I am looking for a long-term sport to keep me active, while helping me build up stamina and control over my strength.
I have a huge desire to begin kendo, as it seems to be a good sport that will do this. However, the career I'm hoping to get into is a surgeon, so my hands and wrists are very important to me (I play the piano as well), so I'm worried.
Does kendo damage the hands and wrist (if so: is it long-term damage or short?)
Answer: Thank you for your question. First of all, we do protect our hands very well. However, there is no guarantee that you won’t get hurt.
We use the shinai, bamboo sword, and hit each other. It is full contact. Some people hit really hard and others miss the right place to strike. As a result, you will get hurt.
Now I have been doing kendo since 1980, as of January 29, 2015, my hands are fine. I have never heard or seen anyone bust their hands by doing kendo.
But if someone hits you very hard or somewhere you do not want them to hit, then it will affect you for a while. For example, sometimes they hit you on your thumb, then you won’t be able to move it for a while. It goes vice versa. You might hit them where they do not want you to hit. It is always two way street. But…
If you don’t feel comfortable with getting hit on your hands, fingers or arms, then kendo is not for you. You should not do martial arts that involve full contact.
Hope this helps.