Terminology

  • Ankle – Ashi-Kubi

  • Attention – Kiotsuke (sounds like Key-oh-zoo-kay)

  • Back – Ushiro (sounds like Oo-she-row)

  • Basic Techniques – Kihon (sounds like Key-hon)

  • Begin/Start – Hajime (sounds like Ha-gee-may)

  • Belt – Obi (sounds like Oh-bee)

  • Block – Uke (sounds like Oo-kay)

  • Body Movement – Tai Sabaki

  • Bow – Rei (sounds like Ray)

  • Breathing Exercises – Kokyu Ho

  • Cat – Neko (i.e. Neko Ashi Dachi = Cat Foot Stance or Cat Stance)

  • Elbow – Empi or Enpi (sounds like En-pee or Em-pee)

  • Elbow Strike – Empi-Uchi (sounds like Em-pee Oo-chee)

  • Focus – Kime

  • Foot – Ashi (sounds like Ah-she)

  • Form or Pattern – Kata (sounds like Ka-ta)

  • Form (Kata) Technique Application – Bunkai (sounds like Boon-kay)

  • Front – Mae

  • Goodbye – Sayonara (sounds like Sa-yoh-na-rah)

  • Hand – Te (sound like Tay)

  • Head – Atama (sounds like Ah-ta-ma)

  • Heel – Kakato (sounds like Ka-ka-toe)

  • I (Me) – Watashi (sounds like Wa-ta-she)

  • Kata Starting Point – Embusen or Enbusen

  • Kick – Geri or Keri (sounds like Geh-ree or Keh-ree)

  • Knee – Hiza (sounds like He-zah)

  • Kneel – Seiza

  • Kneeling Techniques – Seiza Waza

  • Knife Hand – Shuto (sounds like Shoe-toe)

  • Left – Hidari (sounds like Hee-da-ree)

  • Low (Level) – Gedan (sounds like Geh-dan)

  • Mat (Practice/Training Mat) – Tatami (sounds like Ta-ta-me)

  • Meditate – Mokuso

  • Middle (Level) – Chudan (sounds like Choo-dan)

  • One More Time – Mo Ichi Do (sounds like Moe E-chee Doe)

  • No – Iie (sounds like E-ay)

  • No Mind (State of “No Mind”) – Mushin

  • Please – Dozo (sounds like Doe-zoh)

  • Practitioner of Karate – Karateka

  • Pulling Hand (brining hand back to ready position) – Hikite

  • Punch – Tsuki or Zuki (sounds like Zoo-key)

 

  • Push On Through Difficulties – Oss or Osu. Nevertheless, this term used in many different ways and is often used by non-Japanese Karate students for “Thank you”, “I understand”, etc. Oss (Osu) is a kind of respectful catch-all phrase.

  • Right – Migi (sounds like Mee-gee)

  • School (Martial Arts) – Dojo (sounds like Doe-Joe)

  • Senior Student – Senpai or Sempai (sounds like Sen-pie)

  • Shout or Yell – Kiai (sounds like Key-eye)

  • Side – Yoko (sounds like Yoh-koh)

  • Snap – Keage

  • Sparring – Kumite (sounds like Coo-meh-tay)

  • Stance – Dachi (sounds like Dah-chee)

  • Stop – Yame (sounds like Yah-may)

  • Strike – Uchi (sounds like Oo-chee)

  • Sweep – Barai (sounds like Baa-rye)

  • Teacher/Instructor – Sensei (sounds like Sen-say)

  • Technique – Waza (sounds like Waa-Zaa)

  • Thank You (Formal) – Domo Arigato (sounds like Doe-moe Ah-ree-gah-toe)

  • Thank You (Informal) – Domo (sounds like Doe-moe)

  • Throat – Nodo (sounds like No-doe)

  • Throw – Nage

  • Thrust – Kekomi

  • Turn Around – Mawatte (sounds like Ma-wa-tay)

  • Unarmed Combat – Taijutsu

  • Uniform – Gi (sounds like Ghee)

  • Upper (Level) – Jodan (sounds like Joe-dan)

  • Void or State of No Mind – Mushin

  • Yes – Hai (sounds like Hi)

  • You – Anata (sounds like Ah-na-ta)

 

Karate Terms & Commands – Japanese to English

  • Anata – You

  • Anza – Sitting position, cross legged

  • Ashi – Foot

  • Ashi-Kubi – Ankle

  • Atama – Head

  • Barai – Sweep

  • Bunkai – Kata Technique Application

  • Chudan – Middle (Level)

  • Dachi – Stance

  • Dojo – School (Karate)

  • Domo – Thank You (Informal)

  • Domo Arigato – Thank You (Formal)

  • Dozo – Please

  • Embusen or Enbusen – This is the term used to refer to the spot where a kata begins. In addition, nearly all kata start and end on exactly the same Embusen point.

  • Empi or Enpi – Elbow

  • Empi-Uchi or Enpi-Uchi – Elbow Strike

  • Gedan – Low (Level)

  • Geri or Keri – Kick

  • Gi – Uniform

  • Hai – Yes

  • Hajime – Begin/Start

  • Harau – Sweeping Techniques

  • Hidari – Left

  • Hikite – Pulling Hand (bringing hand back to ready position)

  • Hiza – Knee

  • Iie – No

  • Jodan – Upper (Level)

  • Kakato – Heel

  • Karateka – Practitioner of Karate

  • Kata – Form or Pattern

  • Keage – Snap

  • Kekomi – Thrust

  • Keri or Geri – Kick

  • Ki – Type of intrinsic energy. Known as Qi or Chi in Chinese martial arts.

  • Kiai – Shout

  • Kihon – Basic Techniques

  • Kime – Focus

 

  • Kiotsuke – Attention

  • Kokyu Ho – Breathing exercises

  • Kumite – Sparring

  • Mae – Front

  • Mawatte – Turn Around

  • Migi – Right

  • Mo Ichi Do – One More Time

  • Mokuso – Meditate

  • Mushin – Void or State of No Mind

  • Nage – Throw

  • Neko – Cat (i.e. Neko Ashi Dachi = Cat Foot Stance or Cat Stance)

  • Nodo – Throat

  • Obi – Belt

  • Oss or Osu – Push On Through Difficulties. Nevertheless, this term used in many different ways and is often used by non-Japanese Karate students for “Thank you”, “I understand”, etc. Oss (Osu) is a kind of respectful catch-all phrase.

  • Rei – Bow

  • Sayonara – Goodbye

  • Senpai or Sempai – Senior Student

  • Sensei – Teacher/Instructor

  • Seiza – Kneel

  • Seiza Waza – Kneeling Techniques

  • Shuto – Knife Hand

  • Tatami – Practice/Training Mat

  • Te – Hand

  • Tsuki or Zuki – Punch

  • Uke – Block

  • Ushiro – Back

  • Watashi – I (Me)

  • Waza – Technique

  • Yame – Stop

  • Yoko – Side

  • Zuki or Tsuki – Punch

© 2019 Force Martial Arts