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Height and Weight in Kendo.

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  • Height and Weight in Kendo.

    Greetings folks. I'm 16 and am pretty determined to take part in Kendo. Though I know next to no details, I found a kendo class in Tree Tops Park, Davie, FL. I believe the sensei posts on this forum as well, but I have no idea how active he is since the initial post of his that led me to find the dojo in the first place.

    Anyway, I have a question about height and weight. As stated, I am 16, but I am also 6'4ish (without shoes.) and weigh around 300 pounds. I'm not obese or anything (haha), but I am certainly overweight. I'm starting to work towards some weightloss, but I'm sure i'll still be significantly heavy when compared to others.

    What are some common advantages and disadvantages in the aspects of both height and weight? I scoured the board, and so I know a little more about weight, but haven't really found anything regarding height. How does one usually have to adapt when facing shorter or significantly shorter opponents, and vice-versa for taller people?

    Thanks in advance, guys.

  • #2
    Height effects two major things that I can think of off the top of my head. It greatly effects your choice of targets. For example, a tall person may have difficulty hitting doh on a shorter person. You may be so tall that to hit men against a really short opponent will feel more like you are hitting kote. The short person may have real difficulty getting your men, so they will opt for more kote and doh attacks.

    Another thing it effects is your maai, or distance. A taller person can strike from farther out. A shorter person will have to adapt to entering into the taller person's space so that they can get into hitting range. Maai is a big, important thing that people need to learn to feel out and adjust depending on who they are fighting and what stance people are using. With experience, people learn an instinct for when they are within their opponent's range and when they are not. In the beginning it takes some experience to learn what that distance is and it is different for everyone.

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    • #3
      loose weight

      HI, I have similar problem as you..... but I am 44 and not 16. My correct weight for my height is about 80 Kg, but its more like 110 Kg. I have been doing contact sports all my life, mostly Rugby and Ice hockey, so being a little over weight was a little advantages. But now, in tweilight of my sportslife, these extra pounds are killing me and my Kendo.

      It is good that I have been doing sports all my life, so my body is used to the riggers of Kendo. But with a little too much weight I tend to notice that leg joints, especialy the achilies (?) some times gives me problems. One of the biggest problems for me is to suddenly move all this weight on one leg to cut at a sudden target.

      All in all, I would say its better (for Kendo) to drop some weight, especially if your 16 (easier). It will take a while, but you will notice the difference later.

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      • #4
        Nodachi has it well put right there ... but all in all I wouldn't really say size post that much of a big advantage per se, in the end it's all up to how you use it. But! a little warning is that if you're really heavy, your foot will have some nice blisters on them sooner or later.

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        • #5
          Everyone is different, the key is the ability to find and maintain the balance required for your weight class. Good luck with Kendo.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Omnis
            As stated, I am 16, but I am also 6'4ish (without shoes.) and weigh around 300 pounds. I'm not obese or anything (haha), but I am certainly overweight.
            You're certainly significantly overweight and that is a big health concern for you. I'm glad to hear you're taking action. Might I suggest starting an account at fitday to help out with planning diet and activity?
            What are some common advantages and disadvantages in the aspects of both height and weight?
            Taller means you are hard to hit for men but an easier target for kote and doh, similarily for you men will be your main target whereas kote and doh will be less accessible. As a tall person you also have the advantages of reach, both with your arms and your step. Your weight is going to slow you down, but your overall size will serve you with body crashes (taiatari) so long as you don't abuse it.

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            • #7
              I can't speak to the weight issue, but I do think being tall is a mixed bag, from my perspective (6'4" myself). On the plus side, the reach is good, but on the bad side it causes me serious problems for maai. This is something I struggle with a lot as an early beginner when I practice with shorter people.

              Short people don't conveniently hang out waay out in space, where you can hit them and they can't retaliate. They will have a shorter maai that they are able to strike from, and since you are tall, they will naturally want to get closer to you (so they can hit you) than you will want to be to them. This means that they will be constantly closing that distance to bring themselves into range, and simply by doing that, they will be putting themselves inside your range, possibly so close that you won't be able to hit them at all. Of course, you are doing the same thing to them (in reverse) when they are farther away, but the difference is that they will be moving forward to adjust, at which point you will want to move backwards to adjust, and I think for beginners it's better to be the one who is able to push forward more easily.

              Some people I practice with know very well how to use this against me, closing enough distance in an attempt to get me to either back up or strike too close. This is all a mental game though, just something that I have to overcome in my mind.

              That's not to say this is any worse than the problems shorter individuals have, but I think being tall does not really bring any distinct advantages or disadvantages to the table. For every unique advantage I think there's going to be a disadvantage to go with it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
                You're certainly significantly overweight and that is a big health concern for you. I'm glad to hear you're taking action. Might I suggest starting an account at fitday to help out with planning diet and activity?
                Cool. Thanks. I am "significantly" overweight, but I think fat doesn't play that big of a role in my overall index. I could drop all of my fat and still be significantly overweight.

                Thanks for your feedback, everyone.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Omnis
                  Cool. Thanks. I am "significantly" overweight, but I think fat doesn't play that big of a role in my overall index. I could drop all of my fat and still be significantly overweight.
                  The BMI index doesn't work very well for athletes. I know that if you come from some sort of strength sports background (football, wrestling, lifting, etc), you can pretty push your BMI into the 30s and be healthy. At a BMI of 37 I was assuming you were carrying quite a bit of excess even if you are the star on your high school football team. A standard couch-potato with your numbers would be obese.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah. I need to start going back to the gym before I get to that point, though. Haha.

                    Thanks, Neil.

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                    • #11
                      same prob ,Omnis, Im 18 yrs, 6'2'', and 250lbs. Im just starting out too. maby well see eachother at a match one day (in better shape ) i'll be rooting for you

                      good luck

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                      • #12
                        Right there with you. I'm 25, stand about 6'4" and weight a solid 285lbs. However, when I started kendo about 8 months ago, I weighed over 300 lbs. I started dropping weight in a hurry, and by the time I got into bogu, I was much lighter and much quicker, and my wind had improved dramatically. Stick out the rough part, and you'll reap the benefits.
                        You'll be a bigger target, which will help you work on footwork and reflex. You may have a reach advantage, once you learn how to swing and reach properly. You'll be harder to move around, and find it easier to unbalance an opponent when you get in close.
                        The downside, of course, is that you won't be as quick or as maneuverable, most likely, and you'll run out of gas quicker.
                        Like i said, get at it, keep at it, and things will work themselves out. You'll come out better than when you started.

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                        • #13
                          Hey there, i myself am 19 years old. 5ft 2' and 9 stone. Sometimes i have problems but theres not much you can do

                          Best of luck

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Commander
                            Hey there, i myself am 19 years old. 5ft 2' and 9 stone. Sometimes i have problems but theres not much you can do

                            Best of luck
                            Is that 9 stone on the button or plus or minus a rock or two?

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                            • #15
                              lol i am not used to using Ibs here.

                              9 stone on the button

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