Karate and Kobudo Japanese Terminology

 

Even for experienced martial artist, learning and remembering Japanese terminology can be very confusing.

 

So why do we do it? Why don’t we just use English terms?

 

There are two main reasons why it is important to learn the Japanese terminology of the art you are training;

1. You are are not just studying techniques, you are studying an art, its history and way of life. The japanese terminology is a big part of that.

2. I regularly train overseas, in countries all around the world. It doesn’t matter what country I go to, whether it be Japan, an English speaking country or a country that speaks some other language, because I know Japanese terminology I am able to train where ever I go.

 

 

I have put this list of words together that will assist to make your martial journey even easier.

 

 

A

 

AGE

Rising

AGE HIJIATE

Rising elbow strike

AGE UKE

Rising block

​AGO

Chin

AKAOBI

Red belt

ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU

Thank you very much

ASHI

Foot or leg

ATAMA

Head

 

 

B

 

BARAI

A wide swing or sweep

BUNKAI

Meaning of the technique

BUSHIDO

The way of the warrior

 

C

 

CHOKU ZUKI

Straight punch

 

CHOTTO

A little

 

CHUDAN

Mid section

CHUDAN SOTO UKE

Middle Outside Block

CHUDAN UCHI UKE

Middle Inside Block

 

 

CHUDAN ZUKI

Middle punch

 

 

D

 

DACHI

Stance

DAN

Black belt rank

DO GI

Uniform

DOJO

Training Hall

 

E

 

EMBU

Demonstration

EMPEI

Elbow

 

F

 

 

 

G

 

GANBATTE

Do your best

 

GEDAN

Lower part of body, groin and below

GEDAN BARAI

Lower block

 

GEDAN KAKIWAKE

Low X block

​​

GERI

Kick

 

​GO

Number 5

 

GOHON KUMITE

5 step sparring

 

GODAN

5th Degree Black Belt

​GYAKU ZUKI

Reverse punch

 

 

H

 

HACHI

Number 8

​​

HACHI DAN

8th Degree Black Belt

 

HAI

Yes

​​

HAITO

Ridge hand

 

HAJIME

Start

 

​HANSHI

Grand Master – this title can be awarded to the rank of 8th Dan and above

HANTAI

Change sides

​​

HIEKO DACHI

Feet shoulder width apart

HEISOKU DACHI

Feet together from heels to toes

HIDARI

Left

HIJI

Elbow

HIZA

Knee

 

HIZA GERI

Knee strike

HOMBU

Headquarters

 

 

I

 

ICHI

Number 1

IDOU KIHON

Moving Basics

 

 

​J

 

JODAN

Facial area

JODAN ZUKI

Punch to face

JYU

Number 10

 

JYU DAN

10th Degree Black Belt

 

JUNZUKI

Lunge punch

 

K

 

KAICHO

The President of an organisation

KAKATO

Heel

KAKIWAKE

X block

 

KAKATO GERI

Axe kick, back of heel down the face

KAKE UKE

Open hand semi-circular deflecting block

​KAMAE

Guard position

KANCHO

Owner of school

KARATE DO

Empty hand way

KATA

Formal pattern

KATA

Neck

 

KEKOMI GERI

Thrust kick

 

KEN
Fist

KEOTSUKI

Come to attention

KIAI

A sharp sounding yell projecting inner strength

KIBA DACHI

Horse riding stance – feet at 90 degrees

 

KIHON

Basics

KIHON IDO

Moving basics

KIHON IPPON KUMITE

1 step sparring

 

KIME

Power and focus

KIN GERI

Groin kick

 

 

​KOHKOTSU DACHI

Back stance

​​

KOSHI

Hips

 

KUBI

Neck

 

KUMITE

Sparring

KUROBI

Black belt

​​

KYOSHI

Expert teacher 6th and 7th Dan ranks

 

KYU

Number 9

KYU DAN

9th Degree Black Belt

 

M

MAE

Front

MAE GERI

Front kick

MASSUGU

Forward

MAWASHI GERI

Roundhouse kick

 

​MAWASHI UKE

Circular block

MAWATE

Turn around

ME

Eyes

 

MIGI

Right

MOICHIDO

One more time

MOKUSO

Close your eyes for meditation

MOROTE ZUKI

Double fist punch

MOTTO

More

 

MUNE

Chest

 

N

 

 

NAGE WAZA

Throwing technique

NANA

Number 7

NAORE

Return to attention

NEKO ASHI DACHI

Cat stance

NI

Number 2

NIDAN

2nd Degree Black Belt

NUKITE

Spear Hand

 

O

 

OBI

Belt

OI ZUKI

Lunging punch, same as junzuki

OSU

A formal acknowledgement

 

OTAGI NI

Bowing to each other​

 

 

R

 

REI

Bow, show respect

RENGERI

Chudan Maegeri then Jodan Maegeri

 

ROKU

Number 6

ROKU DAN

6th Degree Black Belt

RYU

School or style

 

S

SAN

Number 3

SANBON

Three of a kind such as 3 punches

 

​SANDAN

3rd Degree Black Belt

 

​​SANGATE

To the rear

​​

SEIKEN

Front two knuckles of fist

 

SEIRETSU

Line up

​​

SEIZA

Sit in kneeling position

​SENPAI

Senior student or assistant instructor

SENSEI

Teacher

 

SHODAN

1st Degree Black Belt

 

SHI

Number 4

SHICHI

Number 7

 

​SHICHIDAN

7th Degree Black Belt

 

SHIHAN

Master teacher, 5th dan rank and above​

 

SHIKO DACHI

Horse riding stance, feet at 45 degrees

SHIZEN TAI

Natural Stance

 

​SHOMEN

Forward direction

SHUTO

Knife hand

 

SHUTO UCHI

Knife hand strike

SHUTO UKE

Knife hand block

SO

Okay

 

SOTO UKE

Outside Block

 

 

​T

TE

Hand

 

TEISHO

Palm Heel

TETTSUI

Hammer Fist

TODE

Chinese hand, Karate was originally called Tode

 

​TSUKI

Punch

 

 

U

 

UCHI

Strike

UCHIDESHI

Apprentice instructor

UCHI UKE

Inside Block

UDE

Forearm

 

UKE

To receive, block

 

URAKEN

Back fist

 

USHIRO

To the rear

 

USHIRO URAKEN

Back fist to the rear

 

 

W

 

WAZA

Technique

 

Y

 

YAKUSOKU KUMITE

Pre-arranged sparring

YAME

Stop

YOl

Get ready​

YOKO

Side

YOKO GERI

Side kick

YOKO GERI KEAGE

Side snap kick

 

YOKO GERI KEKOMI

Side thrust kick

 

 

YOKO URAKENUCHI (yoh koh, oo rah oo chee)

Back fist to the side

YON

Number 4, also Shi

YONDAN

4th Degree Black Belt

 

YUBI

Finger

 

YUDANSHA

A black belt

YUKURI

Slowly

 

Z

 

ZANSHIN

Alert and aware

ZENKUTSU DACHI

Forward Stance