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What to do when I cant train?

So I recently had a pretty big injury on my left ankle. The doctors have told me no Shiai fighting, and my Sensei has told me that he doesn’t want me to come in and train until I see a specialist (I may have ligament damage) in case I damage my ankle more.


I understand and I realise they are just looking out for me. Sensei has told me that I can spend all the time I want at home doing suburi, just no Ashi-sabaki.

But it’s not Ashi-sabaki that worries me. I’ve put in so many hours this year in solid training in the hope that I can compete at the Australian Nationals next year on the QLD team.

I’m worried that a possible 6 months without being able to do any footwork or any jigeiko will make me sloppy.

Has anyone else ever been told they can’t train because of an injury? If so what do you do to make sure you don’t go too sloppy?

Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about your injury.

Yes, I have been told not to train by a doctor and my sensei. And I stopped until I had a go-ahead by the doctor.

My kendō life is about injuring myself as well so I can tell you that when you need to stop, you do need to stop.

I did do shiai when I should not by taking strong pain killers as a high school student. Was it worth doing? Yes, at that time. But no in a long run.

I still suffer from these old injuries.

But I know that this is not what you want to hear so I will list up what you can do while you are recovering.

1. Rest and focus on healing so you can get back in shape quickly

2. Keep doing suburi

3. Do kendō in your head (image training)

4. Go to the dōjō. Watch and learn.

5. Learn new skills by watching

6. Overcome your weaknesses in your head

7. Image yourself training vividly in your head

Kendō must be trained physically. I agree.

But not everyone is lucky to have instructors or 7-dan/8-dan sensei to train you constantly.

So doing kendō in the head (image training or mental training) is the best you can do and also it works.

Ask your teacher so you can be at the dōjō. Do what you are instructed so if he/she told you not to do anything but watch then watch.

But use your imagination and train in your head. It will work beautifully when you do it right. If you think you can only improve by training then this won’t work very much.

Here are some tips at The Nine Mental Skills of Successful Athletes from Ohio Center for Sport Psychology

6. Mental Imagery

Successful athletes:


  • Prepare themselves for competition by imagining themselves performing well in competition.

  • Create and use mental images that are detailed, specific, and realistic.

  • Use imagery during competition to prepare for action and recover from errors and poor performances.



Hope this helps!

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