Terminology


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Japanese Word
English Translation
AGE UKEUpward Block
AGE ZUKIRising Punch
ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITAJapanese for politely
saying "thank you." At the end of each class, it is proper
to bow and thank the instructor and those with whom you've trained
ASHI BARAIFoot Sweep
ASHI WAZAName given to all leg and
foot techniques
ATEMI WAZAStriking techniques that
are normally used in conjunction with grappling and throwing
techniques
AWASE UKEJoined Hand Block
AWASE ZUKI"U Punch". Also
referred to as MOROTE ZUKI
AYUMI DACHIA stance found in ITOSU-KAI
SHITO-RYU. It is a natural "Walking" stance with the
weight over the center
BOStaff. A long stick used
as a weapon (approximately 6 feet long)
BOGYO ROKU KYODO"Six Defense
Actions." A basic drill of the Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai. Uses
the old names of techniques such as AGE TE, HARAI TE (or GEDAN BARAI),
SOTO YOKO TE, UCHI YOKO TE, SHUTO TE, and SUKUI TE.
BUDO"Martial way."
The Japanese character for "BU" (martial) is derived from
characters meaning "stop" and (a weapon like a)
"halberd." In conjunction, then, "BU" may have
the connotation "to stop the halberd." In Karate, there is
an assumption that the best way to prevent violent conflict is to
emphasize the cultivation of individual character. The way (DO) of
Karate is thus equivalent to the way of BU, taken in this sense of
preventing or avoiding violence as far as possible.
BUNKAIA study of the techniques
and applications in KATA.
CHOKU ZUKI "Straight
Punch".
CHUDAN"Mid-section."
During the practice of KIHON IPPON KUMITE (one step basic sparring),
the attacker will normally announce where he/she will attack JODAN,
CHUDAN, or GEDAN (Upper level, Mid-level, or lower level).
CHUDAN ZUKIA punch to the mid-section
of the opponent's body.
DAN "Level",
"Rank" or "Degree". Black Belt rank. Ranks under
Black Belt are called KYU ranks.
DOWay/path. The Japanese
character for "DO" is the same as the Chinese character
for Tao (as in "Taoism"). In Karate, the connotation is
that of a way of attaining enlightenment or a way of improving one's
character through traditional training.
DOJOLiterally "place of
the Way." Also "place of enlightenment." The place
where we practice Karate. Traditional etiquette prescribes bowing in
the direction of the designated front of the dojo (SHOMEN) whenever
entering or leaving the dojo.
DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITAJapanese for "thank
you very much." At the end of each class, it is proper to bow
and thank the instructor and those with whom you've trained.
EKKUA Wooden oar used by the
Okinawans which was improvised as a weapon.
EMBUSENFloor pattern of movement
in a given KATA.
EMPI(1) One of the Black Belt
level KATA, translated as "The Flight of a Sparrow". (2)
"Elbow" Sometimes referred to as HIJI.
FUMIKOMI"Stomp kick",
usually applied to the knee, shin, or instep of an opponent.
GANKAKU DACHI"Crane Stance",
sometimes referred to as TSURU ASHI DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI.
GASSHUKUA special training camp.
GEDANLower section. During the
practice of KIHON IPPON KUMITE (one step basic sparring), the
attacker will normally announce where he/she will attack JODAN,
CHUDAN, or GEDAN (Upper level, Mid-level, or lower level).
GEDAN BARAI"Downward
Block".
GEDAN UDE UKE"Low Forearm
Block".
GEDAN ZUKI A punch to the lower
section of the opponent's body.
GI (DO GI) (KEIKO GI)
(KARATE GI)
Training costume. In JKR
and in most other traditional Japanese and Okinawan Karate Dojo, the
GI must be white and cotton (Synthetics with Cotton allowed). The
only markings allowed are the JKR patch on the left breast area and
the person's name at the front bottom corner of the jacket. An
exception exists for the Official Gi of JKR: The organization names
in Kanji is embroidered under the patch.
GO NO SEN The tactic where one
allows the opponent to attack first so to open up targets for counterattack.
GOHON KUMITEFive step basic sparring.
The attacker steps in five consecutive times with a striking
technique with each step. The defender steps back five times,
blocking each technique. After the fifth block, the defender
executes a counter-strike.
GYAKU MAWASHI GERI"Reverse Round-house
Kick". Also referred to as URAMAWASHI GERI.
GYAKU ZUKI"Reverse Punch".
HACHIJI DACHIA natural stance, feet
positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed
slightly outward.
HAI"Yes".
HAISHU UCHIA strike with the back of
the hand.
HAISHU UKEA block using the back of
the hand.
HAITO UCHI"Ridge-hand
Strike".
HAJIME"Begin". A
command given to start a given drill, Kata, or Kumite.
HANGETSUA Black Belt level Kata.
HANGETSU DACHI"Half-Moon
Stance".
HANSHI"Master." An
honorary title given to the highest Black Belt of an organization,
signifying their understanding of their art. In Japan Karate-Do
Ryobu-Kai, the Hanshi is the Grandmaster of Ryobu-Kai, Yasuhiro
Konishi II.
HASAMI ZUKI"Scissor Punch".
HARAI TE"Sweeping technique
with the arm."
HARAI WAZA"Sweeping
techniques".
HEIKO DACHIA natural stance. Feet
positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed
straight forward. Some Kata begin from this position.
HEIKO ZUKI "Parallel Punch"
(A double, simultaneous punch).
HEISOKU DACHIAn informal attention
stance. Feet are together and pointed straight forward.
HENKA WAZATechniques used after OYO
WAZA is applied. HENKA WAZA is varied and many, dependent on the
given condition.
HIDARI"Left".
HIJI"Elbow", also
known as EMPI.
HIJI ATE"Elbow Strike".
Also referred to as EMPI UCHI.
HIJI UKEA blocking action using
the elbow.
HIKI-TE The retracting (pulling
and twisting) arm during a technique. It gives the balance of power
to the forward moving technique. It can also be used as a pulling
technique after a grab, or a strike rearward with the elbow.
HITOSASHI IPPON KEN"Forefinger
Knuckle".
HIZA GERI"Knee Kick".
HIZA UKEA blocking action using
the knee.
HOMBU DOJOA term used to refer to
the central dojo of an organization.
HORAN NO KAMAE"Egg in the Nest
Ready Position." A "ready" position used in some KATA
where the fist in covered by the other hand.
IPPON KEN "One Knuckle
Fist".
IPPON KUMITE"One step
sparring". The designated attacher makes one attack, after
which the defender counter-attacks.
IPPON NUKITE A stabbing action using
the extended index finger.
JIYU IPPON KUMITE"One step free
sparring". The participants can attack with any technique
whenever ready.
JIYU KUMITE "Free Sparring".
JOWooden staff about 4'-5'
in length. The JO originated as a walking stick.
JODANUpper level. During the
practice of KIHON IPPON KUMITE (one step basic sparring), the
attacker will normally announce where he/she will attack JODAN,
CHUDAN, or GEDAN (Upper level, Mid-level, or lower level).
JOGAI"Out of Bounds".
Used in tournaments.
JUJI UKE"X Block".
JUN ZUKIThe WADO RYU term for
OI-ZUKI.
KAGI ZUKI"Hook Punch".
KAISHO "Open hand."
This refers to the type of blow which is delivered with the open
palm. It can also be used to describe other hand blows in which the
fist is not fully clenched.
KAKE-TE "Hook Block" or
"Hooking Technique."
KAKE-WAZA"Hooking
Technique."
KAKIWAKE A two handed block using
the outer surface of the wrist to neutralize a two-handed attack,
such as a grab.
KAKUSHI WAZA"Hidden
techniques."
KAKUTO UCHI"Wrist joint
strike." Also known as "KO UCHI."
KAKUTO UKE "Wrist Joint
Block." Also known as KO UKE.
KAMAEA posture or stance either
with or without a weapon. KAMAE may also connote proper distance
(Ma-ai) with respect to one's partner. Although "KAMAE"
generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important
parallel in Karate between one's physical and one's psychological
bearing. Adopting a strong physical stance helps to promote the
correlative adoption of a strong psychological attitude. It is
important to try so far as possible to maintain a positive and
strong mental bearing in Karate.
KAMAE-TEA command given by the
instructor for students to get into position.
KANSETSU WAZA Joint-lock techniques.
KAPPOTechniques of
resuscitating people who have succumbed to a shock to the nervous
system.
KARATE"Empty Hand".
When Karate was first introduced to Japan, it was called
"TO-DE". The characters of TODE could be pronounced.
However, the meaning of TODE is Chinese Hand. There are also
philosophical explanations of KARATE (explained in Gichin
Funakoshi's _Karate-Do Kyohan_.
KARATE-DO "The Way of
Karate". This implies not only the physical aspect of Karate,
but also the mental and social aspects of Karate
KARATEKA A practitioner of Karate.
KATAA "form" or
prescribed pattern of movement. (But also "shoulder.")
KEAGESnap Kick. (Literally,
Kick upward).
KEIKO (1) Training. The only
secret to success in Karate. (2) "Joined Fingertips".
KEKOMIThrust Kick ( Literally,
Kick Into/Straight ).
KEMPO"Fist Law." A
generic term to describe fighting systems that uses the fist. In
this regard, KARATE is also KEMPO. In Chinese, it is pronounced
"Chuan Fa".
KENSEIThe technique with silent
KIAI. Related to meditation.
KENTSUI"Hammer Fist"
Also known as TETTSUI. KENTSUI UCHI (Or TETTSUI UCHI) = "Hammer
Fist Strike".
KERI"Kick".
KIMind. Spirit. Energy.
Vital-force. Intention. (Chinese = chi) The definitions presented
here are very general. KI is one word that cannot be translated
directly into any language.
KIAI A shout delivered for the
purpose of focusing all of one's energy into a single movement. Even
when audible KIAI are absent, one should try to preserve the feeling
of KIAI at certain crucial points within Karate techniques.
Manifestation of KI (simultaneous union of spirit and expression of
physical strength).
KIBA DACHI"Straddle
Stance". Also known as NAIFANCHI(N) or NAIHANCHI DACHI.
KIHON(Something which is)
fundamental. Basic techniques.
KIME Focus of Power.
KI-O-TSUKE "Attention".
Musubi Dachi with open hands down both sides.
KIZAMI ZUKI "Jab Punch".
KO BO ITTCHI The concept of
"Attack-Defense Connection".
KO UCHI"Wrist joint
strike." Also known as KAKUTO UCHI.
KO UKE"Crane Block" or
"Arch Block". Same as KAKUTO UKE.
KOHAIA student junior to
oneself.
KOKORO"Spirit, Heart."
In Japanese culture, the spirit dwells in the Heart.
KUBOTAN A self-defense tool
developed by TAKAYUKI KUBOTA. This tool serves normally as a key
chain.
KOKEN"Wrist Joint".
KOKUTSU DACHIA stance which has most of
the weight to the back. Referred to in English as "Back
Stance".
KOSA DACHI "Crossed-Leg
Stance".
KOSHIN "Rearward".
KUATSUThe method of
resuscitating a person who has lost consciousness due to
strangulation or shock.
KUMADE"Bear hand."
KUMITE "Sparring."
KYOSHI"Master
Instructor." A Dan level in the sequence of RENSHI, KYOSHI, and
HANSHI.
KYU"Grade". Any
rank below Shodan.
KYUSHO WAZA Pressure Point techniques.
MA-AIProper distancing or
timing with respect to one's partner. Since Karate techniques always
vary according to circumstances, it is important to understand how
differences in initial position affect the timing and application of
techniques.
MAEFront.
MAE ASHI GERI Kicking with the front
leg.
MAE GERI KEAGE"Front Snap
Kick". Also referred to as MAE KEAGE.
MAE GERI KEKOMI"Front Thrust Kick:.
Also referred to as MAE KEKOMI.
MAE UKEMI "forward
fall/roll".
MAKOTOA feeling of absolute
sincerity and total frankness, which requires a pure mind, free from
pressure of events.
MANABU "Learning by
imitating." A method of studying movement and techniques by
following and imitating the instructor.
MANJI UKEA Double block where one
arm executes GEDAN BARAI to one side, while the other arm executes
JODAN UCHI UKE (or JODAN SOTO YOKO TE).
MATTE"Wait".
MAWASHI GERI"Roundhouse
Kick".
MAWASHI ZUKI"Roundhouse
Punch".
MAWASHI HIJI ATE"Circular Elbow
Strike". Also referred to as MAWASHI EMPI UCHI.
MAWAT-TEA command given by the
instructor for students to turn around.
MIGIRight.
MIKAZUKI GERI"Crescent Kick".
MOKUSOMeditation. Practice often
begins or ends with a brief period of meditation. The purpose of
meditation is to clear one's mind and to develop cognitive
equanimity. Perhaps more importantly, meditation is an opportunity
to become aware of conditioned patterns of thought and behavior so
that such patterns can be modified, eliminated or more efficiently
put to use.
MOROTE ZUKI"U-Punch".
Punching with both fists simultaneously. Also referred to as AWASE
ZUKI.
MOROTE UKE "Augmented
Block". One arm and fist support the other arm in a block.
MOTO DACHIA short forward stance,
also referred to as HAN-ZENKUTSU DACHI.
MUDANSHAStudents without
black-belt ranking.
MUSHIN"No Mind." The
state of being that allos freedom and flexibility to react and adapt
to a given situation.
MUSUBI DACHI An attention stance with
feet pointed slightly outward.
NAGASHI UKE "Sweeping
Block".
NAGE WAZAThrowing/take-down
techniques.
NAIFANCHI DACHI"Straddle
Stance." Also referred to as NAIHANCHI DACHI and KIBA DACHI.
NAIHANCHI DACHI "Straddle
Stance". Also referred to as KIBA DACHI and NAIFANCHI(N) DACHI.
NAKADAKA IPPON KEN"Middle Finger
Knuckle".
NAMI-GAESHI"Returning
Wave." Foot technique found in Tekki Shodan to block an attack
to the groin area. The technique can also be used to strike the
opponent's inner thigh or knee, as well as to sweep an opponent's
leg.
NEKO ASHI DACHI"Cat Stance".
NIHON NUKITETwo finger stabbing
attack.
NIDANSecond Level, as in Second
Degree Black Belt.
NIDAN GERI"Double Kick".
NUKITE "Spear Hand".
NUNCHAKU An Okinawan weapon
consisting of two sticks connected by rope or chain. This was
originally used by the Okinawans as a farm tool to thrash rice
straw.
OBIA belt.
OI-ZUKI "Lunge Punch".
ONAJI WAZA"Same
technique".
ONEGAI SHIMASU"I make a
request" or "I ask of You..." This is said while
bowing to one's partner when initiating practice, to the instructor
at the beginning of training, or to anyone when asking a favor/request.
OSAE UKE"Pressing
Block".
OTOSHI EMPI UCHI An elbow strike by
dropping the elbow. Also referred to as Otoshi Hiji Ate.
OYAYUBI IPPON KEN"Thumb Knuckle".
OYO WAZA Applications interpreted
from techniques in Kata, implicated according to a given condition.
RAN BU HOAn exercise similar to
"shadow-boxing". Various techniques are performed
spontaneously against multiple imaginary attackers. This is commonly
done in 30-second sessions.
REI "Respect". A
method of showing respect in Japanese culture is the Bow. It is
proper for the junior person bows lower than the senior person.
Etiquette dictates that one should bow when entering the dojo, when
entering the training area, when greeting Sensei, when greeting a
Black Belt BUDOKA, when beginning or ending a training session with
a partner, when beginning or ending a kata performance, and when
someone bows to you.
REIGIEtiquette. Also referred
to as REISHIKI. Observance of proper etiquette at all times (but
especially observance of proper DOJO etiquette) is as much a part of
one's training as the practice of techniques. Observation of
etiquette indicates one's sincerity, one's willingness to learn, and
one's recognition of the rights and interests of others.
REINOJI DACHIA stance with feet making
a 'L-shape.'
RENSEIPractice Tournament.
Competitors are critiqued on their performances.
RENSHI "A person who has
mastered oneself." This person is considered an expert
instructor. This status is prerequisite before attaining the status
as KYOSHI.
SAGI ASHI DACHIOne Leg Stance. Also
referred to as GANKAKU DACHI or TSURU ASHI DACHI.
SAIAn Okinawan weapon that is
shaped like the Greek letter 'Psi' with the middle being much
longer.
SANBON KUMITE"Three Step
Sparring".
SANBON SHOBU Three Point match. Used in
tournaments.
SANCHIN DACHI "Hour-glass
Stance".
SASHITE Raising of the hand either
to strike, grab, or block.
SEIKEN "Forefist".
SEIRYUTO"Bull Strike." A
hand technique delivered with the base of the SHUTO (Knife hand).
SEIZAA proper sitting position.
Sitting on one's knees. Sitting this way requires acclimatization,
but provides both a stable base and greater ease of movement than
sitting cross-legged. It is used for the formal opening and closing
of the class.
SEMPAIA senior student.
SEN NO SEN Attacking at the exact
moment when the opponent attacks.
SEN SEN NO SENAttacking before the
opponent attacks. Pre-emptive attack.
SENSEITeacher. It is usually
considered proper to address the instructor during practice as
"Sensei" rather than by his/her name. If the instructor is
a permanent instructor for one's DOJO or for an organization, it is
proper to address him/her as "Sensei" off the mat as well.
SHIAI A match or a contest
(Event).
SHIDOINFormally recognized
Instructor who has not yet been recognized as a SENSEI. Assistant
Instructor. The SHIDOIN serves as the instructor who teaches the
technical aspects of Karate.
SHIHANA formal title meaning,
approximately, "master instructor." A "teacher of
teachers."
SHIKO DACHI"Square Stance".
A stance often used in Goju-Ryu and Shito-Ryu.
SHIME WAZA Choking/Strangling
techniques.
SHIZENTAI"Natural
Position". The body remains relaxed but alert.
SHOMENFront or top of head. Also
the designated front of a Dojo.
SHUTO TESame as SHUTO UKE. This
name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe
one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.
SHUTO UKE"Knife-hand
Block".
SOCHIN DACHI"Immovable
Stance". Also referred to as Fudo Dachi.
SOKUTO"Edge of foot".
This term is often used to refer to the side thrust kick.
SOTO (UDE) UKE Outside (Forearm) Block.
SOTO YOKO TESame as UCHI UDE UKE. This
name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe
one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.
SUKUI TESame as SUKUI UKE. This
name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe
one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.
SUKUI UKE"Scooping
Block".
SUWARI WAZA"Techniques from a
sitting position."
TAI SABAKIBody movement/shifting.
TATE EMPI"Upward Elbow
Strike".
TATE ZUKI"Vertical
Punch." A fist punch with the palm along a vertical plane.
TEIJI DACHIA Stance with the feet in
a 'T-shape.'
TEISHO UCHI "Palm Heel
Strike".
TEISHO UKE"Palm Heel
Block".
TETTSUI UCHI "Hammer Strike".
Also called KENTSUI.
TOBI GERI "Jump Kick".
TONFAA farm tool developed into
a weapon by the Okinawans.
TSUKAMI WAZA"Catching
technique." A blocking technique by seizing the opponent's
weapon, arm, or leg. Used often for grappling techniques.
TSUKI A punch or thrust (esp. an
attack to the midsection).
TSURU ASHI DACHI "Crane Stance",
also referred to as GANKAKU DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI.
TUITE Grappling skills.
UCHI DESHIA live-in
student/disciple. A student who lives in a dojo and devotes
him/herself both to training and to the maintenance of the dojo (and
sometimes to personal service to the SENSEI of the dojo).
UCHI MAWASHI GERI"Inside Roundhouse
Kick".
UCHI (UDE) UKE"Inside (Forearm)
Block".
UCHI YOKO TESame as SOTO UDE UKE. This
name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe
one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.
UKEBlock.
UKEMI WAZA"Break-fall
techniques."
UKI ASHI DACHI A stance similar to the
cat-stance, performed in the kata HANGETSU.
URA ZUKIAn upper cut punch used at
close range.
URAKEN "Back Knuckle".
USHIRO EMPI UCHI Striking to the rear with
the elbow.
USHIRO GERI Back Kick.
WAZATechnique(s).
YAMA ZUKI"Mountain
Punch". A wide U-shaped dual punch.
YAME"Stop".
YASUME"Rest." A term
used by the instructor to have the students relax, normally
following a long series of drills.
YOI"Ready".
YOKO"Side".
YOKO GERI KEAGE "Side Snap
Kick". Also referred to as YOKO KEAGE.
YOKO GERI KEKOMI "Side Thrust
Kick". Also referred to as YOKO KEKOMI.
YOKO MAWASHI EMPI UCHIStriking with the elbow to
the side.
YOKO TOBI GERI"Flying Side
Kick".
YUDANSHABlack belt holder (any
rank).
ZANSHINLit. "remaining
mind/heart." Even after a Karate technique has been completed,
one should remain in a balanced and aware state. ZANSHIN thus
connotes "following through" in a technique, as well as
preservation of one's awareness so that one is prepared to respond
to additional attacks.
ZA-REIThe traditional Japanese
bow from the kneeling position.
ZENKUTSU DACHI "Forward
Stance".
ZENSHIN"Forward".
ZORIJapanese slippers.