Published On: Tue, Feb 18th, 2020

Karate General Terminology

Greetings & Affirmations

  • Hai – Yes
  • Rei – Bow
  • Sayonara – Goodbye
  • Domo – Thank You (Informal)
  • Domo Arigato – Thank You (Formal)
  • Shomen ni: Face towards the front
  • Sensei ni: Face towards the teacher
  • Seiretsu: Line up by rank
  • Seiza: Meditation position-kneeling
  • Mokuso: Meditate/Gather Your Thoughts

Counting

  1. Ichi
  2. Ni
  3. San
  4. Shi
  5. Go
  6. Roku
  7. Shichi
  8. Hachi
  9. Ku
  10. Ju

Directions

  • Mae: Front
  • Yoko: Side
  • Ushiro: Back
  • Mawashi: Round
  • Jodan: Head high level
  • Chudan: Mid-high level
  • Gedan: Low level; Down
  • Migi: Right
  • Hidari: Left
  • Gyaku: Reverse
  • Age: Rising
  • Uchi: Inner
  • Soto: Outer

General Commands

  • Yoi: Ready
  • Hajime: Begin
  • Yame: Stop
  • Yasume: Relax (or ready position)
  • Mawatte: Turn around

General Vocabulary

  • 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)
  • 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 – Elbow
  • Empi-Uchi – Elbow Strike
  • Gedan – Low
  • Geri – Kick
  • Gi – Uniform
  • 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
  • Keage – Snap
  • Kekomi – Thrust
  • 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.
  • 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

Karate Requirements

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