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The following is a short list of Japanese terms used frequently in Kendo clubs and Dojos. If there is ever a Kendo related or Bogu (equipment) related term that you are unsure about, feel free to contact us at anytime! Send us an email at, and our staff will be happy to respond and add your term to our list.


  • Kendo (剣道): The Way of the Sword (Lit. Ken: Sword, Do: Path)
  • Kenshi or Kendoka (剣士・剣道家): A Kendo Practitioner
  • Dojo (道場): Training Hall - Specifically for Martial Arts
  • Sensei (先生): Teacher or Instructor
  • Shihan (師範): Head Instructor or Master
  • Rei (礼): Etiquette or Respect (Also referred to as Reiho or Reigi).


  • Ashi Sabaki (足捌き): Footwork
  • Do (胴): A Strike to the Torso
  • Ippon (一本):  A Point in Kendo (Lit. One Point)
  • Kamae (構え): Ready Position
  • Keiko (稽古): Practice or Training
  • Kiai (気合): Spirit
  • Kihon (基本): Basics
  • Kote (小手): A Strike to the Wrist
  • Men (面): A Strike to the Head
  • Shiai (試合): Tournament
  • Suburi (素振り): Swinging or Striking Practice
  • Suriashi (摺り足): "Sliding" Footwork Used in Kendo
  • Tsuki (突): A Strike to the Throat


  • Bogu (防具): Armor. Kendo Bogu Consists of:
    • Men (面): Helmet
    • Kote (小手): Gloves
    • Do (胴): Torso Armor
    • Tare (垂): Apron Covering the Upper Legs
  • Bokken or Bokuto (木剣・木刀): Wooden Sword
  • Hakama (袴): Traditional Japanese Trousers
  • Kendogi or Keikogi(剣道衣・稽古衣): Kendo Jacket
  • Shinai (竹刀): Bamboo Sword