cleansing of the blade. Chiburi also has a spiritual meaning of cleaning one’s
literally sword for iai, practice sword – unsharpened, typically made of alloy.
Jo-ha-kyu – the
rhythm within a kata as slow-to-fast-to-slow movement.
Kesa-giri – the
diagonal cut that follows the keiko-gi line. Named after the kesa/lapel that
Keito – holding
the sword at the hip while in attention.
- Ki is spirit, ken refers to the sword, and tai refers to body.Spirit, sword, and body as one.
cutting down. Usually it is a 2-handed cut down from over the head.
Kokyuu - The
act of inhaling and exhaling.
Metsuke – one’s
gaze or look.
Mono-uchi - The
“cutting” part of the sword.
returning the sword to the sheath or saya.
the cut made, in one continuous motion, from drawing the sword.
Obi – the belt
wrapped around the waist/keiko-gi, in which the sword is placed.
Seitei – basic,
fundamental. Seitei Gata is fundamental techniques kata.
Seiza – formal
Shibori – the
wringing motion of one’s hands when performing a cut.
literally “live sword” – used to describe sharp swords made in the Japanese
Tate-hiza – raised-knee
position when kneeling/sitting.
Teito – holding
the sword loose by the left side.
Torei - bow to
Za rei –
to discipline the human character through
the application of the principles of the katana.
The purpose of practicing kendo is:
to mold the mind and body, to cultivate a
vigorous spirit, and through correct and rigid training, to
strive for the improvement in the art of Kendo, to hold in esteem human
courtesy and honor, to associate with others with sincerity, and to forever
pursue the cultivation of ones self.
Thus one will be able:
to love his/her country and society, to
contribute to the development of culture, and to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.
Be committed and
come to class regularly.If not, you not
only waste your time, but you waste your instructor’s time and you may keep
class progression at a slower pace.
Be on-time if not
early to class.If late, enter quietly
without distracting others.Dress,
prepare, and warm up before joining the session. Wait until an exercise is complete, step into
the group, and bow.Similarly if you
have to be excused before the end of the practice, let sensei or a senior know.
Never sit or rest
without permission unless you feel ill during class.If ill or injured, bow out and get well.Only you know your body.
Make the most of
every practice.Come prepared mentally
It is customary to
walk behind a kendoka wearing armor and standing or sitting in position. If it
is unavoidable, stretch your right arm in front of you, bow slightly, and
excuse yourself while passing.
is being given by the sensei, sempai, or visiting teacher, do not interrupt, contradict,
or be uncooperative. Do not allow your attention to wander during instruction.
Do not lean
against the wall or on a shinai, using it as a cane.
Do not wear a hat,
speak loudly, or use abusive language in the dojo.
Always place your
shinai or sword out of the way, where others cannot stumble over or step on it.
Do not rest it against the wall in an upright position.
Never step on or
over a shinai, iaito, bokuto, or any representation of a sword.
Never kick, step
on, or move someone’s bogu; treat them with respect.
Always bow to your
opponent before and after a keiko.Show
respect by saying loud and clear, "onegaishimasu" while bowing before
engaging and "arigato gozaimashita" after engaging.
If your armor
becomes loose or untied, raise your right arm to signal you need to stop, step
back, correct the problem, then start again with a standing bow.
Always take the
opportunity to practice with higher ranks, and never allow a sensei or senior
student to stand idle.
Always show your
best reigi (etiquette), shisei (attitude), and kigurai (pride) wherever you
practice. Not only do you represent
yourself, your represent your dojo, your sensei, and your sempai.
is perhaps the most important thing that kendo and iaido can teach us, and it
coincides with traditions of old.Simply
showing respect and courtesy in all you do will help you grow as person
throughout your life.Learn it and live
When entering the
dojo, remove your shoes and place them outside the door in an orderly
fashion.After entering the dojo,
politely bow to show respect.Generally,
the bow can be directed at the front of the dojo or to Sensei.
After you bow,
find your place along the outer portion of the dojo and place your gear in an
orderly fashion.Generally, seating will
follow a progression from highest rank to lowest rank or least tenure in the
class.Remember to respect your gear and
your swords; even the shinai should be considered a sword and placed carefully
upon the ground and carried in an appropriate manner.
As a beginning
student, you will often be asked to help with tasks such as cleaning the dojo,
sweeping the floors, setting up chairs, etc.It is important to be on-time and ready to go at the scheduled class
time, so these tasks should be performed in a manner to permit class to start
on-time.Once these tasks are complete,
all students should be dressed and ready to go.
typically begin with the study of iaido, the way of drawing the sword, and
prior to kendo.As a member, you are not
required to study both kendo and iaido, you may choose either.It is, however, recommended that you study both,
as they will only enhance your learning and are complimentary in nature.
It is customary to
join the lineup at the beginning and at the end of the practice, sitting on the
left hand side of the person who has a higher grade or more tenure than you. The command Seiretsu (Line Up) will be given,
followed by the commands to bow (Rei) and to start practice (Keiko).If you study iaido as well as kendo, we will
lineup to perform stretching and basic warm-ups to begin the class.When in doubt, follow a student with
experience in the progression of things.
Sensei will then discuss practice or announcements are
made (while in seiza), followed by a command signaling the end of class (dismissed).If you would like to thank someone who was
particularly helpful to you during the class, please do so after finishing the
class, Kendo Kata will commence after iaido.Kendo kata is a fundamental study of the basics of kendo and is an
important part of learning the way of the sword.
in kendo and iaido is shown by your movement, behavior, appearance, and
attitude, and this begins before you enter the dojo. Other students, both higher and lower in rank
or grade, will judge you on these principles and learn from your example.