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Any advice for someone who loves Kendo but has very very poor eyesight.

by Dani
(UK)

I have extremely poor eyesight and have very little depth perception (as I do not have 'stereo-vision' so glasses and contacts do not help a great deal).


After years and years of training Kendo I am not improving as I should. I never had this problem with other Martial Arts as I close and attack, but with Kendo it is very difficult for me to land good cuts.

Do you have any advice as to what I should do, i.e perhaps adopting a different kamae or change of technique? I was wondering what your take is on this. Thanks for your time and love your tweets.

Answer: Thank you for your question and kind words! This is a very hard question. So you’ve been doing kendo without being able to clearly look at your opponent? I wear soft contact lenses so I can still see my opponent.

Let me assume that you can still see your opponent but very blurry. I think chūdan is the best stance for you because you can feel the shinai of your opponent.

Are you using a 39 shinai? I would try to use a 38. You can get close to your opponent by 3cm. It is completely OK in keiko.

If you want to use a shorter shinai in official tournaments, it is OK to use a shorter shinai but the weight should be more than the regulation indicates. As long as your shinai follows the regulation of the tournament you are participating, then it should not be a problem.

My shinai is shorter than the normal 39 shinai length because I cut it by myself. It is because of my shoulder injuries and also I want to train my mind by getting closer to my opponent.

Can you strike the targets in kihon? If you can, I think you should be able to strike your opponent in Jigeiko/shiai.

I will ask others to help you with this question.

Thanks!

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