Hawaii Kendo Federation Standard Protocols

Orig. 5/2000, Rev. 1/2002 (Prepared by the Education Committee)

The following is the Kendo protocol of the Hawaii Kendo Federation for consistency and order. Advises and suggestions were received from many Sensei's. While individual Dojo may maintain unique protocols, these standards should be followed at official HKF functions.

Entry to and Exit from Dojo

• Place footwear neatly away so as not to obstruct the entrance
• Upon entry, lower Kendo-gu from the shoulder, bow (Ritsu Rei) to the upper section (Shomen or Kamiza) of the Dojo to show respect and appreciation
• Before exiting, bow (Ritsu Rei) to the Shomen to show respect and appreciation

Seating Arrangements and Start of Keiko

• Facing the Shomen, Sensei's will line up on the right side (Kamiza) and students line up on the left side (Shimoza) of the Dojo; this may be modified according to the Dojo design
• A few minutes prior to the starting time of Keiko (after stretching and warm-ups), students will promptly line up according to rank (higher rank towards Shomen), sit (Chakuza) quietly in Seiza (proper sitting) and wait for the Sensei to line up; late arrivals sit at the lower end of the line regardless of rank
• The highest ranking student directs everyone to "Seiza" (formerly Mokuso) for about 45 seconds, stops it by directing "Yame," then directs "Shomen Ni Rei" (Zarei to Shomen) and Sensei Ni Rei (Zarei to Sensei)
• Listen alertly to announcements and instructions

Holding and Placement of Equipment

• While standing, hold the Shinai on the left side in Teitoh (Sagetoh) and the Men and Kote under the right arm (Men is held face down and chin portion to the front, Kote in the Men with fists to the front)
• After sitting in Seiza, place the Shinai on the left side (one fist away from the left knee, Tsuka in the front, Tsuba at the knee level, Tsuru to the outside) then place the Kote in the right-front (about 20 cm) of the right knee with fists to the right and palms down, and gently place the Men on them. Tenugui is folded neatly and placed over the chin support of the Men
• To stand up, pick up the Men, place the Kote in the Men as above, lift the Shinai with the left hand to the left waist, then stand

Seiza: Proper Sitting and Quiet Sitting

• Sit in Seiza (proper sitting) by lowering the left knee to the floor first, then the right knee; to stand from Seiza, raise the right foot first then stand up (Saza Uki); when sitting down or standing up, hold the Shinai at the waist
• At Seiza (proper sitting), knees should be one to two fists apart (closer for women), and big toes overlapping or placed side-by-side
• At Seiza (quiet sitting, formerly Mokuso; note that the Chinese characters used are different although both terms are pronounced identically), place the right hand in front of the lower abdomen with the palm up, place the left hand palm up on the right hand, then lightly bring the tips of the thumbs together to make an oval with the center of the oval in front of the lower abdomen; close the eyes lightly or half-way (Hangan); breathe out slowly and completely from the mouth and breathe in quickly from the nose using abdominal breathing (Fukushiki Kokyu); length of Seiza should be about three deep breathing (about 45 seconds)

Donning of Equipment and Keiko

• When the highest ranking student directs "Men Wo Tsuke," promptly and properly don the Men and Kote (left one first); students should be ready to Keiko before Sensei
• Alert each other of loosened strings or other improper Chakuso
• Students will alertly stand in front of the Motodachi so as not to let the Motodachi wait
• At the start and end of Keiko, student bows (Ritsu Rei) before Motodachi to express appreciation; come to Sonkyo or stand from Sonkyo slightly following the Motodachi
• When student becomes unable to produce effective Datotsu against Sensei (Motodachi) in Jigeiko, or when Shobu is over, students are encouraged to ask to do Kakari Geiko, Uchikomi Geiko or Kirikaeshi

End of Keiko

• Students will not remove the Men while Sensei's are still practicing to show respect and to develop endurance, unless when physiologically or medically necessary
• When the end is signaled, line up promptly in the order described above and remain standing until a Sensei has seated, then the highest ranking student directs "Chakuza" to let students sit in Seiza as described above
• When Sensei's have removed their Men, the highest ranking student directs "Men Wo Tore" to allow students to remove their Kote (right one first) and Men and place them in the proper places as described above.
• The highest ranking student directs everyone to "Seiza" (quite sitting) for about 45 seconds, then stops it by directing "Yame"; after a closing remark or announcements, the highest ranking student directs "Sensei Ni Rei" (Zarei to Sensei) and "Shomen Ni Rei" (Zarei to Shomen)
• Approach Sensei who had given Keiko to express appreciation (Zarei) and listen for advises


• HKF advisors and Sensei's
• T Baba. Kendo Reihou To Sahou. 1990 Taiiku To Sports Pub. Tokyo
• HKF Homepage: http://www.hawaiikendo.com

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