Q:

What causes a head concussion in Kendo?

A:

Quick Answer

Head concussions can be caused by two things in kendo: strikes to the head or falling head-first due to a loss of balance. Full-strength strikes to the head in kendo can overcome the protection of the bogu, or training armor, being worn, causing a concussion to develop.

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Full Answer

During the course of a match, a kendo practitioner can be pushed off balance by her opponent. This typically occurs when someone is attempting to score a point while the opponent is standing back up. This tactic is generally seen during shiai keiko matches, which do not have any limitations on kendo techniques that can be used. Concussions that are a result of falling happen due to improperly set feet, which leads to poor balance.

To avoid a concussion in kendo, practitioners should moderate the strength of their strikes, while at the same time not allowing opponents the chance to strike them on the head. The bogu worn by kendo practitioners can also affect the amount of protection that the head receives. Generally, bogus with tighter stitch patterns are stiffer and offer more protection to wearers. Bogus with wide stitching and light, flexible padding are generally of poor quality and can cause bad head-strike injuries due to subpar protection.

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