General Kendo Terms

  
Ai: (prefix) "Balanced", (suffix) "Integration"
Aite: Opponent
Ai-Kakari Geiko: Both Kendoka perform Kakari Geiko simultaneously.
Ashi: Foot
Ashi-Sabaki: Foot
Ashi no ura  Sole of foot
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 half 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 ? the length of the Shinai from the top.
Naname Buri: Joge Suburi with the strikes angled at about 30degree to 45degree. 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 KendoKata". 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: "BodyAbandoning".


Tachi: The Long Sword used in the Nihon Kendo no Kata.
Tai-Atari: "Bodycheck" or "Push".
Tai-To: Position with the Shinai held at 45degree 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.

The legendary samurai
Musashi won over 60 duels - often by using his two swords, and a peculiar strategy of arriving late to the scene. Read more
World Championships
Results of the kendo competitions held every third year since 1970. Read more
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