1. The left hand pulls the saya straight back and in, as the right hand pushes/slides forward.
    The right hand begins to go a bit faster and the left hand pulls back and to the side with the little finger sliding along the top of the obi. At first, the tsuba/thumb pushed directly toward the center of the opponent, then the tsuka kashira.

  2. The cutting edge of the sword begins upright and turns on its side as the sword is being drawn. The sword turns along with Jo Ha Kyu.

  3. As the right hand cuts with the sword, the chest is angled almost directly front {slightly left}, and the sword slightly down from level and below the shoulder line. This enables the strong use of the hara. This should be done with the feeling of pushing the hara and koshi forward, and of opening the chest. The right arm should be stretched out, the right wrist mostly flat, the hara down, the spine up, and the head up. Put strength in the lower back.

Points to note:

  1. When drawing the sword, the hand and fingers should be relaxed and the tsuka in the crotch of the thumb and forefinger.

  2. This is a big movement with the sword. The right hand pushes the sword straight forward with the blade angled straight up and down. As the sword is about to clear the koiguchi, the blade is turned sideways 90° and the right hand goes slightly left of center to begin a wide cut.

  3. Jo Ha Kyu is extremely important. This is the build up of speed and pressure when drawing the sword and when cutting. Jo is the slow beginning of the cut, Ha is the point when the sword goes faster while turning on its side, and Kyu is the actual cut. Be careful not to leave out the Jo or Kyu parts.

  4. Be sure not to stop at any point in the draw or cut; keep every movement smooth, flexible, and continuous.

  5. In all Koryu cuts, the whole sword moves together, not just the kensen first and it all moves with the hara.

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