Reasons why you should start Kendo: 10 benefits and effects of Kendo

Kendo is not just a martial art. This traditional Japanese martial art trains the mind and body at the same time and provides a rich spiritual culture.

The benefits of taking up Kendo are many and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and experience levels.


This article details how kendo contributes to an individual’s health, mind, and sociability.

We will also delve into how kendo promotes balance in mind and body and fosters a respectful attitude.

We will take a closer look at how kendo plays a role in your journey to calm your mind, move your body, and discover a new self.


Introduction: Why Kendo?

Kendo is one of Japan’s oldest martial arts, and its origins can be traced back to the swordsmanship of ancient samurai.

As the character “do” indicates, Kendo goes beyond mere fighting techniques and is considered a place of lifelong learning to hone morals and spirit.

This martial art cultivates respect for others and for oneself through training using a bamboo sword that resembles a sword.


history of kendo

Kendo has a very long history, and its forms and techniques have evolved over hundreds of years.

Swordsmanship originally developed as a practical skill for samurai warriors, but as the era entered peace, it began to develop its character as a “do” for the purpose of spiritual training.

During the Meiji period, along with the modernization of Japan, Kendo was introduced as part of school education, and was seen as a means to improve etiquette and physical strength.


The role of Kendo in modern times

In modern times, Kendo has more meaning than just physical exercise.

Through training that requires mental concentration, students learn the importance of self-control and introspection.

In addition, international competitions are being held, and this spirit is spreading around the world, functioning as a cultural bridge.

Through Kendo, many people have contributed to the improvement of cross-cultural understanding and interpersonal relationships, and this is the important role of Kendo in modern society.


Kendo can be said to be a path not only for technical improvement, but also for personal growth and harmony with society.

This martial art has systematic match rules and a tier system, and there is something new to learn at each stage.

By taking up Kendo, people can cultivate the ability to actively take on challenges while maintaining peace and civility in their daily lives.



Benefits of Kendo 1: Promotes physical and mental health

Kendo is an activity that benefits both the mind and body.

In this section, we delve into how Kendo improves your mental and physical health.


Mental health: the effects of mental focus and relaxation

Kendo training requires a high level of mental concentration, allowing you to temporarily remove yourself from everyday life and focus completely on the present moment.

This concentration helps reduce stress and improve anti-stress abilities.

In addition, through practice, students can gain a sense of accomplishment, which increases their sense of self-efficacy and leads to a sense of mental satisfaction.

Additionally, Kendo includes meditative elements, and the bows and breathing techniques before and after practice promote relaxation and support peace of mind in daily life.


Physical health: benefits of full-body exercise

Kendo is an exercise that uses the whole body, and is especially effective for strengthening the lower body.

Quick movements with correct posture use the force of your muscles evenly and develop a sense of balance.

Each movement in Kendo activates muscles throughout the body, improving muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Additionally, Kendo training includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, which contributes to improving cardiovascular function.

Regular Kendo practice will also help you manage your weight and improve your overall physical fitness.



Benefits of Kendo 2: Manners and self-discipline

Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art that goes beyond mere physical training and emphasizes etiquette and self-discipline.

This section details how Kendo promotes civility and influences personal self-discipline.


Improved civility and relationships

Kendo training places great importance on etiquette.

Greetings and polite behavior both inside and outside the dojo are some of the rules that must be strictly followed, and through this, students naturally acquire an attitude of respecting others in their daily lives.

Kendo also emphasizes dialogue with others, so it encourages the building of human relationships based on mutual respect and trust.

In this way, Kendo provides a foundation for individuals to learn social etiquette and build good interpersonal relationships.


Effects of Kendo as self-training

Kendo is also very effective as a place for self-training.

Kendo training requires not only technical improvement, but also mental endurance and concentration.

Repetitive practice during training also helps develop self-control and patience.

Furthermore, by continually challenging your own limits, you can increase your inner strength and self-esteem.

These self-training effects gained through Kendo greatly contribute to a person’s growth and success in academics, career, and even personal life.



Advantage 3 of Kendo: Increased self-confidence and development of leadership

Kendo provides important elements that contribute to increasing self-confidence and developing leadership skills.

Through this martial art, individuals can hone their inner strength and outward leadership skills at the same time.


Confidence gained through competition

Kendo competitions not only test an individual’s technique, but also their psychological strength.

As you face your opponents, you will be able to face your own abilities and limitations, and gain experience in overcoming them.

This will enable them to feel the improvement in their own skills and develop the courage and confidence to take on new challenges.

In addition, experiencing success in a fair game increases self-efficacy and forms the basis for acting with confidence in daily life.


Team activities and leadership skills development

While Kendo has a strong individual competitive aspect, team competitions and training at the dojo require teamwork.

This develops coordination by helping and supporting other members.

Additionally, since advanced students often take on the role of teaching beginners, leadership skills are naturally developed.

These experiences will improve your ability to lead and influence others, providing skills that will help you demonstrate leadership in your social life and at work.

Leadership learned through Kendo means having the ability to self-direct problem-solving and the ability to bring a team together, which will lead to success in every aspect of life.



Benefits of Kendo 4: International exchange and cultural understanding

Kendo is a martial art that originated in Japan, but has now spread throughout the world, forming an international community of people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

This section explores how kendo promotes international exchange and cultural understanding.


Kendo community spreads all over the world

Kendo is practiced all over the world, with dedicated dojos established in many countries and regions.

International competitions and seminars are frequently held, attracting kendo practitioners from all over the world.

Such an environment provides a forum for direct interaction with people from different countries and creates opportunities for mutual understanding through sharing common interests and passions.

Through Kendo, you can experience cultures and values ​​from around the world, and foster international friendships and cooperative relationships.


Cultural exchange and understanding of diversity

Kendo has a strong cultural element in its teachings, and plays a role in conveying Japan’s traditions and spirit to the world.

Learning kendo is more than simply mastering techniques; it involves understanding unique Japanese values ​​such as courtesy, respect, and self-reflection.

By learning about other cultures through Kendo, participants gain a new perspective to reevaluate their own culture, which fosters tolerance for diversity.

Activities within the international Kendo community also help eliminate cross-cultural misunderstandings and promote communication based on mutual respect.



Steps to actually start Kendo

There are several specific steps required to begin Kendo.

Here we will explain how to choose a dojo, the equipment required to practice Kendo, and how to use it correctly.


How to choose a dojo

Choosing the right dojo to learn Kendo is very important. To choose a good dojo, consider the following points:

  • Instructor qualifications and experience : Check what kind of experience and qualifications the instructor has. Learning from an experienced and reliable instructor is important because it allows you to learn not only the techniques but also the spirit of Kendo correctly.
  • Facility equipment : It is also important that the dojo’s facilities are well-equipped. Make sure that the environment is suitable for safe practice, such as the size of the space, the condition of the floor, and the cleanliness of the changing rooms.
  • Class size and composition : Also check class size, age group, level, etc. It is important to consider whether the environment is conducive to learning.
  • Atmosphere of the dojo : We recommend that you actually visit the dojo once and see the training process. The atmosphere of the dojo and the compatibility with other students are also important factors in continuing Kendo.


Necessary equipment and how to use it

To begin Kendo, you will need the following basic equipment:

  • Shinai : A mock sword used in Kendo practice. Choose the size and weight that suits you.
  • Armor : Equipment for protection when receiving a blow, consisting of the men (head), torso (body), kote (wrists and backs of hands), and tare (below the waist).
  • Kendo wear : Clothes for practice, including a jacket (hakama) and pants (hakama).


When handling equipment, it is important to observe the following points:

  • Storage and Maintenance : After use, dry the armor in a well-ventilated place to prevent mold and odor from forming. Apply oil regularly to prevent the wood from splitting.
  • How to wear it correctly : Learn how to wear protective gear and be careful not to wear it incorrectly and cause injury.


By following these steps, you can learn Kendo safely and enjoyably.



Famous Kendo players and their influence

Kendo has many influential athletes who influence many people with their techniques and spirit.

Here we will introduce some famous kendo artists known both domestically and internationally, and consider their influence on the world of kendo.


Famous Kendoist in Japan

  • Kyuzo Mifune : Known as a person who greatly contributed to the modernization of kendo, he holds the rank of 9th dan in kendo. His philosophy and teaching methods for Kendo continue to influence many Kendo practitioners even today.
  • Sasaburo Takano : Known for his technical excellence as well as his focus on teaching the spiritual aspects of Kendo. His way of life and approach to Kendo is considered a moral example.


Famous Kendo master from abroad

  • Alex Bennett : An internationally active Kendo practitioner from New Zealand. After studying in Japan, he has written many books and given lectures to spread Kendo around the world. His activities have greatly contributed to the internationalization of Kendo.
  • Kim Hyun-soo : A Korean Kendo practitioner who has won gold medals in international competitions such as the Asian Games. His skills and passion for Kendo have inspired many young people in Korea and abroad to take up Kendo.



These athletes are not only technically excellent, but also embody and convey the spirit of Kendo.

Their presence is a source of motivation for many people learning Kendo and serves as a guide to walking the right path.

Furthermore, by viewing Kendo from an international perspective and contributing to its spread, exchange and understanding beyond cultural boundaries is progressing.

As a result, Kendo has grown into a cultural activity that is widely respected and loved around the world.



Summary: What Kendo can bring you

Kendo is more than just a sport or exercise, there are many benefits that can be gained through it.

As we have seen throughout this article, Kendo has elements that contribute to many aspects of life, including physical and mental health, civility and self-discipline, increased self-confidence and leadership development, and international exchange and cultural understanding. Masu.


mental and physical health

Kendo helps balance the mind and body.

Kendo, as a full-body exercise, supports a healthy lifestyle by reducing stress through the effects of mental focus and relaxation.


civility and self-discipline

Daily practice is a place to learn courtesy and respect, which is the basis for building good relationships in social life.

Kendo also greatly contributes to inner growth and encourages continuous self-improvement.


confidence and leadership

The confidence you gain through competition has a positive impact on other areas of your life.

Additionally, Kendo has the aspect of being a team activity, providing an environment that naturally fosters leadership skills.


International exchange and cultural understanding

Kendo acts as a bridge connecting people around the world and plays an important role in deepening understanding and respect between different cultures.


Starting Kendo is the first step to enjoying these benefits.

While it is important to hone your technique, the essence of Kendo lies in its spiritual aspect.

By mastering the way, Kendo will bring new value to your life and make it more fulfilling.



Kendo glossary

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