At Waikato dojo we were taught, as beginners, lift the shinai up first and then move forward as we cut down. I distinctly heard someone say that I should never move my right foot before my shinai starts to come down, and that instead we should lean forward a bit before we stamp. This has stuck with me for quite a while, and it has caused confusion here in Japan when Grumpy sensei said I should move my right foot forward as I lift up my shinai. He has also told Kotomi to do this even though she is a complete beginner, so I merely put it down to different kendo style.

However, there is an interesting discussion here about this difference in stamping.

Beginners: lift the shinai up and then moving forward as you cut
Intermediate: lift the shinai up as you're moving forward with your right foot
Advanced: move forward with your right foot and then lift your shinai up and cut

This improve coordination and timing, as you have to improve your arms' speed to achieve the third stage
And I think this makes a lot of sense. Perhaps Grumpy just starts off with the intermediate stage?

My big men cut has gotten faster so that now my body cannot keep up, and I've started trying out the second way of doing it. My ki-ken-tai-ichi is really good, but I have found that I tend to bend my body a little when I cut, perhaps because of lack of body strength. I have to work on that now.

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