glossary of terms

the majority of dojos around the world use japanese terminology for the various techniques and principles taught in the class; the main advantage of this, aside from retaining a sense of tradition, is that it allows students to train in countries all over the world using a common language. for beginners, the techniques will also be both described and referred to by english equivalents, although the japanese terms are soon picked up throughout training. below is a brief list of common terms used in the dojo, with their equivalent english terms.

stances (dachi)
left - hidari
right - migi
front stance - zen kutsu dachi
back stance - ko kutsu dachi
horse stance - kiba dachi
immovable stance - fudo dachi
cat-foot stance - neko ashi dachi
natural (ready) stance - shizen tai (yoi)
half-moon stance - hangestu dachi
cross-leg stance - kosa dachi
freestyle stance - jiyu dachi
attention stance - musubi dachi


blocking techniques (uke-waza)
rising block - age uke
outside-inside block - soto uke
down (sweeping) block - gedan barai
inside-outside block - uchi uke
knife-hand block - shuto uke
sweeping (deflecting) block - nagashi uke
back-of-hand block - haishu uke
back-of-forearm block - haiwan uke
two-handed separating block - kakiwake uke
two-handed augmented block - morote uke
x-block - juji uke
vertical knife-hand block - tate-shuto uke
hooking block - kake uke


arm techniques
fist - seiken
punch - tsuki/zuki
stepping punch - oi zuki
reverse punch - gyaku zuki
jab punch - kizami zuki
spear-hand strike - nukite
backfist strike - ura-ken
knife-hand strike - shuto
vertical knife-hand - tate shuto
ridge hand strike - haito
hammer fist strike - tetsui
palm-heel strike - teisho
single-knuckle strike - ippon ken
elbow strike - empi


leg techniques
kick - geri
front (snap) kick - mae geri (keage)
front thrust kick - mae geri kekomi
roundhouse kick - mawashi geri
reverse roundhouse kick - ura-mawashi geri
spinning roundhouse kick - ushiro-mawashi geri
side thrust kick - yoko geri kekomi
side snap kick - yoko geri keage
back kick - ushiro geri
knee - hiza
jumping kick - tobi geri
double kick - ren geri
foot sweep - ashi-barai


sparring (kumite)
head level - jodan
stomach level - chudan
lower level - gedan
five-step sparring - gohon kumite
three-step sparring - sanbon kumite
one-step sparring - ippon kumite
one-step semi-free sparring - jiyu ippon kumite
free sparring - jiyu kumite
no score - torimasen
thirty seconds remaining - atoshibaraku
half-point score - waza-ari
full-point score - ippon
ippon from two waza-ari - awasete ippon


other terms
basic training - kihon
"spirit focus", a focusing shout - kiai
"decision", focus - kime
bow - rei
take natural/ready stance - yoi
stop - yamae
turn - mawate
begin - hajime
quiet personal meditation - mokuso
proper kneeling position - seiza
relax - naore