Kendo Point Areas

Point Areas in Kendo

kendo-pointsThere are four designated target areas in Kendo, each worth one point in a match. There are strikes to the head (MEN), the wrist (KOTE), the body (DO) and a thrust to the throat (TSUKI).

Competitors call their targets in a strong voice (KIAI) as they strike.

Blows must be delivered with clarity and precision using the outer third of the bamboo SHINAI.

The referees look for good form and a strong follow through that leaves a player in a position to continue immediately with no letup of spirit.

There are many ways to hit these four point areas.

Altogether, there are nine fundamental kendo wazas (techniques) that can be used. Here’s the list:

Shikake-waza – Offensive waza. Shikake means “challenge”. Shikake-waza include the Harai, Debane and Hiki wazas.

Oji-waza – Countering waza. Oji-waza is the name given to “defensive” and counterattacking techniques such as Nuki, Suriage and Kaeshi wazas.

  • Ippon Uchi No Waza (single hit): Men, Kote, Do, Tsuki
  • Ni-Sandan No Waza (double hit): Kote-Men, Kote-Do
  • Harai Waza (deflecting): Offensive waza where a strike is made after deflecting an opponent’s shinai, thus breaking the opponent’s kamae.
  • Hiki Waza (backwards strikes): Men-Tsubazeriai-Hiki Do
  • Nuki Waza (avoiding): A waza where you avoid your opponent’s attack causing them to swing through the air then counterattack when your opponent’s waza has ended.
  • Suriage Waza (brushing up): Kote, Suriage Men
  • Debana Waza (thwarting): A waza that is performed just as an opponent intends to deliver a strike.
  • Kaeshi Waza (turning over): Men, Kaeshi Do
  • Uchiotoshi Waza (striking down): Do, Uchiotoshi Men