Call 07941 500787

Kinkan Dojo

Traditional Japanese Martial Arts

My name is Calvin and I love my lesson with my Sensei and my Sempai. I can't wait until I am blackbelt.

Calvin Kendall, 7 years old

Genbukan Kinkan Dojo: London’s Premier Traditional Japanese Martial Arts Training Centre

Basic Japanese Terms

We study a traditional Japanese martial art, so it is important that basic Japanese terminology is observed. The following hints are to help you get to grips with basic dojo etiquette.


Entering and leaving the dojo

When entering the dojo, first bow to the Kamidana (spiritual focal point of the dojo), and then greet everyone present by saying the appropriate phrase:


  1. ohayo gozaimasu - good morning
  2. konnichiwa - good afternoon
  3. konbanwa - good evening


When leaving the dojo, bow to the Kamidana and then say to anyone present the appropriate phrase:


  1. sayonara - goodbye
  2. oyasumi nasai - good night


Training with a partner

When training with a partner, it is good manners to bow to your training partner at the beginning and end of training. When you start training, bow and say “onegai shimasu” (this is similar in Japanese to please, but in this context means “lets train together”).


When you have finished training, bow to your training partner and say “arigato gozaimashita” (thank you).


Addressing the teacher

The teacher in the dojo should be addressed as “Sensei”. Senior grades should be addressed as “Sempai”.


To ask a question of the teacher/senior student, first put your hand up to attract the attention of the teacher/senior student. As the teacher/senior student approaches bow and say “sumimasen Sensei/Sempai”. Sumimasen means excuse me, and after receiving the answer bow and say “arigato gozaimashita”.



  • one      - ichi
  • two      - ni
  • three    - san
  • four      - shi (yon)
  • five       - go
  • six        - roku
  • seven   - shichi (nana)
  • eight    - hachi
  • nine     - kyu
  • ten      - ju


Pronouncing Japanese

The following vowels should be pronounced as follows:


  • a should be spoken like the “a” sound in the word “ah”
  • i should be spoken like the “I” sound in the word “we”
  • u should be spoken like the “oo” sound in the word “soon”
  • e should be spoken like the “e” sound in the word “get”
  • o should be spoken like the “o” sound in the word “old”


As a rough guide, all consonants should be pronounced as in English.

The techniques demonstrated or described within this web site are to be used for legitimate purposes only, in appropriate self-defence situations. Do not depend on any video, audio or manual for your safety. Your safety depends upon you and your judgement. If you are a beginner seek the guidance of a qualified, experienced and competent instructor. This material is presented for educational purposes only. When you train in any martial art or self defence system you are consenting to participate and therefore there is an assumption of risk. Use this information at your own risk. If you misinterpret or misuse any of the techniques or concepts expressed in this web site somebody could be seriously injured or killed as a result. Therefore the information contained within the web site should only be used as a supplement to competent personal instruction, safe and diligent practice, personal evaluation and balanced with the moral and legal application of any technique or tactic.


©2011 Kinkan Dojo & Shoto Tanemura Sensei, All rights reserved

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional     Valid CSS!