A complete guide to the conditions for effective striking in Kendo: A deep dive into standards and techniques

In kendo, not only technical skill but also accurate strikes greatly influence the performance of the match.

There are clear conditions for “effective strikes” that are recognized as points in a kendo match, and it is extremely important for swordsmen to understand these and execute them appropriately.


In this article, we will explain in detail the basic conditions for effective udatu in kendo, and learn how to perform udatu that meet these conditions.

It also introduces practical training methods and applied techniques in competitions, and is structured so that everyone from beginners to experienced players can hone their techniques and gain the knowledge to aim for a higher level of Kendo.


What is effective striking?

In Kendo, “effective striking” refers to technical strikes that are recognized as points during a match.

This blow must meet certain conditions, and only when those conditions are met will it be recognized as a score.

Effective strikes affect the outcome of a Kendo match, so it is essential for swordsmen to understand their meaning and importance.


Definition of effective striking and its importance in Kendo

Effective striking is the basic method of scoring points in a Kendo match.

These strikes are the deciding factor in the outcome of a match, so swordsmen spend a lot of time not only honing their techniques, but also practicing to execute accurate and powerful strikes.

Performing an effective strike is an act that shows respect for the opponent and the spirituality of Kendo, and is considered a symbol of growth and technical improvement as a swordsman.


Standards of striking required in Kendo matches

In order for a strike to be recognized as a valid strike in a Kendo match, the following criteria are generally established:

  1. Hitting the exact spot :

    • In Kendo, the parts of the strike are very strictly defined. The main parts that are considered effective are the men, do, kote, and tsuki. It is necessary to hit these parts accurately.
  2. Proper posture :

    • Posture during striking is also subject to evaluation. A swordsman must perform a strike in a stable position, and a strike that is not balanced is not considered effective.
  3. Power of striking :

    • Strikes must be made with appropriate force. A powerful and sure blow is required, and an insufficiently powerful strike will not be recognized as an effective strike.
  4. Expression of spirit :

    • When striking, a swordsman’s spirit is required. In addition to using a clean voice, striking with spirit is an important element of effective striking.



Strikes that meet these criteria will be highly evaluated during the match and lead to points.

Understanding and practicing effective strikes in Kendo will help the swordsman mature not only technically but also mentally.



Four conditions for effective striking

In order for a strike to be recognized as a valid strike in a kendo match, several important conditions must be met.

These conditions serve as standards for a swordsman to perform technically and mentally superior strikes.

Here, we will explain in detail the four basic conditions for achieving effective striking.


Hitting the exact spot

For effective striking, accuracy of the part to be struck is required.

The main body parts allowed for striking in Kendo are the men, torso, kote, and tsuki.

It is essential to hit these parts with the striking part of the Shinai accurately.

In particular, if the striking part does not make solid contact with the designated area, no points will be awarded.


Correct posture and use of Shinai

In Kendo, posture during striking is also very important. It is required to perform a strike in a balanced and stable posture, and a strike when the posture is unstable is not considered effective.

The way you use the shinai is also important; the shinai must be used at the appropriate angle and position when striking.

It requires the skill to accurately hit the tip of the shinai (sword tip) on the opponent’s body part.


Executing a powerful strike

The force of the strike is also subject to evaluation. One of the conditions for effective striking is to deliver a powerful and clear blow.

However, it is important to hit the correct area with controlled force, rather than using brute force to hit the target.

You can acquire this power naturally through repeated practice.


How to speak clearly and with spirit

In Kendo striking, spirit is also a very important element. When striking, players are required to shout loudly and with great spirit (kiai).

This voice not only shows the will and force of the attack, but also has the effect of boosting one’s own spirits.

If a player does not make a sound or does not have a strong sense of spirit, a strike is often not recognized as a valid strike.


By meeting these conditions, you will be able to perform strikes that are highly rated in kendo matches, and this will also lead to improved technique.

In Kendo training, it is important to hone each of these elements in a well-balanced manner.



Effective striking techniques by part

In kendo, strikes that are recognized as points require accurate striking locations and techniques.

In this article, we will focus on the main parts of striking (men, torso, kote, and tsuki), and explain effective striking and practice methods for each part.


Points and techniques for men, torsos, kote, and tsuki

  1. Hitting the noodles :

    • The men are the most common striking target in kendo, and are the part that corresponds to the opponent’s head. Men-uchi is a technique in which you use the tip of a shinai to strike against the midline of your opponent’s face. When striking, the shinai must be swung straight down.
  2. Body strike :

    • The torso is a strike that targets the opponent’s abdomen. Do-uchi requires the technique of swinging wide and hitting the side of the opponent’s torso with the side of the shinai. The key is strength and accurate angles.
  3. Kote (trowel) strike :

    • Kote-uchi is a technique that aims at the opponent’s wrist. When performing kote, it is necessary to quickly strike the opponent’s wrist with the tip of the shinai, which requires extremely delicate striking techniques.
  4. Tsuki no Tsuki :

    • Tsuki is the technique of thrusting the tip of a bamboo sword into the opponent’s throat and requires great precision and control. It is important to perform lunges with a firm posture while keeping safety in mind.


Effective hitting and practice methods for each body part

  • How to practice :
    • Practice from the basic stance : Practice each striking technique repeatedly from the basic stance to learn how to strike accurately.
    • Practice swings : Through practice swings, you will develop the accuracy and strength of your Shinai swings. It is especially effective for face and body strikes.
    • Hitting : Practice hitting continuously using an actual opponent. This will improve your hitting sense in actual combat.
    • Thrust pad practice : In order to learn safe thrusting techniques, it is effective to practice using a pad specifically designed for thrusting.


Through these techniques and practice methods for each body part, it is possible to hone your effective striking techniques in Kendo.

By being aware of these points during daily practice, you can greatly improve your performance in matches.



Points of effective strikes evaluated by referees

In a Kendo match, the referee’s evaluation of effective strikes is an important element that determines the outcome of the match.

Umpires evaluate strikes based on specific criteria and decision factors.

In this section, we will explain what kind of points the referee evaluates and strategies to get a high rating in the match.


Evaluation criteria and judgment factors for batting as seen by referees

Referees will consider the following factors when evaluating strikes:

  1. Accuracy of impact area :

    • The strike must be placed neatly in the correct area, such as the men, body, kote, and tsuke. The referee will strictly check whether the strikes to these areas are accurate.
  2. Power and cleanliness of striking :

    • The subject of evaluation is whether the strikes are powerful and smooth. It requires not only strength but also smart execution of techniques.
  3. Posture and form :

    • The swordsman’s posture and form during the strike are judged to be appropriate and stable. Unstable postures and unsteady strikes will not be evaluated.
  4. spirit :

    • The spirit when striking is also an important evaluation point. It is checked to see if the swordsman’s spirit is clearly reflected in his strikes, and the way he uses his voice is also evaluated as part of this.


Strategies to get high ratings in matches

  1. Staying true to the basics :

    • Practicing faithfully to the basics of technique is the surest way to get high marks in competitions. Learn basic striking techniques and practice repeatedly.
  2. Pre-match preparation :

    • Before the match, we thoroughly check up and check our form to prepare for the best performance in the actual match. Mental focus is equally important.
  3. Understand the referee’s perspective :

    • It is effective to understand what points the referee emphasizes and be aware of how to present your technique in line with that. I will try to make strikes that are attractive from the referee’s point of view.
  4. Response during the match :

    • During a match, always remain calm, carefully observe your opponent’s movements, and strategically determine the timing to strike. Hitting at the right time is likely to be highly evaluated by the referee.



By paying attention to these standards while practicing and competing, you will not only be able to develop your technical maturity in Kendo, but also aim to receive a high evaluation of your effective strikes in Kendo in competitions.

This kind of strategy and mindset is important not only to improve your technique, but also to increase the number of strikes that will be recognized by the referee.



Effective striking training and application in matches

Effective strikes in Kendo are the source of points in matches, so training to master them and use them effectively is important for the growth of a swordsman.

Here, we will focus on practical practice drills to improve your effective batting and techniques for use in matches.


Practical practice drills and training plans

  1. Thorough basic operations :

    • We will thoroughly practice the basic movements that form the basis of effective striking. This includes correct stance, foot movements, and how to swing the shinai. In particular, it is important to move with awareness of foot position and body balance.
  2. Repeated practice :

    • We practice repeatedly for specific striking techniques (men, torso, kote, and tsuki) to instill these techniques into our bodies. Aim for the exact point of impact to ensure the same quality of impact every time.
  3. Practice with an opponent :

    • Through practice with an actual opponent, you will learn the timing and sense of distance for effective strikes. Practicing in a manner similar to actual combat is effective in improving the ability to apply techniques.
  4. Video analysis :

    • Review videos of practice and matches and objectively evaluate your own batting techniques. In particular, we analyze whether the timing and form of strikes were accurate and find areas for improvement.


Techniques to increase effective strikes in matches

  1. Determining the timing :

    • Always observe your opponent’s movements, don’t miss the moment when their attacking or defensive movements slacken, and try to take advantage of that gap with strikes. Timing is very important for effective strikes in matches.
  2. Use of psychological warfare :

    • By reading your opponent’s feelings and incorporating movements that create a feeling of pressure (such as feints), you can disrupt your opponent’s concentration and increase your chances of striking.
  3. Choosing a strategy depending on the situation :

    • Depending on the progress of the match, determine whether to attack or defend, and select the most appropriate striking technique at that time. For example, if you are in the lead, it is effective to use strategies such as not forcing your opponent to attack, but focusing on solid strikes.



By practicing these training and techniques in practice and competitions, it is possible to greatly improve the frequency and quality of effective strikes in Kendo.

Improving your Kendo skills is not just about honing your skills, it also involves your spiritual growth.

It is important to acquire these elements through daily practice with the aim of improving your overall skills as a swordsman.



Summary: Conditions for effective striking in Kendo and training methods

In Kendo, effective striking is an important technique that directly leads to scoring points in a match.

In this article, we have explained the basic conditions for achieving effective striking, technical details for each part, and practical training methods to improve these techniques.


  1. Basic conditions for effective striking :

    • The four main conditions necessary for effective datsutu are hitting the correct part, proper posture and use of the shinai, executing the datsutsu powerfully, and speaking with spirit.
  2. Techniques by area :

    • We explained in detail how to strike each part of the sword, such as men, torso, kote, and tsuke, accurately, as well as practice methods to hone each technique. This will improve your performance in Kendo matches.
  3. Referee evaluation criteria :

    • The referee evaluates the accuracy, strength, posture, and spirit of the strikes. It is important to understand these points and utilize them in your matches.
  4. Practical training :

    • We proposed ways to hone your skills through thorough basic movements, repeated practice, practice with an opponent, and video analysis. These exercises will help you increase the frequency of effective strikes in matches.


Effective striking techniques in Kendo require not only skill as a swordsman, but also spiritual maturity.

Incorporating these elements into daily practice and improving your technique will lead to success in competitions.

This continuous effort will be the path to mastering the essence of Kendo.



Kendo glossary

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