:: Kendo Terms > Kendo Ettiquette
  Japanese Pronunciation
a=ah i=ee u=oo e=eh o=oh

Ichi = 1 Ni = 2 San = 3 Shi = 4 Go = 5 Roku = 6 Shichi = 7 Hachi = 8 Kyu = 9 Ju = 10
Counting Kata:
Ippon Me = 1st Nihon Me = 2nd Sanbon Me = 3rd Yohon Me = 4th Gohon Me = 5th
Ropon Me = 6th Nanahon Me = 7th Happon Me = 8th
Kyuhon Me =9th Juppon Me = 10th
Important Phrases and Commands:
Hai - yes Shomen ni rei - bow to the kamiza - flag or banner of the dojo
Yoi - ready? Otagae ni rei - mutual bow to your partners
Hajime - begin
Men tsuke - put on the men
Yame - stop Men tore - take off the men
Seiza - sit (formally) Sonkyo - crouch with sword facing your partner/opponent
Kyotsuke - prepare (for meditation) Kamaete - take kamae (chundan no kamae)
Mokuso - meditation
Osame to - means to take sonkyo, retract your shinai, stand up, take five
Rei - bow steps back and bow.
Sensei ni rei - bow to the sensei
Basic Kendo Glossary:
Dojo - training hall, hall of discipline Mudansha - someone with no formal rank
Hara - abdomen, the place where your mental and spiritual strength is centered Shiai - match, combat
Kata - practice where prearranged attacks and counter attacks are used. In kendo the wooden sword or bokken/bokuto is used. Shitachi - receiver (this term is used in kata practice)
Katana - long sword Tsubaseriai - tsuba are in contact and shinai should be vertical, close
Kiai - fighting shout, Uchidachi - attacker (this term is used in kata practice)
Ki - spirit Wakazashi - short sword
Kondansha - a high ranking kendoist Waza - technique
Kodachi - short wooden sword used in kata Yudansha - ranking kendoist
Motodachi - receiver in sparring Zanshin - follow through, sustained awareness, continuing mind
  Kendo and Shiai:    
Age-kote - when the kote is held above the pit of the stomach while executing a strike. Men - the head gear or "helmet/mask."
Aiuchi - when both opponents make datotsu simultaneously Nihon me - the command to restart a match for the second match point.
Bassoku - a penalty for an infraction or foul. Nito - using two shinai, short and long.
Bogu - kendo equipment. Nito-no-kamae - the ready position when using two shinai
Chudan-no-kamae - the basic ready position with the shinai pointed at the opponents mid-upper section. Rei - a bow.
Chui - a warning. The first chui is without penalty, afterwards
they shall be considered penalties.
Ritsu-rei - a bow at the standing position.
Chuken - the third contestant in a team match. San-Bon-Shobu - three point scoring in a normal shiai or match.
Chusen - a winner selected by lot among the judge(s) or referees Sageto - holding the shinai at the left side of the body.
Chusen gachi, shobu-ari - a winner by lot (draw). Senpo - the first contestant in a team match.
Chusen gachi, shobu-ari - a winner by lot (draw). Shiai-funo - a winner when one of the opponents cannot continue the match.
Do - the torso protector. Can be made of bamboo or other material. Shiai-kyohi - a match winner called when there is a refusal or discontinuation of the match.
Encho - an overtime or extension round in a match. Used to determine
a winner when no points are scored during the normal match time period
Shinai - a four piece bamboo or fiberglas sword used for practise and shiai. It must meet minimum weight and length specifications as noted for age and class group.
Fukusho - the fourth contestant in a team match.
  • chigiri - the metal spacer in the shinai's hilt
    which keeps the four bamboo staves from slipping forward or backward.
Fusei-shinai shiyo - the use of an illegal shinai for a match.
  • datotsu-bu - the tip portion of the shinai which must make contact for a valid point or yuko datotsu.
Fusen-gachi - a winner as the result of a "no-show."
  • ken-sen - the front "tip" of a shinai.
Fuho-koi-shobu-ari - a winner resulting from a player's illegal act.
  • jin-bu - the portion from the tsuba to the front tip of the shinai.
Gogi - a consultation by the referees. Generally made when a time out is
called during a match.
  • nakayui - the leather wrap at the front third of a shinai. It keeps the bamboos stave from separating
Go-No-Waza (Datotsu) - a parry to a valid datotsu made from Tsuba-zeri-ai.
  • saki-gawa - the leather covering at the tip of the shinai.
Hantei - a decision made by the judge or referee for a winner.
  • shin - the rubber spacer placed at the inside
    front tip of a shinai.
Hantei gachi, shobu-ari - a winner by decision.
  • tsuka - the handle portion of the shinai.
Hansoku - a foul play or illegal act. Hansokus are the following:
  • tsuka-gashira - the bottom or handle end of a shinai.
  • ashi-kake or ashi-barai - tripping or sweeping an opponent
    off their feet.
  • tsuba - the hilt guard on the shinai. May be made of leather, rubber or synthetic. It must not pass over the Tsuka-gawa or leather handle.
  • kosei-o-gaisuru-koi - an illegal act or move.
  • tsuru - the string or "himo" that holds the nakayui and tuska-gawa together and keeps the four bamboo staves tight.
  • jyogai - stepping outside the court line.
Shinai-hanashi - dropping a shinai during a match.
  • oshidashi or tsukidashi - unfair pushing or shoving an
    opponent out of bounds.
Shinai-hanashi - dropping a shinai during a match.
  • shinair hanashi - dropping a shinai
Shinpancho - the chief judge overseeing all court actions.
  • tsuba-zeri-ai - stalling at tsuba-zeri-ai without any
    intention of executing a datotsu.
Shinpan Shunin - the chief court judge who assists the
chief judge during a match.
Hasso-no-kamae - the ready position with the shinai held vertically by the right shoulder. Shinpan-in - the team of referees in a court. The team consists of the Shu-shin (the chief referee) and two Fuku-shin (subreferees).
Hikiwake - a draw decision in a match. Shobu - the command to restart a match for the match point.
Igi - a protest; generally done by a team manager immediately after the match in quesiton. Shobu-ari - announces a winner in a match.
Ippon gachi, shobu-ari - a winner by a single point in a match. Son-kyo - the crouching position taken just before and after a match.
Jiho - the second contestant in a team match. Sosai - an offset when two players commit a foul as the same time and the fouls are offset - no penalty.
Jikaku-mushi - an insult made to a player or referee. Tabi - footwear.
Jodan-no-kamae - the ready position with the shinai held over the head. Taisho - the last contestant in a team match.
Jogai - stepping out of bounds during a match. Taito - holding the shinai at waist level.
Kamae - the basic forward standing guard position Tare - the waist protector.
Kakari - the court staff consisting of: Tsuki - the throat thrust or hit.
  • keiji gakari - scoreboard recorder.
Tsuki-tare - the throat protector on the men.
  • kiroku gakari - score recorder
Wakki-gakame - ready position with the shinai downward and near the right foot.
  • senshu gakari - court announcer.
Yame - the command to stop.
  • tokei gakari - time keeper.
Yuko Datotsu - a valid strike or point. Must combine correct call, execution and follow through.
Keikogi - the cotton jacket worn under the do. Zan-shin - the follow through of a strike, a state of energy, execution, and alertness against an opponent.
Kendo-gu - the equipment used and worn by a kendoist. Also referred to as Bogu. Zekken - the name tag, made of cloth or leather and attached to the Tare.
Kote - fencing gloves.