Types of Kendo stances and their tactical meaning: Thorough explanation from basics to applications

In Kendo, stances are the basis of technique and form the core of tactics.

Each stance has its own tactical meaning and use, and greatly influences the kendo style of the user.


This article provides a detailed explanation of the types of Kendo stances, and explores the tactical role and impact of each stance on psychological warfare.

It also introduces the correct way to practice stances when learning kendo, providing readers with the knowledge to deeply understand kendo techniques and improve their practical skills.


Basics of Kendo stance

In Kendo, kamee is more than just a posture, it is a fundamental element that indicates strategic intent toward the opponent.

The stance reflects the swordsman’s technical level and influences the flow of the match, so its role and importance are extremely important.


The role and importance of stance in Kendo

In Kendo, the stance is the foundation upon which a swordsman develops his techniques.

The correct stance creates effective attacks and increases stability in defense.

Through stance, a swordsman can communicate his intentions and tactics to his opponent, and also read his opponent’s intentions.

Therefore, stance has a tactical meaning that goes beyond simply positioning the body, and is considered one of the first basics to be learned in Kendo training.


For beginners: Basic stance types and characteristics

Kendo has several basic stances, each with different tactical purposes and characteristics. Here are the first stances beginners should learn:

  1. Chudan no Kamae :

    • This is the most basic and most balanced stance.
    • It is suitable for both attack and defense, and is an easy stance for beginners to understand.
  2. Jodan no Kamae :

    • This is a stance where the bamboo sword is held at head height, giving priority to aggressive attacks.
    • Although it boasts overwhelming attack power, a high level of skill is required to master its techniques.
  3. Lower stance (gedan no kamae) :

    • By holding the bamboo sword at waist height, it is a defensive stance.
    • While focusing on defense, aim to take advantage of the opponent’s openings and counter them.



Each of these stances is important in learning a different aspect of kendo, and is an essential element in your growth as a swordsman.

Beginners who have just started Kendo are recommended to start by mastering these stances.



Main Kendo stances and their characteristics

The stance is fundamental to Kendo techniques, and understanding the characteristics of each stance is extremely important in deepening Kendo techniques.

We will explain in detail the characteristics and tactical uses of the main stances, Jodan no Kamae, Chudan no Kamae, and Shimodan no Kamae.


Jodan no Kamae: Characteristics and applicable tactics

The Jodan stance involves raising the shinai above the head and is suitable for swordsmen who aim to attack aggressively.

From this stance, you can unleash a big blow and put pressure on your opponent.

However, because it is aggressive, it tends to be negligent in its defense, and requires skillful technique and quick judgment.

If used properly, you can dominate the flow of the match and overwhelm your opponent.


Chudan no Kamae: Details of a balanced stance

Chudan stance is the most commonly used stance in kendo and provides a good balance of attack and defense.

This stance is used by a wide range of people, from beginners to experts, as it allows you to keep the shinai horizontal in front of your abdomen and maintain your overall balance.

From a mid-stage stance, you can react quickly and respond to many techniques.


Lower stance (Gedan no Kamae): Tactical use with emphasis on defense.

The lower stance focuses on defense by holding the bamboo sword facing downwards at the waist.

This stance is suitable for the tactic of inviting the opponent’s attack and then counterattacking with a counter attack.

Since it is defensive, its attack opportunities are limited, but it can take advantage of the opponent’s momentary lapse and deliver an effective blow.

It is a stance that requires patience and explosive power, and calls for calm observation and precise technique.


Each of these stances has different tactical characteristics, and it is important for the swordsman to choose one that suits his style and tactics.

The key to improving your Kendo skills is to use these stances appropriately.



Applied postures and their use in modern kendo

In Kendo, in addition to the basic stances, there are advanced stances that are adapted to specific tactical situations.

Here, we will focus on Idaten no katae and Bote kamee, and explore in what situations each kamee is used and what kind of effects are expected.


Idaten no Kamae (Idaten no Kamae): A strategy for launching a quick attack

The Idaten stance is a very aggressive stance, and is used in Kendo to initiate quick attacks.

This stance allows you to actively put pressure on your opponent, and is effective when making sudden and quick attacks.

By holding the bamboo sword low, closing the distance all at once, and attacking, it is possible to break through the opponent’s defense.

Attacks launched from Idaten’s stance create a great psychological pressure on the opponent, and have the power to change the flow of the match in an instant.


Bote no Kamae: How to use it in unique situations

The bote stance is a special stance that is not often seen in regular kendo matches, and is used to block a specific technique or launch an attack from an unexpected angle.

This stance makes it easier to block the opponent’s attack directly by pointing the bamboo sword directly in front of you.

In addition, from the stick-te stance, it is possible to perform techniques from angles that are difficult to perform with a normal stance, allowing you to confuse your opponent.

This often works to your advantage in psychological warfare, and by responding to your opponent’s uncalculated movements, you can secure a tactical advantage.


These applied postures bring tactical diversity to kendo matches and help swordsmen develop more flexible strategies.

Mastering these stances is an important step in improving your Kendo techniques, as they especially require advanced techniques and situational judgment.



Kendo psychological warfare understood from the stance

In Kendo, stance is more than just a physical posture; it also functions as a psychological approach to the opponent.

Let’s delve into the psychological impact that your stance choices have on your opponent, and how changing your stance depending on the situation can affect your tactics.


Psychological impact of stance selection on opponent

The choice of stance in Kendo can send a strong psychological message to the opponent.

For example, an aggressive Jodan stance can put pressure on your opponent as it shows that you are actively trying to score points.

On the other hand, a defensive lower stance means careful and firm defense, and may make the opponent feel that it is difficult to attack.

By choosing a stance in this way, the swordsman takes the first step toward gaining an advantage in the psychological warfare of the match.


Tactical adjustment by changing stance

Changing your stance during a match is a very effective tactical adjustment.

For example, a swordsman who has consistently maintained a mid-stage stance can suddenly change to a high-stage stance, strongly indicating his intent to attack and surprising his opponent.

This sudden change creates an opportunity to disrupt your opponent’s plans and draw them into your tempo.

By changing your stance, you can also change your own rhythm, which can give you time to recover when you feel fatigued.


Kendo stances are an important means of expressing the swordsman’s intentions not only technically, but also tactically and psychologically in battle.

By understanding this and utilizing it properly, a swordsman can gain a greater advantage in a match.



Kendo stance training method

The stance of Kendo is the foundation of the technique, and it is extremely important to acquire the correct stance in order to perform Kendo effectively.

Here, we will explain in detail basic practice methods to stabilize your stance and practice drills to hone your practical skills.


Basic practice methods to stabilize your stance

The following basic exercises will help improve your stance stability:

  1. Check your basic posture : Start by getting your feet positioned correctly, your back straight, and your hands positioned correctly. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees naturally bent, and your back straight.
  2. Check your posture using a mirror : Perform a stance in front of a mirror and objectively check your posture. This allows you to visually understand your own posture habits and areas for improvement.
  3. Build endurance : Practice holding the stance for long periods of time. This will increase your muscular endurance and keep you from losing your stance.


Applied techniques and practice drills for actual combat stances

Below are some applied techniques and practice drills to effectively use stances in actual combat:

  1. Practice stance while moving : Practice maintaining stance while repeatedly moving forward and backward. Through this, you will learn the technique of not losing your stance even while moving.
  2. Switching between various stances : Practice quickly switching from middle stance to upper stance and vice versa. This allows you to smoothly change your stance depending on the situation during a match.
  3. Application in interpersonal practice : Master various stances in actual interpersonal practice and learn which stance is effective in what situations. By changing your stance while watching your opponent’s reaction, you can increase the surprise effect of your attack.



Through these practice methods, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of Kendo stances and prepare for use in actual combat.

Correct stance is the basis for improving Kendo techniques and is directly linked to success in competitions.



Summary: The importance of Kendo stance and training methods


In Kendo, the stance is more than just a starting pose; it is an important element that expresses the swordsman’s tactical psychology and influences the flow of the match.

The various stances in Kendo each have a unique tactical meaning and determine how the swordsman presents himself and fights against his opponent.


  • Basic stances : Chudan no Kamae, Jodan no Kamae, and Shimodan no Kamae are the most basic in Kendo, and each has different tactical advantages. The middle stance is well-balanced and easy for beginners to learn, while the upper stance allows for more aggressive and aggressive play, while the lower stance is good for countering in defensive situations.

  • Applied stances : There are stances such as Idaten stance and Bote stance that correspond to more specialized tactics, and these are effective for specific tactics and psychological warfare. Through these stances, the swordsman is able to apply mental pressure on his opponent and launch unexpected attacks.

  • Training method : It is important to start with basic exercises to improve the stability of the stance, and gradually incorporate techniques applied in actual combat. By maintaining stances while moving, switching stances, and practicing against others, players are encouraged to develop reaction speed and tactical flexibility that will be useful in real matches.


Learning and understanding the variety of stances in Kendo practice is extremely valuable, not only for technical maturity, but also for developing tactical acumen.

By mastering the correct stance and how to use it properly, you will be able to perform better in Kendo matches.


Kendo glossary

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