Halifax Kendo Club

Terminology

The following is a listing of the more common terms in Kendo. The list is by no means exhaustive but is extensive enough to cover the majority of terms and terminology a Kendoka should require.

A bold font term within a definition indicates that this term appears as its own listing elsewhere in the document.

An italic font term is a direct translation from the original Japanese language.

 

 

Courtesies

• Arigato Gozaimashita Thank You” (for practicing with me)

• Domo Arigato Gozaimashita Thank You” (very polite context)

• Onigaishimasu : “Please” (practice with / teach me)

• Otagai ni Rei : “Bow to your peers”

• Sensei ni Rei : “Bow to the Sensei”

• Shomen ni Rei : “Bow to the Shomen”

 

Counting in Japanese

• Ichi : One

• Ni : Two

• San : Three

• Shi : Four

• Go : Five

• Roku : Six

• Shichi : Seven

• Hachi : Eight

• Kyuu : Nine

• Juu : Ten

• Ipponme : First

• Nihonme : Second

• Sanbonme : Third

• Yonhonme : Fourth

• Gohonme : Fifth

• Ropponme : Sixth

• Nanahonme : Seventh

Commands

• Hajime : Begin / Start

• Kamae-To : Assume your Stance.

• Men-Tore : Take off Your Men.

• Men-Tsuke : Put on Your Men.

• Mokuso : Meditation

• Osame-To : Put away your Weapon.

• Seiza : Assume Seiza, the Formal Sitting Position.

• Seretsu : Line up.

• Sonkyo : Assume Sonkyo, the Formal Crouching Position.

• Yame : Stop.

• Yasume : Break / Rest Period.

Common Terms

 • Ai : (prefix) “Balanced”, (suffix) “Integration”

• Aite : Opponent

• Ai-Kakari Geiko : Both Kendoka perform Kakari Geiko simultaneously.

• Ashi : Foot

• Ashi-Sabaki : Footwork.

• Ayumi-Ashi : “Walking” Footwork

• Bogu : Kendo Armor. See Men, Kote, Do, and Tare.

• Bokuto : Wooden Practice Sword.

• Chikama : A distance that is shorter than Issoku Itto

• Chisai : Small

• Chisai Waza : Small Techniques.

• Chudan no Kamae : Mid Level Kamae. The “Kamae of Water”.

• Chudan Hanmi no Kamae : A variant of Chudan no Kamae while using the Kodachi.

• Daito : The Long Shinai used in Nito no Kamae.

• Dan : Step or Level.

• Datotsu : Strike or Thrust.

• Datotsu Bu : The portion of the Shinai that strikes are made with. (The upper ⅓ above the Nakayui; the Monouchi.)

• Datotsu Bui : Portion of the Bogu where one can attempt to land a strike.

• De : “Coming out”

• Debana Waza : Technique where one strikes as the Aite’s strike is being executed.

• Do : Abdomen target / protector

• Dojo : “Practice Hall”.

• Fumi Komi : Lunging footwork practice.

• Gedan no Kamae : Low Level Kamae. The “Kamae of Earth”.

• Gedan Hanmi no Kamae : A variant of Gedan no Kamae while using the Kodachi.

• Geiko : See Keiko.

• Gi : The traditional practice shirt.

• Gyaku : “Reversed” or “Opposite”.

• Hakama : The traditional practice pants.

• Harai Waza : Waza where one strikes the opponents Shinai to create a Suki.

• Hasaki : “Cutting Edge”

• Hasso no Kamae : Variant of Jodan no Kamae . “The Kamae of Wood”.

• Haya Suburi : Jumping Suburi. Also referred to as Choyaku Suburi.

• Hidari : Left (direction).

• Hiki Waza : Techniques where ones strikes moving backwards.

• Hiraki : verb, “To Open”.

• Hiraki Ashi : Circular side steps.

• Hirauchi : To Strike with the flat of the Shinai .

• Huhree : Korean equivalent of Do.

• Ichi Dan Suburi : One Step Suburi

• Iri-Mi : The Fundamental Kodachi Kamae: the action of stepping into your Aite’s Maai.

• Issoku Itto no Maai : Distance at which one can launch an attack (or evade one) in one step.

• Ji-Geiko : Free sparring practice.

• Jin-Bu : Portion of the Shinai below the Monouchi.

• Jodan no Kamae : High Level Kamae. The “The Kamae of Fire”

• Joge Buri : “Up-Down” Suburi

• Kaeshi Waza : Waza where one receives the Aite’s Shinai and then counter attacks.

• Kakari Geiko : All out sparring practice.

• Kamae : Stance

• Katate : “One-Handed”

• Katate Waza : One-Handed Waza.

• Katsugi Waza : “Shouldering the Sword” technique.

• Keiko : “Practice”, “Training”, “Study”. Interchangeable with Geiko.

• Kendo : “The Way of the Sword”.

• Kendoka : Kendo Student.

• Kensen : Tip of the Shinai

• Ki : “Spirit” or “Mental Energy”.

• Kiai : Expression of spirit through your voice. “Energy Integration”

• Kigurai : “Noble Presence, Bearing, Pride, Dignity”

• Kihaku : “Spirit”

• Kihon : “Basic”

• Ki Ken Tai no Ichi : “Mind, Sword, and Body as One”

• Kiri Kaeshi : Coordinated practice of Shomen, Tai-Atari, and Sayu-Men with an Aite.

• Kisei : “Spirit, Vigor”

• Kobushi : “Fist”.

• Kodachi : The Short Sword used in the Nihon Kendo no Kata.

• Kohai : “Junior student”.

• Kokoro : “Spirit” or “Mind”, “Mental”.

• Kokoro no Kamae : “Spiritual / Mental Stance”; A mindset or attitude.

• Kote : “Fore-arm” target, Glove.

• Ma : “Space”

• Maai : Distance or Forward (direction). “Distance Integration”.

• Men : Helmet, head target.

• Metsuke : “Point of Observation”. “Enzan no Metsuke”: Fixing your eyes on a distant mountain.

• Migi : Right (direction)

• Monouchi : See Datotsu Bu

• Morote : “Two-Handed”

• Morote Waza : Two-Handed Waza

• Mu : A prefix indicating the negation in the Japanese Language.

• Mune : Chest portion of the Do.

• Mushin : “No Mind”. In very basic terms, Mushin is acting on reflex alone; not thinking about what to do or the effects of an action.

• Muhree : Korean equivalent of Men.

• Nakayui : The leather tie on the Shinai ⅓ the length of the Shinai from the top.

• Naname Buri : Joge Suburi with the strikes angled at about 30Ί to 45Ί. Sometimes also mixed with Hiraki-Ashi.

• Nuki Waza : Waza where one dodges the Aite’s strike and counter attacks

• Nidan Suburi : Two step Suburi.

• Nidan Waza : Two Step technique.

• Nihon Kendo no Kata : “The Japanese Kendo Kata”. A set of formal movements which form the basis of modern Kendo.

• Nito no Kamae : A Kamae using two Shinai; the Daito and the Shoto.

• Oji Waza : Counter Attacking Waza

• Oki : Big.

• Oki-Waza : Big Techniques.

• Okuri-ashi : Sliding step footwork. The standard footwork in Kendo.

• Omote : Left side of the Shinai.

• Rei : “Bow”

• Renzoku : “Continuous”.

• Sage-To : Relaxed standing position with the Shinai held at ones side.

• Sakigawa : Leather Cup on the end of the Shinai.

• San Dan Suburi : Three Step Suburi

• Seigan no Kamae : A variant of Chudan no Kamae .

• Sempai : “Senior Student”.

• Sensei : “Teacher”.

• Seme : “Pressure”.

• Shiai : A Kendo Match where points are scored.

• Shikake Waza : Technique to Initiate a strike.

• Shin : “Mind”.

• Shinai : Bamboo Practice Sword.

• Shoto : The Short Shinai used in Nito no Kamae.

• Shomen : (1) The center or front of the Men. (2) The symbolic head of the Dojo.

• Son Mok : Korean equivalent of Kote.

• Suburi : “Swing / Strike Practice”.

• Suki : An opening (in ones defense).

• Suri-Ashi : Sliding ones feet as you step.

• Sutemi : “All or nothing”. Literally: “Body Abandoning”

• Tachi : The Long Sword used in the Nihon Kendo no Kata.

• Tai-Atari : “Bodycheck” or “Push”.

• Tai-To : Position with the Shinai held at 45Ί at your hip in preparation to assume Kamae.

• Tare : Waist Protector.

• Tenegui : Head Towel.

• Tenouchi : “Drying a Tea Ceremony Towel”. Balanced strength of hands at the moment you make a Datotsu.

• Toma : A distance that is longer than Issoku Itto.

• Tsireum : Korean equivalent of Tsuki.

• Tsuba : Thumb Guard of the Shinai.

• Tsuba-Dome : Rubber stopper that holds Tsuba in place.

• Tsubazeriai : The position when two Kendoka are in close proximity during Keiko, Tsuba against Tsuba.

• Tsuka : The handle of the Shinai

• Tsuka-Gashira : The very bottom of the Tsuka.

• Tsuka-Gawa : Leather covering the Tsuka of the Shinai

• Tsuki : Throat target.

• Tsuki-dare : Throat protector.

• Tsuru : String on the top side of the Shinai

• Uchi Gomi : Lunging and Striking Practice.

• Uchiotoshi Waza : Techniques for Striking the Aite’s Shinai mid-strike.

• Ura : The Right side of the Shinai

• Ushiro : Backward (direction).

• Waki Gamae : Variant of Gedan no Kamae

• Waza : Technique(s)

• Yuko Datotsu : “Effective Strike”.

• Zanshin : Follow through, Sustained Mental and Physical Alertness.

• Zekken : Name tag worn on the Tare.