Japanese Terminology List

Terminology List

It is best to learn Japanese terms as you learn a concept or technique, rather than trying to memorize them from a list. That being said, sometimes you forget words or terms and need to look them up. I refer to a master list given to me a long time ago and would like to offer that to anyone reading this.

General Terms

Dai Senpai- most senior student

Senpai- senior

Dohai- peer

Kohai-junior

kime- focus

kiai- shout

zuki- punch (used with other words)

tsuki- punch (used alone)

uchi- strike

uke- block

geri- kick

dachi-stance

kosa dachi- cross-legged stance

kumite- sparring

mae- front

mawashi- round

yoko- side

ushiro-back

migi- right

hidari- left

keage- snap

kekomi- thrust

Hand Terms

seiken- fist

uraken- back fist

tettsui- hammer fist

haito- ridge hand

shuto- knife hand

nukite- spear hand

teisho- palm heel

Blocks

Jodan-age uke- rising block

chudan uke- inside block

ude uke – outside block

gedan-barai- low block

soto/juji uke- x block

shuto uke – knife hand block

morote uke- augmented block

Foot Terms

koshi- ball of foot

kakato-heel of foot

sokuto-edge of foot

haisoku-instep of foot

Stances

heisoku dachi- closed foot

musubi dachi- open toes

heiko dachi- parallel foot

hachiji dachi- ready stance

naihanchi dachi- pigeon toe

shiko dachi- straddle leg

kiba dachi- horse stance

zenkutsu dachi-forward stance

kokutsu dachi-back stance

neko ashi dachi- cat-foot stance

shizentai dachi- fighting stance

sanchin dachi- hourglass stance

Body Parts

jodan- upper area

chudan-middle area

gedan- lower area

atama- head

kao- face

te- hand

kanetsu- knuckles

ude- arm

hiji- elbow

empi- elbow

ashi- leg

hiza- knee

kyobu / mune- chest

senaka- back

Punches

seiken-zuki- straight punch

gyaku zuki- reverse punch

oi zuki- lunge punch

age zuki- rising punch

mawashi zuki- round-house punch

tate zuki- vertical fist punch

ura zuki- short, inverted punch

Kicks

mae geri- front kick

mawashi geri- round house kick

yoko geri- side kick

ushiro geri- back kick

tobi geri- jump kick

fumikomi- stamping kick

kake geri- hook kick

kin geri- groin kick

nidan geri- double jumping kick

Rank Names

Nyudansha- White Belt

Mukyu- Beginning Grade

Jukyu- 10th  grade

Kukyu- 9th  grade

Hachikyu- 8th  grade

Nanakyu- 7th  grade

Rokukyu- 6th  grade

Gokyu- 5th  grade

Yonkyu- 4th  grade

Sankyu- 3rd  grade

Nikyu- 2nd  grade

Ikkyu- 1st  grade

Shohan-Ho- Step before Shodan

Shodan- 1st  Rank

Nidan- 2nd  Rank

Sandan- 3rd  Rank

haishu-back of hand

dojo- training hall

obi- belt

yudansha- black belter

mudansha- non-black belter

Numbers

ichi- one

ni- two

san- three

shi / yon- four

go- five

roku- six

shichi / nana- seven

hachi- eight

ku- nine

ju- ten

juichi- eleven

niju- twenty

sanju- thirty

Commands

kiotsuke – attention

rei – bow

yoi- prepare

kamae- ready position

matte- wait

yame- stop

mawatte- turn

hajime- begin

narande- line up

modotte- return to ready

Teacher Titles

Sensei-Teacher, giver of life

Shihan Dai- Master’s Assistant

Shihan- Master Instructor

Renshi- Highest Teacher

Kyoshi- Karate Master

Hanshi- Grandmaster

Weapons

rokushakubo- six foot staff

eku- oar

jo- four foot staff

kama- sickle

nunchaku- flail

sai- truncheon

tonfa- handle

Additional Japanese Terms

anata wa- And you?

antei- balance

ashi barai-leg sweep

Bojitsu- Art of the Bo

bunkai- the application of a kata

bushi- warrior

Bushido- way of the warrior

domo arigato gozaimasu- thank you very much

dozo- please

dai (dai ichi)- number

dai (Passai Dai)- greater, major

dan- black belt rank.   There are 10 of these.

deashibarai- forward foot sweep

do- the way or path

doita shimashite- you are welcome

domo arigato- thank you

fukyu- fundamental

genki desu- I am fine

gi- Karate uniform

go- hard or five

hai- yes

hara- abdomen, center of Ki

harai- sweep

hiji ate- elbow smash

ikaga desu ka- how are you?

ippon ken- one knuckle fist

itchoku sen- straight line

jiyu kumite- free style sparring

ju-soft or ten

Judan- 10th degree black belt

Jitsu- art

kara- empty

Karate-empty hand

Karate-do- the way of the empty hand

kata- forms

keiko- practice, drill

ki-spirit

kihon- basic

kimochi- attitude

Kobudo- ancient martial ways

Kobujitsu- art of ancient weapons

kogeki- attacker

koko- here

kokoro-mind, heart, spirit, feeling

konban wa- good evening

konnichi wa- good afternoon

koroshi waza- killing technique

kudasai- please give me the favor of

kumite- practice fighting

kuzushi- leverage

kyu- non-black belt.   There are 10 of these.

Kyusho Jitsu- the art of striking vital points

ma- distance

maai- individual distance

makiwara- punching board

massugu- straight mokuso- quiet meditation

mokuso owari- meditation over

mudansha- kyu rank holder

nage wasa- throwing technique

nagore- deep breathing

naisan- woman, girl

neisan- man, boy

Nihongo- Japanese language

o-hayo gozaimasu- good morning

o-negai shimasu- teach me please

o-yasami nasai- good night

osoto geri- major outside reap

renshu- to study

ryu- way, school, system

Ryukyu- chain of islands which Okinawa is part

sayonara- good bye

seiza- formal sitting posture shiai- match, contest shimai made- at the end sho- small, minor

shomei- front central area of the dojo

shomen- front

shomen ni rei- bow to the front

tai- body

tai sabaki- body shifting

taiso- exercise

tameshi waza- breaking

tatami- straw floor mat

tate- standing, vertical

tsuyoki- strong spirit

tuite waza- grappling hand technique

waza- technique

yakusoku kumite- prearranged fighting

yotsu kado no renshu- four corner turning drill

yowaki- weak spirit

yukkuri- slowly

zanshin- remaining mind, perfect finish zarel- seated below

zazen- formal seated meditation

By KruczekKruczek on FacebookKruczek on Google+Kruczek on Twitter Visit author's website

Theodore Kruczek is the founder and head writer of the Okinawan Karate-do Institute. He is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorin-ryu with more than 14 years of experience. This site was created as his way of both teaching his own Karate and learning about others.

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