How do I improve balance?

by Manny

I have been doing Kendo for 2 years, about 1 time a week (our current situation here does not allow for more than that).

One of my main problems is that I don't have good balance. If I go down to Sonkyo, sometimes I will lose balance and have to shuffle my feet. If I walk backwards after performing Kata, I sometimes lose balance on the way back and have to adjust my feet again. After the last strike between two lanes of Kirikaeshi (when you go backward and before you strike the next Shomen), I sometimes lose balance.

I feel like I don't have control over my feet, and I'm not sure how to improve it. Do you have any tips?

Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry for the delay of my reply, Manny. If you send me a video or a link to your video if you already have a video online, it is easier for me to give you advice.

Some of my guesses are:

- Your feet are not apart wide enough

- Your upper body is off balance (easily rocks back and forth)

- Your toes come up when you walk backwards

- Your knees are locked

- You are not gliding on the floor or

- Combination of above

It sounds like you lose balance when you go backwards. When that happens, usually the toes are up. And your stance is too narrow.

When you lose balance in sonkyo, your upper body tends to rock too much. Do you feel like your body wobbles when you going down in sonkyo? Or simply you feel nervous when you sit in sonkyo because you feel unbalanced.

And also you can lose balance when your mind and body are not well-balanced. Your mind wants to do one thing but your body is not simply following that. You know? You want to strike fast but your body is not ready to strike.

If you have a chance to video yourself, do so. And analyze what happens when you lose balance. You’ve got to analyze yourself to figure out why you are losing balance. So if you let me see your kendo, I can probably analyze and give you a more specific solution.

Hope these help!

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