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Japanese Terms

Below is a glossary of some of the more common Japanese terms used to describe Karate techniques, concepts and etiquette, which you are likely to encounter during your training. It may be hard to rememeber them at first, but you don't even have to learn the pronunciation as it is the one you would expect when reading the word.
However it is by no means intended to be a definitive list, but a list to be increased in the future:

Numbers

JAPANESE english
ichi
One
ni
Two
san
Three
shi
Four
go
Five
roku
Six
shichi
Seven
hachi
Eight
ku
Nine
ju
Ten

 

Terms
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

age uke

rising block

age tsuki

rising punch

 

C

choku tsuki

straight punch

chudan

middle-level: hips to shoulders

 

D

dan

black belt

dojo

training hall

 

E

empi

elbow

empi uchi

elbow strike

 

F

 

fumikomi geri

stamping-kick

 

G

 

gedan

lower-level: feet to hips

gedan barai

downward (sweeping) block

gohan kumite

five-step-attack sparring

gyaku tsuki

reverse punch

 

H

 

hachiji dachi

natural stance

hajime

begin/commence

hangetsu dachi

wide hour-glass stance Phalf-moon' stance

hanmi

diagonal ly-facing (eg of hips, body, etc)

hittsui/hiza

knee

hittsull/hiza geri

knee kick

 

I

 

ippon

one point (= full point)

ippon ken

one-knuckle fist

ippon kunlite

one-step sparring

 

J

 

jiyu ippon kumite

one-step free-style sparring

jiyu kumite

free-style sparring

jodan

upper-level: head and neck

juji uke

x-block

 

K

 

kagi tsuki

close, hooking punch

kata

formal exercise (eg Heian Shodan)

karateka

one who studies Karate

keage

snap

kekomi

thrust

keri waza

kicking techniques

kiba dachi

straddle-leg stance

kihon

basic (of technique, etc)

kilion kurnite

basic sparring

kime

focus

kizami tsuki

jabbing punch

kokutsu dachi

back stance

koshi

ball of the foot

kurnite

sparring

kyu

pupil; learning grade

 

M

 

mae

front

mae geri

front kick

mae tobi

geri flying front kick

makiwara

striking post - ie for punching and kicking

mawashi geri

circular/roundhouse kick

mawashi tsuki

circular/roundhouse punch

mikazuki geri

crescent kick

mokuso

meditation

momote uke

double-banded (forearm) block

morote tsuki

double-fist punch

 

N

 

nagashi uke

palm-hand sweeping block

nage waza

throwing techniques

narni gaeshi

inside-leg block; 'returning-wave' kick

neko ashi dachi

cat stance

nukite

spear-hand

 

O

 

oi tsuki

stepping punch

 

R

 

rei

bow

 

S

 

sanchin

dachi hour-glass stance

seiken

fore-fist

sensei

instructor/master

shizentai

natural body posture

shomen

forward-facing (eg of hips, body, etc)

shuto

knife-hand

shuto uke

knife-hand block

shuto uchi

knife-hand strike

sochin dachi

diagonal straddle-stance /'rrooted' stance

sokumen

sideways-facing (eg of hips, body, etc)

sokuto

side-edge of the foot

soto (ude) uke

outside forearm block

sukui uke

scooping block

 

T

 

tate tsuki

vertical-fist punch

teisho

palm-heel

tettsui

bottom/hammer-fist

tsuki

punch

 

U

 

ude

forearm

ude

uke forearm block

uchi

strike

uchi (ude) uke

inside forearm block

uraken

back-fist

uraken uchi

back-fist strike

ura tsuki

close-punch/uppercut

ushiro

back

ushiro geri

back kick

 

Y

 

yarne

stop/finish

yoi

ready

yoko

side

yoko geri

side kick

yoko geri keage

side snap-kick

yoko geri kekomi

side thrust-kick

yoko tobi geri

flying side kick

 

Z

 

zenkutsu dachi

forward stance