Thorough explanation of Kendo stepping techniques! From effective practice methods to points in actual battles

In Kendo, a strong and quick step greatly determines the outcome of a match.

Stepping is an action that effectively closes the gap to the opponent and attacks.

If you can do this basic movement well, the accuracy of your technique will greatly improve and you will be able to increase the pressure on your opponent.

However, mastering the correct step requires proper technique and practice.


In this article, we will focus on kendo’s stepping techniques and introduce ways for beginners to advanced players to hone their techniques.

We will explain in detail everything from basic foot movement to applied techniques in actual combat.

We hope that this article will serve as a practical guide for those who seriously want to learn Kendo techniques.

Let’s delve into the basic techniques of stepping in under the following headings.



Introduction: The importance of stepping in Kendo

Stepping in Kendo is not just a step to get closer to your opponent.

This is a very important technique for starting an attack and controlling your opponent’s techniques.

The more precise the step, the better the accuracy of the strike, and when defending, it will be possible to effectively avoid or control the opponent’s attack.

Therefore, learning the tread in Kendo can be said to be one of the basics that all swordsmen should master first.


Basic posture of stepping and its effects

The basic stance for stepping starts from a stable, low position.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your weight slightly on your front foot.

By taking a step from this position, you can maintain your balance while exerting great force.

When stepping, the front foot is quickly brought forward, and the back foot follows in a supporting manner.

If you can do this movement smoothly, you will be able to maintain a stable stance at all times while ensuring the speed and power necessary for Kendo techniques.


If these basic postures and movements are performed correctly, you can expect great results in each technique of Kendo.

For example, a quick step can put pressure on the opponent and create an opening in their defense.

In addition, stepping from the correct position can protect your own safety even when counterattacking, so it is extremely important in striking a balance between defense and attack.



Basic techniques for stepping: foot movements and how to use your body

In kendo, the movement of the feet and the use of the body are very important.

Mastering these basic techniques will improve your speed and accuracy during attacks.


What is the correct way to move your feet?

The basic way to move your feet during stepping is “suriashi”.

Suriashi is a forward movement in which the entire sole of the foot is rubbed against the floor, allowing the player to approach the opponent quietly and quickly.

The front foot should step low and quickly, and the back foot should follow quickly and pull back quickly.

This movement is important for maintaining quick movement without losing balance while shifting your weight forward.

Also, by moving without making footsteps, you are less likely to be alarmed by others.


How to use your upper body and hips

When stepping, it is also important to use your upper body and hips.

You should always keep your upper body upright and be careful not to lean too far forward.

Push your hips firmly forward as you step forward, tightening your movements.

By using your hips properly, you create a sense of unity in your entire movement and form the basis for powerful strikes.

Also, by keeping your hips low, you feel more stable and can maintain a posture that is easy to move at all times.


In this way, when stepping, the combination of accurate movement of the feet and appropriate use of the upper body and hips enables effective attacks and solid defense.

In order to improve your Kendo techniques, it is important to practice these basics repeatedly and let them become ingrained in your body.



How to breathe when stepping

In Kendo, incorporating correct breathing techniques when performing techniques is extremely important in increasing the precision and effectiveness of the technique.

Breathing during stepping must be synchronized with the movement of the entire body, allowing for powerful strikes and quick movements.


Effective breathing techniques and timing

Breathe deeply and quietly before you start stepping. This can calm your mind and improve your concentration.

When you begin the stepping motion, inhale and move your feet forward, and at the end of the series of motions, exhale forcefully.

This exhalation is also important when building up your “kiai,” and if you do it in time with the moment of striking, you will be able to exert even more force.


Specifically, the timing of exhaling should be at the moment of impact, that is, just before the sword touches or touches the target.

This method maximizes the power inside your body, increasing the power of your attacks and making your movements faster and more accurate.

This breathing technique also releases tension in the body, making the transition to the next movement smoother.


In Kendo, by synchronizing breathing and movement in this way, it is possible to maximize the effectiveness of techniques and reduce fatigue.

Mastering effective breathing techniques is one of the essential elements in improving your Kendo skills.



Practice method for beginners

Mastering the stepping technique, which is the basics of Kendo, is very important for improving Kendo.

A step-by-step practice method is recommended for beginners to learn tokoomi efficiently.

Here we will introduce step-up methods from basic to advanced, as well as exercises that you can practice at home.


Step-up method from basic to advanced

  1. Learn the basic posture : When practicing Kendo, it is essential to start with the correct posture. Learn how to stand with a sense of stability while paying attention to the position of your feet, how to keep your hips calm, and how to keep your upper body upright.

  2. Practice suri-ashi : Practice suri-ashi, which involves sliding back and forth with the soles of your feet in close contact with the floor. This allows you to move quickly without making any noise.

  3. Start with small steps : Start with small steps and gradually increase the distance. At this stage, be conscious of moving forward forcefully while exhaling at the same time as you step forward.

  4. Adding actual striking : Once you are able to perform basic stepping, practice striking using a shinai. At first, move slowly, focusing on accuracy, and gradually increase speed.

  5. Practice continuous techniques : Practice combining multiple strikes as a series of movements. This allows for a smoother flow from one step to the next, and develops the ability to apply it in actual combat.


Stepping exercises you can do at home

You don’t need a lot of space to practice at home. All you need is a slightly larger space, such as a living room or garden.

  • Check your posture in front of a mirror : Check your standing posture in front of a large mirror and be aware of the correct form when stepping. It is important to visually check your movements and make corrections.

  • Practice leg movements : Gently perform shuffles on a mat or carpet. This allows you to practice at home without making any footsteps.

  • Shadow Strike : Hold a Shinai sword and perform a striking motion as if there was an actual opponent. Practice repeatedly with correct form while being conscious of stepping in when striking.



By practicing these exercises regularly, you will be able to acquire the basics of Kendo stepping techniques and gradually progress to applying them.



How to improve stepping techniques for advanced players

For advanced kendo practitioners, further refinement of their stepping techniques will greatly determine their success at the competitive level.

Advanced players have already mastered the basic techniques, and require greater precision and strategic application of the techniques.


Detailed techniques at competitive level

  1. Improving reaction speed : In order to increase reaction speed when stepping in, it is important to practice quickly sensing the opponent’s movements and immediately starting to step in. Training that combines prediction and reflexes will improve your responsiveness to your opponent’s every move.

  2. Optimizing force transfer efficiency : To optimize force transfer efficiency, you need to improve the way you use your body when stepping. In particular, we will hone the technique of concentrating the entire body’s strength on one point by utilizing the rotation of the hips. This increases power and speed when striking.

  3. Multi-tasking training : Cultivate the ability to multi-task by thinking about and executing multiple techniques at the same time. For example, you will practice repeatedly performing continuous techniques smoothly, such as kote-uchi and men-uchi while stepping.


Strategy at competitive level

  1. Control of distance : In order to perform effective stepping during competition, it is necessary to have the ability to accurately measure distance. Always be aware of the distance to your opponent and practice determining the optimal stepping distance.

  2. Reading your opponent : By reading your opponent’s movements and habits, you can time your move. Don’t miss the momentary gap before your opponent’s attack begins, and hone your skills to take the first move by quickly and accurately stepping in.

  3. Utilizing psychological warfare : When attacking, it is also important to have a strategy that explores the opponent’s psychology. We use psychological tactics to execute the most effective attack when the opponent is nervous, overconfident, or tired.


By utilizing these advanced techniques and strategies, advanced practitioners will be able to achieve excellent results at the competitive level of Kendo.

Regular practice and strategic thinking will lead to further technical improvement and competitive success.



Stepping techniques that are useful in practice

In a Kendo match, victory or defeat is determined not only by technical proficiency, but also by the selection of appropriate techniques according to the situation.

Here, we will explain the stepping techniques that are useful in actual battles and the effective timing of attacks.


Step-up tips that can be used in actual matches

  1. Maintaining and adjusting distance : Always maintain appropriate distance during the match and make strides accordingly. By fine-tuning your distance to your opponent, you stay ready to attack or defend at any time.

  2. Reaction speed to your opponent’s movements : Identifying your opponent’s attack movements is essential for effective attack. By sensing the moment your opponent launches an attack and quickly responding to it, you can take the lead.

  3. The importance of kiai at the same time as tekomi : When tekomi, by putting in a strong kiai, you can increase your concentration and at the same time intimidate your opponent. Having spirit will improve the accuracy and power of your attacks.


Effective timing for a stepping attack

  1. Aim for temporary distraction : It is effective to step in when the other person is distracted by something or when their line of sight is away from you. By determining this timing, you can launch an unexpected attack.

  2. Immediately after exchanging techniques : Immediately after exchanging techniques with your opponent, it is possible to quickly attack again before your opponent’s guard hardens. This sudden step surprises the opponent and leads to an effective strike.

  3. When you sense your opponent’s fatigue : As the match progresses, there will be moments when your opponent’s movements become sluggish or their breathing becomes irregular. By accelerating the attack at times like this, you can perform an effective strike against an opponent who is tired and has low defense.



By understanding these techniques and timing and applying them in actual combat, you will be able to earn more points and get closer to victory in your Kendo match.

Consciously incorporate these elements into your practice to prepare for practice in matches.



Frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ)

Below are some questions and solutions that Kendo beginners often face regarding temi-omomi.

These are commonly encountered problems in Kendo practice and how to fix them.


Answers to questions that beginners often have

  1. Q: I have difficulty maintaining my balance when stepping on the pedal, what should I do? A: In order to maintain balance when stepping, it is important to keep your hips low and maintain a stable center of gravity. Also, by stepping your feet at an appropriate width without spreading your feet too wide, you will be able to step forward stably.

  2. Q: Should I immediately return to the original position after stepping in? A: After stepping in, it is important to focus on stability on the spot and watch your opponent’s movements before moving on to the next move. Rather than immediately returning to your original position, think about the best response depending on the situation.


Mistakes while stepping in and how to correct them

  1. Mistake: Your upper body leans too far forward when you step in. How to correct it: Be conscious of not leaning your upper body forward and practice stretching your back when you start stepping. Move from your hips first, keeping your upper body as upright as possible.

  2. Mistake: How to fix loud footsteps : The main cause of loud footsteps is lifting your feet too high. Try to keep your feet low and practice sliding on the floor. This allows you to move quietly and quickly.

  3. Mistake: How to correct slow stepping : An effective way to increase the speed of stepping is to consciously focus on speed during practice. Start with small steps and gradually increase the speed of your movements. It is also important to relax and not strain too much when stepping.



It is recommended that you use these FAQs as a reference to improve your stepping techniques through daily practice and hone your overall Kendo techniques.



Summary: To master stepping

The technique of stepping in Kendo is an important element that is directly connected to success in the match.

Mastering this technique requires constant practice and understanding the correct method.

Below, you’ll find comprehensive advice and next steps to learn and improve your stepping technique.


Comprehensive advice

  1. Stay true to the basics : It is important to start with basic posture and how to move your feet, and develop accurate techniques. Make sure to check the basics during daily practice and make sure to step in the correct way.

  2. Repeated practice : Stepping is a technique that naturally becomes ingrained in your body through repeated practice. With a lot of practice, you will be able to step faster and more powerfully.

  3. Use video analysis : Video your steps and visually check them to see where you can improve. Also, refer to videos from advanced players and instructors to learn the ideal stepping technique.

  4. Improving physical strength and flexibility : Since stepping is a movement that uses the entire body, it is necessary to improve physical strength and flexibility. Prepare your body with regular strength training and stretching.


next step

  1. Get feedback from your mentor : Review your technique with your mentor regularly and ask for specific advice. Objective opinions are very effective as a supplement to self-evaluation.

  2. Application in actual combat : In addition to practice, try actively using omikomi in actual matches and practice. Actual combat experience provides a valuable opportunity to further improve your skills.

  3. Challenge advanced techniques : Once you have reached a certain level of basic technique, try practicing more advanced stepping techniques and continuous techniques. Learning new techniques will improve your overall Kendo skills.



Mastering the temi-omi takes time and effort, but it is an essential process for truly understanding Kendo techniques and applying them in actual combat.

With the correct practice method and continuous effort, you will be able to greatly improve your Kendo skills.


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