weight lifting and kendo

by Juan Esteban Alvarez

I have been doing Kendo for the last 7 years, I hold a Jodan degree (you mean, shodan (1st degree)?) and I love this Martial Art. Before I used to go to the gym every day and did lots of weight lifting, and I wanted to go back to that, but I was wondering if this activity may interfere with Kendo in terms of physical condition or ability.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Best regards form Colombia.

Answer: Thank you for your question. Weightlifting itself is not a big problem for kendo. Having big muscles can be a problem.

I will use an obvious example. Arnold Schwarzenegger could not be a good kendoist because he has huge muscles. I don't think he could hold a shiai properly due to his huge chest muscles.

However, having lean and strong muscles is very nice. We really want to have a strong body so we will have fewer injuries and can train harder.

Male practitioners usually have a very strong upper body and that interferes with learning kendo. They rely on their arm strengths too much.

In kendo our legs are more important than arms. But a lot of people do think that they have to hit with the arms while the portion of the strengths is said, “80% in legs, 20% in arms”.

As long as you don't develop big muscles and you don't rely on upper body strength, I don't see any problems in weightlifting.

I hope this helps.

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