The purpose of practicing Kendo is not exactly to win a duel, participating in constant tournaments and competitions or using their techniques for self defense are good reasons. It sounds contradictory that being a discipline that comes from the arts of the samurai sword, it is not useful at the time of a fight and is that one of the many reasons why it is practiced today is because of the excellent benefits it can contribute to life.
Although Kendo is one of the styles derived from Kenjutsu and represents the way of the samurai sword, so relevant in ancient times, what is the point of learning it today? What benefits does this practice offer us? Here is a list of its benefits.
Knowing a little about Kendo
It is a martial art linked to the principles of the use of the samurai sword, which allows to improve the character, through the discipline and application of the fundamentals of the Katana, which are known as Kata. In other words, Kendo is the practice of the way of the sword.
The suffix Do in the word Kendo indicates that it is a martial art, but it should be clear that it has an accentuated mental focus and not just a sports activity, focused mainly on technique. It represents a way of life that implies the practice or experience of order and constancy.
Kendo comes from the traditional Kenjutsu that actually gave rise to various types of fencing in the Japanese nation. The suffix jutsu means technique, which indicates that it refers largely to the methods used in battles, without an adversary being obligatory and that they come from the samurai of feudal Japan.
Weapons typically used in Kenjutsu are bokken / bokuto or wooden swords. While in Kendo the instrument used is that of the bamboo saber or shinai.
The benefits of practicing kendo
In Kendo, the main objective is self-knowledge and understanding that the greatest adversary of each person can be himself, so the battle is against what is inside humans and that does not allow the best version of them to emerge. That is what you have to overcome with Kendo. You can improve, through this discipline.
Anyone who practices the principles of Kendo, as they should be, during their lifetime will not only finally achieve the last Dan, but will also enjoy the personal benefits it offers. To next, some of them:
- It is a sport that demands the body, because you must learn to handle a shinai and a bogu or armor when you train, so you must get used to its weight and this is only possible through constant training.
- There are few practices in which the body is involved at the same time. With Kendo you exercise all your muscles at the same time. Activities performed during workouts can be intense, allowing you to increase muscle strength. In addition, it increases body resistance, which is why many people do it to optimize their physical condition.
- When training in the company of others you need skill, agility and good reflexes to react to the attacker, so you keep your body and mind active. You develop speed and improve your reflexes while learning how to use the samurai sword.
- The mental benefits that this discipline provides are well known, because as with any martial art, concentration is vital to take advantage of training.
- It invites you to create and maintain a commitment, remember that practice makes perfect, because only with a rigorous, focused and constant Kendo routine can you achieve the perfect Ippon. You will learn to achieve your goals and purposes based on work and perseverance.
- In the process as a kendoka you will know how to act in the face of stress, maintain mental calm and balance, thanks to your mental training. It teaches self-control, respect and mercy, something that is essential for our life.
- Another benefit of practicing Kendo is reaching spiritual fulfillment and having the ability to act like a person who enjoys it, even when the situations are not what you expected. Something that requires all your concentration and effort, without letting yourself be diminished by what is happening at the moment.
- With enough practice, the kendoka can achieve high levels of commitment and concentration over long periods of time when training, a valuable skill can also be applied to dealing with everyday situations in life. You will find the balance between physical and mental health.
- It allows you to know your weak points. Kendo is not about hitting, if not about avoiding being attacked and knowing your weaknesses. It may seem strange, but you will know what it means once you start, you will notice if you lack concentration, commitment or physical ability and you will be able to work on those aspects.
- A samurai lives with dignity, honesty, discipline, respect and love, Kendo brings those teachings into your life. It indicates the path for you to develop in a fair, honest and integral way, it helps to combat laziness and to direct the process for a full existence.
You must remember that modern Kendo only brings its benefits to those who have understood that this sport is not a way of beating an opponent or doing exercises, but a lifestyle that involves many aspects.
At present, the organizing bodies of this discipline, in Japan, have stopped awarding the ninth Dan, this happens approximately two decades ago, because after a point in training, you can no longer measure Kendo skills. Beyond this range, improvement becomes subjective, since the only way to calculate the progress of those who practice it is through the benefits observed in the individual’s daily life.
Kendo and good health certainly always go hand in hand, it does not require large muscles, it does not matter if you are short or tall, thin or corpulent.Since this sport is a good exercise to achieve optimal physical health, you will appreciate that your body becomes more fibrous and balanced. In addition, the handling of the sword and the samurai philosophy is very useful for daily life, teaching you how to deal with it.
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