1. This is a big circular cut! Plant the right foot firmly. The left hand does the cutting and the right hand only guides/pushes the sword. Again remember jo ha kyu: the sword slowly comes overhead, then moves more quickly until the point of the top of the opponent’s head. At that point, the sword is moving fast and full strength is used. This is a circular cut with the wrists pushing up and forward. The elbows are stretched out but be careful not to fully extend the wrists!

  2. It is extremely important that the elbows are stretched out so that the cut begins at the top of the opponent’s head and is not a hit to the forehead.

  3. Cut through and down naturally, letting the sword stop at a slightly lower than horizontal level. A natural cut is up slightly, out, down, with a slight snap of the wrists, then in toward the hara, with the tsukagashira almost touching the body {hikigiri}. Originally, the cuts were made through the entire body and ended quite low down to facilitate chiburui.

  4. Expand the chest on the cuts and keep straight and tall, not allowing your body to rock forward. Keep your head upright and straight and stretch the neck and chest upwards when cutting, do not lean forward. Push the hara down and forward as you cut.

  5. Te no uchi: The right hand is centered over the tsuka with the thumb stretched down and around. This enables the center of the right palm to push strongly to ensure that there is no slipping when cutting. The left hand has the joint between thumb and index finger centered on the tsuka. On cutting, a slight wringing movement of the hands inward, shibori, is necessary for strength and in order to stop the cut sharply but be sure to keep your hands flexible and not grip too hard on the tsuka. Keep the shoulders relaxed.

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