Kendo, stress and inner balace

by Ddp
(Indonesia)

Is it true that you can find your inner balance when you learn kendo?


I read in several web that kendo is really good for stress and inner balance?

And is kendo quite dangerous?

Answer: Thank you for your question! Firstly, I would like to talk about stress.

Kendo shouts a lot. You are required to shout from the stomach not just using your chest and throat.  

When you are stressed out, you experience something clogged up in your chest. After breathing deeply, you feel calmer and the “clog” in your chest will go away.

By shouting, you can release your stress. When you shout, you exhale. By doing so you can inhale fresh air. Needleless to say, it is a good thing.

About inner balance.

Do you mean mental health? Kendo is called “active zen” by some people. That is probably because of our constant breathing as mentioned above.

And the reason of “active” is that we need to coordinate our body movements. So unlike “quiet” zen practice, we use your body and then we learn to synchronize breathing and body movements.

Controlling yourself: This is what I tell my students. Kendo is not about controlling their shinai (bamboo sword). It is about controlling their body and mind.

If they cannot control their body they cannot control their shinai.

Kendo practitioners are easily distracted by their thoughts and greed such as “I want to strike faster than my opponent” or “I don’t want to be hit”. Once these thoughts and greed take over your brain, then you won’t be able to move your body as you are supposed to.

If you cannot control your body as you want, then you should start reaching out to the deeper self. What is stopping you to do certain things? Is it your pride of not wanting to lose? Is it because you don’t believe what you are taught because you don’t think it works? The latter one is very common since people have their own ideas of how things should work for them.

This process is hard because you must admit your weaknesses. But at the same time you can find your strengths too. So in this sense, it balances your mentality. And it will allow you to see yourself from different points of views.

About kendo safety. Kendo is one of the safest martial arts, even though it is a full contact martial art. You will get hit by a bamboo stick. Even with a set of protectors on, you do feel impact. Sometimes it hurts like crazy when strikers are still learning how to strike without unnecessary strength.

It can be dangerous if others intentionally try to hurt you. That is why you need a good instructor when you practice. He/she can stop such behavior.

Shinai is made of bamboo so it eventually has splinters and break.  So you should check your shinai all the time and take a good care of it.

Hope this helps!

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