The ultimate guide to becoming stronger in Kendo: from basics to advanced techniques

Kendo is more than just a martial art; it is also a challenge for those seeking physical skill and spiritual growth.

In order to become strong in Kendo, you not only need to learn the correct techniques, but also to balance your mind and body.


This article provides a comprehensive guide to becoming stronger in Kendo.

We will delve into each aspect of Kendo in detail, from how to hone basic techniques to developing mental strength and understanding tactics, and provide specific advice for beginners to experienced players to advance to the next level.

The following headings will explain in detail the basic way of thinking and mindset necessary to become strong in Kendo.



Introduction: What you need to become strong in Kendo

In order to become strong in Kendo, you need not only technical training, but also a proper mental attitude and a continuous attitude.

In this section, we will delve into the basic mindset and mindset to become stronger in Kendo.


basic way of thinking

  1. Persistence is power : Improving your skills in Kendo cannot be achieved overnight. The key to success is to have a long-term perspective and practice daily. Only through continuous effort can technology be steadily improved and combat capability developed.

  2. Overall balance : Kendo involves not only technique, but also physical strength and mental strength, all of which work together closely. It is important to understand this balance and train each element equally. It is necessary to perform muscle training to support physical strength, mental training to strengthen the mind, and hone technique at the same time.

  3. Challenge yourself without fear of failure : In order to grow, it is essential to try new techniques and tactics and learn from failure. The only way forward in Kendo is through repeated failures. Failure in a safe environment provides opportunities for technical insight and self-improvement.



  1. Respect etiquette : Kendo is a martial art that places great importance on etiquette. Courteous behavior both inside and outside the dojo shows respect for others and self-discipline, and forms the character of a kendo practitioner.

  2. Maintaining concentration : You are required to maintain a high level of concentration at all times during practice. It is important to always stay focused on the current movement, as a moment of laxity can lead to technical mistakes.

  3. Learning from instructors : In order to improve, it is essential to learn from experienced instructors and seniors. It is important to be willing to accept their advice and use criticism as food for growth.



In order to become strong in Kendo, it is necessary to understand these basic ideas and attitudes, and to faithfully engage in daily practice.

In the next section, we will take a closer look at how to hone the basic techniques of Kendo.



How to hone basic techniques

Success in Kendo begins with accurate mastery of basic techniques.

Correct posture, strike style, and footwork are important elements that form the basis of Kendo.

Here we will introduce the details of these basic techniques and how to practice them.


Learning correct posture

  1. Basic stance (basic stance) : The basic stance of Kendo is the basis of overall balance and movement. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, and place one foot slightly in front of you to maintain stability. Keep your back straight, relaxed, and lean your upper body slightly forward. All movements begin from this position, so precision is required.

  2. Stability of center of gravity : Stability of center of gravity is very important in Kendo. Always keep your center of gravity low and try not to lose your balance during movement. This is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of attack and defense.


technique of hitting

  1. Accurate striking : Kendo strikes aim at four areas: the men, the kote, the do, and the tsuki. Each strike has a specific form and force, and practicing these repeatedly will improve your accuracy.

  2. Timing of strikes : It is important to read the enemy’s movements and strike at the right time. This timing is honed through numerous matches and repeated practice.


footwork practice

  1. Moving quickly : Kendo requires you to move quickly and quietly. Master the basics of forward, backward, and lateral movement, and practice to perform them smoothly.

  2. How to practice foot movements : Improve coordination between your legs and upper body by moving your legs at the same time through continuous practice swings. Shadow Kendo (imaginary practice) is also effective in improving speed and accuracy at the same time.


Refining the basic techniques of Kendo is nothing but solidifying your foundation as a Kendo practitioner.

By learning these techniques and practicing them repeatedly, your performance in Kendo will definitely improve.

In the next section, we’ll delve into how you can further improve your Kendo performance by focusing on building your physical strength and strength.



Strengthening physical strength and muscle strength

In Kendo, it is not only important to improve technique, but also to strengthen physical strength and muscle strength.

Appropriate physical fitness and muscle strength effectively support Kendo movements and enable precise execution of techniques.

Below, we will introduce training methods to strengthen the physical strength and muscle strength required for Kendo.


physical strength training

  1. Aerobic exercise : Kendo requires endurance. Regularly performing aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, and swimming will improve your cardiovascular function and build your physical strength to withstand long training sessions and competitions.

  2. Interval Training : Interval training, which involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by low-intensity recovery, is effective in adapting to the physical demands of Kendo competition format. This develops the ability to exert high energy in a short period of time.


muscle strength training

  1. Weight Training : Weight training is performed to strengthen the main muscle groups used in Kendo. It’s especially important to focus on building leg strength, core strength, and arm and shoulder muscles. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are effective.

  2. Core Training : Kendo movements require a stable core. Core exercises such as planks, side planks, and Russian twists increase core strength, improving overall movement stability and force transfer.


Improved flexibility and balance

  1. Stretching : Kendo movements require flexibility, so daily stretching is essential. Increasing your flexibility, especially in your hips, legs, and shoulders, will improve the accuracy and range of your movements.

  2. Balance exercises : By performing exercises using a balance ball or standing on one leg, you will train your body’s sense of balance and improve your ability to control your body during Kendo movements.



By combining these training methods, you can effectively strengthen both the physical strength and muscle strength needed to improve Kendo performance.

The next section will focus on developing an understanding of tactics and strategy to further advance your Kendo technique.



Understanding tactics and strategy

In competitive kendo, tactics and strategy are just as important as technical skills.

By understanding these and applying them appropriately, you will be able to read the flow of the match and advance to your advantage.

Here we will explain the effective tactical approaches and strategies used in competitive kendo.


Fundamentals of a tactical approach

  1. Management of mai : In kendo, mai is the sense of distance between you and your opponent, and it is important to control this distance. By freely controlling the distance, you can effectively launch your own attacks while blocking your opponent’s attacks.

  2. Reading initial movements : The ability to predict your opponent’s movements and read their initial movements is essential to gaining an advantage in Kendo. You need to be able to predict the other person’s next actions based on their small movements, breathing, and gaze, and take the initiative.

  3. Using feints : This is a tactic of using feints (fake movements) to confuse the opponent and make it easier to score points with the actual attack. Feints are also effective as a test to see how your opponent reacts.


How to create an effective strategy

  1. Analyzing your opponent’s style : It is important to analyze your opponent’s fighting style in advance and find its weaknesses. This includes watching videos of previous matches and observing during matches.

  2. Make the most of your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses : Develop strategies to maximize your strengths and cover your weaknesses. For example, a Kendo player with strong attack power fights aggressively, while a Kendo player who is good at defense fights cautiously.

  3. Control the flow of the match : Controlling the pace of the match is the key to maintaining a strategic advantage. You need the flexibility to change your strategy depending on the situation, such as actively trying to score points or solidifying your defense and waiting for your opponent to get tired.



Understanding and applying tactics and strategies in competitive kendo requires not only technique but also mental acuity.

By honing these elements, you will improve your overall ability as a kendo practitioner and increase your success rate in matches.

The next section focuses on developing mental strength in Kendo and explores ways to increase inner strength.



Cultivation of mental strength

In Kendo, it is not only important to acquire technical proficiency, but also to strengthen mental strength.

Mental fortitude helps you withstand the pressure of a match, maintain focus, and overcome fear and anxiety.

Here we explore the importance of mental strength in Kendo and how to improve it.


importance of mental strength

A Kendo match requires mental strength as much as technical skill.

Kendo players with strong mental strength are able to respond calmly to unexpected situations and unexpected challenges, and are able to consistently deliver their best performance.

Kendo’s mental strength also directly affects stress management and self-control in daily life, improving the overall quality of life.


How to increase mental strength

  1. Meditation and breathing techniques : Meditation is a basic method for cultivating mental strength in Kendo. By practicing daily meditation, you can clear your mind and improve your concentration. Meditation, which calms the mind along with deep breathing, is especially effective for relieving tension before a game.

  2. Goal setting and self-reflection : Develop mental strength through the process of setting clear goals and working toward them. After practices and games, we do self-reflection and think about what went well and how we can improve. This habit is important for objectively evaluating one’s own actions and promoting spiritual growth.

  3. Make positive thinking a habit : Success in Kendo comes from positive thinking. Having faith in yourself and having confidence that you can overcome any difficulties will improve your mental strength. It is important to view difficulties and failures as experiential learning, and to look for solutions positively.

  4. Learning from experience : Experiencing real matches and practices is one of the most effective ways to develop mental strength. Experience, especially under pressure, will equip you to respond calmly and effectively when you encounter similar situations in the future.



Cultivating mental strength in Kendo is not just limited to training at the dojo, but can be practiced in all aspects of daily life.

These methods of strengthening your mental strength are extremely effective for growing not only as a Kendo practitioner, but also as a person.

The next section focuses on how to choose sword tools and equipment, and suggests appropriate choices for effective training and competition.



How to choose sword tools and equipment

Choosing the appropriate kendo tools and equipment for kendo training and competition is essential to safe and effective practice.

Choosing the right equipment can help minimize the risk of injury and improve your technique.

Here we will explain how to choose sword tools and how to maintain them.


How to choose sword tools

  1. Choosing a shinai : A shinai is a mock sword used in kendo, and length and weight are important when choosing one. It is important to choose a size that suits your height and strength, and one that is well balanced and easy to swing. In general, taller people and adults tend to choose longer and heavier Shinai.

  2. Selection of armor : Armor is one of the most important pieces of equipment in Kendo, and consists of four parts: men, do, tare, and kote. These protect the kendo practitioner from blows, so it is important that they are well made and that they fit properly. Beginners are especially encouraged to choose protective gear that is easy to put on and take off and allow for easy movement.

  3. Choosing a Kendo Gi : The Kendo Gi (practice uniform) must be comfortable and easy to move in. It is important to choose a material with excellent breathability and sweat absorption, and to choose a size that suits your body type. Kendo uniforms are generally white or indigo, and the appropriate one is chosen depending on the practice or competition.


equipment maintenance

  1. Storing and caring for Shinai : Avoid storing Shinai in humid places and out of direct sunlight. Wipe off sweat and dirt after use and apply oil regularly to maintain the flexibility of the bamboo.

  2. Care of your armor : Always dry your armor in a well-ventilated area after use to remove moisture from sweat. The mask and kote are especially prone to absorbing sweat, so it is important to wash them regularly with a mild detergent and dry them thoroughly.

  3. Washing your Kendo Gi : Kendo Gi must be washed frequently. When washing, please wash separately from other clothes, especially indigo-dyed kimonos, as the color may fade, so be careful. Natural drying in the sun is also recommended.



How to select and properly maintain these kendo tools and equipment is the foundation that not only improves your kendo skills, but also supports your long-term kendo lifestyle.

In the next section, we will explore advanced techniques and their applications in detail.



Advanced technology and application

When you become an advanced kendo practitioner, you are required to use even more advanced techniques and applications that go beyond basic techniques.

Here, we will delve into kendo techniques for advanced players and how to apply them.


Advanced striking technology

  1. Use of compound techniques : Advanced players use compound techniques that combine multiple strikes rather than single strikes. This includes feints to confuse the opponent and continuous strikes (sequential strikes). These techniques are effective for breaking down your opponent’s defense and creating an opening.

  2. Dashing with small movements : Advanced players use small movements to perform dashing efficiently, rather than using large movements. This technique is difficult for your opponent to detect and allows you to quickly score points.


strategic application

  1. Mastery of distance : Advanced players make very delicate distance adjustments to maintain the ideal striking distance. This allows you to maintain a safe position while putting pressure on your opponent.

  2. Use of psychological warfare : Psychological warfare is an important element in advanced Kendo techniques. Advanced practitioners use various strategies to disrupt the other person’s concentration and guide the other person’s consciousness in the direction they desire. This includes how you use your gaze and subtle body movements.


applied training

  1. Scenario-based practice : Practice under conditions similar to actual combat. We envision a specific competition scenario and search for the best response to that situation. This is useful for improving your ability to respond in real matches.

  2. Practice with Instructors : Learn new techniques and applications and expand your skill set by practicing with other experts and instructors. This interaction helps deepen not only technical but also tactical insight.



If you aim to further improve your techniques and tactics as an advanced Kendo practitioner, learning these advanced techniques and how to apply them is essential.

Through continuous learning and practice, it is possible to explore the depth of Kendo.

In the next section, we’ll give you specific tips to learn from Kendo masters.



Learn from Kendo masters

Learning from Kendo masters not only leads to technical improvement, but also spiritual maturity.

Their training tips and advice, based on years of experience and track record, are invaluable to all Kendo practitioners.

Here are some top tips and advice from top Kendo practitioners.


The importance of consistency

Kendo masters emphasize the importance of consistent practice.

Following a daily routine and training systematically are the keys to improving your technique.

Consistency is needed not only for technique, but also for mental preparation and physical conditioning.


faithful to the basics

The basic techniques of Kendo are the foundation for advanced techniques.

Kendo masters recommend never neglecting to practice basic techniques, no matter how advanced you are.

By repeatedly practicing basic hitting techniques, footwork, and posture, your overall technique will improve.


harmony of mind and body

Kendo is based on the philosophy that “the sword and the mind are one.”

Masters preach the importance of mental training as much as technical practice.

Meditation, breathing exercises, and mental concentration exercises will increase your mental strength and concentration.


Learning to overcome adversity

Kendo masters know the value of overcoming adversity.

Defeats in games and difficulties during practice are opportunities for learning and growth.

It is important to use the lessons learned from these experiences to improve your technique and mindset.


Role as a leader

Many Kendo masters also serve as instructors.

They pass on their knowledge and experience to young Kendo practitioners and contribute to raising the level of the Kendo world as a whole.

An important role for these masters is to share their knowledge and passionately guide the next generation.


These training tips and advice will help anyone learning Kendo not only grow technically, but also as a person.

The path of Kendo is a never-ending journey of learning, and the teachings of masters make that journey even richer.

The following section provides additional tips to get stronger in Kendo through frequently asked questions and answers.



    Frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ)

    The path to becoming strong in Kendo can give rise to many questions.

    Here we will answer frequently asked questions about learning Kendo and provide specific advice for each question.


    Q1: What is the most important thing in Kendo training?

    A1 : In Kendo training, the most important things are mastering basic techniques and spiritual growth. The key to improvement is to practice the basics repeatedly during daily practice, and in addition to that, develop your mental strength.


    Q2: How can I overcome a slump in Kendo?

    A2 : Slumps can happen to anyone. In order to overcome a slump, it is effective to review your goals and try changing the way you practice. It can also be helpful to consult with instructors and senior Kendo practitioners and get feedback.


    Q3: What should I do to win in competitive Kendo?

    A3 : In order to win in competitive kendo, you need not only mastery of technique but also strategic thinking. It is important to read your opponent’s movements and make accurate strikes at the right time. Also, psychological preparation is just as important, and you need to remain calm.


    Q4: How can I improve my physical fitness with Kendo training?

    A4 : In order to improve your physical strength, it is effective to incorporate aerobic exercise such as running and swimming in addition to Kendo practice. You can also increase the power and speed of your strikes by doing strength training.


    Q5: Is there a way to practice Kendo techniques at home?

    A5 : Practice swings are the best way to practice Kendo at home. By practicing practice even in a limited space, you can improve your technique and maintain your physical strength. We also recommend practicing Kendo Kata.


    These FAQs serve as a guide to getting stronger in Kendo and provide answers to common questions in Kendo practice and competition.

    As a next step, we offer advice for further technical improvement and spiritual growth.




    Summary and next steps

    In order to become stronger in Kendo, it is essential not only to acquire technical skills, but also to continually learn and self-reflect.

    Kendo is more than just a competition, it is a lifelong path of learning that encourages mental and physical growth in the process.

    Here, I will talk about the importance of continuous learning in order to continue to strengthen Kendo and my future plans.


    The importance of continuous learning

    Kendo training is not just about honing your skills, it is a process of transcending yourself.

    Continuous learning means accumulating knowledge and skills gained through daily practice and applying them to life in general.

    Through this process, a Kendo practitioner can grow from a mere technician to a true master.


    Future Plans

    1. Regular goal setting : Setting goals and reviewing them regularly promotes continuous growth. It is important to combine short-term and long-term goals and set new goals each time you achieve them.

    2. Diversifying your practice : In order to improve your technique, it is effective to actively practice with different Kendo practitioners. New stimuli lead to improved techniques and provide opportunities to learn from different perspectives.

    3. Pursuing spiritual growth : Develop mental strength by incorporating meditation and mental training into your daily routine. This will have a positive impact not only on the playing field, but also in everyday life.

    4. Participation in education and guidance : By sharing knowledge and experience with others, you increase your own learning opportunities. By working as an instructor, you can deepen your understanding of yourself and contribute to the Kendo community.


    In this way, learning to become stronger in Kendo is not something that can be achieved overnight.

    The path of Kendo is to seek not only technical skills but also personal growth through continuous effort and self-reflection.

    This journey will be a never-ending challenge for Kendo practitioners and a source of rich life experiences.



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