Speak Kendo!

Here are some terms used in Kendo when you practice. This list can be used for a beginner for future references.

Sensei = Teacher

Senpai = a more experienced or older kenshi

ashi sabaki = footwork

hajime = Begin

yame = Stop

kiai = shout; a way of building up and showing your spirit

kamae = commonly known as on guard to be aware of your opponent both pyshically and mentally

kensen = tip of the sword

suburi = sword swinging techniques

jogeburi = full sword swing; an exercise used for relaxing and warming up the shoulders and upper back

hayasuburi = fast paced sword swing; used as warm up, endurance and strengthening exercise

Kata – fighting sequences used to teach the basics of Kendo, consisting of two partners teacheruchidachi andstudent shidachi.

zanshin = Zanshin is to show awareness

Rei = Bow.

Kendo counting is done in Japanese primarily in warmups which would be done at the start of practice counting 1 to 10.

one = ichi // which sounds like itchy

two = ni // which sounds like knee

three = san // which sounds like san of Sand

four = yon (or shi) // which sounds like she

five = go // which sounds like go

six = roku // which sounds like rock

seven = nana (or shichi) // which sounds like shichi

eight = hachi // which sounds like hat-chi

nine = kyu // which sounds like the letter Q

ten = jyu // which sounds like j-ee-oo

Bogu – Equipment

Men = Head Gear

Kote = Hand Padded Gloves

Do = Chest protector

Tare = Hip protector

Shinai = Bamboo Sword

Bokken = Wooden Sword, used for Kata practise

keiko-gi = Jacket

Hakama = Trousers

Tenogui = Towel, used to put on head before putting on headgear

Other terms

Shiai = Competition style of kendo

Taikai = Tournament

waza = Technique

ippon = one point