Southern California
Kendo Federation



Good kendo builds upon fundamental kendo techniques. The beginning student must concentrate on the basics; letting the basics lapse or jumping too quickly into advanced techniques will lead to bad habits which may be extremely difficult to correct. The advanced student must also constantly review the fundamentals, in order to be able to properly execute the advanced techniques.

This section provides a checklist for learning. Again, ask your instructors for guidance.


  1. Kamae (stance): The five basic stances are:
    • chuudan no kamae (middle)
    • joudan no kamae (over the head)
    • gedan no kamae (pointing down)
    • hasso no kamae (at the right shoulder)
    • wakigamae (at the right hip)
  2. Ashi sabaki (footwork): The basic categories of footwork are:
    • okuri ashi (the right foot always in front)
    • ayumi ashi (the right and left feet alternate in front)
    • hiraki ashi (side to side)
  3. Suburi (basic exercise repeatedly striking the air, usually simulating strikes to the men ten times per set). The common forms of suburi are:
    • nikyodo (two count)
    • ikkyodo (one count)
    • haya suburi (fast)
    • jougeburi (large motion, touching the back and swinging down towards the floor)
  4. Kirikaeshi (basic exercise repeatedly striking your partner's men)
  5. Tai atari: hitting with the body
Shikake Waza (Offensive Techniques)
  1. Ippon uchi (single hit technique): includes:
    • men
    • dou
    • kote
    • tsuki
  2. Nidan waza, sandan waza (two and three-step techniques): includes:
    • kote-men
    • kote-dou
    • men-dou, etc.
  3. Harai waza (warding off technique): includes:
    • harai-men
    • harai-kote
  4. Debana waza (attack-at-the-start technique): includes:
    • debana men
    • debana kote
  5. Hiki waza (stepping back technique): includes:
    • hiki men
    • hiki kote
    • hiki dou
  6. Katsugi waza (shouldering-the-sword technique)
  7. Maki waza (rolling-the-shinai technique)
  8. Katate waza (single-hand technique)
Ouji Waza (Receiving Techniques)
  1. Suriage uchi (sliding upward technique): includes:
    • men-suriage men
    • kote-suriage kote
    • kote-suriage men
  2. Kaeshi waza (block-counter technique): includes:
    • men-kaeshi dou
    • men-kaeshi men
    • kote-kaeshi kote
  3. Uchiotoshi waza (striking-down technique): includes:
    • dou-uchiotoshi men
  4. Nuki waza (avoiding technique): includes:
    • kote-nuki men
    • men-nuki dou

Copyright 1999 by the Southern California Kendo Federation
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