Kendo shinai weight (by gender) and how it affects technique: a complete guide

The weight of the shinai has a big impact on Kendo performance.

By choosing a shinai of the appropriate weight, you can expect to improve your technique, practice more efficiently, and succeed in competitions.


In this article, we will explain in detail how the weight of a shinai affects kendo, how to choose one, and how to adjust it.

From beginners to experts, we provide guidelines for choosing the right bamboo sword for you, and provide information to help you improve your Kendo skills.

This will allow readers to practice Kendo more effectively and hone their skills.




What is the weight of a bamboo sword – basic knowledge

The weight of the shinai is one of the factors that directly affects Kendo performance.

The appropriate weight of a shinai depends on the user’s skill level, physique, and level of competition.


Average weight of Shinai

The average weight of a shinai varies depending on age, gender, and level of competition, but as a general guideline, a minimum of 510g is recommended for adult men and a minimum of 440g for adult women.

For students and younger age groups, this weight varies; for example, a minimum of 370g is recommended for middle school boys and 400g for girls Kendo USA ) 


The reason why bamboo swords have different weights

The main reason why shinai differ in weight is to accommodate their intended use and the physical strength and skill of the individual using the shinai.

Heavier shinai increase the power of the blow, but are more difficult to handle, so they are often reserved for experienced players.

On the other hand, Shinai swords are light and easy to handle, making them suitable for beginners and children.

The weight also varies depending on the type of bamboo and processing method PracticalMA ) .


Based on this knowledge, choosing the Shinai that suits you when practicing Kendo is an important step in improving your technique.

Choosing a Shinai that is appropriate for each person’s age and physical strength will greatly improve the efficiency of their practice.



How to choose the weight of a bamboo sword

In Kendo, the weight of the Shinai greatly affects the user’s performance.

Choosing the right shinai will improve your technique, reduce fatigue, and prevent injuries.

In this section, we will explain the weight of Shinai for beginners and experienced users.


Shinai weight for beginners

For beginners, we recommend choosing a bamboo sword that prioritizes ease of handling. Please pay attention to the following points when choosing:

  • Choosing a light shinai : Beginners are at the stage of learning the basics of the technique, and a light shinai is easier to handle and helps them learn the correct technique. Especially for children and adults who are not confident in their physical strength, it is best to choose a light Shinai that is easy to move.
  • Recommended weight : For example, a shinai of approximately 400g to 420g is considered easy to handle for women and young beginners. At this weight, it is possible to effectively learn the technique of controlling the Shinai accurately.


Weight of Shinai for experienced users

Experienced players may use shinai of different weights to hone their technique. Please consider the following advice:

  • Choosing a heavier shinai : Kendo practitioners with higher technical ability may choose a slightly heavier shinai to increase the power of their blows. A heavy Shinai has the effect of increasing power transmission and stability when striking.
  • Recommended weight : In general, we recommend a shinai of 510g or more for adult men and 440g or more for women. This allows for stronger strikes and precise maneuvers.


The weight of the shinai is an important factor in safely and effectively improving your kendo techniques.

By choosing a shinai of the appropriate weight to match your level, physical strength, and competition requirements, you will improve your kendo techniques and lead a more fulfilling kendo life.



The influence of the weight of the bamboo sword on technique

The weight of the shinai greatly affects Kendo performance and learning process.

Depending on the weight of the shinai, the ability to learn techniques, the feeling of striking, and the level of fatigue will vary, and this is directly linked to improving your kendo techniques, so it is important to choose an appropriate shinai.


Advantages and disadvantages of heavy and light shinai

Advantages of heavy bamboo swords :

  • Increased power : A heavier Shinai increases the impact of the blow and puts more pressure on the opponent.
  • Improved muscle strength : Using a heavy Shinai strengthens the muscles, especially in the upper arms and shoulders, allowing for stronger strikes.

Disadvantages of heavy bamboo swords :

  • Increased fatigue : Due to its weight, it may not be suitable for long-term practice, and fatigue may accumulate more easily.
  • Difficulty in handling : For beginners and kendo practitioners with low physical strength, it can be difficult to handle and may delay technical improvement.

Advantages of light bamboo swords :

  • Maneuverability : Light weight allows for easy handling and quick operation.
  • Reduces fatigue : You won’t get tired even during long practice sessions, so you can concentrate on technical practice.

Disadvantages of light bamboo swords :

  • Decreased striking power : Because it is light, the power when striking may be reduced, which may reduce its effectiveness in actual matches.
  • Excessive speed : Too light can cause too much movement and be difficult to control.


Weight and usability of various bamboo swords

The weight varies depending on the type of Shinai, and there is a big difference in the feeling of use.

For example, shinai for competitions are generally heavier and designed to maximize the effectiveness of strikes, while shinai for practice are slightly lighter and designed to be used for long periods of time.

In addition, Shinai for women and children are even lighter, with the weight chosen to suit each individual’s physical strength and skill level.


When choosing the weight of your shinai, it is important to consider your physical strength, skill level, and kendo style.

Choosing the appropriate Shinai will not only improve your technique, but also greatly improve the efficiency of your practice.



How to adjust the weight of a bamboo sword

Adjusting the weight and balance of the Shinai is important for optimizing Kendo performance.

In this section, we will explain how to adjust the balance of the shinai and customize the weight.

This allows individual Kendo practitioners to use the Shinai that best suits their style and physical strength.


Adjusting the balance of the bamboo sword

By adjusting the balance of the Shinai, the ease of use and accuracy of blows can be greatly improved. You can adjust the balance by following these steps:

  1. Checking the center of gravity : First, check the center of gravity of the bamboo sword. Generally speaking, the ideal center of gravity of a Shinai is about one-third of the way from the handle.
  2. Adding or removing weights : If the center of gravity is not ideal, you can adjust it by adding a small weight inside the handle. It is also possible to reduce the weight by carving the bamboo part.
  3. Check the center of gravity again : After adding or removing weight, check the center of gravity again to ensure it is in the ideal position.


Customized weight

By customizing the weight of the Shinai, it is possible to set it optimally according to the user’s physical strength and technique. You can customize the weight in the following ways:

  1. Selection of Shinai : Choose from multiple Shinai of different weights and compare the usability. Practice with each bamboo sword and choose the one that is easiest to use.
  2. Replacing parts : You can adjust the overall weight by replacing the handle of the bamboo sword with a heavier or lighter one. In addition to the handle, you can also change the weight by replacing the parts at the tip.
  3. Consultation with an expert : In order to find the ideal weight, it is effective to consult with an experienced instructor or specialist. Use their advice to customize the Shinai with the weight that’s best for you.


By making these adjustments, you will be able to improve the ease of handling the Shinai, allowing you to perform more accurate and powerful Kendo techniques.

It is important for kendo practitioners to understand these adjustment methods and use a Shinai that suits them in order to improve their technique.



Rules and regulations regarding the weight of Shinai

In Kendo competitions, the weight and length of Shinai are strictly regulated.

This is to keep the technology fair and secure. Below we detail the competition rules and weight restrictions.


Competition regulations

In competitions, the weight of the Shinai must follow the standards set by the International Kendo Federation (FIK).

For example, a bamboo sword for an adult male must weigh at least 510 grams, and for an adult female it must weigh at least 440 grams.

There are also regulations regarding the length of a Shinai, with the maximum length being 120 cm for adult men and 114 cm for women ( Kendo USA ( Kendo Australia ) .


Weight restrictions

The weight of a shinai has a bearing on the safety of the user and the durability of the shinai itself.

Particularly in competitions, if a shinai that is too heavy or too light is used, it becomes difficult to fairly evaluate the technique, so they must be used within established standards.

Additionally, there are regulations regarding the thickness and material of the shinai, such as the minimum diameter of the tip of the shinai and the materials that can be used (bamboo or approved synthetic materials) ​( Kendo Australia ​​( PracticalMA ) ​.


Compliance with these rules and regulations not only preserves the skill of Kendo, but also the safety and fairness of the competition.

When selecting or adjusting a shinai, it is important to fully understand these regulations and use the appropriate shinai.



Frequently asked questions about the weight of bamboo swords

The weight of the shinai used in kendo greatly affects its performance.

Here we answer frequently asked questions about how to weigh a shinai and the benefits of varying the weight.


How to measure the weight of a bamboo sword

An accurate digital scale is recommended to measure the weight of the shinai.

Measurements are taken with the shinai held completely vertical and with all parts (handle, tsuba, tsuba stop, etc.) included.

This allows you to check the weight of the Shinai in actual use.

It is important to check the weight when purchasing a shinai or before a competition to make sure it meets the regulations.


What are the benefits of changing the weight of the bamboo sword?

Adjusting the weight of your shinai provides a number of benefits, including:

  1. Improve your technique : Adjusting the weight of the Shinai makes it easier to practice certain techniques. For example, a heavy Shinai sword is suitable for practicing powerful blows and contributes to improving muscle strength.
  2. Reduced Fatigue : Using a lighter Shinai can help reduce fatigue and maintain stamina, especially during long practice sessions or competitions.
  3. Preventing injuries : By using a shinai of an appropriate weight, it will be easier for the user and the risk of injury can be reduced.
  4. Customization : Adjust the weight of the shinai to suit your individual physical strength and skill level for a more personalized practice.


Deepening your understanding of these questions will help you improve your Kendo techniques.

The weight of the shinai is directly related to Kendo performance, so proper adjustment is required.



The weight of Shinai and the effects of practice

The weight of the shinai plays an important role in Kendo practice.

In this section, we will delve into how the weight of the shinai affects your practice and the differences in fatigue caused by weight.

Understanding these elements is essential when aiming to improve your Kendo techniques.


How the weight of the Shinai affects your practice

The weight of the shinai directly affects the quality of your practice. Below are its main impacts:

  1. Speed ​​of learning techniques : Light Shinai is easy to operate and helps beginners learn basic techniques and forms accurately. On the other hand, a heavy Shinai sword is suitable for acquiring more advanced techniques and learning how to distribute power.
  2. Improving your striking technique : By using a heavy Shinai sword, you can develop your technique for making more powerful blows. This also contributes to improving muscle strength and increases the ability to effectively manipulate the shinai.
  3. Reaction speed and agility : By using a light bamboo sword, you can train to develop reaction speed and agility. This will improve your ability to respond in matches.


Difference in fatigue due to weight

The weight of the shinai greatly affects the level of fatigue during practice:

  1. Long-term practice : Light Shinai is suitable for long-term practice, and you won’t feel fatigued so you can concentrate on practicing your technique. This will improve your practice efficiency.
  2. Muscle strain : Using a heavy Shinai puts a lot of strain on the muscles, which contributes to improving muscle strength and endurance. However, excessive weight increases the risk of excessive fatigue and injury, so choosing the right weight is important.
  3. Recovery from fatigue : When using a heavy shinai, it may take a long time to recover after practice. Incorporating proper rest and recovery processes will allow you to continue practicing.


Choosing and adjusting the weight of the shinai appropriately will make your Kendo practice more effective and lead to improved technique.

Choosing a Shinai that matches your individual physical strength, skill level, and purpose of practice is an important factor in improving your Kendo technique.



expert advice

Expert advice is very helpful when choosing the weight of a bamboo sword.

Here, we provide expert advice on choosing the weight of your shinai, as well as a detailed explanation of the relationship between long-term use and shinai weight.

Choosing the right Shinai will help you improve your Kendo technique, and at the same time will improve the quality of your practice.


Expert advice on choosing the weight of a bamboo sword

Kendo experts recommend the following points when choosing the weight of a shinai:

  1. Match it to your physical strength and physique : The weight of the Shinai should be chosen according to the user’s physical strength and physique. If you are looking for a powerful blow or are confident in your physical strength, it is better to choose a slightly heavier Shinai, while if you value reaction speed and durability, it is better to choose a lighter Shinai.
  2. Consider the purpose of your practice : Choose a Shinai depending on the main purpose of your practice. Light, easy-to-handle shinai are suitable for learning basic techniques and correcting form, while heavier shinai are often recommended for practicing for competitions and strengthening strength.
  3. Pay attention to the quality of the shinai : It is important to pay attention not only to the weight, but also to the balance of the shinai and the quality of the material. Durability is also an important factor for Shinai that will be used for a long period of time.


Relationship between long-term use and the weight of Shinai

For long-term use of Shinai, the choice of weight has the following effects:

  1. Prevents the accumulation of fatigue : By using a shinai of the right weight for long-term practice, you can prevent excessive fatigue and maintain the quality of your practice.
  2. Maintaining and Improving Technique : Using an appropriately weighted shinai makes it easier to maintain correct form, which helps maintain and improve your technique.
  3. Injury Prevention : Improper use of Shinai, especially heavy ones, increases the risk of injury, but choosing the right weight can minimize the risk of injury.


Consulting the advice of experts and choosing a Shinai that suits your physical strength, skill level, and purpose of Kendo practice will lead to success in Kendo practice and competitions.

By choosing the appropriate Shinai, you will not only improve your technique, but also greatly increase the enjoyment of your practice.


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