Glossary of Terms

Aiuchi Simultaneous scoring of points or sometimes termed as mutual death by both Kendoists.
Arigato Thank you.
Atto Backward movement.
Bogu Set of armour worn by Kendoists
Bokken/ Bokuto Solid wooden practice sword, mainly used for kata.
Budo An ancient Japanese term meaning “Way of knighthood” but nowadays refers to all the Japanese martial arts.
Bushi Samurai warrior.
Bushido  Way ( do ) of the warrior ( Bushi ). Their strict code of practice.
Chikai-maai Close maai or distance between two kendoists.
Chudan no kamae Middle kamae ( stance or position ).
Gedan no kamae Lower position of the sword ( tip lowered to approx 20cm off the floor).
Gokaku geiko Practice between Kendoists of equal grade.
Hai Yes.
Hajime Start or begin.
Hakama Pleated and divided skirt-like trousers worn in Kendo.
Hanshi Outstanding Kendoist of ranking 8th Dan.
Hara Centre or lower stomach area of body where Ki is centred.
Harai waza Technique where one kendoist’s sword is swept off centre by the opponent leaving him open to attack.
Hasso no kamae Stance with shinai held vertically with both hands at right side of head with tsuba at mouth level.
Hata Referee’s flag.
Hidari Left hand side.
Hidari do Cut to the left side of the do.
Hidari men Cut to the left side of the men.
Hikiwaki A draw in a shiai ( match )
Himo String or cords used by kendoists to tie on their armour.
Iaido The art of drawing the sword.
Ippon shobu One point match or contest.
Issoku itto no maai Distance between 2 kendoists when they have their sword tips slightly overlapping ( Interval for a cut at one step forward).
Jodan no kamae Position of the shinai over the head with one or two hands.
Jodan waza Technique of holding the shinai over the head prior to attacking.
Kaeshi waza Technique of blocking your opponents attack followed by a counter strike.
Kakari geiko Attack practice – fast repetitive attacks without pausing.
Kamae Basic kendo sword and body positions.
Kata Stylised combat situations between two kendoists.
Katana Japanese long sword.
Katate waza Single handed techniques.
Keiko Practice session.
Keikogi Kendoist’s uniform.
Kendo “The way of the sword”.
Kensen The tip of the shinai.
Kissaki Sword tip
Kiai Yell or shout by kendoist.
Kirikaeshi Cutting exercise performed by 2 Kendoist’s co-operating with each other for mutual improvement.
Kyoshi Title of Kendoist’s of 6 or 7 Dan ranking.
Maai Distance between two Kendoist’s.
Mae Forward or front.
Men Helmet or name given to the cut to the head.
Metsuke Vision or point of observation.
Migi Right side or rightward movement.
Migi do A cut to the right side of the do.
Migi kote Cut to the right kote ( wrist ).
Migi men Cut to the right side of the helmet.
Nidan waza Two step technique.
Nuki waza To avoid the opponents cut and to counter attack.
Oji waza Defence plus counter attack techniques.
Rei Bow or command to bow.
Renshi Title of Kendoist of 4 – 6 Dan rank.
Sakigawa Leather tip or cap of shinai.
Sandan waza Three step technique.
Shiai Competition by Kendoists for points to determine a winner.
Shiai jo Competition area.
Shikake waza Technique of delivering a  cut by taking advantage of the opponent being off guard.
Shinpan  Shiai ( competition ) referee.
Shinai Kendoists bamboo sword.
Shizentai Natural standing position.
Shomen Front view.
Sonkyo Lowered body position ( squat ), back held straight, knees bent forward.
Suburi Practicing cutting with shinai – stimulate striking on opponent.
Suriage waza Technique of warding off opponent’s shinai with sliding upward movement then delivering a cut by taking advantage of his unbalanced posture.
Tachi Long sword worn with cutting edge down.
Tai-atari Body contact or crash between two Kendoists.
Tsuba Hand guard on sword.
Tsuka Handle of sword.
Tsuki Thrust to throat or protective flap on men.
Uchiotoshi waza Technique of striking down opponents sword and taking advantage of his unbalanced posture.
Waki no kamae Method of holding the shiai behind the body to prevent your opponent from seeing your blade.
Waza Technique.
Yame Stop.
Yasume Rest, relax.
Yokomen A cut to the side of the head – above the ear.

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