Stacks Image 132
This page will be populated with terminology used in the world of kendo, and its' explanation. Whilst we will make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information Gloster Kendo Club cannot guarantee that it is correct so please use this as a guide and support this with your own research into kendo terms.

A list of Kendo Terminology . It is not exhaustive and there will be omissions but we will try to update this regularly.
arigatō gozaimashita
"Thank you very much"

ashi-sabaki
footwork

bogu
kendo armour consisting of men, kote, do, and tare

bokken
wooden sword.

bokuto
same as bokken

chaku-so
the manner of wearing keikogi, hakama, and bogu correctly.

chakuza
command to sit down on the floor from a standing position

chudan-no-kamae
basic kamae, with the kensen pointed at the opponent's throat,

chūken
middle player in a team match

Counting: 1 - 10
Ichi, ni, san, shi (Yon), go roku, shichi, hachi, ku, ju. - The word 'Shi' is usually associated with death and is generally only used for counting,

dan
ranking system for advanced levels (1= lowest, 8 = highest); equivalent to black belt in other martial arts

datotsu-bu
the part of the shinai with which one strikes the opponent. Refers to the side opposite the tsuru within the mono-uchi.

datotsu-bui
the correct striking or thrusting zones of the kendo-gu (Amour), refers to the men, kote, do, and tsuki areas.


kendo armour to protect the trunk and chest

dō ari
"do" Award given when a point is scored by a kendoka hitting their opponents 'Do'

enchō
match overtime period

fukushin
sub-referees in a match

fukushō
second to last player in a team match

furi-kaburi
big movement swing of the shinai above one's head

fusenshō
a match win by default, due to the opponent's absence or forfeit

gōgi
referee's conference during a match, held in the center of the court

hai
"yes" (used to answer when called)

hajime
"begin"

hakama
kendo 'Trousers'

hansoku
A foul, one half-point is awarded against the offending player

hansoku ikkai
"first hansoku"

hansoku nikai, ippon ari
"second hansoku, one point" (awarded to the opponent of the offending player)

hantei
referees' decision of the winner of a match

hasuji
cutting path of the sword (angle of cut)

haya-suburi
fast suburi, one count per backward step plus foward strike

hikiwake
match draw

hiraki-ashi
footwork used when the body is moving diagonally (front foot is same side as forward shoulder)

igi
formal protest in a match, registered by a team manager

ippon gachi
a match decided by one point, due to time running out in sanbon-shobu

ippon shōbu
one point match (first person to score wins)

issoku-ittō-no-maai
distance from which one can strike in one step

jihō
second player in a team match

ji-geiko
free practice

jodan-no-kamae
kamae with the shinai above the head, with the left hand above the forehead about one fist away

jōgai
stepping out of bounds (this is a hansoku)

kachinuki
a method of conducting matches in which the winner remains and keeps fighting until defeated

kakari-geiko
attack practice

kamae
basic stance; ready position

Kata - a series of 'Patterns' or 'Forms' that are used to visually, and practically, teach kendo

kantoku
team manager

keiko
practice, training

keiko-gi
Thick cotton jacket used for kendo practice.

kendō
the way of the sword; training the mind, body, and spirit through continual practice and competition.

kensen
the tip of the sword

kenshi
Japanese swordsman, usually refers to practitioners of Iaido, Kend, or Kenjutsu.

ki-o-tsuke
"attention"

kiai
a shout or cry that demonstrates the physical presence of the kendoka's spirit

kiai-o-dashite
"More kiai!"

kigurai
confidence, presence, bearing

kihon
basics

kihon-dōsa
basic exercises, including uchi-kata and suburi

kiri-kaeshi
basic exercise in which the sides of the men are struck repeatedly, typically in sets of a straight men followed by 4 strikes forward and 5 strikes backward.

kiritsu
"stand up"

kōdansha
one with a high dan rank, typically 5th dan (godan) or higher

kokyū
breathing

kōtai
change places, alternate

kote
kendo armour used to protect the fist and forearm

kote ari
"kote" (awarding of the kote point in a match)

kyū
ranking system for beginning levels (6=lowest, 1=highest); equivalent to white and coloured belts in other martial arts

ma-ai
distance between opponents

massugu
straight, linear

mawari-geiko
rotation keiko

mejirushi
red or white tag tied to the crossed do strings on the back, used to distinguish the players in a match

men
kendo armour to protect the face, head, and shoulders

men ari
"men" (awarding of the men point in a match)

men-no-uchi, gokai
"basic men strike, 5 times"

men-no-uchi, sankyodo
"basic men strike, three count movements" (1=raise shinai, 2=strike, moving forward, 3=step back)

men-o-tore
"take off the men"

men-o-tsuke
"put on the men"

metsuke
use of the eyes to see the opponent

mokusō
meditation performed in the seiza position.

monouchi
the region of the shinai most effective for striking, located between the tip and the nakayui

motodachi
person being struck to provide instruction, for example in uchikomi-geiko, kakari-geiko, or kihon shiai
nakayui
thin strip of leather tied around the shinai about one third down from the tip

Nihonme - second point (Ususally used to reconvene a match after the first point has been awarded)

nuke-tō
"draw the sword (shinai)"

okuri-ashi
the most basic footwork used in kendo, where the feet start and end in the basic kamae position with the right foot in front and the toes of the left foot even with the line of the right heel.

onegai shimasu
"I request the favour (of a practice)"

osame-tō
"return the sword (shinai)"

rei
bow

rei-gi
matters of etiquette

ritsu-rei
standing bow

sanbon shōbu
three point match (first person to score two points wins)

sage-tō
the posture taken when performing ritsu-rei, with the shinai held in the left hand with the arm hanging naturally at the side. The tsuru faces downward and the hand next to the tsuba.

sayū-men
the right and left striking zones of the men

seiretsu
"make a line"

seiza
seated attention position (literally correct sitting)
seme
pressure applied to one's opponent

senpō
first player in a team match

sensei
instructor, usually with rank 4th dan (yondan) or higher

shiai
kendo match

shiai-geiko
match practice

shiai-jikan
match time limit

shiai-jō
court

shinai
bamboo sword used in kendo

shinai-otoshi
losing control of the shinai

shinpan
judge; referee

shinpan-chō
head judge

shinpan-shunin
court judge

shinsa
promotional examination

shisei
posture.

shizentai
natural standing position

shōbu
"Match" (This command reconvenes a sanbon shobu when each player has scored one point)

shōbu ari
"Match done" (This announces the end of the match)

shōmen-uchi
a strike to the center of the men

shushin
chief referee (makes the match pronouncements)

sogo-no-rei
ritsu-rei to the opponent. The angle is about 15 degrees, and eye contact is maintained.

sonkyo
the crouching position in which begins and ends each bout or practice session with a partner.

suburi
basic exercise which simulates striking the men repeatedly, performed without an opponent

suigetsu
solar plexus

suriage
deflecting the opponent's shinai using a circular motion

suri-ashi
footwork in which the feet slide across the floor, staying in contact all the time.

taiatari
Clashing of bodies, or hitting with the body

taikai
tournament

taishō
last player in a team match (captain)

tai-to
holding the shinai at the left hip, ready to draw.

Tare
waist and hip protector

te-no-uchi
Using the grip to control the strike and avoid the use of a 'Clubbing' action when striking.

tenugui
thin cotton towel worn on the head under the men to absorb sweat and provide some padding to protect the top of the head

tsuba
hand guard on a sword, bokuto, or shinai

tsuba-zeriai
the position in which the opponents are close to each other with tsuba locked, causing the shinai to create a 'V' shape between the players.

tsuka
the handle of the shinai, sword, or bokuto

tsuka-gashira
the very end (bottom) of the tsuka

tsuki-dare
flap on the men which protects the throat

tsuki ari
"tsuki" (awarding of the tsuki point)

tsuru
the string which holds the shinai together

uchikomi-geiko
practice striking the basic points on the motodachi

wakare
during shiai: "separate" (this does not stop the match timer)

waza
technique

yame
"stop"

yudansha
kendoka with a rank of 1st dan (shodan) or higher.

yūkō datotsu
valid point, see 'Elements of Yuko Datotsu'

zanshin
mental and physical presence of spirit, or connection with your opponent, especially after completing an attack





© 2012 Gloster Kendo Club Enquiries