Queen Mary Kendo Club

Session #5: Cut with the left hand

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This week the session was split into two groups: those with armour and those without.

In the non-armour session, our coach asked the beginners to cut men with only the left hand (katate men). This was to emphasise that the power of the cut should come from the left hand and not by pushing/pulling with the right hand.

Beginners may find the following quotation useful.

“力 40・30・30”
Literally “Force 403030″

The force of a successful strike is generated by the following components: 40% = weight of the shinai, 30% = power of the left arm, and 30% = snap of the wrists.

– Tadami Ishihara hanshi, 9th dan, quoted from George McCall’s blog

In the armour session, our coach showed us six oji waza, which are listed below. It is important in all of them to move your feet as your opponent cuts forward to create distance for yourself to then do the oji waza. In the ura techniques, we step to the ‘south west’; in the omote techniques, we step to the ‘east’.


  1. Men harai men
  2. Men suriage men
  3. Men kaeshi men


  1. Men harai men
  2. Men kiriotoshi men
  3. Men suriage men



Author: Sybil Wong

PhD student in Molecular Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL

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