We have the headmaster of our school, Toby Threadgill visiting again. The Friday morning session was an informal training with the sword. Adam from Australia joined us as we went over the four sword draws in our shoden curriculum. Some points Toby covered were:
a) When drawing the sword, the left hand pushes the saya out then as the right hands draws the sword, at the same time the left hand is withdrawing the saya. In this way you generate a fast draw.
b) Keep the shoulders relaxed and make sure when you cut, the power is transferred to your base otherwise tight shoulders cause the person to lurch forward slightly and lose correct posture.
c) Drop your weight through your step on the point of contact and not before. This generates power for the cut.
d) Keep the speed of the cut constant throughout. Like a switch; power on, power off. This includes being tense only for the moment of the cut and staying relaxed before and after.
e) Keep the sword between you and your imaginary opponent. Seems simple enough, right? Then why weren’t we doing that all the time?
f) Always have a feeling of pressing your opponent. Keep an aggressive mind-set, never passive.
I have yet to purchase my own sword and so will look into this with Toby this time around. I shared the dojo sword today with two others and it is apparent how quickly I lose my technique when just using a bokken.