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Strength training in kendo

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  • Strength training in kendo

    Just as a curious note I was wondering how anyone here trains strength in their swings. You could do it the normal way but I've been placing weights at the end of my sword for strength training. I wondered if this is odd since the heaviest I've seen is .5kg and that's really light on a kendo sword.

  • #2
    As far as kendo goes, aside from stamina, tenouchi and general conditioning there shouldn't be much emphasis on upper body strength. In fact, a lot of beginners tend to clobber their targets and cause a lot of unnecessary pain. Instead, power should come from the core, which is what is really needed to break through an opponent's center and to move with fluidity. Unless you already come from another art that also emphasizes core strength, it will usually take at least a few years to develop it.

    If you're relatively new to kendo (say, less than two or three years), then making your movements big in order to engage the whole body is probably the best approach. Open the chest, relax the shoulders, avoid locking the elbows and make big steps without raising your feet too far up (try to glide across rather than lift up) would be how I would approach it.
    Last edited by dillon; 31st October 2016, 10:38 PM.


    • #3
      When you add weight to the shinai, you are really training a different movement. Swinging a heavy or wildly differently balanced thing is a different skill than swinging a light thing. When the motion is essentially the same but with different weight it is detrimental to either skill. So my opinion is, don't do that. Train suburi with shinai or normal bokuto, not suburi-to or with a weight attached.

      Having said that, weight training in kendo can be very beneficial. Do whole body exercises like squats or snatches, and do them with a light enough weight that you can move explosively. A strong core and well-powered explosive movement will help your kendo. Alternately body-weight drills like box jumps or hindu squats can also be very helpful.