The movement of the shinai

kendo suburiThe footwork in kendo must be mastered simultaneously with the arm·movements. They should be one action.

The first movement is a sliding motion forward with the right foot, which must be kept along the same plane as the floor. At the same time, the arms are extended and the shinai begins its movement up over the head.

Once at the end of the swing, the shinai falls behind the body with arms bent. This movement has a shoulder relaxing factor and it is an excellent exercise -for conditioning the back and shoulder muscles. As the arm movement is made, the right foot has been extended. The left foot is propelling the body forward, and it remains slightly to the rear, with the heel raised about two inches.

The forward movement is a reversal of this sequence, with the arms coming from the raised, locked position and brining the shinai downward with a cutting movement as the left leg moves forward into place when the shinai reaches it's lowest point. The body is still held straight, with the head back and the chin tucked in. It is important to remember not to tighten the shoulders in this exercise. The arms must be relaxed. Suburi is a good exercise for making the movement of the shinai coincide with that of the body. It is useful also as a preparatory and supplementary exercise.