Kendo of course requires physical strength but also mental strength. There are many ways to train up your mentality, but the most basic level is mannerisms. This relates to other martial arts too, but it all “begins and ends with manners”. If you are aiming to be a strong kenshi, learn the manners well. Learning the manners will lead to a strong mentality. Since kendo is a martial arts, the mannerisms should always be respected. Kendo has some manners which are “correct”, so those must be learned first.
Next is greetings. As with manners, greetings are an important part of kendo. Try and give greetings in a loud and clear voice. If you are used to greeting in a loud voice from your everyday living, you will be able to give a clear, loud voice in your matches. Shouting in a loud voice during matches can look strange from the outside, but this is the basics of kendo. It depends on the details of the match, but in some matches you would be unable to win without a loud voice. Even if you strike an ippon, if you do not shout in a loud voice it may not be credited.
A loud voice is very important, and greetings provide that basic. Greeting in a loud voice helps you train yourself mentally too. Those who cannot let out a loud voice may not be able to train their mentality. Try beginning with good greetings. As you greet your senpai and peers in a loud voice, your mentality will gradually get strengthened.
Some say that meditation can be good for kendo, but what is it like actually? With meditation, you close your eyes and sit still to calm your spirits. Meditation helps you get rid of distracting thoughts and aims to achieve a level where you are free from all worldly thoughts. Unlike contemplation, you are trying to calm your mind through thoughtlessness, but meditation can have some positive effects.
Meditation helps to lower the heartbeat and controls blood pressure. This also claims your breathing and helps you relax. It decreases the stress hormones and helps you enter matches in a much more relaxed state.
Meditation helps you clear your mind and focus on things. This effect shows not only during or straight after the meditation but continues long after. This allows you to focus during kendo practice and matches. If you feel like you lose concentration easily, try having a time of meditation before the match. It will help you calm down and allow you to see your surroundings better. This will help you concentrate better during the match.
Meditation helps you focus on what is in front of you, and helps you to naturally keep your focus. Meditation also makes your body more resistant to fatigue. Meditation gives your body a kind of rest that has more quality than sleep. This allows you get rid of the fatigue that has built up. Doing meditation before matches helps you enter the match in much better condition.