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Japanese-English Kendo Dictionary


About this Dictionary

This is not the current official AJKF dictionary. This version is from a translation done by H. Shioiri Sensei and Mr. M. E. Keith prior to the published dictionary and was presented to me by Shioiri Sensei during his stay in Seattle. The Japanese characters have not been included due to the complexity of doing so.

This dictionary contains entries not included and entries with different definitions to most terms. I think you will find this helpful and interesting. However the second section for terminology has not been completed yet. I will get up when finished.

The official AJKF dictionary is much expanded over this one and is a wealth of information. It is recommended that you purchase one at your first opportunity.

There are also many typos as yet. Some are from the original translation. They will be corrected when found.


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Agari  (n.)  Apprehension or nervousness; ie before a first competition experience or prior to a particularly important tournament cause a loss in mental and physical balance.


Ai-chūdan  (n.)  1.  When two competitors take Chūdan position in a match, practice or Kata.  2.  Beginning a match or restart of play from this position.


Ai-gedan  (n.)  When two competitors take Gedan position in a match, practice or Kata.


Ai-jōdan  (n.)  When two competitors take Jōdan position in a match, practice or Kata.


Ai-ki  (n.)  A position or attitude complimentary to that of one’s opponent.  (It is necessary in a military confrontation to maintain an opposite and reciprocal attitude to that of one’s opponent until the final blow of the contest, ie when an opponent is strong, one should remain weak; when an opponent is weak one should attack vigorously.  This principle is expressed in Japanese as Aikiohazusu.  Through the practice of developing one’s Ki, a higher level of Ki emerges.  When resisting Ki is sublimated into harmonizing Ki, which weakens and nullifies an enemy, it is also called Aiki.)


Ai-satsu  (n.)  Greetings and conversational etiquette; including expressions of congratulations, thanks and fellowship.  (Polite etiquette and proper respect for fellow Kendōists is an important aspect of Kendō)  See Rei.


Ai-tai-suru  (v.)  To face each other.


Ai-te  (n.)  An opponent in competition, practice or Kata. / Also Shiaiaite (competition opponent), Keikoaite (practice opponent).


Ai-uchi  (n.) 1. The exchange of simultaneous cuts of thrusts which would deserve a score of Ippon in a match or practice if independently delivered; ie one player strikes Men while the other simultaneously strikes . / In a match Aiuchi is not counted as YūkōDatotsu.  2.  A case in which both strike simultaneously, ie Men and  Men, but both fail to land a blow is also considered Aiuchi.


Amasu  (v.)  To anticipate and retreat from the attack of an opponent while drawing them into a vulnerable position.  (The retreat should be made in a graceful manner by leaving a margin of space into which you invite an opponent's attack.  This is not an exaggerated motion.)


Ashi-gamae  (n.)  A stance from which appropriate response to an opponent's action can be made.


Ashi-haba  (n.)  The width and length of one's stance.


Ashi-hakobi  (n.)  See Ashisabaki.


Ashi-sabaki  (n.) Four types of footwork for delivering a strike or evading an attack:  Ayumiashi, Okuriashi, Hirakiashi, and Tsugiashi. 


Ataru  (v.)  To be on target; to have hit directly. / Ateru, the transitive form of Ataru.


A-un-no-kokyu  (n.)  1.  A complimentary rhythm of respiration between two competitors.  2.  The careful control of movements and timing during Kata performance. / Pronunciation of the vowels "A" and "Un" represent the process of inspiration and expiration. /  In Sanskrit, the vowel "A" is the first vowel voiced with the mouth open, and "Un" is the last vowel voiced with the mouth closed; together symbolizing a universal beginning and end.


Ayumi-ashi  (n.)  A style of footwork developed in Kendō using alternate gliding steps to cover large distances quickly.



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Battō  (n.)  1.  Sword drawing.  2.  In the practice of Kata, after completing the standing bow and having taken three steps closer to one's opponent, the action of drawing the sword.  3.  Drawing the Shinai in practice or competition.


Bō-gyo  (n.)  1.  An evasion from attack.  (An attack may be evaded by blocking with the Shinai, body movement or footwork.)  2.  The action of discouraging an opponent from attacking though intimidation.


Bokken  (n.)  See  Bokutō.


Bokutō  (n.)  A sword made of Oak or Medlar wood. / Also Bokken or Kidachi.


Bu  (n.)  1.  The original meaning of the Chinese character Bu is 'Marching with armor in hand", or "charging ahead".  2.  Referring to the military arts.  (During the Edo Period, under the strong influence of Chinese Confucianism, the meaning of Bu was derived from China's oldest dictionary as "stopping the sword", and was therefore regarded as a symbol of pacifism with which to govern the world.)


Bu-dō (n.)  1.  The doctrine of the Japanese military class.  2.  Budō also refers to the military code, Bushidō, and the military arts, Bujutsu.  (From the end of the Meiji Period through the Taisho Period it was asserted that not only the technical but also the mental standards of the military arts should be raised.  In 1919 the Dainippon-Butokukai, the governing body of all Japanese military arts, adopted the terms Kendō, Judō, and Kyūdō in place of Gekken, Jūjutsu, and Kyūjutsu respectively.  At that time, the recently popular term Budō was also regarded as a comprehensive term for these three arts.)  3.  Today the term Budō includes not only Kendō, Judō, and Kyūdō but also Sūmō, Naginata, Aikidō, Karatedō, Jū-Kendō, and Shōrinji-Kenpō.


Budō-kan  (n.) 1.  A hall or building designated for the practice of military arts.  (Military halls may be centers accommodating practice of all the military arts, or may be designed specifically for one of the military arts.)  2.  The Nippon Budōkan is often referred to simply as  Budōkan.  (Formerly, the term Budōjō was used in place of Budōkan.)


Bu-gei (n.)  1.  Military arts.  (The Chinese character Gei implies mental and physical cultivation through training techniques.)  2.  The ideas of mental and physical development inherent in the military arts.


Bugei-jūhappan  (n.)  The 18 different recognized disciplines of  Bugei.


Bu-jutsu  See Bugei.


Bu-toku-den  (n.)  The hall for military arts in Heian Jingu Shrine, constructed by Dainippon-Butokukai.


Butokusai  (n.)  A ceremony and festival for the development of the martial arts.  (On May 4, 1899 (Meiji 32), Butokusai was held in Heian Jingū.  With the foundation of the All Japan Kendō Federation in 1953 (Shōwa 28) the festival was revived and is now a part of the Kyōto-Taikai.)


Byō-ki  (n.)  1.  A state of poor health.  2.  In Budō, focus of concentration on one point, interrupting the natural flow of energy and spirit.  (When a competitor loses fluidity by focusing only on winning the match, by concentrating too hard on the choice of techniques, or by being too tense, they will be too preoccupied to respond naturally.)  See Shikai.



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Chakin-shibori  (n.)  Referring to the similarity between wringing out a wet Chakin (tea ceremony cloth) and the proper grip of a sword at the moment a strike or thrust has landed.  (At the moment of impact the little and ring fingers should tighten around the hilt as the thumbs rotate slight and thrust forward.)


Chaku-gan  (n.)  A focus of view.  (In Kendō it is of utmost importance which part of the opponent one looks at.  The term Metsuke is often used in place of Chakugan.  The best method is to focus on the opponent's eyes while keeping their entire body in view.  To avoid telegraphing an intended strike do not look directly at the target area.  One's gaze should not be focused too strongly on one particular point or one's view of the opponent will be limited.)


Chaku-sō  (n.)  The method of wearing a  Kendō uniform and armor.  (The proper wearing of a Kendō uniform requires a great deal of practice and experience.  Often the ability of a Kendōist can be estimated by their appearance in uniform.  It is important to wear a Kendō uniform so that it is both neat and allows freedom of motion.)


Chaku-za  (n.)  1.  A sitting method.  2.  The method of sitting into Seiza  from a standing position. / See Seiza.


Chigiri  (n.)  a small metal used to fix the four section of a Shinai  together at the inside of the hilt. / See Shinai Nomenclature.


Chika-ma (n.)  A distance relative to one's opponent shorter than the general Issokuitto.


Chō-musubi  (n.)  A butterfly know.  (The Men and should be tied in this manner.)


Chōyaku-suburi  (n.)  Men strikes practiced using a forward and backward jumping step.


Chūdan-no-kamae  (n.)  A basic position taken with the sword tip at a height between the eyes and solar plexus.  (The height of the sword tip and hands is relative to the height of one's opponent, the distance between you, and the type of sword, Bokutō  or Shinai.)


Chū-shin  (n.)  1.  The middle or center.  (It is important in Kendō to attack the opponent's centerline.)  2.  The center cross of a Shiaijō.



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Dai-tō  (n.)  The longer of two Shinai.


Dan-i  (n.)  The rank, or level of skill, above Kyu  level.  (In Kendō  there are ten Dani, or levels of  Dan.)  See Counting Terms.


Dan-tai-sen  (n.)  1.  Team competition.  2.  competition by teams of three players or more. / Officially Dantaishiai. / See Kojinsen.


Dantai-shiai  (n.) See Dantaisen.


Dan-to-kyū  (n.)  1.  Grade and rank; the system of hierarchy used in Kendō to indicate levels of ability.  (The first martial art to adopt the Dan system was Kodōkan Jūdō when the first Shodan was issued in 1883 (Meiji 16).  The Kyū system was used by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in Kendō training, and formally adopted in 1885 (Meiji 18).  The first Kendō use of the Dan system was a Tokyo Normal College in 1908 (Meiji 41).  The Dan-Kyū system has been used in Japan since 1917 (Taisho 6) when the Dainippon Butokukai adopted the system.  that system, still in use today, designates then Dan levels and six Kyū levels.)


Da-totsu  (n.)  Strikes and thrusts.


Datotsu-dōsa  (n.)  The coordination of the arms and legs to deliver a strike or thrust.


Datotsu-no-kikai  (n.)  A prime opportunity to attack. / See Mittsunoyurusanutokoro.


De-bana  (n.)  The very moment that an intended strikes begins, which provides an opportunity for counter-attack.


Debana-waza  (n.)  Counter-attack techniques delivered at the moment of Debana.  ie   Debana Men, Debana Kote, Debana Tsuki. / See Classification of Techniques.


De-gashira  (n.)  See Debana.


Dento-bunka  (n.)  Traditional culture. / Rituals, customs, and intangible cultural assets unique to Japan transcended from ancient times (including codes of behavior and social contact).  Especially included are theater arts from the Edo Period such as , Kabuki, Jōryui, the arts of Tea Ceremony, and Flower Arrangement, etc.  As legacies of the Edo Period Kendō, Judō, Kyudō, and  Nipponbushidō are also considered cultural assets.)


  (n.)  1.  Abdomen and chest protecting armor used in Kendō.  2.  One of the targets in  Kendō competition.  3.  A strike to the of an opponent. / See Equipment Nomenclature and Kendō Target Areas.


Dō-chū-sei  (n.)  The necessity for a composed and serene attitude, especially during rapid physical activity.  Mental composure which enables the evaluation of one's opponent despite being outwardly vigorous in movement.


Dō-gu-bukuro  (n.)  A sack or bag for Kendō equipment.


Dōji-ni  (adv.)  Simultaneously.


Dō-jō  (n.)  Originally the place where Guatama Buddha received enlightenment under a linden tree, later the shrines where Buddhists were trained.  Eventually  Dōjō became the name for martial arts training halls.


Dōjō-kun  (n.)  The obligation to, and etiquette of, martial arts training; often a set of rules posted in a Dōjō.


Dō-tō  (n.)  Exactly the same [ability, skill, etc.].


Dō-uchi  (n.)  A strike to the .


Dō-waza  (n.)  Techniques for striking the .



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En  (n.)  1.  Buddhist term for Karma.  2.  In Kendō, the relationship between two players during a volley of techniques.


En-bu  (n.)  The practice, performance, or demonstration of martial arts.


En-ko  (n.)  An arc.


En-undō  (n.)  A technique of striking with Shinai drawing the tip in a broad arc over one's head in a smooth continuous motion.


Enzan-no-metsuke  (n.)  Literally "watching a mountain from afar", viewing one's opponent in their entirety. / See Metsuke.



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Fu-dō-shin  (n.)  A state of mind unaffected by outside factors, yet flexible enough to react to any changing conditions.


Fukushiki-kokyū  (n.)  Respiration from the diaphragm [used in Kendō].


Fumi-kiri-ashi  (n.)  The leg which provides force and stability by pushing off the floor, in a forward strike the left leg, in retreat the right leg.

Fumi-kiri-dōsa  (n.)  The coordination of swinging the Shinai while pushing off from the left leg during a forward strike.


Fumi-kiru  (v.)  Pushing off the floor with the leg to begin a jump forward. 


Fumi-komi  (n.)  A firm stamping step forward.


Fumikomi-ashi  (n.)  Firm stepping of the right foot, with the entire sole, and forward motion of the left foot to gain forward momentum.


Fumikomi-dōsa  (n.)  Recovery to a vertical position by bringing the left foot in after a rapid forward strike used in modern Kendō;  accomplished by the continuous process of footwork from the beginning of a strike in Issokuittō distance through Okuriashi.


Furi-kaburu   (v.)  To swing the Shinai or  Katana overhead.


Furi-orosu  (v.)  To swing the Shinai downward toward the Men, Kote, or.


Furu  (v.)  To swing [the Shinai.]


Fusegu  (v.)  To defend.



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Gakka-shiken  (n.)  A written test in a Dan level examination; usually of theoretical nature.


Gakko-Kendō  (n.)  The general study of Kendō in schools.


Gasshuku  (n.)  Lodging together with other Kendōists during several consecutive days of training, intended to develop skill as well as camaraderie.


Gedan-no-kamae  (n.)  A strong defensive position with the sword tip lower than the navel.


Gekken-kōgyō  (n.)  A unique Meiji Period demonstration, by Sakakibara Kenkichi, in 1873, for the progression of Kendō, imitating modern Sūmō demonstrations.  (Held periodically until 1889 (Meiji 19), Gekkenkōgyō significantly contributed to the revival of Kendō.)


Gi-jutsu  (n.)  A technique.


Gi-nō  (n.)  A skill.


Go  (n.)  A condition or state of being late in time or space.


Go-kaku  (n.)  To be matched or equally in ability; similar to the identical structure of the two horns of one bull.


Gokaku-geiko  (n.)  Practice between two Kendōists of equal ability or rank.  (The Chinese character Kaku is used for its meaning of rank, status or dignity.)


Goku-i  (n.)  The essence or core; mysterious and supreme understanding or goal in science or the martial arts attained through a culmination of efforts.


Go-no-sen  (n.)  The instinctual mental aspect of reacting to an attack when both players are jockeying for advantage. / Same as  Sengonosen or Tainosen. / Also see Sen.


Gō-rei  (n.)  A command or request.  / Used to indicate the beginning or execution of an exercise or technique.


Go-te  (n.)  A condition or state of being late in relation to an opponent.


Gyaku-dō  (n.)  1.  The left side of the .  2.  A strike to the Gyakudō.



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Ha  (n.)  The edge of a blade. / See Illustration of Nihontō.


Haijiku  (v.)  Cursory sword-tip play to judge an opponent or predict their actions.


Haku-shu  (n.)  Applause.


Han-dō-dōsa  (n.)  A slight counter motion at the beginning of any particular movement intended to gain momentum.  For example, a momentary dipping of the Shinai down before raising it to strike.


Han-geki  (n.)  A counter-attack.


Han-men  (n.)  A one-handed diagonal strike to the right side of the Men.


Han-mi  (n.)  An oblique standing position with respect to an opponent.  Either one's right side (Migihanmi) or left side (Hidarihanmi) faces the opponent.


Han-puku  (n.) Repetition.


Hanpuku-renshū  (n.)  Repetitious training.


Han-sayō  (n.)  An opposite reaction.


Hansha-dōsa  (n.)  A reflex movement.


Han-shi  (n.)  The highest ranking Kendō title.  (Awarded to masters at eighth Dan and above, older than 55, showing superiority in character, intimate knowledge of Kendō theory and technical expertise. / In exceptional cases the title Hanshi may also be awarded to seventh Dan masters.)


Harai-ageru  (v.)  Creating an opening to strike one's opponent by deflecting their Shinai upwards, deflecting the Shinai downward is Haraiotosu  (v.).


Harai-waza  (Any of several techniques for deflecting an opponent's Shinai and attacking in one motion.  ie Harai Men, Harai Kote, Harai Dō, Harai Tsuki. / See Classification of Techniques.


Harau  (v.)  Deflecting an opponent's Shinai.


Hari  (n.)  1.  Tension or intensity.  2.  Rivalry or competition.  3.  In Kendō a vigorously competitive spirit and posture tensed to react; similar to a drawn bow in archery.


Hassei  (n.)  1.  The voicing of a battle cry at the moment of strike.  2.  A plea for pause in the match by a competitor.


Hassō-no-kamae  (n.)  A position with the sword erect, the handle guard and hands at mouth level, and drawn in toward the right shoulder (also called Migiwaki Jōdannokamae).


Ha-suji   (n.)  A line drawn with the cutting edge of a sword.  (As a Japanese sword cuts best when the blade is perpendicular to an object.  Even when using a Shinai take care to make sure it follows a path appropriate to cutting.)


Hazusu  (v.)  1. To dodge or avert an attack.  2.  Failing to land an attempted strike during an opening in an opponent's attack.


Hei-jō-shin  (n.)  1.  An everyday mentality.  2.  A disciplined state of mind unaffected by sudden or unexpected changes.


Hidari-kiki  (n.)  Left-hander.


Hidari-menuchi  (n.)  A strike to the left side of the Men.


Hi-kaku  (n)  Tanned leather.


Hiki-age  (n.)  The act of distancing yourself by retreating or passing an opponent after a cut to demonstrate Zanshin.  (If the distance is too great one's point will be canceled.)


Hiki-giwa  (n.)  The verge of retreat.  (During an opponent's Hikigiwa is a prime opportunity to attack.)


Hiki-komu  (v.)  To entice an opponent into striking distance.


Hiki-tate-geiko  (n.)  Practice with a player of lower rank.  (Training and encouragement is derived when a ranking Kendōist allows a student to complete a strike without indicating that the opportunity was given.)


Hiki-te  (n.)  See Teko.


Hiki-tsukeru  (v.)  To draw near.


Hiki-wake  (v.)  1.  A match ending in a draw.  2.  A break or separation of competitors by the referee.


Hiki-waza  (n.)  1.  A strike delivered just before, or during, retreat from Tsubazeiriai.  2.  A strike delivered after Taiatari. / ie Hiki Men, Hiki Gote, Hiki Dō. / See Classification of Techniques.


Hiraki-ashi  (n.)  an open stance taken to avoid and counter-attack a strike.  (It is important to maintain eye and hip orientation toward one's opponent during Hirakiashi.)


Hiraku  (v.)  1.  To open.  2.  Relaxing or opening in Kata by lowering the Katana from the Chūdan position.  3.  The concerted motion of the feet and body as in Hirakiashi.  4.  Denoting the distance or difference in ability, as between two player's techniques.  5.  A newfound understanding as in Satori-o-hiraku.  6.  To found a new school of  Kendō practice.


Hira-uchi  (n.)  1.  A strike with the flat side of a sword rather than the cutting edge.  2.   The same motion with respect to a Shinai. (Hirauchi will not score a point.)


Hito-iki  (n.)1.  One breath.  2.  The interval between breaths during execution of a technique which is vulnerable to attack.  (The moment between breaths should not be shown to one’s opponent, accomplished by attacking within the time of one breath.)


Ho-kō  (n.)  A gait or stride. / See Ayumiashi.


Hō-kō  (n.)  A direction, or path.


Hō-shin  (n.)  1.  Generally, a loss of concentration.  2.  In Kendō, to set free or liberate one’s spirit in an effort to produce a mental state flexible enough to react to anything.


Hyō-ri  (n.)  The front and opposite surface of something. / See Directional Terms.


Hyōri-ittai  (n.)  The relationship between two seemingly opposed ideas, similar to two opposite sides of the same object - especially the relationship between attack and defense.  (This evolved into a term to teach the principle that attack and defense, although outwardly different, are the same.)


Hyō-shi  (n.)  1.  The flow or rhythm of movement with the sword or body.  2.  Compatible patterns of respiration between two opponents, or the exchange of spirit.



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I-ai-dō  (n.)  1.  Technique of rapid sword drawing and cutting from a position with one or both knees on the ground, founded by  Hayashizaki Shigenobu (date of birth and death unknown) at the end of the era of warring states (Sengokujidai).  2.  Also Iai, or Iaijutsu.  (Founded as a branch of All Japan Kendō Federation in 1956 (Shōwa 31).  In 1969 (Shōwa 44) three standing and four sitting techniques were adopted for standard practice.  In 1980 (Shōwa 55) three more standing techniques were added, and together those ten techniques were standardized for the popularization of Iai-dō.)


I-chi  (n.)  A position or standpoint.


Ichi-byōshi  (n.)  1.  Literally one beat, Ichibyōshi refers to the fluid completion of a technique in one continuous motion.  2.  Also, the relationship between respiration and footwork in a strike or thrust.


Ichigan-nisoku-santan-shiriki  (n.)  The four essential elements of Kendō training, listed in order of importance:  1)  Vision (esp. Konnome)  2)  Footwork (esp. the left leg)  3)  Resolute spirit  4)  Assertive execution of techniques.


I-dō  (n.)  a changing of position, a traverse.


Ippon   (n.)  1.  In Kendō and Judō the completion of a technique.  2.  Clear defeat of one's opponent.  3.  Valid strikes and thrusts in competition.


Ippon-uchi  (n.)  A single and direct strike using all one's force and spirit.


Iri-mi  (n.)  1.  Originally the posture in Yari (spear) practice, slightly lower and oblique body position.  2.  Rapidly closing the distance between one and one's opponent.  3.  the three small sword techniques in Kata use this posture.


Iro  (n.)  1.  Color.  2.  A slight sense or indication of something.  3.  Feigning action to draw one's opponent into a vulnerable position.


Isshō-kenmei  (n.)  Originally, focusing all one's concentration to one point; pursuing a goal with all one's might, for a lifetime.


Issoku-ittō  Originally a term appearing in a Ono-ha-ittō-ryū treatise about Kenjutsu using a Bokutō or Katana, referring to taking a distance of 180 cm (6 feet) between competitors. / This distance is called Issokuittōnomaai. / From this distance one step forward allows attack, while one step back provides escape, and is therefore considered the turning point of attack and defense. / In Kendō, Issokuittō makes reference to two competitors taking a distance appropriate for attack and defense, in Chūdannokamae, with their Shinai tips crossed about 10 cm (4 inches) from the tip.  This distance is longer than the 180 cm used with Bokutō, or Katana because the Shinai is longer, but retains the essential meaning of Issokuittōnomaai because it is still the turning point of attack and defense. / See Chikama and Toma.


Issokuittō-no-maai   (n.)  See Issokuittō.


Itsuku  (v.)  Concentrating all one's spirit and focus on one part of one's body leaving the rest of one's body still in place and unable to react.  Limitation of action in attack or defense caused by the leadership on one's opponent.


Itsutsu-no-kamae  (n.)  The five Kendō postures: Jōdan, Chūdan, Gedan, Hasso, Wakigamae. / Also called Gohōnokamae.  (All five postures are included in the All Japan Kendō Federation standard Kata.)



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Ji-geiko(n.)  1.  Literally "training with one's feet on the floor" indicating basic training of fundamental Kendō skills.  2.  Training for success in competition. / Mental training and refining or polishing defects in technique.  (Originally a term encompassing Uchikomi-geiko, Kirikaishi, Kakari-geiko, Gokaku-geiko, and Shiaigeiko.  Today, a synonym of Gokaku-geiko.)


Jin-bu  (n.)  See Shinai Nomenclature and Competition and Referee Terms.


Jin-kaku  (n.)  1.  A person' character.  2.  Humanistic character cultivated from Kendō practice.


Jinkaku-keisei  (n.)  See Ningenkeisei.


Jōdan-no-kamae  (n.)  An entirely offensive position from which intimidation comes from above. / A position with the blade edge directed toward one's opponent and the left hand above the solar plexus is considered a variation of Jōdan.


Jōdan-waza  (n.)  A technique delivered from Jōdannokamae, usually a one-handed technique.  ie  Jōdan Men, Jōdan Kote. / See Classification of Techniques.


Jōge-suburi  (n.)  A continuous motion, repeatedly bringing the sword from overhead down until the left hand reaches the abdomen level and back up again without changing the grip of Chudan position.  (The lowest position of the sword tip is at the height of one's imaginary opponent's knee.)

  (n.)  Seating in the Dōjō for masters and higher ranking Kendōists.  (If there is a shrine in the Dōjō, the Jōseki is on the shrine side of the hall.)


Jōtai-zenmen  (n.) (Jōtai)  The front part of the body above the waist.


Jō-tatsu-suru  (v.)  To improve one's self.


Juku-ren-sha  (n.)  A Kendōist of superior ability familiar with the harmony of Shin-gi-tai.


Jū-nan-sei (n.)  Flexibility of joints and soft tissues.


Jūnan-taiso  (n.)  Calisthenics and stretching performed without any equipment or apparatus.


Junbi-undō  (n.)  Warming-up exercises before a match or training to ensure maximum performance and prevent injury, including calisthenics and stretching.


Jū-shin  (n.)  Center of gravity.


Jū-tai  (n.)  Lining up in a column facing the instructor. / ie groups of two (Niretsu-Jūtai) or four (Yoretsu-Jūtai) columns.



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Kābon-shinai  (n.)  A Shinai made of synthetic material rather than natural Bamboo.


Kaburu  (v.)  1.  To cover the head, as with Tenugui.  2.  To put on and secure your Men.


Kaeshi-waza  (n.)  Techniques using Kaesu motion. / See Kaesu. / ie Men-kaeshi-Dō, Men-kaeshi-Men, Men-kaeshi-Kote, Kote-kaeshi-Men, Dō-kaeshi-Men. / See Classification of Techniques.


Kaesu  (n.)  The action of blocking a strike and rotating one's Shinai to the other side of an opponent's Shinai.


Kai-sen  (n.)  Rotation.


Kakari-geiko  (n.)  Intensely vigorous practice of striking, by an inferior to a superior, using all the skills learned to that point without fear of counter-attack or evasion.  Practiced for a short time to the point of exhaustion.


Kakaru  (v.)  To assail, or fall upon an adversary in attack.


Kake-goe  (n.)  Expression in the form of a natural cry or shout, showing the alertness o spirit and energy.


Kake-hiki  (n.)  Advantageously reacting to an opponent.  Tactics.  Intimidating an opponent from using their favorite techniques.


Kaku-do  (n.)  Degree of angle.  Perspective.


Kamae  (n.)  A posture taken appropriate for action or response. / See Itsutsunokamae.


Kami-za  (n.)  See Jōseki.


Kan  (n.)  An instinctive understanding; rather than through explanation or persuasion.


Kan-geiko  (n.)  Daily practice of fundamental Keiko such as Uchikomi, Taiatari, Kirikaeshi, and Jigeiko during the coldest period of the year.  The duration of the period varies.  If performed with fortitude, mental discipline is gained through this practice.


Kan-kaku  (n.)  Distance between two objects, the interval of time between two events.


Kan-ken-no-metsuke  (n.)  Observing an opponent in entirety, or in part.  View of a phenomenon, Ken-no-me, or perception of an event's essence, Kan-no-me.  comprehensive observation and perception of an opponent leading to understanding of their spirit and physical ability is Kan-no-me.


Karui  (adj.)  1.  Light in weight.  2.  Denoting a Shinai of less than regulation weight.  3.  Weakness of strikes or thrusts.


Kata  (n.)  A standard of practice expressed in formalized spirit, technique, and movement based on practical experience in real battle.  Recognizable form or standard, for example Nihon Kendō Kata.  (Through repetitious practice a student can internalize Kata, polish their techniques, and eventually develop their own style.) / In this dictionary the word Kata refers to Japanese Kendō Kata.


Kata-geiko  (n.)  Kata practice of strikes and thrusts between two players, practice without armor.  (The objectives of repetitious Kata practice are mastering of the Kata techniques, and understanding of mental discipline through physical practice.) / Styles generally referred to as Kobudō, practice mainly through Kata. / Also Kumidachi.


Katana  (n.)  1.  An edged weapon.  2. A Japanese sword. / See Nihontō.


Katate-waza  (n.)  A one-handed technique.  ie Katate-migi-Men, Katate-zuki. / See Classification of Techniques.


Katate-zuki  (n.)  A one handed thrust.


Katazukeru  (v.)  1.  To arrange.  2.  To arrange and care or equipment after use.  3.  To place something neatly in the appropriate space.


Katsu  (v.)  To win, or to be superior.


Katsugi-waza  (n.)  (Katsugu  (v.))  From Kamae, abruptly bringing the Shinai to one's left shoulder, causing one's opponent to react and giving you the opportunity for attack.  Strike to Men or Kote.


Kawasu  (v.)  1.  To dodge to a strike.  2.  To exchange.


Ke-ga  (n.)  Injury.


Keiken-sha  (n.)  A person experienced in some for [of Kendō].


Kei-ko  (n.)  A term formed from two characters meaning “antiquity” and “to think”, implying the study of military or cultural arts.  (Not simple repetitious training but also stresses the importance of mental attitude in physical technique.  The process of physical practice is in reality a way of living intent on improving the individual.  Physical practice is an important factor in the harmony between art and life.)


Keiko-hō  (n.)  A training method in Kendō using strikes and thrust, practiced in armor, developed from original Kata practice.  (Toward the end of the Meiji Period Kirikaeshi was separated from Keiko, as was Kakarigeiko at the end of the Taisho Period.  Later Hikitategeiko, Gokakugeiko, Shiaigeiko were grouped and labeled as Jigeiko.  Because Gokakugeiko has become the central part of Keiko the two terms are now synonymous.)


Ken  (n.)  Literally a double edged sword, also called Tsurugi.  (A single edged sword, Katana, should be distinguished as different from a Ken.  The term Tōken (comprised of the characters for Katana and Ken) makes general reference to swords.)


Ken-chū-tai  (n.)  See Kentaiicchi.


Ken-dō  (n.)  Mental, physical, and philosophical training through armored practice or sword fighting particularly with a Shinai.  (The former terms Kenjutsu and Gekken were standardized as Kendō when that term was adopted by Dainipponbutokukai during the organization of modern military arts.)


Kendō-gu  (n.)  The equipment used in Kendō including Men, Kote, and Tare. / See Equipment Nomenclature.


Keno-no-me  (n.)  See Kankenometsuke.


Ken-sen  (n.)  The tip or end of a sword or Shinai.  (During movement of the sword tip emphasis should be placed on keeping the sword tip on one’s opponent’s center line to allow for effective attack and defense. ) / See Shinai Nomenclature.


Ken-tai-icchi  (n.)  Ken means attack and Tai means composed observation, implying the ideas of attack and defense;  Icchi refers to the harmony between attack and defense, as defense is in essence a form of attack.


Ken-zen-icchi  (n.)  The concept that the final goal of Ken and Zen are the same.  (Originally the objective of Kenjutsu was to kill.  Contrary to the idea of Ken, the Zen religious philosophy strives for harmony between living things.  In Kendō practice the final goal is to achieve a state of mind in battle void of thought.  Similarly the practice of Zen meditation searches for a denial of self through a state of mind without thought.  These two mental states are regarded as a similarity between two outwardly different undertakings, represented by Kenzenicchi.)


Keru  (v.)  1.  To kick with the leg.  2.  In Kendō pushing off the floor in order to gain momentum.


Kezuru  (v.)  To sharpen, shave, or whittle. / See Shinogi-o-kezuru.


Ki  (n.)  1.  In Buddhist thought, the moment of using any of the five senses.  2.  Something in action.  3.  The moment of any change in an opposing relationship. / See Kikai, or Kisen.


Ki  (n.)  1.  The fundamental energy involved in creation, development, action, or extinction.  2.  In human beings, the dynamic energy propelling perception and instinct.  3.  In Kendō, the bond between you and your opponent.  Ki also influences the relationship between one’s own body and spirit.


Ki-ai  (n.)  1.  A state of concentration on an opponent’s action, or one’s own intention.  2.  A cry or yell derived from this state of mind.


Ki-atari  (n.)  1.  A slight action, or thrust of Ki, intended to draw an observable response from one’s opponent.  2.  To feel one’s opponent. / To predict and prepare for an opponent’s attack.


Ki-gamae  (n.)  To be aware and mentally prepared to react to any movement by one's opponent.  To predict and prepare for an opponent's attack.


Ki-gurai  (n.)  Strength derived through confidence.  The supernatural ability to read an opponent's intentions.


Ki-haku  (v.)  1.  Mental fortitude against any hardship. / Also Ki-gai.  2.  A mentally assertive response to an attack.


Ki-hon  (n.)  A fundamental.


Ki-hon-datotsu  (n.)  Delivering valid strikes or thrusts from an appropriate distance to the Men, Kote,, or Tsuki.


Kihon-dōsa  (n.)  Fundamental movement essential to mastering Kendō techniques.  (Kihondōsa includes: posture, Kamae, Metsuke, drawing and sheathing the sword, Ashisabaki, Suburi, Kakegoe, Maai, Kihondatotsu, the way of receiving strikes and thrusts, Kirikaeshi, Taiatari, Tsubazeriai, Zanshin, etc.)


Kihon-gino  (n.)  Fundamental techniques. / See Kihondōsa.


Kihon-renshū  (n.)  Repetitious practice of Kendō fundamentals.


Kihon-uchi  (n.)  See Kihondatotsu.


Ki-jun  (n.)  A standard.


Ki-kai  (n.)  A prime opportunity to attack an opponent, including beginning of a technique, a pause in the attack, or at the end of an attack. / Together called Mittsunokoki.


Ki-ken (n.)  Something dangerous. / The high probability of loss, injury, or harm.


Ki-ken-tai-icchi  (n.)  The flow of Ki from a person into a sword resulting in a technique.  This process completed without interruption. / Synonymous to Shin-ki-ryoku-icchi, Shin-gi-tai-icchi, Shin-gyō-tō-icchi.


Ki-me  (n.)  1.  A decision.  2.  Finishing a strike or thrust decisively.  3.  Resolution to complete an Ippon.  4.  The delicate action of hand movement at the moment of a strike or thrust's impact.


Kin-chō  (n.)  A mentally tense state before action or response.  (If one is too tense one will become stagnant, causing failure.)


Kin-niku  (n.)  Muscle; composed of muscle fibers.  (Divided into smooth muscle and striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle.)


Kin-shi-waza  (n.)  Generally prohibited techniques; techniques prohibited due to the possibility of injury.


Ki-o-miru  (v.)  To observe and take advantage of the moment an opponent's spirit emerges.


Kiri-kaeshi  (n.)  A practice exercise involving Shomenuchi and Sayumenuchi indispensable for Kendō training.  (Many of Kendō's fundamental movements are included in Kirikaeshi.  Kirikaeshi is vital for both beginners and experts.)


Kiri-otoshi  (n.)  In one continuous motion, firmly deflecting an attack with the Shinogi  while striking an opponent.  (A typically important technique in the Ittōryū School Kendō.)


Kiru  (v.)  1.  Cutting with a sword.  (Without proper Hasuji the Katana will not cut.  Kiru is also used to express movement of the Shinai with proper Hasuji.)  2.  To cut off, or end one’s fear.


Ki-ryoku  (n.)  1.  Dynamic spiritual energy used to create activity.  2.  A spiritual reserve used to bolster the body after the limitation of physical strength has been surpassed.


Ki-sen  (n.)  1.  The moment that something take s shape.  2.  The moment a technique begins.  (Kisen-o-seisuru is to control the moment of Kisen.)


Ki-zeme  (n.)  To overcome an opponent through spiritual energy rather than physical action.


Kō-bō-no-icchi  (n.)  The balance of mental and physical state which does not lose sight of defense while attacking, or forget attack during defense.


Ko-budō  (n.)  When compared with military sports, military arts transcended from ancient times with the ancient training and teaching method intact. / Also called Koryū.  (Particularly, those schools of military arts associated with the Japanese Association for the Propagation of Kobudō, established 1935 (Shōwa 10).)


Ko-dachi  (n.)  1.  A short sword.  2.  A short sword used in Kata.


Kō-dan-sha  (n.)  High ranking person, relative to that person’s peers.


Kō-geki  (n.)  1.  An attack in competition.  2.  A strike following a threat.  3.  A charge and strike at an opponent.


Kōgoni  (adv.)  Mutually or alternatively.


Ko-i  (n.)  The act of intentionally doing something one knows is wrong.


Koi-guchi  (n.)  The opening of a Katana's sheath, similar in shape to the mouth of a Japanese carp. / See Katana Nomenclature.


Koiguchi-o-kiru  (v.)  Pressing the Tsuba of a Katana with the left thumb ‘breaking’ the seal of the sheath, and preparing the Katana for drawing.


Kojin-sen  (n.)  See Kojin-Shiai.


Kojin-shiai  (n.)  An individual match fought using the skills and spirit acquired in everyday practice. / See Dantaisen.


Kojin-teki-ginō  (n.)  Fundamental techniques, / The bare essential techniques for practicing Keiko.


Kō-kei-shisei  (n.)  A Chūdannokamae or hitting posture unbalanced by an improper backwards lean.


Ko-ki  (n. )  The act of expiration from the lungs, expelling carbon dioxide.


Kokoro-e  (n.)  1.  Essential knowledge,   2.  An accomplishment,  3.  The understanding necessary to be a Kendō instructor.


Koko-gamae  (n.)  Mental preparedness.  Mental framework.  Mental resolution.  Mentally prepared for Kendō.


Kokusai Kendō Renmei  (n.)  The International Kendō Federation.  (Currently representing 35 member nations, with the head office at the All Japan Kendō Federation Office.)


Ko-kyū  (n.)  2.  The process of respiration through physically inhaling and exhaling air through muscular action, and the internal exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.  2.  To draw energy from one’s environment.  3.  To predict an opponent’s action and harmonize one’s action accordingly (also called Kokyū-o-awaseru.)  4.  A knack or ability.


Kō-sa  (n.)  1.  Two things in a crossed (X) position.  2.  In Kendō the engaged position of two swords.


Koshi-o-hiku  (v.)  To unbalance a Chūdannokamae or hitting posture by leaning the shoulders forward while protruding the hips to the rear.


Koshi-o-ireru  (r.)  1.  To straighten from a bent position.  2.  To balance a Chūdannokamae or hitting position by tensing the abdomen, back and hip muscles, creating an upright posture.


Kō-tai  (n.)  Change or rotation.


Ko-te  (n.)  1.  A glove used in Kendō to protect the hand, wrist and forearm. / See Equipment Nomenclature.  2.  A target for striking.  3.  A technique striking the cylindrical portion of the Kote.


Kote-uchi  (n.)  A strike to the Kote.


Kote-waza  (n.)  A technique to strike the Kote.


Kufū-suru  (v.)  1.  To devise a cleaver method.  2.  To devise and execute tactics in Keiko or a match.


Kujiku  (v.)  1.  To decelerate.  2.  To sprain a joint or muscle by superflexion.  3.  To reduce the morale or fighting spirit of an opponent in competition or practice. / To discourage one’s opponent.


Kūkan-datotsu  (n.)  Practice against an imaginary opponent, striking to the Kote, Men, , or Tsuki. / A strike at an imaginary opponent without regard to their distance from you.


Kumi-uchi  (n.)  An engagement of physical contact during Keiko including joint manipulation, removal of the Men, or twisting of the head intended to immobilize an opponent.  (Often occurring when the Shinai is dropped.  Occasionally used to train the body and spirit in Keiko, but strictly prohibited in competition.)


Kurai  (n.)  1.  The level or rank of something.  2.  The level of mental and physical difference between two competitors.  (The level of mental and physical ability is relative to the confidence gained Keiko experience.)


Kurai-zume  (n.)  To menace one's opponent into a disadvantageous position through physical and mental intimidation without actually striking at an opponent.


Kuse  (n.)  Habitual mistakes.  The state of having bad habits that are difficult to correct.


Kusshin  (n.)  Bending and stretching, flexion and extension.


Kuzusu  (v.)  1.  To destroy, dismantle, or disturb.  2.  To disturb the Kamae, strikes, or thrusts of an opponent with one's Shinai, footwork, or spirit.


Kyō-chi  (n.)  The mental state achieved through long and diligent Keiko.


Kyōgi-nenrei  (n.) 1.  The age from which one may enter competition.  2.  Age divisions in competition.


Kyō-iku  (n.)  Education.


Kyōiku-teki-hairyo  (n.)  Consideration for students in learning process.  ie  lenience in competition rules for children, in the spirit of education.


Kyō-jaku  (n.)  1.  Strength and weakness.  2.  The degree of strength.  3.  Accentuation.


Kyo-jitsu  (n.)  Falsehood and truth.  (Kyo denotes lack of mental and spiritual energy, while Jitsu is a state of full mental and spiritual energy.  The key to Kendō is the ability to achieve a state of Jitsu, and to drive one's opponent into Kyo.)


Kyō-ku-gi-waku  (n.)  The four mental maladies; astonishment, fear, doubt, hesitation.  /  A restless or disquieted spirit when entering competition.  /  The inability to correct a poor mental state.  See Shi-kai.


Kyo-ri  (n.)  Distance.


Kyō-sei  (n.)  Correcting defects.


Kyō-shi  (n.)  The second highest title in Kendō.  (Awarded to Seventh Dan Renshi Kendōists with adequate instructional experience.  /  May be awarded to exceptional Sixth Dan Renshi.)


Kyū-ho-no-ma  (n.)  The distance at which two competitors exchange a bow in Kata.  (Both competitors taking three steps toward each other achieves the Issoku-ittō distance.)


Kyū-ki  (n.)  an inspiration, an inhale.



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Ma  (n.)  1.  Distance in space or time.  (Relating to Japanese arts, the idea of a is divided into ‘distance in space’ and ‘distance in time’.)  2.  Synchronisity with the period of a certain rhythm, producing an alterness capable of reading an opponent’s breathing pattern.  3.  Appreciation of the beauty in an unbalanced spatial relationship.  4.  In Kendō Ma usually refers to distance in time, whereas Maai is used for spatial distance.  (The sense of Ki varies according to the definition of Ma which is used.)


Magaru  (v.)  1.  To turn, bend or lean.  2.  To distort logic or principles.


Majieru  (v.)  To cross two Shinai.    See Kosa.


Make  (n.)  1.  A loss.  2.  As loss in competition.


Maki-ageru  (v.)  Hindering an opponent’s Shinai movement, harassing and winding around their Shinai near the Tsuba with one’s Shinai, and opening their Kamae by swinging their Shinai up to the right or left.


Maki-kaeshi  (n.)  A block, used to defend against a thrust, by bringing the left hand overhead and rotating the sword so that the blade edge faces backward and the point downward.  (Used in the fourth Kata.)


Maki-otosu  (v.)  Similar to Makiageru except that the final motion is to the right or left, downward.


Maki-waza  (n.)  A technique for breaking the Kamae of one’s opponent by winding the tip of one’s Shinai around theirs.  /  See Maku.


Maku  (v.)  Hindering the movement of an opponent’s Shinai by winding the tip of one’s Shinai around their Shinai near the Tsuba.


Mame  (n.)  Blisters incurred by physical activity.


Mamoru  (v.)  1.  To guard, protect, or defend.  2.  To obey.  3.  To value (something).


Masugu  (adv.)  Straightly.


Mawari-geiko  (n.)  All members of a class in two lines practicing Keiko simultaneously with period rotation between partners.  (Appropriate for polishing technique and nourishing the spirit.)


Mawaru  (v.)  1.  To rotate.  2.  To turn in Keiko.  3.  To turn after delivering a strike.


Meijin  (n.)  1.  A famous person, a master.  2.  A superior Tatsujin.  (If a Tatsujin's techniques show endurance or longevity that person is referred to as a master or Meijin.)


Mei-kyo-shi-sui  (n.)  A clear, unclouded state of mind. / A mind without prejudice that can clearly detect an opponent’s intentions just as the reflection of a mirror.


Men (n.)  1.  A helmet with face guard used to protet the head, face throat and shoulders in Kendō.  2.  A strike to the head. / See Equipment Nomenclature and Kendō Target Areas.


Men-uchi (n.)  A strike to the Men.


Men-waza (n.)  Techniques for striking the Men.


Metsuke (n.) Vision, focus.


Michi (n.)1.  Pronounced Michi means road or path.  2. In Japan, under the influence of Confucianism, when pronounced indicates the ethics or way of life.  In Buddhist thought Michi is the path to spiritual enlightenment.


Mi-gamae (n.)  1.  Posture taken to counter an attack.  2.  A position prepared for attack, Sutemi.  3.  A position prepared for defense, Goshin.


Migi-kiki  (n.) Right-hander.


Migimen-uchi  (n.) A strike to the right side of the Men.


Migurushii-hikiage  (n.)  A retreat, or loosening of the Kamae without sufficient Migamae or Kokorogamae.


Mi-kiri  (n.)  A dodge at the last moment of a predicted attack.   (Similar to Amasu.)


Mi-kiwameru  (v.)  To ascertain, with confidence, the actions and intentions of an opponent.


Mine  (n.)  The back, or dull edge, of a one edged sword blade. / Also Mune. / See Nomenclature of Nihontō.


Mine-uchi (n.)  A strike with theback of a sword blade.  (Not balid in competition.) / Also Mune-uchi.


Mitori-geiko  (n.)  Learning and progressing by watching the Keiko of others, and evaluating the strong and weak points of their example.


Mittsu-no-sen  (n.)  Reference to Sen, Senzennosen and Sengonosen as a group of three.


Mittsu-no-yurusano-tokoro  (n.)  Three prime opportunities to attack.  /  See Kikai.


Mizu-ochi  (n.)  The solar plexus.  /  Also called Mizoochi or Suigetsu.


Mochi-kata  (n.)  The way of holding and gripping the Shinai.  (Proper Shinai grip:  The left hand grips at the very end of the hilt while the right hand grips just below the Tsuba; the little, ring, and middle fingers should be tense while the thumb and index finger are relaxed; the space between thumb and index finger on both hands should be oriented with the Tsuru; the elbows should be bent and slightly way from the body in relaxed state; the Shinai should neither be drawn in nor extended away from the body.)


Mo-han  (n.)  1.  Ideal example for study.  2.  A demonstration of Keiko or Kata by a Kodansha for the benefit of beginner students.


Moku-hyō  (n.)  1.  An aim or objective.  2.  The pursuit of a technique as the aim of practice.


Moku-rei  (n.)  /  Moku-rei  (n.)  A nodding bow performed without breaking eye contact or speaking.


Moku-sō  (n.)  Meditation in the Seiza position, hands palm up in the lap, with the left hand over the right and the thumbs slightly touching.  (Performed before and after Keiko.)


Mo-men  (n.)  Cotton cloth.  (Often used for Kendōgi and Hakama.)


Mono-uchi  (n.)  The portion of a Katana blade most appropriate for cutting, generally 10cm (4 inches) from the sword tip.  /  For a Shinai, from tip to the Nakayui, most effective for striking power.


Moro-te  (n.)  Both Hands.  /  Referring to two handed techniques; such as Morotezuki.


Morote-zuki  (n.)  A two handed thrust to the throat.


Moto-dachi  (n.)  A person who teaches by receiving strikes from students during Jigeiko, Kakarieiko, or Kihongeiko.  (A Motodachi should know how to correctly deliver and receive strikes and thrusts.)


Muda-uchi  (n.)  Useless strikes.  / A strike delivered without regard for opportunity or potential effectiveness.


Mu-gamae  (n.)  Kamae without form.  /  A state of being without Kamae in form, bu always prepared to react to attack from any direction at any time.  (The ultimate Kamae.)


Mu-ishiki  (n.)  1.  Being unaware of one’s own actions.  2.  Instinctual action.


Mu-nen-mu-sō  (n.)  A mind transcended to a state of selfless serenity able to mirror one’s opponent. / An unfettered mind, full of energy and best prepared for action.


Musha-shūgyō  (n.)  Pilgrimage to and study at Dōjōs with which one is not familiar, in order to gain a broader spectrum of techniques and experience.


Mu-shin  (n.)  A state of mind free from delusion.  /  A void, vacant, or detached state of mind.  / See Munenmusō.


Musubu  (n.)  To tie or make a know. [ie tying the Kendōgi, Hakama, and Tare.]



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Nagasu  (v.)  1.  To cause to flow.  2.  A referee overlooking a valid point.


Naka-yui  (n.)  A leather strap used to fix the four sections of a Shinai together.  (The Nakayui is placed two thirds of the way up between the Tsuba and sword tip.)  /  See Shinai Nomenclature.


Naname-buri  (n.)  (Naname-suburi  (n.))  A practice of repetitious, 45 degree diagonal Suburi, to the left and right (usually with forward and backward stepping footwork, and the sword tip reaching down to knee level.)


Nayashi-zuki  (n.)  A defense and counter attack against a Tsuki thrust by fluidity drawing the Shinogi down and back deflecting the attack, and then thrusting forward for a Tsuki counter attack.  /  Also called  Nayashiirezuki.)


Nayasu  (v.)  To defeat a Tsuki attack by deflecting the sword with one’s Shinogi.  Represented in the Shidatchi’s action in the third Kata.


Neru  (n.)  Refining and perfecting a certain technique through repetitious practice until that technique can be used under any circumstances.


Nidan-waza  (n.)  The techniques of delivering two strikes and/or thrusts in one successive motion.  (ie Kote-Men-uchi, Kote-Dō-Uchi, Men-Men-Uchi.)  /  See Classification of Techniques.)


Nigate  (n.)  1.  Difficulty in handling or defeating a certain opponent.  2.  Deficiency in a certain skill.


Nige-goshi  (n.)  1.  An attitude of retreat and escape represented by hips that are extended backwards.  2.  A timid or frail attitude.


Nigiru  (v.)  1.  To grip firmly.  2.  To hold something in hand.


Nihon Kendō Kata  (n.)  Originally, “Japanese Emperial Kendō Kata” established at the 1912 (Taishō 1) Dainippon Butokukai.  (Signified the modern standardization and propagation of  Kendō as a means of correcting poor Kendō form (such as incorrect posture, ignorance of proper Hasuji, etc.) caused by  Kendō practice with only the Shinai.  Following WWII renamed “Nihon Kendō Kata”.  In 1981 (Showa 56) the All Japan Kendō Federation published standard interpretation of Kendō Kata.  That interpretation is still accepted as the standard for teaching and practice of Kata.)


Nihon-tō  (n.)  A general term Japanese swords; crafted by traditional Japanese forging and production techniques.  /  See Nihontō Nomenclature.


Nikkō-shōdoku  (v.)  Disinfection or sterilization through exposure to sunlight.


Ningen-keisei  (n.)  An effort to achieve complete spiritual and physical maturation as a human being.  (the ultimate goal of Kendō.)  /  Also Jinkakukeisei.


Nippon Budōkan (n.)  Center for martial arts in Tokyo.  (Constructed in 1964 as site of the Tokyo Olympic Judō competition.)


Ni-sandan-waza (n.)  See Renzokuwaza.


Ni-tō (n.)  Practice or competition with two swords (one of length under 114 cm (45 in>), and one length under 62 cm (25 in.)).  See Nitōryu.


Nitō-no-Kamae  (n.)  A two-sworded posture taken in practice or competition.  (When the longer of the two swords is taken in the right hand it is called Seinitō-no-Kamae, when take in the left hand, called Gyakunitō-no-Kamae.)  /  See  Illustration of Kamae.


Nitō-ryū  (n.)  Schools of  Kendō using tow sworded techniques.  (The most famous Nitōryū is Niten-Ichiryū.)  /  Competition with two  Shinai is also called Nitōryū.


Nobasu  (v.)  1.  To extend time or space.  2.  To encourage and nurture the abilities of a student.  3.  To educate.


Noru  (v.)  1.  To ride or get on board.  2.  To control an opponent’s Shinai by ‘riding’ it with one’s own Shinai.


No-to  (n.)  1.  The action of sheathing a sword.  2.  Returning a Shinai to the hip in a ‘sheathed’ position.


Nugu (v.)  To take something off.


Nukeru  (v.)  Passing by an opponent after a Furikomi strike.


Nuki-waza  (n.)  A counter-attack after dodging (such as by Amasu or Mikiri) an opponent’s attack.  /  See Classification of Techniques.


Nusumi-ashi  (n.)  The action of drawing the left foot forward in preparation for a strike, which is concealed from one’s opponent.  /  Also Tsugi-ashi.


Nyū-mon  (n.)  1.  The beginning of Buddhism study.  2.  To become a disciple of a certain master in order to learn their techniques.



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Obi  (n.)  A belt or cinch.


Ō-dachi  (n.)  The longer of two Katana or Bokutō.  /  Also Daitō.


Oi-komi  (n.)  1.  A chase of an opponent who is in rapid linear retreat.  2.  A chase of one’s opponent while delivering continuous strikes to the Men, Sayumen, or Kote-Men.


Oikomi-men  (n.)  A chasing strike to the Men against an opponent who has retreated due to one’s Seme.


Oi-uchi  (n.)  1.  To strike an opponent who is in retreat.  2.  To attack an intimidated opponent.


Ōji  (n.)  1.  Response.  2.  Receiving an attack with one’s Shinai.  3.  Reaction to an opponent.


Ōji-gaeshi   (n.)  Counter-attack after receiving a strike with one’s Shinai.


Ōji-Waza  (n.)  Techniques for counter-attack.  (ie Suriagewaza, Uchiotoshiwaza, Kaeshiwaza and Nukiwaza.)  /  See Classification of Techniques.


Okori  (n.)  1.  The beginning.  2.  the moment that one’s intention to attack an opponent takes shape.  /  See Kikai.


Okuri-ashi  (n.)  Movement using gliding steps that do not alternate.  (The foot leading to the direction of motion moves first and the other foot follows without passing the lead foot.  Accomplished smoothly without vertical motion, or a bouncing of the body up and down.  Ends in the same stance as it started in.  The most appropriate for attack and defense and therefore the most fundamental footwork in Kendō.)  /  See Ashisabaki.


Omote  (n.)  The left side of the Shinai when in Chudannokamae.  / See Ura.


Omote-zuki  (n.)  A thrust to the throat delivered from the right side of an opponent’s Shinai as you face them.  /  See Urazuki.


Ori-shiki  (n.)  1.  A position on one bent knee.  2.  A position sitting on one folded leg with the other let up.  (Appears in Shidachi’s movement in the seventh Kata.)


Osaeru  (v.)  1.  To hold in place.  2.  To control one’s emotions.


Osaeru  (v.)  To control an opponent’s Shinai by pressing down with one’s Shinai.


Osameru  (v.)  To restore.  /  See Nōtō.


Oshi-dashi  (n.)  A pushing or expulsion of an opponent outside of the Shiaijō.


Oshi-de  (n.)  See Teko.


Oshi-giri  (n.)  A cutting action by pushing of the blade across an object.


Ō-tai  (n.)  A line-up in rows rather than in columns.


Owaru  (n.)  To end.



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Rei  (n.)  1.  A code intended to retain social order.  2.  Display of respect to one’s opponent.


Rei-gi  (n.)  Etiquette and manners for displaying respect.


Rei-hō  (n.)  1.  Method of displaying respect, synonymous to Reigisahō.  2.  Also referring to the etiquette particular to Ogasawara School.  3.  A general bow toward the Shomen, or a mutual bow between two competitors.


Reinihajimari-reiniowaru  (v.)  Literally “Begin with bow - End with bow”; a phrase reflecting the discipline and respect necessary in the martial arts, particularly Kendō.


Ren-shi  (n.)  The third title in Kendō.  (Awarded to sixth Dan with refereeing ability.)


Ren-shū  (n.)  Practice, drill, training.


Renshū-hō  (n.)  Method of training.


Renshū-jō  (n.)  Place of training.


Renshū-kōka  (n.)  Progress derived from training.


Ren-zoku  (n.)  A fluid succession [of blows].


Renzoku-teki  (n.)  Continuous; in a series.


Renzoku-sayū-menuchi  (n.)  Successive Menuchi alternating between left and right.


Renzoku-waza  (n.)  1.  In a continuous motion, striking to break an opponent’s mental and physical balance and then striking into the opening created by the first strike.  2.  In a continuous motion, striking to break an opponent’s mental and physical balance before striking at one’s real objective, without regard to reaction by the opponent to the first strike.  /  Also Nidanwaza and Sandanwaza.


Ri  (n.)  Theory or rationale.  /  An unchanging theory or law.


Ri-ai  (n.)  A rational relationship of motion between you and your opponent.  /  See Ri.


Ri-hō  (n.)  Reason or locig.  (Ri meaning spirit, and meaning method of technique.)


Ri-nen  (n.)  Supremem reason obtained through logic.


Ri-ni-kanau  (v.)  To be rational.


Rin-ki-ō-hen  (n.)  Freedon and flexibility [able to respond to anything erratic or unexpected].


Ritsu-rei  (n.)  A standing bow. (Before or after competition or training.)


Ryū-ha  (n.)  A branch or school deviated from the original by a difference in style or technique derived from a difference in theory.  (ie  Onoha-Ittoryū, Yagyu-Shinkageryū, etc.)



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Sabaku  (v.)  To secure an advantageous position through footwork (Ashisabaki) use of the Shinai (Shinaisabaki) or general body motion (Taisabaki).


Sae  (n.)  Both hands working in unison to achieve good Kime at the end of a Datotsu.  (At the moment of impact, an improtant factor in determination between valid and invalid strikes and thrusts.)


Sage-tō-shisei  (n.)  A position for standing bow with the sword at one’s left side, the Tsuru down, and without thumbing the Tsuba.


Saki-gawa  (n.)  The leather cap used to secure the tip of a Shinai.


Sandan-waza  (n.)  Delivering three strikes and/or thrusts in a series.  (ie Kote-Men-Dō, Kote-Men-Men, etc.)  /  See Classification of Techniques.


Sankaku-ki  (n.)  An explanation of that particularly delicate triangle formed by the navel, left eye, and sword tip in Chūdannokamae.


San-satsu-hō  (n.)  Three ways to control an opponent’s Kisen:  1)  Control or hinderance of an opponent’s Katana by deflecting, or beating it away.  2)  Keeping one’s opponent on the technical defensive.  3)  Defeating an opponent’s ke by dominating the flow of events through good Kigurai.  /  Also Mittsunokujiki.


Sasakure  (n.)  A splintered Shinai, or those splinters.


Sashi  (n.)  Stitching.  (Hand stitching of Kendō equipment and that equipment – Tezashi; Machine stitching Kendō equipment and that equipment – Mishinzashi.)

Sasoi  (n.)  A lure or invitation. / Offering the provocation to attack.


Sa-za-u-ki  (n.)  The etiquette and method of standing and sitting in Kendō (When sitting the left leg takes a small step back and then precedes the right leg to a seated position; when standing the right leg precedes the left.)


Sei-chū-dō  (n.)  That state of outward serenity and internal spirit and fire. / Contrary to Dōchūsei.


Sei-kaku-ni  (adv.)  Correctly, properly, exactly. / Without failure.


Sei-ka-tan-den  (n.)  An area just below the navel; the center of Ki enabling control of emotions and spirit.


Sei-ketsu-na  (adj.)  1.  Hygenic or stainless.  2.  Pure and proper in character and behavior.


Sei-kō-hō  (n.)  Frontal attack; without reliance on trickery or surprise.


Sei-ri-undō  (n.)  Cooling down exercises. 


Seisei-dōdō  (n.)  Action without reliance on trickery or malice; open and above board. / fighting to the end without resorting to cheating, even in a loss.


Sei-shin  (n.)  1.  The human spirit.  2.  The mental attitude toward something.  3.  The essence of something.


Sehishin-men  (n.)  The mental aspect of something.


Sei-tei  (n.)  Face to face.


Sei-ton  (n.)  A replacement [of armor after use]. / See Katazukeru.


Sei-za  (n.)  1.  The proper form of sitting on folded legs used in Japanese culture.  2.  Achieving tranquility of spirit through sitting in Seiza.  (A important aspect of training in the military arts.)


Sekai-senshu-kentaikai  (n.)  International Kendō competition by team and individuals.  (Sponsored by The International Kendō Federation, held every three years rotating location between Asia, The Americas, Europe.  The first was held in 1970 (Shōwa 45).)


Seme  (n.)  Retention of superiority in relation to an enemy through Kiryoku, the Shinai, and Datotsu.


Seme-kaeshi  (n.)  1.  A counter-attack to an opponent’s Seme.  2.  Resistance to, rather than retreat or flight from, an opponent’s Seme.


Sen  (n.)  See Mittsunosen.


Sen-jutsu  (n.)  1.  Arts of war.  2.  Strategy and tactics in Shiai.


Sen-pō  (n.)  See Sen-jutsu.


Sen-sen-no-sen  (n.)  See Mittsunosen.


Sen-te  (n.)  1.  An attack prior to an opponent’s attck.  2.  The upper hand.  (Sen-t-utsu: taking the upper hand.)


Shiai-geiko  (n.)  A Keiko  training method in preparation for competition.  /  That training with a referee; or without a referee, judged by the competitors themselves.


Shiai-hōhō  (n.)  The system of competition.  (Individual and team matches.)


Shiboru  (v.)  1.  To wring out [a wet cloth.]  2.  To train diligently.  3. To scold or take to task.  /  See Chakinshibori.


Shi-datchi  (n.)  The student or disciple in  Kata, learning from the master.  /  The partner who delivers the final technique to Uchidatchi, in Kata.  /  See Uchidatchi.


Shi-dō  (n.)  Guidance or instruction.


Shidō-hō  (n.)  Teaching method.


Shidō-sha  (n.)  A leader or instructor.


Shi-han  (n.)  A model Kendōist, superior in techniques and character.  /  A master Kendō instructor.


Shi-han  (n.)  A demonstration of model techniques.  /  Instruction through proper example by the instructor.


Shi-ji  (n.)  An indication.


Shi-kai  (n.)  The four mental maladies of Kyokugiwaku.


Shi-kake  (n.)  1.  An active or vigorous attack.  2.  Preparation with the intention of action.


Shikake-waza  (n.)  A general term for attacking techniques.


Shimo-za  (n.)  Seating in the Dojo for students and lower ranking Kendōists.  /  The opposite side of Jōseki.


Shin  (n.)  1. Core or center.  2.  A rubber or plastic plug for the end of a Shinai.


Shi-nai  (n.)  A bamboo or synthetic sword split in four sections, bound with leather, and equipped with a hilt guard: used to simulate the Katana in Kendō practice and competition.  (In this dictionary, Shinai refers to this type unless otherwise specified.)


Shinai  (n.)  A bamboo or synthetic sword split into multiple (more than four) sections, sheathed in leather or cloth.  The distinction between the two types of Shinai is made by the use of different Japanese characters.


Shinai-bukuro  (n.)  A sack for the Shinai.


Shin-gi-tai-icchi  (n.)  The smooth translation of dynamic energy from the heart into physical motion.


Shini-tachi  (n.)  1.  A dead sword.  2.  A sword that is out of play due to an opponent’s action.


Shini-tai  (n.)  1.  A dead body.  2.  A term developed in Sumo describing the unrecoverable loss of balance.


Shin-ken  (n.)  A real sword.  /  An extremely serious and concentrated attitude.


Shinken-shōbu  (n.)  1.  Battle with a real sword.  2. Earnest competition.


Shin-ki-ryoku-ichi  (n.)  The Shin (a heart able to predict an opponent’s action through a state of Mushin), guides one’s Ki (the dynamic mental state of one’s spirit) which in turn dictates one’s Ryoku (physical actions in the form of technique).  When these three elements, Shin, Ki and Ryoku are brought together in a simultaneously harmonized fashion it is called Shinkiryokuicchi.  /  A term denoting the most important aspect of attack and defense.


Shiin-kokyū  (n.)  A deep breathing [exercise].


Shinogi  (n.)  The line following the thickest part of a sword along its flat sides.


Shinogi-o-kezuru  (v.)  1.  To strike simultaneous, resulting in both Katana’s Shinogi scraping together.  2.  To have fierce battle or competition.


Shinogu  (v.)  1  To endure.  2.  To succeed in defense by using the Shinogi properly.


Shin-pan  (n.)  A judgment of victory or accomplishment.


Shinpan-kaigi  (n.)  Referees’ meeting before a tournament.


Shin-sa  (n.)  1.  Judging the grade or level of techniques.  2.  Examination for rank or title.


Shin-shin-ichi-nyo  (n.)  Hamony of body and spirit.  (Although the body often has difficulty in following the spirit; Shinshinichinyo is the state of having overcome that impedence.)


Shin-shin-no-hatattsu  (n.)  The development of mind and body.


Shin-ten  (n.)  A spread or extension.


Shi-sei  (n.)  1.  Figure.  2.  Posture.  3.  Physical state.  4.  Attitude.


Shi-shin  (n.)  An adherence [to something].  (Inappropriate adherence to on task resulting in loss of limb flexibility and response.)


Shita-te  (n.)  1.  A lower position.  2.  A Kendōist lower in rank.  /  Also Shimote.  /  See Uwate.


Shi-tei-dōkō  (n.)  A master and disciple in unison.  (Both master and student pursuing development along the same path, as in Kendō training or Zen practice.)


Shi-ten  (n.)  A fulcrum.


Shitsuke  (n.)  Good upbringing, especially in etiquette and manners.


Shizen-tai  (n.)  Fundamental body posture in Kendō that is balanced, relaxed and appropriate for prompt, natural reaction to one’s opponent; feet at shoulder width, back straight, stomach tense, hips centered, center of gravity between the feet, eyes front and arms hanging at the sides.  (Originally a term taken from the founder of modern Judō, Kano Jigoro.  /  A term encompassing Honshizentai (a straight posture), Migishizentai (with a slight right sided attitude), Hidarishizentai (with a slight left sided attitude)).


Sho-bu  (n.)  A decision of victory or defeat.  /  See Shōhai.


Shochu-geiko  (n.)  Keiko during the hottest season of the year; also Dōyokeiko.  /  See Kangeiko.



Shōdan-shinsa  (n.)  A Dan level examination.


Sho-datchi  (n.)  The first strike by each competitor delivered in Keiko or competition.


Shō-gō  (n.)  The three titles for Kendō Masters, Renshi, Kyoshi and  Hanshi.


Shō-hai  (n.)  Victory and/or defeat.


Sho-ho  (n.)  1.  The beginning of learning.  2.  The period when learning begins.


Shō-men  (n.)  1. The front face of something.  2.  Directly forward or in front.  3.  The location, or direction toward, a shrine in a Dōjō.  4.  The central part of the Men targeted for strikes.


Shōmen-uchi  (n.)  A strike to the center of the Men.


Sho-sa  (n.)  The character of a person’s physical movement.

Sho-shin  (n.)  Initial enthusiasm.


Shoshin-sha  (n.)  A beginner, debutant.


Shō-sho  (n.)  A diploma or certificate or rank or title.


Shō-tō  (n.)  A short sword.  /  Also Kodatchi.


Shū-chū-ryoko  (n.)  Concentration of power.


Shū-gō  (n.)  An assembly.


Shu-gyō  (n.)  1.  Training for the acquisition of skill.  2.  Pursuit of knowledge.


Shu-gyō  (n.)  Mental and technical training.  / See Mushashugyō.


Shū-gyō-nengen  (n.)  1.  The number of years an individual has devoted to the development of skill in Kendō.  2.  The minimum interval of years between Dan examinations.


Shu-ha-ri  (n.)  A term denoting the three steps in the process of learning Kendō.  1)  Shu: observation through obedience and adherence to the instruction of one’s master.  2)  Ha: to expand beyond the limitations of one’s self and one’s school to seek out new techniques, and deepen one’s skills.  3)  Ri: transcending beyond the school of one’s master to form one’s own style and school.


Shumoku-ashi  (n.)  Footwork with the feet positioned at a right angle.  (A term derived from the relative ‘T’ shape of bell striking hammer called a Shumoku.  /  When Shumokuashi is taken with the lead foot pointing directly toward the opponent it is called Kagiashi.  /  Abhorred by Kendōists as a slow, clumsy form of footwork.)


Shū-ri  (n.)  Repairs.


Shū-toku  (n.)  1.  To learn and acquire.  2.  To master and possess a technique as one’s own.


Sōgo-ni  (adv.)  Mutually, or in unison.


Son-chō  (n.)  1.  Respect or reverence.  2.  Acknowledgment of the dignity of mankind.


Son-kyo  (n.)  A squatting position; sitting on the heels, feet drawn inward, knees apart and upper body erect.  (The first position taken by wrestlers in the opening etiquette of a Sumo match.  /  In Kendō, following Ritsurei and drawing the sword, the ritual position before competition in which the competitors prepare spiritually and physically for battle, with their swords crossed.)


Sori-mi  (n.)  A backwards lean.  (Sometimes occurs during Hikiwaza performed in hasty retreat; a difficult position from which to counter-attack.)


Sō-sa  (n.)  1.  Handling machinery or tools.  2.  The manipulation of something or some process for intended good results.


Su-ashi  (n.)  The condition of being barefoot.


Su-buri  (n.)  A swinging of the Shinai or  Bokutō against an imaginary opponent.  (Effective for the practice of Kihondatotsu, manipulation of the Shinai and polishing of  Datotsu technique.  /  If done properly, can be used as a warming up and cooling down exercise.  Includes Shomensuburi, Sayumensuburi,  Chōyakusuburi and Jōgesuburi.)


Su-de  (n.)  The condition of being bare handed.


Sui-getsu  (n.)  See Mizuochi.


Suki  (n.)  1.  A space between two objects.  2.  Loss of concentration; a good opportunity to attack.


Su-kote  (n.)  A condition of being without Kote.


Su-men  (n.)  A condition of being without Men.


Surechigai  (n.)  A pass by the side of one’s opponent.


Suri-age  (n.)  Defense against an attack by deflecting an opponent’s Shinai upwards in an arc to the left or right.  (The final position of the Suriage arc should be a position ready to strike downward.)


Suriage-waza  (n.)  Counter attack using Suriage.  / ie Men-suriage-Men, Kote-suriage-Men, Kote-suriage-Kote.  /  Classification of Techniques.


Suri-ashi  (n.)  Gliding steps.  Effective for maintaining balance and Kamae by stabilizing the lower part of the body, while giving freedom to the upper part of the body during rapid movement.


Suri-komi  (n,)  A technique used to control an opponent’s sword by scraping along the length of the Shinogi until reaching the Tsuba.  (Demonstrated in Kodachi’s actions in the third Kodachi Kata.)


Suri-nagashi  (n.)  A technique used to change the direction of an opponent’s sword by scraping down along their Shinogi to the rear.  (Demonstrated in Kodachi’s actions in the third Kodachi Kata.)


Suri-otoshi  (n.)  A technique used to change the direction of an opponent’s sword by scraping down along their Shinogi to the left.  (Demonstrated in Kodachi’s actions in the third Kodachi Kata.)


Sute-mi  (n.)  1.  Concentration and effort with all one’s might, even at the risk of death.  2.  Concentration of all one’s effort into one strike, even at the risk of defeat.



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Ta-chi  (n.)  A curved Japanese sword longer than 60cm (2 feet), usually hung from the waist blade down.


Tachi-ai  (n.)  1.  A competition or duel.  2.  Facing each other in a standing position.


Tachi-ai-no-maai  (n.)  The initial standing position of two competitors in competition or practice; usually nine steps apart in Sagetō position.


Tachi-kiri-geiko  (n.)  Intense Keiko training, without pause, for an unusually long period of time, by one person against rotation opponents.


Tachi-kiri-shiai  (n.)  The same as Tachikirigeiko but with a referee judging the competition.


Tachi-suji  (n.)  1.  The cutting path of a sword.  2.  Use of a sword.  / See Hasuji.


Tadashii  (adj.)  1.  Proper or correct.  2.  The most appropriate way to accomplish an objective.


Tai-atari  (n.)  A body check following a strike or thrust.  (The objects of Taiatari are; to break the balance of one’s opponent and make an opportunity for attack, to steady and reinforce one’s own posture and hip position, and to cultivate Kiryoku.)


Taijin-dōsa  (n.)  Movement in proper relation to one’s opponent.


Taijin-tekiginō  (n.)  The ability to use techniques in response to an evaluation of an opponent’s movement or techniques.  (Shikakewaza and Ōjiwaza.)


Tai-ko  (n.)  The Japanese drum used to signal the beginning and end of training.


Tai-oshi  (n.)  An illegal push or shove without the intention of striking.  (Malevolent shoving in is penalized by Hansoku.)


Tai-ryoku  (n.)  Physical strength or health.


Tairyoku Torēningu  (n.)  Training for the development of physical strength or fitness.


Tai-sabaki  (n.)  The evasion of attack, or other advantageous position gained by body movement or through footwork.


Tai-sei  (n.)  One’s physical posture and attitude.


Tai-tō  (n.)  1.  Referring to wearing of a sword through the belt.  2.  A grasp of the Shinai in the left hand, held at the left hip, while thumbing the Tsuba.


Take  (n.)  Bamboo.  (Used as material for Shinai.)


Take-sei  (n.)  Made of Bamboo.


Tame  (n.)  A moment of mental and physical preparation, accumulating strength and spirit, before starting a technique.


Tare  (n.)  A piece of  Kendō armor for protecting the lower abdomen and waist, worn below the .  /  See Equipment Nomenclature.


Tataku  (v.)  1.  To hit or strike.  2.  Striking an opponent’s Shinai with one’s Shinai to hinder an opponent’s technique.


Tate-hiza  (n.)  1.  A position sitting on one’s heel with the other leg erect and bent at the knee.  2.  See Orishiki.


Tatsu-jin  (n.)  See Meijin.


Te-ire  (n.)  Care and maintenance of Kendō equipment and swords.


Tei-tō (n.)  See Sageto.


Te-ko  (n.)  1.  A mechanical lever.  (Pushing wth the right hand at the top of the hilt (Oshi-de) while pulling the Shinai with the left hand at the bottom of the hilt (Hiki-de) causing the Shinai to act as a lever, creating the force necessary for a strike.)


Te-moto  (n.)  1.  A gripping of the Shinai with both hands.  2.  The hilt of a Shinai.  /  Also  Tenouchi.


Te-no-kaeshi  (n.)  The wrist ation used to maintain proper Hasuji for striking.  /  ie in a strike to .


Te-no-uchi  (n.)  1.  An ability or skill.  2.  Method of gripping the Shinai.  3.  A comprehensive term for the action of the hands in manipulation of the Shinai.  ie in a strike,  thrust or receiving a strike.


Te-nugui  (n.)  1.  A cloth used to wipe or cleanse the hands, face or body.  2.  A cotton cloth work under the Men.


Te-uchi  (n.)  Strikes and thrusts accomplished mainly through the use of the upper body, without the proper motion of the lower body.


Tobi-komi-men  (n.)  Prior to an opponent’s attack, a jump forward to deliver a Men strike from a long distance using a firm stamping of the right foot.


Tobi-komi-waza  (n.)  A technique using a jump forward to deliver a strike from a long distance and a firm stamping of the right foot.


Toku-i-waza  (n.)  One’s favorite and most accomplished technique.


Tō-ma  (n.)  A distance appropriate for defense relative to an opponent that is longer than Issokuittonomaai.  /  See  Maai and Issokuitto.


Toru  (v.)  Scoring a point in Kendō.


Tsuba  (n.)  A hilt guard used to protect the hands.  (In competition the Tsuba of a Shinai should be made of leather or synthetic material, circular in shape with a diameter less than 9cm (3.5 inches), and fixed in place.)  /  See Shinai Nomenclature and Nihontō Nomenclature.


Tsuba-moto  (n.)  The area near the Tsuba where the blade and hilt are joined.  /  Also Tsubagiwa.


Tsuba-zeriai  (n.)  The position in competition or practice when two players are locked with the Tsuba pressing against each other and their  Shinai at slight angles, while jockeying for an attack opportunity.


Tsugi-ashi  (n.)  An advance of the rear foot in preparation for forward attack.  (Used for covering long distances in attack.  /  One of the fundamental  Ashisabaki.)  /  See Nusumiashi.


Tsuka  (n.)  The hilt of a sword or Shinai.  /  See Shinai Nomenclature and  Nihontō Nomenclature.


Tsuka-gashira  (n.)  The bottom of the hilt.  /  See Shinai Nomenclature and  Nihontō Nomenclature.


Tsuka-gawa  (n.)  The leather hilt cover for a Shinai.  /  See Shinai Nomenclature.


Tsukeru  (v.)  To put on or wear [Kendō equipment].


Tsuki  (n.)  1.  A thrust to the throar.  2.  One of the targets in Kendō.  /  See Equipment Nomenclature and Kendō Target Areas.


Tsuki-waza  (n.)  Techniques for thrusting to Tsuki.


Tsuku  (v.)  1.  To thrust.  2.  To thrust with the tip of a  Katana, Bokutō, or Shinai to the throat or chest.  /  See Morotezuki, Katatezuki, Omotezuki.


Tsuru  (n.)  The string between the Sakigawa and Tsukagawa of a Shinai.  /  See Shinai Nomenclature.



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Uchi-au  (v.)  To strike each other.


Uchi-datchi  (n.)  The offensive role in Kata practice.  (Playing the teacher’s role by guiding the Shidatchi.)  /  See Shidatchi.


Uchi-gote  (n.)  A strike to the inside of the forearm when an opponent has lowered their Shinai from Chūdannokamae.


Uchi-kaeshi  (n.)  Same as Kirikaeshi.


Uchi-kata  (n.)  A striking method.


Uchikomi-bō  (n.)  A stick used for receiving strikes in order to teach fundamentals.


Uchikomi-dai  (n.)  A device against which strikes and thrusts are practiced.


Uchikomi-geiko  (n.)  Attack training using strikes and thrusts toward targets that are choreographed or indicated by one’s training partner.


Uchikomi-juttoku  (n.)  The ten benefits of  Uchikomi originally found in the Hokushin Ittoryu School of Kendō:  1) Speed and ferocity of techniques.  2) Strengthened strikes.  3) Cardiovascular fitness.  4) Flexibility of arms.  5) Agility.  6) The ability to use long swords.  7) Stable Seikatanden, physical balance.  8) Clear vision.  9) Good distance judgment.  10) Improved Tenouchi for good Sae.


Uchikomi-ningyō  (n.)  A mannequin against which strikes and thrusts are practiced.


Uchikomi-renshū  (n.)  See Uchikomigeiko.


Uchikomu  (v.)  Striking or thrusting at an opponent.


Uchi-ma  (n.)  The most appropriate distance for you to strike or thrust.


Uchi-orosu  (v.)  To swing the Shinai downward.


Uchi-otoshi  (n.)  Defeat of an attack by striking one’s opponent’s Shinai downward to the left or right.


Uchiotoshi-waza  (n.)  A strike immediately following use of Uchiotoshi.  /  ie Dō-uchiotoshi-Men, Tsuki-uchiotoshi-Men.  /  See Classification of Techniques.


Uke-kata  (n.)  Method of defense through proper reception of strikes and thrusts with one’s Shinai. (Motodatchi actions in fundamental practice or Kihonrenshu.)


Uke-nagashi  (n.)  A defense against a strike by deflecting an opponent’s sword along the length of one’s Shinogi.  (Represented by Shidatchi’s action in the first and second Kodachi Kata.)


Ukenagashi-waza  (n.)  Techniques using Ukenagashi.


Ukeru  (v.)  1.  To receive.  2.  Using the Shinai to defend against attack.  3.  The action, or role played by Motodatchi.


Uke-tomeru  (v.)  1.  To overcome the inertia of moving object.  2.  To check an attack.  3.  To receive and stop a strike.


Ukō-mukō  (n.)  With and without Kamae.  (Denoting that while Kamae does take physical shape, it is also a spiritual attitude that must remain fluid in changing circumstances.)


Ura  (n.)  The right side of the Shinai when in Chūdannokamae.  /  See Omote.


Ura-zuki  (n.)  A thrust to the throat delivered from the left side of an opponent’s Shinai as one face them.  /  See Omote-zuki.


Ushiro-ashi  (n. )  The rear foot.


Utase-kata  (n.)  The method of allowing an opponent to strike you.


Utsu  (v.)  To strike.



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Waki-gamae  (n.)  An open stance with the sword lewered to the right side and the edge facing diagonally down, after stepping back with the right leg from Chūdannokamae.  (Wakigamae is a variation of Gendannokamae and also call Migiwaki-gedan-no-kamae.  /  Scarcely used in modern Kendō, but appears in Shidatchi’s Kamae in the fourth Kata.)


Waru  (v.)  Counter-attack through a stright and centered strike toward an opponent’s center line.


Waza  (n.)  A technique.


Wazaga-tsukiru  (v.)  Ending of a movement or a series of techniques, which is one of the three moments most vulnerable to attack.  / See Kikai.



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Yakusoku-geiko  (n.)  Keiko training with predetermined roles of offense and defense, varying in difficulty level from fundamental techniques to the most advanced.


Yō-gu  (n.)  Equipment.


Yu-dan  (n.)  Carelessness or neligence.


Yuka-ita  (n.)  Wooden flooring of a Dōjō.



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Zan-shin  (n.)  1.  Physical and spiritual alertness after delivering a strike or thrust.  (This definition of Zanshin is used by referees during competition.)  2.  Physical and spiritual energy remaining even after a particularly vigorous and decisive attack, which provides for the rejuvenation of one’s energy.


Za-rei  (n.)  A bow from the Seiza position.


Zenkei-shisei  (n.)  A posture with a slight forward lean or incline.


Zen Nihon Kendō Renmei  (n.)  [abbreviated Zenkenren]  The All Japan Kendō Federation.


Zen Nihon Kendō Senshukentaikaiō  (n.)  All Japan Kendō  Championships  (individual competition.)


Zen-shin  (n.)  Forward motion.


Zenshin-kōtai  (n.)  1.  Forward and backward motion.  2.  Repetitious forward and backward motion.

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