Terminology

Whether you are designing aeroplane engines, or crocheting a blanket, every specialist subject comes with its own terminology. Due to its history, the terminology of karate is in Japanese. Although overwhelming at first, once you can name something, you can control it, and self control is what we are about.

  • Age – Rising
  • Age tsuki – Upper cut
  • Arrigato-gazai-amushta – Thank you for teaching me.
  • Awase kumite – Soft continuous flowing sparring with no competitive attitude
  • Budo – Martial way
  • Bunkai – Application/explanation of kata
  • Bushido – Way of the warrior
  • Chudan – Middle
  • Dachi – Stance
  • Dojo – Training place
  • Gedan – Lower
  • Gedan Barai – Short lower block
  • Gi – Karate uniform
  • Go – Hard, rigid
  • Goju– Hard and soft
  • Gyaku – Reverse
  • Gyaku Tsuki – Reverse punch
  • Hai – Yes
  • Haito Uchi – Ridge hand strike
  • Hajime – Begin
  • Hara – Central point of body
  • Hidari – Left
  • Hiji Ate – Elbow smash
  • Hiki Tsuki – Snap punch
  • Hiza Geri – Knee kick
  • Hombu Dojo – Main dojo
  • Ido – Movement
  • Ie – No
  • Ippon – Single
  • Jodan – Upper
  • Ju – Soft, flexible
  • Kake Uke– Open hand parry/grabbing block
  • Kamae – Guard
  • Kansetsu Geri – Kick to knee joint
  • Karate – Empty hand
  • Karateka – One who practises karate
  • Kata – Form or pattern
  • Ki – Spirit,life energy (Chi in Chinese)
  • Kiai – Loud explosive yell.
  • Kihon – Basics
  • Kime – Focus
  • Kin Geri –Groin kick
  • Kohai – Junior/anyone of lower rank.
  • Kokutsu Dachi – Side facing lunge stance
  • Kumite – Sparring
  • Mae Geri – Front kick
  • Mai-Ai – Fighting distance
  • Mawashi Geri – Round kick
  • Mawashi Uke – Open hand triple block (Nagashi, Kake & Gedan combination)
  • Mawate – Cross over/change direction
  • Migi – Right
  • Mokuso – Meditation
  • Morote tsuki – Double punch
  • Nagashi Uke – Palm block across face
  • Nihon – Double
  • Obi – Belt
  • Oi Tsuki – Forward punch
  • Oni-goshimus – Please teach me
  • Oos – Greeting/gesture of acknowledgement
  • Rei – Bow
  • Ryu – School or tradition
  • Sanbon – Triple
  • Sanchin Dachi – 3 point stance
  • Seiken – Fist with focus on first two knuckles
  • Seiken Tsuki – Square punch
  • Seiza – Kneeling position
  • Sempai – Senior/ black belts to 3rd dan
  • Sensei – Instructor/Teacher
  • Sensei Nitashte – Bow to the teacher
  • Shihan – Master instructor
  • Shiko Dachi – Low horse riding stance
  • Shita Barai – Short lower block
  • Shita Tsuki – Inverted punch
  • Shomen – Front
  • Shuto Uchi – Chopping strike
  • Sokuto Geri – Side kick
  • Soto – Outside (inside to outside)
  • Taikyoku – H pattern
  • Teisho – Heel of palm strike
  • Tettsui – Hammer fist
  • Uchi – Inside (outside to inside)
  • Uchi Uke – Inner arm block
  • Uke – Block
  • Ura Mawashi Geri – Reverse of Mawashi Geri
  • Ura Uchi – Backfist
  • Urazuto – Reverse chop
  • Ushiro – Rear/ reverse
  • Yakusoku – Formal exercise
  • Yamae – Stop
  • Yoi – Ready position
  • Yoko – Side
  • Yoko Geri – Side rib kick
  • Yonhon dosa – 4 strike combo
  • Zanshin – Awareness in defence or attack
  • Zenkutsu – Lunge