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
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.