What to do when the soles of your feet hurt during Kendo: A thorough explanation of causes and solutions

Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art known for its dynamic movement and spirituality.

However, strenuous movements often put a lot of stress on the soles of the feet, which can cause pain.


In this article, we will explore the causes of the pain in the soles of your feet when practicing Kendo, and explain in detail how you can reduce or eliminate the pain.

From reviewing practice methods to choosing the right equipment to stretching to relieve pain, this guide provides practical strategies to help Kendo enthusiasts enjoy this martial art in a healthier way.


Introduction: Common causes of sole pain in Kendo


Kendo’s unique movements and the strain on the soles of the feet

Kendo’s unique movements place a great deal of stress on the soles of the feet.

In particular, the walking style called “suriashi” is a technique in which the sole of the foot is glided forward while keeping the entire sole of the foot on the ground, and this continuous movement places strong pressure on the sole of the foot.

Additionally, Kendo stances and quick changes of direction can concentrate stress, especially on the arches and heels, which can cause pain.


Main factors causing pain in the soles of the feet

Pain in the soles of your feet in Kendo is caused by multiple factors. One is the use of inappropriate sword tools.

For example, ill-fitting kendo shoes or old tabi socks may not provide adequate support to the soles of your feet and may put excessive strain on them.

In addition, beginners who do not have fully developed muscles and tendons in the soles of their feet, or who do not warm up properly, often cause pain.

Understanding these factors and taking appropriate measures is the key to keeping your feet healthy as you continue practicing Kendo.



Specific situations where the soles of the feet hurt and their analysis

Let’s consider the specific situations and analysis of when the soles of your feet hurt, the types of pain you feel during practice, and the differences in how you use your feet during competitions and in daily life.


Specific situations where the soles of your feet hurt and their analysis :

    • Plantar fasciitis : Pain often occurs on the sole of the foot, especially near the heel, and is most severe when starting to walk or right after waking up in the morning. Pain may also occur when standing or running for long periods of time.
    • Arch problems : Structural problems in the feet, such as flat feet or high arches, can put inappropriate pressure on the arch area and cause pain.
    • Morton’s disease : Compression of the nerves in the front of the foot can cause pain and numbness between the toes.


Types of pain felt during exercise :

    • Overexertion Pain : Repeating the same movements during exercise can put undue stress on your muscles, tendons, and joints, causing pain. This is especially seen in sports that involve a lot of running and jumping.
    • Impact pain : Activities on hard or uneven surfaces can put a lot of impact on your feet, leading to pain in the soles of your feet.


Differences in how you use your feet during competition and in everyday life :

    • Differences in Load : During competition, the load on the foot increases, especially in fast-moving sports, which puts a lot of pressure on the sole of the foot. In daily life, we often move relatively slowly, which puts less strain on our feet.
    • Type of movement : Competitions often involve sudden changes of direction, jumps, sprints, etc., which require complicated use of the legs. Daily life revolves around basic walking.



By properly understanding foot pain and identifying the cause, it is possible to take appropriate treatment and preventive measures.

Additionally, by understanding the differences in how you use your feet in competitions and in daily life, you can better understand the causes of pain and take countermeasures.

If the pain persists, we recommend that you consult a professional medical institution.



Diagnosis and medical consultation for sole pain

Pain in the soles of the feet can be caused by many different causes.

Consultation with a professional medical institution is important in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and find the appropriate treatment.


When should you see a doctor?

It is recommended to see a doctor if the pain in the sole of your foot is in the following situations:

  • If the pain is severe and it is difficult to walk
  • If the pain continues for more than a few days and there is no improvement with self-treatment
  • If there are signs of inflammation such as swelling, redness, or warmth
  • If the shape of your foot has changed due to pain or your foot function is impaired
  • If the pain begins after an injury or accident

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This is to prevent symptoms from progressing and from developing into more serious health problems.


Advice from medical experts

Here is some advice from medical experts for pain in the soles of your feet:

  • Choosing the right footwear : It is important to choose shoes that fit your feet and provide adequate support. Especially when playing sports, it is recommended to choose specialized sports shoes.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises : Exercises that strengthen the muscles and tendons of your legs and increase flexibility can help prevent and manage pain.
  • Proper rest : It is important to avoid overexertion and rest your feet when you are in pain. In addition, cooling with ice or moderately increasing the temperature can be effective in relieving pain and swelling.


Through diagnosis at a specialized medical institution, a treatment plan tailored to your individual situation will be proposed.

When appropriate, we often collaborate with physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons to implement a comprehensive treatment approach.



Practical measures to reduce pain in the soles of the feet

In order to reduce pain in the soles of your feet, it is important to have good habits in your daily life and be creative when exercising.


Below are some practical measures:

  • Choosing and adjusting the right shoes : In daily life and when exercising, it is important to choose shoes that are the right size for your feet. Also, use insoles to support the arches of your feet if needed.
  • Regular stretching and strengthening exercises : Do exercises that strengthen the muscles and tendons in your legs and improve flexibility. Stretching the Achilles tendon and calves is especially effective.
  • Proper Rest : Get enough rest between practices and exercises to avoid putting too much stress on your feet.


How to choose appropriate sword tools

In order to reduce the pain in the soles of your feet in Kendo, it is very important to choose the appropriate Kendo equipment. Especially noteworthy are the bamboo sword, kendo gi, and kendo tabi:

  • Shinai : It is important to choose a Shinai that suits your physique and strength, and a weight and length that is easy to handle.
  • Kendo Gi : Choosing a Kendo Gi that is easy to move in and has good ventilation will improve your comfort during practice.
  • Kendo tabi : Choose kendo tabi that fits snugly to protect and comfort the soles of your feet.


Use of protective equipment and aids

To reduce pain in the soles of your feet during Kendo, it is effective to use the following protective equipment and aids:

  • Insoles for plantar fasciitis : It is effective to attach special insoles to kendo tabi socks to prevent and relieve plantar fasciitis.
  • Arch support : People with flat feet may benefit from insoles or pads that support their arches.
  • Ankle supports : Using ankle supports to stabilize your ankles can reduce the strain on your feet during Kendo movements.



By taking these measures, you can effectively reduce the pain in the soles of your feet when practicing Kendo, leading to improved performance.



Review of practice methods and improvement measures

Effective training methods not only improve technique, but also help prevent injuries.

Try implementing the following improvements:

  • Gradual intensity adjustment : Avoid sudden increases in intensity and gradually increase the intensity of your exercises to better manage the stress on your body.
  • Variety of exercises : Repeating the same movements can put undue stress on specific areas, so it’s important to diversify the types of exercises you do to maintain overall balance.
  • Adequate rest and recovery : Getting enough rest between exercises will help your muscles and joints recover and reduce your risk of injury.


Correct foot usage and posture correction

Correct foot usage and posture are directly linked to improved performance and injury prevention. Please note the following:

  • Posture awareness : Improve your overall balance by keeping your back straight and your head properly positioned.
  • Average foot usage : It is important to use the entire foot evenly. In particular, when walking or running, be conscious of landing on your heel, passing through the outside of your foot, and kicking off with the tip of your foot.
  • Strengthening the internal muscles of the feet : Strengthening the small muscles of the feet improves foot stability and reduces the risk of injury.


Training methods to prevent pain

By adopting training methods that focus on pain prevention, you can maintain long-term health:

  • Balance Training : Developing balance improves how you use your legs in unstable situations and prevents falls and injuries.
  • Improve flexibility and strength : A combination of regular stretching and strength training increases muscle flexibility and strength, reducing the chance of injury.
  • Proper warm-up and cool-down : Proper warm-up and cool-down before and after training prevent muscle injuries and promote efficient recovery.



By using these exercises and training techniques, you can prevent foot pain and maintain a healthy body.



Stretching and exercises to relieve pain in the soles of your feet

Certain stretches can be very effective in relieving pain in the soles of your feet.

Regularly performing the following stretches can help reduce pain:

  • Plantar Fascia Stretch : While seated, place one foot on top of the other knee and lift your toes up with your hands. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times on each leg.
  • Achilles tendon and calf stretch : Place your hands on a wall and extend one leg behind you, keeping your heel on the floor and the other foot in front of you. Bend the knee of your front leg and push yourself against the wall to stretch the calf and Achilles tendon of your back leg. Hold for 30 seconds on each leg and repeat 3 times.


Specific stretches to help reduce pain

Additional stretches to relieve pain may also be helpful:

  • Toe stretch : While sitting, extend your legs and gently pull your toes back with your hands. This stretch stretches the entire sole of your foot and helps reduce pain.
  • Towel stretch : Sit on the floor, stretch your legs out in front of you, and place one end of the towel over your toes. Hold both ends of the towel in your hands and gently pull it to stretch the soles of your feet. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.


Exercises to improve leg strength

Increasing your foot strength can help prevent sole pain and increase support:

  • Toe Piano : While seated, place your toes on the floor and perform “Toe Piano,” in which you lift each toe off the floor one by one and then put it back down. This exercise activates and strengthens the leg muscles.
  • Heel raise : While standing, slowly lift your heel off the floor until it reaches its maximum height, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat this movement 10 times for 3 sets. This will strengthen your calf muscles and provide more support to the soles of your feet.


By performing these stretches and exercises on a daily basis, you can reduce pain in the soles of your feet and keep your feet healthy.



Advice and precautions from those with experience

Kendo players with many years of experience experience various physical strains through practice and competition.

Here are some specific tips and precautions they use to prevent plantar pain:

  • Use proper equipment : Choosing high-quality kendo tools, especially kendo tabi socks, is important. We recommend choosing one that fits your foot perfectly and customizing it to your needs.
  • Regular foot and leg care : Regular massage and stretching can help keep your foot muscles flexible and prevent pain.
  • Warm up and cool down properly : Prevent muscle injuries by warming up and cooling down properly before and after practice or competition.


Preventive measures practiced by people with many years of kendo experience

Some of the precautions taken by long-time Kendo players include:

  • Balanced training : We focus not only on improving technique, but also on training to balance the body. For example, in addition to movements specific to Kendo, we often incorporate general exercises to strengthen physical strength and improve flexibility.
  • Nutrition and Rest Management : Proper nutrition and adequate rest are essential for recovery and maintenance of the body. Particularly during the competition period, we will strictly manage these matters.


Stories of swordsmen who overcame pain

Many swordsmen have overcome foot pain, and you can learn a lot from their stories:

  • Understanding the cause of pain : One swordsman discovered that the cause of his foot pain was due to ill-fitting kendo tabi socks, and he reported a significant reduction in pain after changing to a better-fitting one. .
  • Seek professional opinion : Another patient experienced persistent pain and consulted a specialist and underwent specific physical therapy to overcome the pain.
  • Emphasize the mental aspect : Many swordsmen say that dealing with pain requires mental strength. I also feel that by overcoming pain, I can develop stronger spirituality.



These experiences provide effective strategies and mindsets when dealing with pain.



Summary and habits to maintain foot health

Habits in daily life are very important to maintain foot health and prevent pain.

The following habits can help keep your feet healthy and prevent pain:

  • Choose the right shoes : Choose the right shoes for your feet, not only for the shoes you wear in daily life, but also for the sword equipment you use for kendo practice and matches.
  • Regular foot care : Massaging the feet, taking hot and cold baths, and taking adequate rest will help your feet recover from fatigue and reduce pain.
  • Balanced diet and hydration : A well-balanced diet and adequate hydration contribute to overall health, especially the muscles and joints in your legs.


Lifestyle habits to prevent pain

To prevent pain from occurring, the following lifestyle habits are effective:

  • Regular exercise habits : Regular light to moderate exercise will keep your leg muscles and joints healthy. We especially recommend exercises that strengthen the soles of your feet.
  • Stress Management : Stress affects the entire body, so it’s important to learn relaxation techniques and manage stress effectively.
  • Get enough sleep : Good sleep is essential for your body’s recovery and is necessary for keeping your muscles and tendons healthy, especially if you’re an active athlete.


Tips for sustainable kendo practice

The following tips will help you maintain a sustainable Kendo practice:

  • Consider the balance between technique and body : It is important to create a practice plan that focuses not only on technique but also on maintaining physical strength and avoid overtraining.
  • Allow time for proper rest and recovery : Rest between practices not only helps your body recover but also improves your technique, so be sure to include rest days in your practice plan.
  • Collaborate with the community : Exchange information and practice together with other swordsmen to help you stay motivated and learn new techniques.


By incorporating these habits and tips, you can safely and effectively improve your Kendo technique while keeping your feet healthy.


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