and timing of their steps.
  • Intermediate and advanced players aim to further improve their skills by practicing advanced practice methods to increase speed and accuracy, and by learning tactical steps on the competition field.
  • The use of appropriate training equipment and collaboration with an instructor will help improve stepping technique at all levels.


Kendo stepping techniques are complex skills that require not just physical movement, but also strategic thinking and mental concentration.

Therefore, it is important to constantly improve the accuracy of your technique through continuous practice and self-reflection.

In addition, by practicing daily while referring to the common problems and solutions covered in the FAQ section, you will grow into a swordsman who is even more skilled in actual battles.


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