Davao Kendo Club

Kendo Terminology


  • Shitsurei shimasu – Said when entering or leaving the dojo
  • Hai – Yes
  • Hajime – Begin/Start
  • Rei – Bow
  • Otagai ni rei – Bow to each other
  • Shomen ni rei – Bow to shomen
  • Onegai shimasu – Please
  • Arigato gozaimashita – Thank you


  • 1 =ichi
  • 2 =ni
  • 3 =san
  • 4 =shi
  • 5 =go
  • 6 =roku
  • 7 =shichi
  • 8 =hachi
  • 9 =kyu
  • 10 =ju

    Words to remember when in Dojo

  • Ashi-sabaki – Kendo footwork
  • Bokuto – The wooden sword used for kata. Also called a bokken. The bokuto is about the same size & shape (i.e. it is curved) as a katana.
  • Dojo – The place of practice
  • Hakama – The loose trousers worn by kendoka
  • Hajime – Begin/start
  • Kamae – Stance/posture
  • Kamae to – The order given to draw the shinai
  • Kata – A set of ten forms or patterns practiced by kendoka.
  • Keikogi – The jacket by kendoka. Also known simply as gi.
  • Kendoka – Kendo practicioner
  • Kiai – The vocalisation made when performing a cut. This represents the attacker’s spirit. The louder, the better.
  • Mokuso – The mokuso position is taken while sitting in seiza. It is a time for meditation before and after training. Sitting in seiza, half-close your eyes & focus on a point on the floor about a metre in front of you. Rest your hands in your lap, with one resting on the other, and your palms turned upward. Your thumbs should touch at their tips, forming a circle.
  • Rei – To bow. There are two types of rei; standing and seated. When standing, bow from the waist. If facing kamiza/shomen, allow your eyes to go to the floor and bend at the waist to a 30 degree angle. If facing an opponent, keep your eyes on your opponent and bend at your waist to a 15 degree angle. Keep your back and neck straight in both cases. For a seated rei (from seiza), slide both hands down your thighs, palms down, to the floor making a triangle of the thumbs and forefingers. Bow so that your face is just above your hands but do not show the back of your neck or lean too far forward.
  • Seiza – A kneeling position, sitting on your feet with your big toes touching. If you do have occasion to sit cross-legged, then cover your feet with your hakama.
  • Sensei – The teacher. To address a teacher as sensei is to acknowledge his/her experience and insight.
  • Sempai / Senpai – Senior students
  • Yame – Stop