Updated: Aug 27, 2018
Shinai sensitivity; a trait rarely talked about but of high significance. The ability to read the opponent by feeling the pressure he exerts on the shinai. Sensing both the movement and resistance of the opponent's shinai provides you with an indication of their skill, where they might cut and possibly their plan of attack.
37th Presidential Cup National Kumdo Championship:
This was match between Shin Yeong Bin (No. 75) of Chalwon City Hall vs Jo Jin Yong (No. 73), one of Korea's current top players and WKC team member. Jo Jin Yong is known for his incredible speed and lightning quick reflexes.
At 0:15 of the video, Shin Yeong Bin, a skilled shiai-sha in his own right, seme in aggressively by flicking a quick maki-waza downward pressure over the top of Jo's shinai. The reason is twofold. First to test and gauge the opponent. If he reacts with an opposing force, his shinai tends to rise upon the release of the pressure hence may open up the kote. Two: Done aggressively, it suppresses the opponent's shinai prior to attacking men.
In an amazing display of skill, Jo Jin Yong gauged the shinai pressure upon contact and immediately countered not by resisting but rather flow with the downward energy from Shin's shinai to sling down and up with a diagonal men cut. A cut arising from below the horizontal peripheral vision is difficult to catch. Sensing zero shinai pressure and not able to see his opponent's shinai, Shin quickly realized Jo's intention and launched a straight men cut hoping to beat him to the punch. Jo's first move advantage and speed drove his men cut through. First point secured.
This was repeated at 0:55. Upon moving out of tsubazeriai, Shin used a softer touch. This time, having less velocity for a sling-shot cut, Jo opted to move his shinai directly out of the way for an outside looping men cut; again coming from a low angle. The match ended in less than a minute.