How to Stand Correctly

If y
ou follow two basic principles, it is pretty simple to get a correct foot position. Keep everything straight and balanced.

Both feet should point straight forward. A common mistakes of bad footwork people would make is having the left foot turned with the toes out and heel in.
The side-to-side gap should not be to close or too far apart. The correct width will vary from person to person. General rule is that the gap from the heel of the right foot to the big toe of the left foot should be the length of one foot (Correct front view). Feet that are too close create an unstable base; feet that are too far apart are difficult to move quickly.

The front-to-back gap should always be aligned so that the toe of the left foot is even with the heel of the right foot (see below).

The Correct Stance - Side and Front Views:

If you do kendo in a more upright, standing position or with your feet extremely far apart, it is difficult to move as illustrated in the images below.

The Incorrect Stance - Side and Front Views:

Left and Right heel position should create a slightly forward-feeling stance. Usually the weight distribution should be around 55-60% forward and 40-45% backward, meaning that there is slight favoritism to move forward. This can be easily done by adjusting heel height. The right heel should appear to be so close to the floor that it is touching, but it isn’t, you should be able to just barely slide a piece of paper between the heel and floor. The left heel should be around 1.5cm or 4cm high. Any position higher or lower than this will reduce the ability to move quickly.

>> NEXT: Intro to Kendo Equipment


Note: Our sensei was too shy to show off his footwork, so he chose Matsumoto Wataru to be the model. Thanks Wataru!

© 2007 Gedastu USA Kendo Dojo