Useful Terminology


Aka: Red
Ao - Blue
Ashi-barai: Foot sweep
Budo: Way of combat
Bunkai: To Break Down (Used in Application of Kata)
Dachi: Stance
DoGi: Uniform
Dojo: Hall that teaches 'The Way'
Dozo: Please
Embusen: Floor pattern/lines of a kata
Geri: Kick (Used after the type of kick ie Mae Geri)
Gohon Kumite: Five-step sparring
Ippon kumite: One-step sparring
Jiyu kumite: Free sparring
Kamae: Posture
Karate Do: The Way of Karate
Karate: Empty Hands
Karateka: Practitioner of Karate
Kata: Forms, prearranged sequence of moves.
Keri waza: Kicking Techniques
Kiai: Spirit shout/focus or spiritual energy
Kihon: Fundamentals/Basics
Kime: Focus
Kohai: Junior
Kumite: Sparring/fighting
Kyu: Rank
Maai: Distance
Mokuso: Meditation
Obi: Belt
Onegai Shimasu: "I welcome you to train with me"
Osu: Yes, No, Hello, I understand - It has dozens of uses in the dojo and means something like "Yes, i'm with you with full spirit, lets get 'em"'. Not used in wider Japanese language, Only in the Dojo!
Rei: Bow
Sempai: Senior
Sensei: Teacher "One who has gone before" (One must not address themselves with the title)
Shihan: Master (One must not address themselves with the title)
Shiro: White
Shotokan: "House of Shoto"; Pen name of Funakoshi Sensei
Tai-sabaki: Body shifting
Tsuki (Zuki): Strike where the forearm is going in the direction of the fist.
Uchi: Strike where the forearm is not going in the line of the fist (Usually circular techniques)
Uke: To receive ie Block
Waza: Technique
Yame: Stop
Yori-ashi: Sliding the feet
Zanshin: Poise and control, focus your mind.


Ichi: One 
Ni: Two 
San: Three 
Shi: Four 
Go: five 
Roku: Six 
Shichi: Seven 
Hachi: Eight 
Ku: Nine 
Ju: Ten 
NiJu: Twenty 
Ippon: First


Fudo dachi: Unmoveable Stance
Hachiji dachi: Open-legged Stance (Yoi)
Hangetsu dachi: Half Moon Stance or Wide Hour-glass Stance
Kiba dachi: Straddle (Horse) Stance with toes forward
Kokutsu dachi: Back Stance
Kosa dachi: Cross-Legged Stance
Musubi dachi: Informal Attention Stance (feet in "V")
Neko-ashi dachi: Cat Stance
Renoji dachi: "L" Stance
Shiko dachi - Horse stance with toes 45 degrees
Shizen-tai dachi: Natural Stance
Zenkutsu dachi: Front Stance



Chudan: Neck to Belt level
Gedan: Below the belt level
Gyaku: Reverse
Hidari: Left
Jodan: Head high level
Mae: Front
Mawashi: Round
Migi: Right
Soto: Outer
Uchi: Inner
Ushiro: Back
Yoko: Side



Age uke: Rising block
Empi uke (or Hiji uke): Elbow block
Gedan Barai: Downward sweeping block
Gedan uke: Down block
Haishu uke: Back-hand block
Juji uke: X block
Manji uke: Vortex Block
Morote uke: Augmented block
Nagashi uke: Sweeping block
Shuto uke: Knife block
Soto ude uke: Outside froearm block
Tate Shuto uke: Vertical knife-hand block



Fumikomi geri: Stamp kick
Hiza geri: Knee kick/strike
Mae geri keage: Front snap kick
Mawashi geri: Round house kick
Nidan geri: double kick
Soto mikazuki geri: Outside crescent kick
Tobi geri: Flying kick
Uchi mikazuki geri: Inside crescent kick
Ushiro geri: Back thrust kick
Ushiro mawashi geri: Reverse round house kick
Yoko geri keage: Side snap kick
Yoko geri kekomi: Side thrust kick



Age tsuki: Rising punch
Choku tsuki: Straight punch
Gedan tsuki: Down punch
Gyaku tsuki: Revese punch
Ippon Ken tsuki: One-knuckle fist punch (Hangetsu)
Kagi tsuki: Hook punch
Kizami tsuki: Jab
Morote tsuki: Parallel punch
Oi tsuki: Lunge punch
Oi-gyaku tsuki: Lunging revese punch
Otoshi tsuki: Dropping punch (Empi)
Ren tsuki: Double punch
Sanbon tsuki: triple punch
Ura tsuki: Close punch
Yame tsuki: Wide "U" punch, Mountain Punch


Empi Uchi: Elbow Strike
Nukite Uchi: Spear Hand Strike
Shuto Uchi: Knife Hand Stike
Tate Empi Uchi: Upward Elbow Strike
Teisho Uchi: Palm Heel Strike
Tettsui: Hammer-fist strike
Uraken Uchi: Backfist Strike


Competition Terminology

Aiuchi: Indicating simultaneous attacks; thus, no score.
Aka no kachi / Shiro no Kachi: Indicating red or white is the winner.
Aka/Shiro/Ao: Indicating the red and white and blue competitor.
Ato shibaraku: Alerting the competitors that there is only 30 seconds of time left in the match.
Awasete ippon: To indicate that score added together makes a full point.
Chui: A formal warning.
Hansoku: Disqualifying a competitor from the match. (Note – the announcement of `shikkaku’is used for more serious disqualifications and removes someone from the entire tournament).
Hantei: Indicating decision time.
Hayai: Indicating that one attack is faster than the other (in an exchange of blows).
Hikiwake: Indicating a draw.
Ippon: To indicate a full point (a blow with the potential to `finish’).
Jogai: Indicating out of the area.
Keikoku: Cautioning one or both of the competitors.
Kiken: To indicate a withdrawal of competitor/competitors.
Maai: Indicating that distancing was wrong; hence, no score.
Moto no ichi: Telling competitor(s) to return the start positions ie the line
Mubobi: Indicating non-defending.
Nakai - Competitiors to enter the tatami (mat) (Not used often in competition now)
Nukete-masu: Indicating an attack missed the target.
Otagai ni rei: Asking competitors to bow to each other.
Renzoku-waza: To indicate a combination technique.
Sai Shiai: Indicating a rematch.
Sai-Sai Shiai Indicating a secondary rematch.
Sakidori: Indicating a “sudden death” match, in a second rematch situation; that is, the first competitor to score will win the match.
Senshu seiretsu: Announcing the competitors to line up before or after a match/event
Shipa ni rei: Bow to referees and judges (Not done at many tournaments now)
Shobu hajime: Beginning the match
Shomen ni rei: Asking competitors to bow to the front.
Shugo: Indicating a call a meeting between the corner judges and centre referee.
Torimasen: Indicating no point is to be awarded.
Tsuzukete hajime: To restart the match.
Tsuzukete: Telling the competitors to `fight on’ (continue) if one or both stops during the match.
Ukete-masu: Indicating that an attack was blocked.
Waza-ari: To indicate a half point
Yame: To stop a match.
Yowai: Indicating that an attack was too weak to score.