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Japanese and English Terminology

In keeping with the traditional nature of our system, Japanese terms are used in practice. You are expected to recognize the instructions routinely given during class and to learn the Japanese and English names for all the techniques you are taught. The following are terms that should be familiar at the level of hachikyu (yellow belt); there are many others, but these represent the basis of karatedo training.


Keoskite                  Attention
Rei                       Bow
Hajime                    Begin
Mawate                    Turn around
Yame                      Stop (immediately)
Tome                      Return to original location
Yoi                       Return to ready stance
Tachi zen                 Standing meditation
Zazen                     Seated meditation
Seiza                     Formal seated position (kneeling)
Agura                     Informal seated position (feet in front)

Numbering System

1        ichi                     6        roku
2        ni                       7        shichi
3        san                      8        hachi
4        shi                      9        ku
5        go                       10       ju

Greetings and Responses

Onigashimasu                 Please teach me.
Gokorosan                    Thank you for doing what was 
Domo arrigato gozai-imasu    Thank you very much.
Osu (Oosss!)                 Let's train hard and persevere!
Hai                          Yes
Iie (ee yeh)                 No
Ohiyo gozai-imasu            Good morning.
Konnichi wa                  Good day.
Kon bon wa                   Good evening. (after dark)

Methods of Training

Kihon waza                   Basic techniques
Kata                         Formal exercises
Kumite                       Sparring
Kubudo                       Weapons training
Ippon kumite                 One-step sparring
Jiyu kumite                  Free sparring

Concepts and Principles

Ai nuke                      Mutual preservation
Ai uchi                      Mutual killing
Budo                         Way of martial arts
Bunkai                       Applications of kata techniques
Bushido                      Way of the samurai (bushi)
Chudan                       Middle target (solar plexus)
Dojo                         Training gym (place of the Way)
Gedan                        Low target (groin)
Gi                           Practice uniform
Irimi                        To enter into an attack
Isshin                       One heart or mind
Jodan                        High target (lower part of face)
Ki                           Spirit, energy, life force, mind
Kiai                         Spirit-unifying shout
Kime                         Focus of power
Kohai                        A student junior to oneself
Kuzushi                      Balance, body alignment
Miai                         Distancing
Mushin                       No heart or mind
Musubi                       Harmony
Sempai                       Senior student
Sensei                       Teacher
Tai sabaki                   To evade and counterattack
Taitaikyo                    Dojo etiquette
Tanden or hara               Center of the body
Tenkan                       To turn and dissipate an attack
Tore                         One who executes a technique
Uke                          One who receives a technique
Yudansha                     Black belt
Zanshin                      Reflecting heart or mind

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