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Shinkendo & Fitness
by Marlene A. Harris,
 ISSA Specialist in Martial Arts Conditioning

Question: Whats Japanese swordsmanship got to do with fitness?

smanship got to Answer: Everything! d
o with fitness?

       Face it. Here in the 21st century, it is unlikely that we will ever need to embrace the possibility of charging down a hillside headlong into a toe-to-toe, battle-to-the-death while wielding the equivalent of a 3 ft. long razor blade. At least, I hope things dont come to that! However, does this mean that there are no valid reasons for training in the ways of the Samurai in this age of mechanized/computerized, push-button war? Absolutely not! I began my training in Shinkendo some 6 years ago with the goal of finding an interesting, physically and mentally enhancing activity and I have yet to be disappointed! So, if you are you looking for a unique means of enhancing your fitness while challenging your mind (and I assume that you are or you wouldnt be reading this!), check out the following lists of what Shinkendo has to offer you: Training in swordsmanship will strengthen your;
Hands (grip)
Shoulder strength (and range of motion)
 Training in swordsmanship will improve your;
and agility
Eye/hand coordination
Coordinated whole-body movements
 In addition to all of the above, training in Shinkendo;
Promotes stress relief
 Enhances knowledge of martial strategy
 Expands knowledge of the sword/Japanese history and etiquette
 Preserves a time-honored art
Is interesting,
 and fun!
Given the above list of benefits, what are you waiting for? Go to our ever-growing list of dojos (training halls), find the one closest to where you live or work and try it for yourself!