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The Japanese glossary page of David Wilhelms' Kawazoi Website
AGE UKE Upward Block AGE ZUKI Rising Punch
AKA Red AKKENAI Literally, "not enough."
ANNOJOU Idiom, "sure enough." AOI Hollyhock, commonly used as a sword decoration
ARA Coarse or large (as in gross) ASHI Legs
ASHI BARAI Foot Sweep ASHI WAZA leg and foot techniques
ATEMI WAZA Striking techniques normally used with grappling and throwing techniques
ATO Later AWASE UKE Joined Hand Block
AWASE ZUKI U Punch. Also referred to as MOROTE ZUKI AYASUGI Large wavey hada (grain)
AYUMI DACHI A stance found in ITOSU-KAI SHITO-RYU. Natural "Walking" stance with the weight over the center
BAKUFU Military government of the Shogun BO Staff used as a weapon (approximately 6' long)
BOGYO ROKU KYODO 6 defense Action drill. Uses the old names of techniques such as AGE TE, HARAI TE (or GEDAN BARAI), SOTO YOKO TE, UCHI YOKO TE, SHUTO TE, and SUKUI TE
BO-HI Large or wide groove BOKKEN Wooden sword for practicing sword kata
BONJI Sanskrit carvings BORUDA Boulder
BOSHI Literally, temper line in kissaki. Poetic way of saying "point." BU Japanese measurement (approx 0.1 inch
BUDO Martial way. The character for "BU" (martial) derives from characters "stop" and "halberd." In Karate, the best way to prevent conflict is to emphasize the cultivation of individual character. The way (DO) of Karate is thus equivalent to the way of BU, taken in this sense of preventing or avoiding violence so far as possible.
BUKE Military man, samurai BUNKAI A study of the techniques and applications in KATA
BUSHIDO The code of the samurai CHIKEI Dark lines
CHISA Slang for CHOJI OIL CHOJI OIL Oil for the care of swords
CHOKU ZUKI Straight Punch CHOKUTO Prehistoric straight swords
CHU Literally, "medium." Used to describe mid-section of the body.
CHUDAN Mid-section CHUDAN ZUKI A punch to the mid-section of the opponent's body
CHUI Warning DAI Great or large
DAI-MEI Student smith signing his teacher's name DAIMYO Feudal lord
DAISHO Matched pair of long and short swords DAITO Long sword (over 24 inches)
DANI Literally "Lever, Rank or Degree." Black Belt ranks. Ranks under Black Belt are called KYU ranks.
DEKI Composed of, made of. Also in the sense of fundamental earth & stones DO Way/path. Japanese character for "DO" is the same as the Chinese character for Tao.
DOJO "Place of the Way" or "place of enlightenment." DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA Thank you very much
DOUSHITE For what reason? EKKU Oar. Occasionally an improvised weapon.
EMBUSEN Floor pattern of a given kata. EMPI (1) One the Black Belt level KATA or "The Flight of a Sparrow". Elbow. Sometimes referred to as HIJI.GUNTO
EMPI UCHI Elbow strike (also called HIJI-ATE) ENCHO-SEN Extension (as in extending a time period)
FUDO DACHI Immovable Stance. Also SOCHIN DACHI. FUJUBUN Lacking power
FUKURE Flaw FUKUSHIN Judges as in "They who find flaws."
FUMIKOMI Stomp kick, usually applied to the knee, shin, or instep GAERI Kick. Also GERI or KERI.
GANKAKU DACHI Crane Stance, sometimes referred to as TSURU ASHI DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI GASSHUKUA Special training camp
GEDAN Lower section GEDAN BARAI Downward Block
GEDAN UDE UKE Low Forearm Block GEDAN ZUKI Punch to the lower section
GENDAITO Traditionally forged sword blades by modern smiths GERI Kick. Also GERI or KERI.
GI Training costume. Specifically DO GI, KEIKO GI, KARATE GI GIMEI Fake (gi)signature (mei)
GIN Silver GOMEN NASAI Literally, ""Excuse me"" but more in the sense of "I'm sorry." Used differently that SUMIMASEN that is more in the sense of "Excuse me. Could you help me, direct me ..."
GOMABASHI Parallel grooves GO NO SEN Tactic where one allows the opponent to attack first so to open up targets for counteracttack
GOHON KUMITE Five step basic sparring. The attacker steps in five consecutive times with a striking technique with each step. The defender steps back five times, blocking each technique. After the fifth block, the defender executes a counter-strike
GUNTOArmy or military sword mountings GYAKUAngle back, reverse
GYAKU MAWASHI GERIReverse Round-house Kick GYAKU ZUKIReverse Punch
HABALiterally, "Cutting edge." HADAWidth
HAGANESteel HAGIREEdge cracks in the hamon. (fatal flaw
HACHIJI DACHIA natural stance, feet positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed slightly outward HAIYes
HAISHU UCHIA strike with the back of the hand HAISHU UKEA block using the back of the hand
HAITOUCHIRidge-hand Strike HAJIMEBegin, command given to start a given drill, Kata, or Kumite
HAMIDASHIDagger (tanto) with a small guard (tsuba) HAMONTemper pattern along blade edge
HANGETSUBlack Belt level Kata HANDACHIachi mountings used on a katana or wakizashi
HANGETSU DACHI"Half-Moon" Stance HANSHIAlthoughliterally "wise," used in sense of Master. An honorary title given to the highest Black Belt of an organization, signifying their understanding of their art. In Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai, the Hanshi is the Grandmaster of Ryobu-Kai, Yasuhiro Konishi II. Also SHIHAN HANSOKU
Foul HANTEIJudgment/decision HARAI TESweeping technique with the arm
HARAI WAZASweeping techniques HASAMI ZUKIScissor Punch
HEIKO DACHIA natural stance. Feet positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed straight forward. Some Kata begin from this position. HIGAONNA LINEa Heiko Dachi stance, where the front foot is turned slightly inwards while the rear foot is straight.
HEIKO ZUKIParallel Punch - double, simultaneous punch HEISOKU DACHIAn informal attention stance. Feet are together and pointed straight forward
HENKA WAZATechniques used after OYO WAZA is applied. HENKA WAZA is varied and many, dependent on the given condition. HIDARILeft (Also HIDARIGAWA)
HIGrooves in sword blade HIJIElbow. Also Empi
HIJI ATEMIElbow strikes HIJI UKEA blocking action using the elbow
HIJI-ATEElbow strike. Also called EMPI-UCHI HIKI-TE The retracting (pulling and twisting) arm during a technique. It gives the balance of power to the forward moving technique. It can also be used as a pulling technique after a grab, or a strike backward with the elbow.
HIKIWAKEDraw as in tie. HITOSASHI IPPON KENForefinger knuckle
HIZA GERIKnee Kick HIZA UKEBlocking action using the knee
HORAN NO KAMAEEgg in the Nest Ready Position. A "ready" position used in some KATA where the fist in covered by the other hand HORIMONOCarvings on sword blades
ICHIOne or first IKAGAIn what way? Also DOUSHITE
IKIMASULiterally, "Here it comes" or "I come." IKIMASHO plural as in "We go." IKUBILiterally, "boar's neck." Description of short, wide swordpoint or kissaki
IMANow INASUEvasion of an on-coming attack through removing the body from the line of attack
IPPON KENOne Knuckle Fist IPPON KUMITEOne step sparring
IPPON NUKITEA stabbing action using the extended index finger IRIMITo penetrate, to enter. Usually describes moving closer to the opponent than the attack as you close in defense.
ISOGIHurry! ITOSilk or cotton hilt wrapping
JISurface JI-GANESurface steel
JIKANTime JIYU IPPON KUMITEOne step free sparring. The participants can attack with any technique whenever ready
JIYU KUMITEFree Sparring JIZO BOSHIBoshi shaped like a priest's head
JUZUHamon like rosary beads JOWooden staff about 4'-5' in length, originally as a walking stick
JODAN Upper level JUJI UKEX Block
KAUsed to form a question as in Wakarimasu-Ka? KABUTOHelmet
KABUTO-WARIHelmet breaker KACHIWin/decision/victory
KAENFlame shaped boshi KAGAHand-pulled cart
KAGI ZUKIHook Punch KAI GUNTONaval sword
KAISHOOpen hand. This refers to the type of blow which is delivered with the open palm. It can also be used to describe other hand blows in which the fist is not fully clenched.
KAJISwordsmith KAKE-TEHook Block
KAKIWAKETwo handed block using the outer surface of the wrist to neutralize a two-handed attack, such as a grab. KAKU-MUNESquare back ridge
KAKUSHI WAZAHidden techniques KAKUTO UCHIWrist joint strike. Also known as KO UCHI.
KAKUTO UKEWrist Joint Block. Also known as KO UKE
KAMAEPosture or stance either with or without a weapon. KAMAE may also connote proper distance (Ma-ai) with respect to one's partner. Although "KAMAE" generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important parallel in Karate between one's physical and one's psychological bearing. Adopting a strong physical stance helps to promote the correlative adoption of a strong psychological attitude.
KAMAE-TECommand given by the instructor for students to get into position KAMIKAZIDivine wind
KANJIJapanese characters KANTEISword appraisal
KARATE"Empty Hand". When Karate was first introduced to Japan, it was called "TO-DE". The characters of TO-DE could be pronounced. However, the meaning of TO-DE is Chinese Hand. KARATE-DOThis implies not only the physical aspect of Karate, but also the mental and social aspects of Karate
KARATEKAA practitioner of Karate KATA"Form" or prescribed pattern of movement. Also "shoulder."
KATANASword worn in the obi, cutting edge up Also KITANA. KAKESword stand
KATANA-MEISignature side that faces out when worn edge up KAWARiver
KAWARA River beach KAWAGANE Skin or surface steel. Also JI-GANE
KAZUCHI MONO Mass produced swords KEAGE Snap Kick. Literally, "Kick upward."
KEBORI Line carving done on sword mounts KEIKO (1) Training. The only secret to success in Karate. (2) Joined Fingertips.
KEKKOU Literally, "Well enough" as in "That'll do." KEKOMI Thrust Kick. Literally, Kick Into/Straight
KEMPO "Fist Law." A generic term to describe fighting systems that uses the fist. Inthis regard, KARATE is also KEMPO. KEN Straight double edged sword
KENSEI Technique with silent KIAI. Related to meditation KENTSUIHammer Fist. Also TETTSUI
KENTSUI UCHI Hammer Fist Strike. Also TETTSUI UCHI. KERI (gaeri or geri) Kick
KI Mind. Spirit. Energy. Vital-force. Intention. (Chinese "chi") KI is one word that cannot be translated directly into any language. KIAI Shout delivered to focus all of one's energy into a single movement. Manifestation of KI (simultaneous union of spirit and expression of physical strength).
KIBA DACHI Staddle Stance. Also known as NAIFANCHI or NAIHANCHI DACHI. KIBUFoundation
KIHON (Something which is) fundamental. Basic techniques KIHON IPPON KUMITE One step basic sparring
KIJI Pheasant KIKU Chrysanthemum
KIME Focus KIN Gold
KINJIRU Forbidden KI-O-TSUKE "Attention". Musubi Dachi with open hands down both sides.
KIRI Flat KIRI HA Flat sword with both sides beveled to the edge
KIRI KOMI Sword cut or nick on the blade from another sword KISHU Direction
KISSAKI Point of blade KITAEForging
KIYO Opening KIZAMI Front as opposed to KOKUTSU KIZAMI
ZUKI Jab Punch KIZU Flaw
KO Old or small KOGAI Hair pick accessory
KOHAI A student junior to oneself KOKEN Wrist joint
KOKORO "Spirit, Heart." In Japanese culture, the spirit dwells in the Heart KOKUTSU DACHI Back Stance
KOSA DACHICrossed-Leg Stance KOSHIN Rearward
KOSHIATE Leather suspensors (hangers) for a sword KOSHIRAE Sword mountings or fittings
KO UKE"Crane Block" or "Arch Block". Same as KAKUTO UKE. KOUGEKIHOUKOU Attacking direction
KUBIKIRI Small tanto for cutting the neck or removing heads KUBOTAN A self-defense tool
TAKAYUKI KUBOTA This tool serves normally as a key chain KUMADE Bear hand
KUNIProvince KURIKARADragon horimono(engraving/carving)
KUROIBlack KUZURECrumbling or disintegrating
KWAIKENShort knife carried by women KYOSHI"Knowledgeable person," conferred at rokudan or shichidan (7th dan)
KYU"Grade". Any rank below Shodan.
KYUSHO WAZAPressure Point techniques MA-AIProper distancing or timing with respect to one's partner.
MAEFront MAE ASHI GERIKicking with the front leg
MAE EMPIForward Elbow Strike MAE GERI KEAGEFront Snap Kick. Also MAE KEAGE
MAE GERI KEKOMI Front Thrust Kick. Also MAE KEKOMI MAE UKEMI forward fall/roll
MAKOTOFeeling of absolute sincerity and total frankness, which requires a pure mind, free from pressure of events.
MANABU "Learning by imitating," studying movement and techniques by following and imitating the instructor.
MANJI UKEDouble block where one arm executes GEDAN BARAI to one side while the other arm executes JODAN UCHI UKE (or JODAN SOTO YOKO TE)
MANKITSUhave enough of
MARURound MASAMEStraight grain (hada)
MATTE"Wait" MAWASHI EMPI UCHICircular Elbow Strike. Also referred to as MAWASHI HIJI ATE.
MAWASHI GERIRoundhouse Kick MAWASHI HIJI ATECircular Elbow Strike. Also referred to as MAWASHI EMPI UCHI
MAWASHI ZUKIRoundhouse punch MAWAT-TETurn around (especially as a command)
MEISignature MEIBUTSUFamous sword
MEMPOFace guard or mask MENUKIHilt ornaments
MIDAREIrregular MIENAII could not see.
MODOKASHIINot quick enough MOKUSOMeditation
MONFamily crest MONOUCHIMain cutting portion of blade (first six inches from kissaki)
MOROHADouble-edged sword MOROTE UKEAugmented Block
MOROTE ZUKIU-Punch. Punching with both fists simultaneously Also AWASE ZUKI MOTO NO ICHIOriginal Position
MUEmpty or nothing MUDANSHAStudents without black-belt ranking
MUKEKAERUChange direction NAMBAN TETSUForeign steel
NAOSHICorrected or repaired NIKUMeat
NOMIDEmore than enough. JUUIBUN NOTAREWave like or wave pattern
OBIBelt sash O-DACHI Very long sword (over 30 inches)
OHAYOHello OSS Greeting in context of recognition among martial arts practitioners.
O NAMAE KA?Literally, "What is its name?" as in "What do you call this?" ONEGAI SHIMASU"I make a request," said to one's partner when initiating practice
ORIGAMIAppraisal certificate OSAE UKEPressing Block
OTOSHI EMPI UCHIAn elbow strike by dropping the elbow. Also referred to as OTOSHI HIJI ATE OYAYUBI IPPON KEN Thumb Knuckle
OYO WAZAApplications interpreted from techniques in Kata, implicated according to a given condition
REI Literally,"respect." Used as a command to compel a bow. REIGIEtiquette. Also REISHIKI
REINOJI DACHIA stance with feet making a 'L-shape'
RENSHILiterally, "a person who has mastered oneself." This person is considered an expert instructor. This status is prerequisite before attaining the status as KYOSHI. Renshi "has a name." Renshi is no longer one of the many, so to speak. Renshi is usually given at yodan to rokudan.
ROKUNIEnough. Also JUUBUN. RONINLiterally, warriors or samurai without a master. Renegade.
SAGI ASHI DACHI One Leggged Stance. Also GANKAKU DACHI or TSURU ASHI DACHI SAI An Okinawan weapon
SAKA Slanted SAKI SAKU Tip or point Made as in fabricated
SAMURAI Japanese warrior or the warrior class SANBON KUMITE Three step sparring
SANBONSUGI"Three cedars"(hamon with repeating three peaks) SANCHIN DACHI Hour-glass Stance
SASHITE Raising of the hand either to strike, grab, or block SAYA Sword scabbard
SAYANORA Good bye SEIKEN Forefist
SEIRYUTOBull Strike. A hand technique delivered with the base of the SHUTO (Knife hand)
SEIZA Proper sitting position SEMPAIA senior student. Most often, senior student present.
SEN NO SENSimultaneous attack SENSEITeacher
SEPPAWashers or spacers SEPPUKURitual suicide
SHIAIEvent SHIDOINAssistant in the sense of being a formally recognized Instructor who has not yet been recognized as a master instructor.
SENSEI SHIHANFormal title as in "master instructor" or "teacher of teachers." HANSHI is "wise" or sage-like, hence the common translation of "master." SHINAN may be an alternative pronunciation.
SEN SEN NO SEN Pre-emptive attack SHIKKAKUDisqualification
SHIKO DACHI Square Stance. A stance often used in Goju-Ryu & Shito-Ryu. SHIRO White
SHIZENTAI Natural Position. The body remains relaxed but alert. SHOBU Start especially as in start of a match
SHOJI Movable wall/door SHOMEN Front or top of head. Designated front of the dojo.
SHUKU quot;Bright and early." Also TSUTONI. SHUTO TEKnife-hand block. Name used before advent of sport karate. Used to describe one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO. Also SHUTO UKE.
SHUTO UKE Knife-hand Block SOCHIN DACHI Immovable Stance. Also FUDO DACHI
SOKUTO Edge of foot,often used to refer to the side thrust kick SOTO (UDE) UKEOutside (Forearm) Block. Also SOTO YOKO TE used before advent of sport karate. Used to describe one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO. Also UCHI UDE UKE.
SUKUI TE Name used before advent of sport karate. Used to describe one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.Also SUKUI UKE.
SUKUI UKEScooping Block
SUWARI WAZATechniques from a sitting position TABISplit-toed socks.
TACHILong sword worn with cutting-edge down TAI SABAKI Body movement/shifting
TAIMING GA OSOI "Improper timing" TAKABORI High relief carving
TAMAHAGANE Raw steel for making swords TAMESHIGIRI Cutting test
TANTO Dagger with blade less than 12 inches TARU To be enough. Also TARIRU
TATAMI Literally,"Rice straw mat." The size also used as unit of measurement. TATE EMPIUpward Elbow Strike
TATE Vertical TATE URAKEN UCHI Vertical back-fist attack
TATE ZUKI Vertical Punch. A fist punch with the palm along a vertical plane TEIJI DACHIStance with the feet in a 'T-shape.'
TEIRYUU Halt/stop TEISHO UCHI Palm Heel Strike
TO Sword TOBI GERI Jump Kick
TOGARI Pointed TOGI Sword polish or polisher. Also CHOJI OIL
TONFA A farm tool developed into a weapon by the Okinawans TORANAI "No Point" TSUBA Sword guard TSUKA Sword handle
TSUKA-ITOHandle wrapping or tape TSUKAMI WAZACatching technique. A blocking technique by seizing the opponent's weapon, arm, or leg. Used often for grappling techniques
TSUKI Punch or thrust (especially an attack to the midsection) TSUKURI Sword. Also ZUKURI
TSUKURU Made by or produced by TSUNAGI Wooden sword blade to display fittings
TSURU ASHI DACHI Crane Stance Also GANKAKU DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI. TSURUGI Double edged, straight sword
TSUSHINLiterally, "full of spirit." In the Zen sense, to be mindful.
TSUZUKETE"Fight On!" TUITE Grappling skills
UCHIGATANAFighting katana UCHI (UDE)UKEInside (Forearm) Block
UCHI MAWASHI GERI Inside Roundhouse Kick UCHI YOKO TE Name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO. Also SOTO UDE UKE.
UCHIKO Fine powder used to clean sword blades UKE Block
UKEMI WAZA Breakfall techniques UMAHorse
URA ZUKIAn upper cut punch used at close range URAKENBack Knuckle
USHIRO EMPI UCHI Striking to the rear with the elbow USHIRO GERI Back Kick
WA-UKEBlock where the path taken is similar to the yoko-uke. Imagine wiping a wall in front of you with your palm in a half-circle. At the end of the block the hand is angled slightly to the outside.
WAKARIMASU/-senTo understand/ to not understand WAKIZASHIShort sword (blade 12-24 inches)
WAREOpening in the steel. Hole or flaw. WARI-BASHIChopsticks. Also WARI-KOGAI
WAZATechnique(s) WAZAARI "Half point"
YA-HAZUArrow notch shaped hamon YAKIBAHardened, tempered sword edge
YAKI-IREFast quenching of sword (tempering) YAMA ZUKIMountain Punch. A wide U-shaped dual punch.
YAMEStop! (Sometimes pronounced "Ya-MEN-ne") YANONE Arrow head
YARISpear YASUMI or YASUMELiterally, "rest." A term used by the instructor to have the students relax, normally following a long series of drills.
YOKO GERI KEAGESide Snap Kick. Also YOKO KEAGE. YOKO GERI KEKOMISide Thrust Kick. Also referred to as YOKO KEKOMI YOKO
MAWASHI EMPI UCHI Striking with the elbow to the side YOKO TOBI GERI Flying Side Kick
YOROIDOSHIArmor piercing tanto YOWAI"Weak Focus"
ZANSHINLiterally "remaining mind/heart," specifically "following through" in a technique so that one is prepared to respond to additional attacks.
ZASeated, sitting ZA-REIThe traditional Japanese bow from the kneeling position.
ZAMAWOMIROSee what happens! ZENKUTSU DACHIForward Stance
ZORICurved. Also can mean Japanese slippers. ZUKURISword
This link takes you to an excellent dictionary source.