Would kendo be the right sport for me?

by Stephanie
(United States.)

Hello, my name is Stephanie, I am 16 years old and I was wondering if kendo would be the right sport for me.


So ever since I was 11, I used to practice volleyball. I even achieved some trophies here and there in my school. But after I suffered an injury on my neck I stopped practicing it for some time, but I’ve completely recovered from it.

Anyways, I’ve decided to practice a sport again but now I am not interested in volleyball anymore as it was extremely stressful, and gave me some injuries here and there.

So I researched about kendo because I’ve seen some matches and I was really interested in it because as I read it not only helps to train your body, but also your mind, which is really hard to find on a sport these days.

What I am worried about though, are the following issues:

*Would I be too young to practice it? Most people I’ve seen practicing it are adults already.

*I am kind of scared of "The blister hell" that kendo can be, is there any way for me to avoid it?

*My stamina is not as great as before, as I only exercise the minimum these days, would that affect my training?

*My feet are smaller than the average of a person of my age; would that affect my training as well?

I think that’s all I can think for now, but I would really appreciate if you could also leave your own personal opinion\experience about it.

P.S: I apologize if my English is a bit broken, as my main language is Spanish.

Answer: Thank you very much for your question! And don’t worry about your English! I myself am not a native English speaker and if we start worrying about our English, we cannot say a word!

First of all, I would like to thank you for showing interest in kendō. I appreciate that.

Secondly, I will answer your questions and lastly I will add my comment/advice to you.

OK, let’s begin!

*Would I be too young to practice it? Most people I’ve seen practicing it are adults already.

No. Some kids start as young as 3 years old. So you can start right away!

*I am kind of scared of "The blister hell" that kendo can be, is there any way for me to avoid it?

You will have blisters. Some will be on your palms and some on the soles of your feet, especially that of the left foot.

The more you practice, the more you get them. And if you will not have them at the beginning, you are not practicing hard enough. So you want to have them.

However, once you have them, your skins will get stronger so you will no longer have any blisters.

*My stamina is not as great as before, as I only exercise the minimum these days, would that affect my training?

No. At the beginning, you will not train really hard. You should learn the basics. However, gradually your training will and should get harder.

So if you know that you are not in good shape, then you should start do something to get back in shape. Maybe as you start kendō.

*My feet are smaller than the average of a person of my age; would that affect my training as well?

No. Well, I do not know how small they are but you used to play volleyball, right? Then you will be fine.

If kendō is right or not for you is something you have to decide. But it is true that you can train yourself physically and mentally if you do it right.

Like any sports or physical exercise, if you do it way over what you can take, your body will fall apart. So you should take it easy at the beginning.

If you want to train yourself mentally, then you should prepare yourself to go through hard training. Your mental strength will take over when you reach your physical limitation.

So physically you think you cannot move but your instructor will push you so you have to move your body using your mental strength. That is how we train our mental strength.

And of course, controlling our emotions is a part of our mental training.

Kendō is a full contact martial art so by getting hit you feel angry, upset or timid. All kinds of emotions will take over your mind and affect your kendō.

So constantly we try to keep our emotions under control. We call the state of that mind, heijōshin.

Anyway, you should try first. And remember this. It will take you a few years to understand what is going on. So I do not want you to quit in a few month once you start.

Like you said, it can train you physically and mentally. It will take time for you to realize if it is really affecting you, especially mentally.

Good luck and do not hesitate to ask any questions! You can join this Kendo For Life Study Group as well.

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