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Basic Swordsmanship

These are the basic things in learning swordsmanship.

The proper fighting stance will show your opponent that you know what your doing. It will also allow you to start your attacks from this position.
Your feet should be about shoulder width apart with your right foot infront of the left foot about one foot apart(12 inches).Your right foot should be facing straight ahead and the left foot should be on an angle.Your feet should form an invisible triangle.From your right heel to your left heel then up the inside of your left foot and to your right big toe.
The sword should be held right hand on top all the way up by the tsuba. The left hand should be below the right hand. There should be about a fist apart. Your grip shouldn't be a death grip but not very loose. It should feel loose but you remain in control of the weapon. Also do not switch hands. The right hand is always on top even if you are left handed. The right hand is used to guide the sword and the left hand is used for the strike. It is where the power comes from. The sword should be held at an angle and should be facing your opponent.

When you move to attack your oppoent you shouldn't be taking huge strides or very short steps. It should be inbetween. Also you should "glide" when you move. Your feet should skim the ground so that you are never off balance.

Overhead Strike-
The sword should be over your head and the blade pointed straight back. When you begin the strike do not transfer any energy to the right hand. Keep the loose but sturdy feeling grip. Bring the sword forwardfrom over your head and begin to straighten out your arms and you strike down words. Your arms should be fully extended at about 1/4 the way finishing the cut. Your cut should end at navel level.

Cut Right-
Bring your arms and sword across your left side like you would swinging a baseball bat. The sword should be pointing backwards. Bring the sword forward while extending your arms all the way through the strike. The strike should be level and stay along the same path always. Bring the sword about 1/4 around your right side and stop.

Cut left-
The cut left is executed much the same way as the cut right with some slight differences. The left arm when swinging should remain firm becuase when swinging right to left the left arm has a tendancy to bend. Make it a point to keep level and that your elbows do not bend very much.

The blade of a japanese sword is very good for cutting. When the target is hard,however; the sword may slip or flip. When you cut something,besides a downward attack, should be cut diagnolly. The blade should remain on the same path always. It should go from point A to point B without going a different way.

Your blade should cut easily even if you don't apply much power to the attack. If you handle a sword carelessly you will find it difficult to strike and cut.

When making an attack you should step forward with your right foot. Make sure it is always your right foot leading the attack.