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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

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Kendo: Beyond physical fitness

What I gained from the sport
Andreina+Carnero+%28blue%29%2C+a+staff+reporter+with+La+Voz%2C+fighting+in+the+Steveston%2C+Canada+Kendo+Tournament+on+Feb.+24.
Andreina Carnero Ramirez
Andreina Carnero (blue), a staff reporter with La Voz, fighting in the Steveston, Canada Kendo Tournament on Feb. 24.

Kendo has been a way for me to release stress since I started practicing it last year at the Hokka Sen Shin Kai Kendo Dojo.

“Kendo is a Japanese martial sport in which protagonists, dressed in the traditional attire of hakama (split skirt) and kendo-gi (training top), use shinai (bamboo swords) as they compete to strike four specific areas on the opponent’s bogu (armor). The targets, each of which must be called out in a loud voice (kiai) as an accurate strike is made with a strong spirit, are men (head), kote (wrists), do (torso) and tsuki, a thrust to the throat,” Alexander Bennett, a member of the International Committee of the All Japan Kendo Federation, wrote in his book, “Kendo: Culture of the Sword.”

I started practicing Kendo in 2023, after my brother-in-law asked me many times, during the pandemic, if I wanted to join the kendo classes with him and my nephew. It took me a while to decide because I thought Kendo would be much harder for me to practice.

Three years after he asked me about joining the Kendo classes, I decided to enroll. I thought it would be really fun practicing Kendo with my relatives, and after one year of practice, I could notice the impact it had on my life.

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Daily life activities that involve school work and workload can tend to produce stress, but Kendo has been a way to manage it.
When I have a stressful day after many hours of studying and working, and then I practice Kendo, I feel refreshed and energized. This can be achieved because when people exercise, the body releases endorphins, which allows them to be in a good mood.
As a Kendo practitioner, I should stay focused while practicing it, being aware of the opponent’s intention to decide how to attack or counterattack, which means I do not have time to think about any concerns or issues I am facing.

Kendo has been not only a way to release stress, putting aside my worries and focusing on my opponent but also it has been a fun way to exercise with my relatives and make friends who have the same interests as me.

As a student, I think it is crucial to set a time for ourselves to relax and put aside our worries. We can find some activities or hobbies we are interested in and explore them.

According to a study, college students can experience higher stress levels than other age groups which affects students’ health. The results of this study show that sports play a crucial role in the mental health of students because they reduce levels of stress among students and improve happiness and psychological well-being.

There are different clubs at De Anza in which students can join and practice some sports such as Badminton, Shotokan Karate, Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee.

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About the Contributor
Andreina Carnero Ramirez, Staff Reporter

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