Suguha only does one kendo move whenever she's shown practicing in the show. Even in Ordinal Scale her video to Kirito was of that one move. Is there any reason for the lack of variation?

  • I don't know anything about Kendo, but I assume it's to practice one's discipline in perfecting the single move. I'm sure someone with more knowledge can give a better answer, unless it's just "Animators are lazy"
    – TUSF
    Jul 22, 2019 at 17:48
  • 1
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times."-Bruce Lee. Suguha doesn't need to learn additional moves if she can finish her opponent with just the one!
    – Kevin fu
    Aug 2, 2019 at 4:10

2 Answers 2


As someone who has practiced Kendo for 16 years, hopefully I can give some insight.

The technique that they are all practicing is called "men (mask)", which is the strike to the head. This is the first technique that everyone learns when starting out, and it's elements are seen as fundamental to performing every other technique (the other basic strikes being to the wrist, abdomen and throat [kote, dou and tsuki, respectively]), so it's performed a LOT during the course of practice. If you were to watch a real kendo practice, it's the technique you'll see performed the most.

In terms of anime, I believe most characters are animated doing that because, whether you actually practiced it or not, it's the most familiar shorthand to show the characters are doing kendo. This is similar to a karate person doing a bunch of punches or a kickboxer doing the same kick on a punching bag.


I assume you are referring to this move:

Sword Art Online - Episode 15

While I'm not an expert in kendo, the way kendo is usually depicted makes me think that that specific move is one of the basic exercises that kendokas need to practice as much as possible. It's one of the most common moves in kendo-centered series/episodes. Some examples:

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Opening 1

Bamboo Blade - Episode 1

Katanagatari - Episode 9

A similar move in combat is the head strike (men), which Suguha used when she had a match with Kirito:

Sword Art Online - Episode 15

Bamboo Blade - Episode 6

  • 1
    I was looking for that first gif as an example and couldn't find it. Props on finding a whole ton of gifs from different shows! Thanks for the answer!
    – David Hobs
    Aug 1, 2019 at 20:42

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