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Karate Related Terminology (in Japanese)



Japanese pronunciation


A sounds like "ah" as in father

E sounds like "A" as in say

I sounds like "ee" as in flee

O sounds like "ow" as in show

U sounds like "ue" as in glue

Al sounds like "i" as in glide

El sounds like "ay" as in hay

OI sounds like "oy" as in boy

Ul sounds like "ewy" as in chewy

R at the beginning of a word is pronounced as a regular "R". However, between

vowels it is pronounced as a soft "D" or "T" (example; geri - meaning kick - is

pronounced getti or geddi). U at the end of a word is often silent.



Areas of attack/defense


1 Jodan – (joe-dawn) upper or head

2 Chudan – (choo-dawn) center

3 Gedan – (gay-dawn) lower or groin

4 Ushiro – (yoo-shee-doe) to the back or behind

5 Yoko – (yo-ko) to the side

6 Mae – (maya) to the front

7 Hidari – (he-dah-dee) to the left

8 Migi – (mee-gee) to the right


Blocks (Uke – pronounced ‘ooo kay’)


1. Gedan Barai Uke – sweeping down block

2. Yoko Uke - side block

3. Age Uke - rising block or head block

4. Soto Ude Uke – outside in forearm block

4. Shuto Uke - knife hand block (pronounced Shoo-to)

5. Juji Uke – rising "X" block

6. Tetsui Uke - hammer fist downward block

7. Morote Uke - reinforced side block

8. Empi Uke - elbow block

9. Gedan Ude Uke - lower forearm block

10. Kakae Te Uke - open hand trapping block

11. Manji Uke - gedan barai uke to one side and jodan haiwan uke to other

side (usually done in the stance of kokutsu in Katas)

12. Sukui Uke - scooping block

13. Nino Ude Uke - back of forearm inward block

14. Kakiwake Uke - wedge block

15. Tsuki Uke - punching block

16. Kakae Te Uke - hand trap block

17. Mawashi Uke - roundhouse block



STRIKES (Uchi – pronounced Ooo-chi)


  1. Shuto – knife hand strike

  2. Uraken – back fist strike

  3. Tetsui – downward hammer fist strike - one is striking vertically

  4. Empi Uchi – elbow strike

  5. Haito Uchi – ridge hand strike

  6. Kentsui Uchi – side hammer fist - one is striking horizontally

  7. Nukite – spear hand thrust


PUNCHES (tsuki or zuki – pronounced zoo-key)


  1. Gyaka zuki – reverse punch

  2. Oi zuki – lunge punch

  3. Ura zuki – close punch (palm up)

  4. Tate zuki – upright fist punch

  5. Age zuki – rising punch (upper cut)

  6. Kage zuki – hook punch (as seen in the kata Shinsei)

  7. Yama zuki – “U” punch

  8. Di Yama zuki – Wide “U” punch

  9. Morote zuki – double punch (as seen in the kata’s Chino and Rohai)

  10. Ushiro zuki – punch behind (over the shoulder as seen in the kata Heian Sandan)


KICKS (geri – pronounced getti or geddi)


  1. Mae geri – front snap kick

  2. Sokuto geri – knife edge of foot snap kick

  3. Mawashi geri – roundhouse kick

  4. Ushiro geri – back snap kick (also known as a mule kick)

  5. Ushiro mawashi geri – spinning back kick

  6. Mae tobe geri – flying front kick

  7. Yoko tobe geri – flying side kick

  8. Mikazuke geri – inside-out crescent kick

  9. Ura mikasuke geri – outside-in crescent kick

  10. Hiza geri – knee kick



STANCES


  1. Heisoku dachi – closed front stance

  2. Musubi dachi – formal attention stance

  3. Heiko dachi – parallel stance

  4. Soto hachiji dachi – natural stance

  5. Uchi hachiji dachi – ready stance (or yoi stance)

  6. Kiba dachi – horse riding stance

  7. Shiko dachi – straddle leg stance (or Sumo stance)

  8. Nekoashi dachi – cat stance

  9. Kosa dachi – crossed leg stance (or hooked leg stance)

  10. Sanchin dachi – heel-toe stance (or hourglass stance)

  11. Sagi ashi dachi – crane stance - the foot of the leg raised is on side of the knee.

  12. Tsuru ashi dachi – heron stance - the foot of the leg raised is behind the knee.

  13. Renoji dachi – “J” stance (or standing cat stance)

  14. Tenoji dachi – “T” stance

  15. Zenkutsu dachi – forward stance (or deep forward attack stance)

  16. Hanzenkutsu dachi – half zenkutsu

  17. Kokutsu dachi – back stance



OTHER JAPANESE WORDS AND PHRASES USED IN KARATE DOJO


A

Age………………………….Upper or rising

Age uke……………………. Upper or rising block

Age zuki…………………….Rising punch (upper cut)

Age empi uchi……………...Rising elbow strike

Arigato Gozaimashita……..Thank you very much (formal)

Ashi………………………….Foot (or one foot)

Atama……………………….Head



B

Barai……………………….. Sweep or sweeping block

Bunkai………………………Study of technique/application



C

Chudan…………………….Middle body area

Chusoku……………………Ball of foot



D

Dachi………………………..Stance

Dai…………………………..Top or head (also known as major)

Dan………………………….Black belt rank

Do…………………………...Way or path

Doitashimashite……………You’re welcome

Dojo…………………………Place for training (or training hall)

Domo arigato………………Thank you very much (informal)

Dozo……………………….. Please (or “go ahead”)




E

Embusen……………………Kata pattern

Empi………………………...Elbow

Empi uchi…………………...Elblow strike

Empi uke……………………Elblow block




G

Gedan………………………Lower area (groin)

Geri………………………… Kick

Gi……………………………Training uniform

Gomenna Sai………………“I’m sorry”

Gyaka……………………….Reverse (or opposite)

Gyakazuki…………………..Reverse punch



H

Hai…………………………...“Yes”

Hai Wakarimasu……………”Yes, I understand”

Haito…………………………Ridge hand

Hajime……………………….Begin

Haisoku……………………...Instep

Hidari…………………………Left

Hiji…………………………….Elbow

Hiza…………………………..Knee



I

Iie……………………………No

Ikio Irete…………………….Catch a breather / relax

Ippon ………………………Single

Ippon Ken…………………. One knuckle fist

Ippon Kumite………………One step sparring

Irashaimase………………..Welcome

Isoge………………………..Hurry up



J

Jodan……………………….Head area (upper)

Juji…………………………..Cross



K

Kagi Zuki……………………Hook punch

Kakae Te Uke……………...Trapping hand block

Kakato………………………Heel of the foot

Kamaete…………………….Fighting stance

Kanketsu……………………Joint (knee/elbow/wrist)

Kansetsu……………………Against the joint

Kansetsu Geri………………Kick against the joint

Kao…………………………..Face

Kara………………………….Empty

Karate-do……………………Empty hand way (or Way of the Empty Hand)

Karate ka…………………….Practitioner of karate

Kata…………………………..Forms (or patterns)

Keiko-gi………………………Karate uniform

Kentsui……………………….Hammer fist - one is striking horizontally

Keri……………………………Kick (most commonly called geri)

Ki……………………………...Spirit or energy

Kiai……………………………Warrior cry

Kihon…………………………Basics

Kime………………………….Fighting spirit

Kiotuske……………………...Come to attention

Kobudo……………………….Ancient weaponry

Koken………………………...Wrist

Kohai………………………….Junior student (literally “younger brother/sister”)

Konbanwa……………………“Good evening”

Konnichiwa…………………..“Good afternoon”

Kumite………………………..Sparring

Kuro-obi………………………Black belt

Kyu……………………………Non-black belt rank

Kyu-sho………………………Vital point



M

Mae………………………… To the front

Maeni dete………………… Step forward

Makiwara…………………..Striking board

Mawashi…………………… Roundhouse

Mawate…………………….Turn around

Migi…………………………To the right

Mikazuki……………………Crescent

Mochiron…………………...Of course

Moichido……………………One more time

Mokuso…………………….Deep breathing with eyes closed

Morote……………………...Double or two-handed (augmented)

Musubi……………………..“At attention” stance



N

Nasotte Resume original position

Nidan Second (or set of two)

Nukite Spear hand



O

Obi Belt

Ohayo Gozaimasu………..”Good morning”

Onegashimasu……………”With your permission”

Oizuki………………………Punch

Osu…………………………”Yes, sir/ma’am” (acknowledgment)

Otagai ni…………………...To each other

Oyasuminasai……………..”Good night”

Oyo…………………………Application of techniques from kata



R

Rei…………………………..Bow

Renshi………………………Master Instructor (literally “one who has a name”)

Ryu………………………….Style



S

Sagate………………………Move back

Sanbon……………………..Set of three

Sayanara……………………“Goodbye”

Seiken……………………….Fore fist

Seiza………………………...Sit (Japanese style)

Sempai………………………Senior student (literally “older brother/sister)

Sensei……………………….Instructor (literally “one who has gone before”)

Sensei ni taishite rei………”Bow to Sensei”

Shiai…………………………Match/bout

Shihan………………………Teacher of teachers (a Master Instructor)

Shinobu……………………..Endurance

Shiken……………………….Examination

Shodan………………………First (also first degree black belt)

Shomen……………………..Front of the dojo

Shomen ni…………………..Face the front

Shuto………………………...Knife edge of hand

Sokuto……………………….Knife edge of foot

Soke…………………………Founder

Suware……………………...Sit down



T

Taiso Stretching exercises

Tameshwara……………….Breaking technique

Tate…………………………Vertical

Te……………………………Hand

Teisho……………………….Palm heel

Tetsui………………………..Hammer fist - one is striking vertically

Tsugi wa…………………….Next is

Tsuki (or Zuki)………………Punch

Tsuzekte…………………….Continue



U

Ude………………………….Forearm

Uke………………………….Block

Uraken……………………...Back fist

Ushiro………………………Back or rear




W

Wakarimasu sen……………“I don’t understand”

Wakarimasu ka…………….”Do you understand?”

Wakarimasu………………..”I understand”

Waza…………………………Technique



Y

Yame………………………. Stop

Yasume……………………. Take a break

Yoi…………………………..Ready position

Yoko………………………...To the side



Z

Zanshin……………………..Keep your attention




KUMITE


Ippon Kumite – one step sparring

Sanbon Kumite – three step sparring

Jyu Kumite – free sparring











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shito ryu

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(239) 431-6499 

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