Inoue Yoshihiko (8 dan hanshi) i katakommitén i All Japan Kendo Federation skriver en artikel om hur en gedigen tenouchi ska vara. Detta är en översättning som publicerats i <a href="http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/" target=_blank>Kendo World Forums</a>.
It is often written in books that tenouchi is one's way of gripping the shinai, but this is not the case. Tenouchi refers to the actions that allow the shinai to be controlled within the hands. In other words, it is an operation that involves the most effective use of both wrists and all ten fingers.
'chakin shibori' does not mean twisting inwards
We are often told to grip as if 'squeezing out a chakin', and this describes tenouchi at the moment of striking. These days people think of it much as they would squeezing out a rag, or tenugui, and make beginners hold a tenugui and wring it to the left and the right, but this is not what it means. A chakin is a thin cloth used in tea ceremony, and when you make sushi or sweets, you rinse the cloth in water and while gripping it lightly, move your hands up and down - this is what we call chakin shibori. It most likely originally came from the method used in tea ceremony.
How to hold the shinai
Next I'd like to talk not about tenouchi, but how to hold the shinai. Firstly, just like the teaching of old that it should be like 'holding an egg' from above, one should hold the shinai comfortably. Holding from above is the best way in terms of the range of movement of the joints and the properties of extension and contraction of the muscles. A grip from the side doesn't allow one to swing up, and you can't strike. All sorts of problems, such as hirauchi (hitting with the flat of the blade), and strikes without any 'sae', will occur.
'Swinging diligently is the only way to master tenouchi'
There are no other methods for mastering tenouchi except for taking up a shinai and swinging it. As you swing, you'll come to comprehend all sorts of things about the left and right hands. In Shinkageryu, there is a teaching called 'jikitou' (straight sword). It concerns striking shomen absolutely straight. They say that Yagyu Jubei dedicated himself exclusively to jiktou for a whole three years. This is because it's the best way to correct hasuji. At first, no matter what you do you'll end up with tension in either the left or the right hand, but if you repeat this over and over, the tension will disappear and there will be no deviation in your hasuji.
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