Karate A-Z

As we’re a traditional Shotokan Karate club, Japanese language and terminology is an important part of our training.

Although there’s a long list of words and phrases, everyone quickly becomes familiar with the more common, frequently used ones. And hearing, understanding and speaking them are soon second nature.

This A-Z of terms should prove a useful source of reference whatever your grade.

(Which means: "I understand" or "I follow". It is also used to show respect to Sensei as you bow and enter the dojo.)


Age zuki  Punch (rising) . AKA Furi zuki

Age uke  Block (rising)

Ago  Chin/jaw

Ai  Together/combined/harmony

Ai gamae  Guard up (opposite side of opponent L/R-R/L)

Ai uchi  Score (simultaneous technique) but neither scores

Aikidô  Way (of harmony)

Aite  Partner

Aka  Red

Aka no kachi  Victory for Red

Ashi  Foot/leg

Ashi barai  Foot sweep

Ashi kubi  Ankle

Ashi no kô  Instep

Ashi no yubi   Toes

Ashi uke  Block (leg)

Ashibo kake uke  Block (foot-stick hooking). AKA Sokubo kake uke

Ashikubi kake uke        Block (ankle hooking)

Atama  Head

Atatta   Contact

Ate waza  Smashing/striking technique with kime

Atenai yo ni  Private warning

Atoshibaraku  Thirty seconds to the end of the match

Awase zuki  Punch (‘U‘)

Awasete ippon  Score (two waza ari are equal to one ippon)


Bassai uke  Block (first block in Bassai Dai). AKA Sasae uchi uke

Bassai-Dai  Kata (to ‘penetrate a fortress’: big)

Bassai-Sho  Kata (to ‘penetrate a fortress’: small)

Bôgyo  Defence/protection

Budo  Martial way

Bumbu fuki  Literary arts and martial arts cannot be separated

Bunkai  Kata techniques (formal application of)

Bushi  Warrior

Bushido  Way of the warrior


Chakugan  Fixing of the eyes

Chichi  Nipple

Chikara no kyôjaku  Strength and weakness of power

Chinte  Kata (rare hand)

Choku zuki  Punch (straight)

Choyaku hangeki  Jumping and countering

Chudan  Level (middle)

Chudan kamae  Guard up (middle level). AKA Chudan gamae

Chui  Warning (written)


Dachi   Stance

Dan  Rank/step (master level)

De ai  Block (direct counter movement against an attack: to run into)

De ashi  Foot forward moving

Deai osae uke  Block (run Into pressing/stepping in)

Deshi  Student

Do  Way

Do kyaku  Leg (moving)

Dôhai  One's equal

Dojo  School or training hall (to seek or continue the way)

Dôkan  The way is a circle


Empi  Kata (flying swallow)

Empi  Elbow

Empi uchi  Strike (elbow). AKA Hiji ate

Enbusen  Kata (performance line/shape of)

Enchôsen  Extra fight to be fought

Eri zukami  Grasp (collar)


Fudo dachi  Stance (diagonal feet straddle leg). AKA Sochin dachi/ rooted stance

Fudôchishin  Immovable wisdom

Fujubun  Judge/ref does not accept there was a score

Fukushin  Judge/corner judge

Fumidashi  Step forward

Fumikiri  Kick (cutting)

Fumikomi  Kick (stamping)

Fumikomi age uke  Block (stepping in, raising/upward)

Fumikomi shuto uchi  Block (stepping in sword/knife hand)

Fumikomi uke  Block (stepping in)

Fumikomi uchi ude uke  Block (stepping in, inside)

Furi wake barai  Block (dividing sweep). AKA Ryowan gedan barai

Fuse haito uchi  Strike (turndown ridge of hand)

Fuse shuto uchi  Strike (turndown sword/knife hand)


Gaiwan  Forearm (outside of)

Gaiwan gedan uke  Block (outside of forearm)

Gaiwan kakiwake uke  Block (use the outside of your forearm to push aside)

Gaiwan nagashi uke  Block (flowing outside of arm)

Gaman  Patience/endurance

Gankaku  Kata (crane on a rock)

Gankaku gamae  Guard up (crane on a rock, ready position)

Gassho uke  Block (joined palm). AKA Teisho uke/Teisho awase uke

Gassuku  Lodging together (training for long hours)

Gawa              Side

Gedan  Level (lower)

Gedan barai  Block (downward)

Gedan kake uke  Block (downward hooking)

Gedan kamae  Guard up (lower level). AKA Gedan gamae

Gedan kesage  Kick (lower level downward) as in Bassai Dai/Sho

Gedan nagashi uke  Block (downward sweeping)

Gedan senpu braai  Foot (sweep at lower level) Whirlwind

Gi  Uniform (Karate suit)

Go Five

Go ju  Fifty

Go no sen  Seizing the initiative later

Goju Sho Ho Dai  Kata (fifty-four steps: big)

Goju Sho Ho Sho  Kata (fifty-four steps: small)

Goshin  Self-defence

Gyaku gamae  Guard up (same side as the opponent L/R-L/R)

Gyaku hanmi  Body position (upper body and legs face opposite ways)

Gyaku hanmi kaeshi dori  Grasp (reverse half-body return)

Gyaku kaiten  Rotation reverse

Gyaku kokutsu dachi  Stance (reverse back)

Gyaku mawashi geri  Kick (reverse roundhouse)

Gyaku mawashi hiza ate           Strike reverse roundhouse (with your knee)

Gyaku mawashi hiza geri  Kick (reverse roundhouse knee)

Gyaku mawashi otoshi kakato uke  Block (reverse circular dropping heel)

Gyaku mawashi shittsui geri  Kick reverse roundhouse (knee hammer)

Gyaku zenkutsu dachi  Stance (reverse front)

Gyaku zuki  Punch (reverse)


Hachi   Eight

Hachi ji dachi  Stance (ready). Like the character for 8 toes pointing out

Haimen hasami uchi  Strike (rear scissors) using the little finger side of the fist. AKA Ushiro hasami uchi

Haishu  Hand (back of)

Haishu age uchi  Strike (back of hand rising) as in Nijushiho

Haishu haito uchi  Strike (back of hand rising)

Haishu juji uke  Block (back of hand ‘X’). AKA Ryosho jiji uke

Haishu sasae uke  Block (supported back of hand). First block in Bassai Sho

Haishu uchi  Strike (back of hand)

Haishu uke  Block (back of hand)

Haisoku  Instep (literally ‘back of the foot’)

Haisoku ashi barai  Foot (Sweep with the instep)

Haito  Hand (ridge of)

Haito kakiwake uke  Block (sword-ridge push aside)

Haito sukui nage  Block (sword-ridge tripping up)

Haito uchi  Strike (ridge of hand)

Haito uke  Block (ridge of hand)

Haiwan  Forearm (back of)

Haiwan gedan uke  Block (back of forearm)

Haiwan nagashi uke Block (back of) forearm sweep as in the Tekki katas

Haiwan nagashi uke  Block (flowing back of arm)

Haiwan uke  Block (back of arm)

Hajime  Begin/start

Hana  Nose

Hangetsu  Kata (half-moon)

Hangetsu dachi  Stance (half-moon) wide hourglass

Hanmi  Body position (hips are at 45 degree angle)

Hansoku  Violation of the rules

Hansoku chui  Warning (written)

Hansoku make  Disqualification for violation of the rules

Hantei  Referee asks the judges for a decision (end of match)

Happo kumite  Sparring (eight directions against several opponents)

Hara  Energy centre (approximately 3cm below the belly button). AKA Tanden

Hasami uchi   Strike (scissors)

Hasami uke  Block (scissors)

Hasami zuki  Punch scissors (fists converging, facing each other)

Hatsuun jindô  Parting clouds pass by – seek your way

Hayaku  Quickly/fast

Heian kata  (Peaceful Mind), series of five katas

Heiko dachi  Stance (feet are parallel) shoulder width apart

Heiko ura zuki  Punch (parallel, palm up)

Heiko zuki  Punch (parallel)

Heisoku dachi  Stance (informal attention) heels together, toes together

Henka waza  Changing technique

Hidari  Left

Hidari gamae  Guard up (left leg forward ready to fight position)

Hiji  Elbow

Hiji ate  Elbow strike (Also Empi uchi)

Hiji barai  Block (elbow) sweeping

Hiji nagashi uke  Block/punch. AKA Tsuki uke (as in kata Unsu)

Hiji suri uke  Block (elbow) sliding

Hiji uke  Block (elbow)

Hiki ashi  Foot (withdrawing)

Hiki te   Hand (withdrawing)

Hikiwake  Draw

Hineru  Twist/twirl

Hira haito uchi  Strike (flat ridge of hand)

Hira shuto uchi  Strike (flat turndown sword/knife)

Hiraken  Fist (flat) knuckles are bent only until the third ones

Hirate barai  Block (flat hand) sweep

Hirate nagashi uke  Block (flowing flat hand)

Hirate sasae uke  Block (supported flat of hand). AKA Teisho sasae uke

Hitai  Forehead

Hito kata sannen  One kata, three years

Hiza  Knee

Hiza ate  Strike (with your knee)

Hiza geri  Strike/kick (knee). AKA Hizagashira

Hiza shita  Level (below the knee)

Hiza uke  Block (knee)

Hizagashira  Kneecap

Hyaku  One hundred

Hyôshi  Rhythm


Iaidô  Way (of drawing the sword)

Ichi  One

Ichi byô shi  In one breath (at the same time)

Ido  Movement

Ikken hissatsu  Kill with one blow

Ippon  Score (full point)

Ippon ken  Fist (one knuckle)

Ippon ken furi otoshi uchi  Strike (one knuckle swinging drop) as in Chinte kata

Ippon nukite  Strike (One finger)

Irimi  Lunging

Irimi bo osae uke  Block (two handed tiger mouth stick): Ryosho koko bo uke



Ji'in  Kata (love and shadow)

Jiku ashi  Foot pivoting

Jinchu  Upper jaw (actual target for jodan attacks)

Jion  Kata (love and goodness)

Jisei  Self control

Jissen  Real fight

Jitte  Kata (ten hands)

Jiyu gamae  Guard up (freestyle position)

Jiyu ippon kumite  Sparring (one attack)

Jiyu kumite  Sparring (free)

Jo dori  Cane taking

Jô sokutei  Ball of the foot (literally ‘top part of the sole’) 

Jo zukami  Grasp (cane)

Jodan  Level (face)

Jodan kamae  Guard up (higher level). AKA Jodan gamae

Jodan shuto juji uchi  Strike (upper level crossed wrist)

Jôgai  Warning (out of match area)

Jôgai chui  Warning (out of match area). Written

Jôhô  Direction (up)

Jôtai  Upper body

Ju  Ten

Ju ichi  Eleven

Ju ni  Twelve

Judô  Way (gentle, soft)

Juji gamae  Block (with crossed arms)

Juji uke  Block (crossed arms)

Jun kaiten  Rotation following

Jushin no antei  Stability at the centre of gravity



Kachi  Victory

Kadô  Way (of flowers). Flower arrangement

Kaeshi ippon kumite  Sparring (countering one step)

Kagi gamae  Guard up (with hook punch)

Kagi zuki  Punch (hook)

Kahanshin  Lower body

Kahô  Direction (down)

Kaimoku Open your eyes

Kaisho waza  Hand (open hand techniques)

Kaishu  Hand (open)

Kaishu yama gamae  Guard up (open hands mountain kamae)

Kaiten  Rotation 

Kaiun no te  Hand (open cloud)

Kakaekomi  To carry in one's arm

Kakato  Heel

Kakato ashi barai  Foot (sweep with the heel)

Kakato geri  Kick (downward) heel

Kakato uke  Block (heel)

Kake shuto uke  Block (hooking sword/knife hand)

Kake uke  Block (hooking)

Kakiwake uke  Block (reverse wedge from inside out), pushing aside

Kakiwakeru  Block (to push aside)

Kakuto  Wrist (bent), ‘crane head’

Kakuto uchi  Strike (wrist bent, ‘crane head’)

Kakuto uke  Block (wrist bent)

Kamaete  Position, go into 

Kami  Hair

Kami zukami  Grasp (hair)

Kan  Cold/midwinter. AKA Samui

Kangeiko  Cold/midwinter training

Kanibasami  Leg (crab scissors)

Kanku Dai  Kata (to view the heavens: big) 

Kanku Sho  Kata (to view the heavens: small)

Kansa  Arbitrator/inspector

Kansetsu uchi  Strike (joint)

Kara  Empty

Karada  Body evasion

Karada no shinshuku  Extension and contraction of body

Karate dô ichiro  Karate-Do/One way

Karate ni sente nashi  There is no ‘first attack’ in Karate

Kasumi  Temple (literally haze/mist)

Kata  Form/shoulder

kata ashi dachi  Stance (one leg)

kata hiza dachi  Stance (one knee) 

Kata no roku yôso  Six elements of kata

Kata shiai  Kata (competition area)

Kata uke  Block (shoulder)

Kawashi geri  Kick (while diving on the floor). AKA Kasei geri (Unsu)

Kawasu  Avoid/dodge

Keage  Snap

Keiko  Training/practice

Keikoku  Warning (private)

Keito  Wrist (chicken head)

Keito uchi  Strike (wrist bent chicken head)

Keito uke  Block (with the wrist) chicken head

Keito uke nagashi  Block (flowing chicken head)

Kekomi  Thrust

Ken  Fist

Ken zen ichi  Karate and zen are a unit

Kendô  Way (of the sword)

Keri  Kick (also known as geri)

Keri waza  Kicking techniques in general

Kesa geri  Kick (diagonal). AKA Yoko tobi geri

Ki  Energy

Ki o tsuke  Attention! Caution!

Kiai  Combined energy (spirit yell)

Kiba dachi  Stance (straddle-leg)

Kigamae  Guard up (from the energy source)

Kihon gohon kumite  Sparring (basic), five step

Kihon ippon kumite  Sparring (basic), one step

Kihon sanbon kumite  Sparring (basic), three step

Kikaku  Spirit/soul

Kiken  Competitor renounces to fight (gives-up)

Kime  Focus

Kime waza  Finishing technique

Kin geri  Kick (between the legs), testicles

Kintama  Testicles

Kirikae  Switch over/change

Kirikaeshi  Counterattack

Kiritsu  Stand-Up/rise

Kisei  Rising energy

Kishin no yôi  Preparation of the temperament

Kiso  Fundamentals

Kiso waza  Fundamental techniques

Kitsutsuki no kamae  Guard up (woodpecker guard), as in Gojushiho-Dai

Kizami Gyaku zuki   Punch (reverse leading hand)

Kizami mae geri  Kick forward (leading-leg)

Kizami mawashi geri  Kick roundhouse (leading-leg)

Kizami zuki  Punch (leading-hand)

Kobudo  Weapons art (general term)

Kôgeki  Attack

Kohai  One's junior

Kôhô  Direction (back)

Koko  Block (tiger mouth)

Koko hiza kuzushi  Block (tiger mouth knee collapser). AKA Morote sukui uke

Kokutsu dachi  Stance (back)

Kokyu  Breathing/respiration

Komekami  Temple

Kosa Dachi  Stance (crossed-leg)

Kosa uke  Block (crossing), simultaneous Uchi uke and Gedan barai

Koshi Foot (ball of the). Literally ‘tiger foot’

Koshi  Hips/Waist

Koshi kamae  Fists to the hips. AKA Koshi gamae

Koshi no kaiten  Rotation hip

Ku  Nine

Kubi  Neck/Head

Kumade  Hand (bear) 

Kumite  To do with sparring

Kumite shiai  Sparring (competition area)

Kyogi kumite  Sparring (competitive)

Kyu  Rank/grade/class (student level)

Kyudô  Way (of the bow)



Ma  Space/room

Ma ai  Distance

Ma ai ga tôi  Distance (too long)

Mae ashi geri  Kick (forward with front leg)

Mae empi uchi  Strike forward (elbow). AKA Mae hiji ate

Mae geri  Kick (front) 

Mae geri keage  Kick front (snap) 

Mae geri kekomi  Kick front (thrust) 

Mae hiza ate  Strike in front(with your knee) 

Mae hiza geri  Kick (front knee)

Mae shittsui geri  Kick forward (knee hammer)

Mae te zuki  Punch with the front fist stationary

Mae tobi geri  Kick (jumping front)

Maki otoshi uke  Block (hooking wrist). AKA Tekubi kake uke

Makiwara  Punching board/post

Man  Ten thousand

Manji gamae  Guard up (one arm face level inside block, the other downward block)

Manji uke  Block (one elbow face level inside block, the other downward block)

Mawari komi  Circling

Mawashi empi uchi  Strike roundhouse (elbow). AKA Mawashi hiji ate

Mawashi geri  Kick (roundhouse)

Mawashi hiza ate  Strike roundhouse (with your knee) 

Mawashi hiza geri  Kick (roundhouse knee)

Mawashi otoshi kakato uke  Block (circular dropping heel)

Mawashi shittsui geri  Kick roundhouse (knee hammer)

Mawashi uchi  Strike (roundhouse). AKA Uraken

Mawashi uke  Block (circular) 

Mawashi zuki  Punch (roundhouse)

Mawatte  Turn

Me  Eye

Me no tsukekata  Focusing the eye

Meikyo  Kata (bright mirror)

Mienai  Could not see

Migamae  To do with upper body positions/guards

Migi  Right

Migi gamae   Guard up (right leg forward ready to fight position)

Migiri  See and cut 

Mikazuki geri  Kick (crescent)

Mimi  Ear

Mizoochi  Solar plexus

Mizu  Water

Mizu nagare  Flowing water principle (fist slightly lower than elbow)

Mizu nagare no kamae  Guard up (water flowing), fist slightly lower than elbow

Mizu no kokoro  Soul like water (being calm while facing an opponent)

Mokuso  Meditation (silent thought)

Mokuso yame  Meditation (end of)

Mondo  Question and answer (between master and student/s)

Morote age uke  Block (two armed) rising

Morote enshin haito barai  Block (two handed centrifugal sword-ridge) AKA Morote haito uke

Morote gedan braai  Block (two handed downward)

Morote haito gedan barai  Block (Two handed lower level sword-ridge) AKA Morote Haito uke

Morote haito uke  Block (two handed sword-ridge)

Morote jo uke  Block (two handed cane)

Morote kaishu gedan uke  Block (two handed open hand lower level)

Morote keito uke  Block (two handed chicken head)

Morote koho tsukiage  Punch (augmented swinging) to the rear as in Heian Godan

Morote koko gamae  Guard up (double handed tiger mouth) as in Bassai Sho (stick block)

Morote koko uke  Block (two handed grasping) 

Morote seiryuto uchi  Strike (two handed ox-jaw/sabre)

Morote shuto uke  Block (two handed sword/knife hand)

Morote sukui uke  Block (augmented scooping). AKA Koko hiza kuzushi as in kata Nijushiho and Wankan

Morote tsukami uke  Block (augmented grasping)

Morote uchi uke  Block (two handed inside outward). AKA Ryowan uchi uke

Morote uke  Block (augmented forearm)

Morote zukami uke  Block (two handed grasping ). AKA Morote zukami uke

Morote zuki  Punch (double fisted)

Moto no ichi  Back to the original position

Mu  Nothing (emptiness)

Mubôbi  Warning (competitor fights without due care)

Mukin shôri  The way to success has no short cuts

Mune  Chest/breast

Mushin  Clear mind (calm spirit)

Musubi dachi  Stance (informal-attention), heels together toes out



Nagashi uke  Block (sweeping/flowing)

Nagashi zuki  Punch (flowing)

Naiwan  Forearm (inside of)

Naiwan gedan uke  Block (inside of forearm)

Naiwan hineri uke  Block (twisting with the inside of the arm) as in kata Sochin

Naiwan kakiwake uke  Block (use the inside of your forearm to push aside)

Naiwan nagashi uke  Block (flowing inside of arm)

Nakadaka ippon ken  Middle finger knuckle out

Nakae  Move to the centre

Nami ashi  Returning wave foot to avoid a sweep. AKA Nami gaeshi

Naname  Diagonal

Naore  Return to yoi 

Neko  Cat

Neko ashi dachi  Stance (cat) 

Ni  Two

Ni ju  Twenty

Nidan tobi geri  Kick (double jump)

Nige ashi dachi  Stance (escape foot). AKA Gyaku zenkutsu dachi

Nihon nukite  Hand (two finger spear)

Nihon ren zuki  Punches (two consecutive)

Niju shi ho  Kata (twenty-four steps)

Nintai  Patience/perseverance

Niren geri  Kick (double)

Nu kete  Technique that missed

Nukite  Hand (spear)

Nusumi ashi Foot (stealing)



Oi komi  Strike (sabre)

Oi zuki  Punch (stepping). AKA Jun zuki

Okuri ashi  Foot (glide) front foot first then other foot

Okuri ippon kumite  Sparring (two attacks in a row)

Okuru   Send

Omote ken  Fist (front)

Osae  Pressing or holding

Osaeru  Block (press down/keep down)

Osae-uke  Block (pressing)

Oshi komi  Push forcefully

Oshi uke  Block (pushing)

Oshiri  Bottom/backside

Otagai ni rei  Bow to one another (usually in class)

Otoshi  Downward

Otoshi empi uchi  Strike downward (elbow). AKA Otoshi hiji ate

Otoshi uchi  Strike (dropping)

Otoshi uke  Block (dropping fist) with horizontal elbow

Otoshi zuki  Punch (dropping)

Owarimasu  To close/end

Oyo kumite  Sparring (application of kata for the street)



Re no ji dachi  Stance (like the character for Re: ‘L’)

Rei  Bow

Ren geri  Kicks alternate (left then right, or right then left). AKA Ren zoku geri

Ren zoku geri  Kicks alternate (left then right, or right then left). AKA Ren geri

Ren zuki  Punches alternate (left then right, or right then left)

Renzoku  Continuation

Renzoku waza  Continuous techniques

Ritsuzen  Meditating (while standing). AKA Tachizen

Roku  Six

Ryo hiji harai age  Sweeping upwards (both elbows parallel) as in Gojushiho Dai kata

Ryo ken ryo koshi gamae  Fists (both fists at both hips)

Ryo ken yama gamae  Guard up (two fists facing each other and elbows at shoulder level)

Ryo sho yama gamae  Guard up (two open hands mountain kamae)

Ryo te  Fuse hands (both, laid flat)

Ryo yoko gedan barai gamae  Block (double sided lower level)

Ryoken juji uke  Block (double fisted ‘X’)

Ryoken ryo soku gedan barai  Block (double sided lower level). AKA Ryowan gedan barai

Ryosho juji uke  Block (open handed X). AKA Haishu juji uke

Ryosho koko bo uke  Block (two handed tiger mouth stick). AKA Irimi bo osae uke

Ryosho ryosoku gedan barai  Block (double sided lower level open hands). AKA Shuto furi wake uke

Ryosho Tsukami uke  Block (two handed grasping)

Ryoude mawashi uke  Block (two armed circular)

Ryowan Gedan braai  Block (double sided lower level). AKA Ryoken ryo soku gedan barai

Ryowan uchi uke  Block (two armed), from inside moving outward. AKA Morote uchi uke

Ryuun no uke  Block (flowing clouds) as in kata Gojushiho Sho



Sadô  Way (of tea), tea ceremony

Saho  Etiquette

Sahô Direction (left)

San  Three

San ju   Thirty

Sanbon ren zuki  Punches (three consecutive)

Sanbon zuki   Punch (triple)

Sanchin dachi  Stance (hourglass) 

Sasae uchi uke  Block (first block in kata Bassai Dai)

Sasae uraken gamae  Guard up (elbow supported by the other hands back of fist) 

Sayu  Left and right

Seika tanden  Focus point. AKA Hara and Tanden

Seikaku ni  Exactly/precisely/accurately

Seiken  Fist (fore)

Seiretsu  Line-up

Seiryuto awase uke  Block (combined ox-jaw/sabre hand)

Seiryuto uchi  Strike (ox-jaw hand)

Seiryuto uke   Block (ox-jaw/sabre hand)

Seiza  Formal Japanese upright kneeling position

Sempai  One's senior (instructor/assistant or senior student)

Sen  One thousand

Sen no sen  Seizing the initiative early

Senaka  Back to the original position

Sensei  Instructor/master/idol (someone who shows the way). Not only an instructor

Sensei ni rei  Bow to the instructor

Sentei kata  Kata (chosen)

Seppuku  Cutting the Hara (ritual suicide by disembowelment). AKA Hara kiri

Shaho sashi ashi  Step (diagonally stealthy)

Shi/Yon  Four

Shiai  Tournament/match area

Shiai kumite  Sparring (sense of Budo as in Jiyu ippon/Jiyu kumite)

Shichi/Nana   Seven

Shihan  Master instructor (sixth Dan or higher)

Shihon nukite  Strike (four fingers spear hand)

Shikkaku  Disqualification from the competition

Shiko dachi  Stance (square), feet pointing at 45 degrees

Shin  Mind/heart

Shin gi tai  Spirit technique body

Shingi ichinyo  Spirit and the technique are one

Shinpan  Judges/decision

Shinpan ni rei  Bow to the judges

Shinza ni rei  Bow to honour the ancestors of the art

Shiro  White

Shiro no kachi  Victory for White

Shitei kata  Kata (compulsory)

Shittsui  Knee hammer

Shizentai  Natural Position

Sho  Palm

Sho sukui uke  Block (open handed scooping)

Shobu  Contest for victory or defeat

Shobu ippon  Victory (or) defeat by one point

Shobu sanbon  Victory (or) defeat by three points

Shodô  Way (of writing) calligraphy

Shomen  The front

Shomen ni rei  Bow to the front of the dojo

Shorei   Kata style (powerful/strong)

Shorin  Kata style (fast/dynamic) 

Shoshin o wasurezu  Remember the spirit/humility of a beginner

Shubo  Forearm (literally ‘arm stick’)

Shugo  Call the judges to a meeting/discussion

Shushin  Chief referee/umpire

Shuto age uke  Block sword/knife hand rising)

Shuto awase uke  Block (combined sword/knife hand)

Shuto furi wake uke  Block (double sided lower level sword hands). AKA Ryosho ryosoku gedan barai

Shuto gamae  Guard up (arms positioned as in sword hand block)

Shuto kakiwake uke  Block (sword hand push aside)

Shuto uchi  Strike (sword/knife hand)

Shuto uchi soto mawashi   Strike (sword/knife hand), revolving outside

Shuto uchi uchi mawashi  Strike (sword/knife hand), revolving inside

Shuto uke  Block (sword/knife hand)

Shutsui  Hand (hammer)

Shuwan  Forearm (underside of)

Sochin  Kata (strength and calm)

Sochin dachi  Stance (diagonal feet straddle leg). AKA Fudo dachi /rooted stance

Soe  Added

Soesho zuki  Punch (added palm), as in Tekki Sandan (punch under the palm)

Soete kake dori  Block (added hand hook grasp) as in kata Kanku Sho

Soete koshi gamae  Hand (added hand at hip kamae)

Soete mae empi uchi  Strike added hand forward (elbow). AKA Soete mae hiji ate

Soete mawashi empi uchi   Strike added hand roundhouse (elbow). AKA Soete mawashi hiji ate

Soete sokumen uke  Block (added hand sideways) as in kata Tekki Sandan

Soete ura zuki  Punch (added hand uppercut), opposite fist under elbow

Soete ushiro empi uchi  Strike added hand backward (elbow). AKA Soete ushiro hiji ate

Soete yoko empi uchi  Strike added hand sideways (elbow). AKA Soete Yoko hiji ate

Sokuhô  Direction (side)

Sokumen  Side

Sokumen awase uke  Block (sideways combined). AKA Teisho aasae uke

Sokumen empi uchi  Strike (elbow) to the side. AKA Sokumen hiji ate

Sokumen morote zuki  Punch (both arms) sideways

Sokumen soete gedan naiwan uke  Block (pushing). AKA Oshi uke

Sokumen soete gedan uchi ude uke  Block (pushing). AKA Oshi uke

Sokutei  Foot (sole of the)

Sokutei mawashi uke  Block (sole of foot), circular

Sokutei osae uke Block (sole of foot), pressing

Sokuto  Foot edge (literally ‘sword of the foot’)

Sokuto ashi barai Foot (sweep with the outer edge)

Sokuto mawashi uchi  Kick roundhouse (with the edge of the foot)

Sokuto mawashi uke  Block (edge of foot), circular

Sokuto osae uke  Block (edge of foot), pressing

Sonoba  Kick (practice on the spot)

Sosoku kari Sweeping (both legs)

Soto gawa Outside

Soto ude uke  Block (outside of forearm)

Suigetsu  Solar plexus (literally ‘water moon’)

Suihei bo dori  Grasp stick (horizontal)

Suihei empi uchi  Strike (elbow) horizontal. AKA Suihei hiji ate

Suihei hiji gamae Guard up (with horizontal elbow) as in kata Tekki Nidan

Sukui uke  Block (scooping)

Sun  Unit of measurement (3.03cm)

Sun dome  Stopping a technique 3cm in front of the target 

Sune  Shin

Sune uke  Block (using your shin)

Suri ashi  Step (glide)

Suru  Strike/rub

Sutemi waza  Technique by falling



Tachi hiza  Stance (one knee). AKA Hiza dachi

Tachikata  Stance/position

Tachizen  Meditating (while standing). AKA Ritsuzen

Tai sabaki  Body evasion

Tai soku ni  To the side of the body

Tameshiwari   Breaking of wood/tiles etc.

Tanden  Focus point. AKA Hara

Tanren kumite  Sparring (drill as in Gohon/Sanbon etc.)

Tate empi uchi  Strike (vertical elbow). AKA Tate hiji ate

Tate shuto uke  Block (vertical sword/knife hand)

Tate uraken uchi  Strike (vertical back of fist)

Tate zuki  Punch (vertical)

Te  Hand

Te nagashi uke  Block (flowing hand)

Te osae uke  Block (hand pressing)

Te waza  To do with hand/s

Te zukami  Grasp (hand)

Tebuki  Wrist

Tei no ji dachi  Stance (like the character for Tei ‘T‘)

Teisho   Palm heel

Teisho age uke  Block (lower palm heel rising)

Teisho awase uke Block (combined lower palm heel). AKA Gassho uke

Teisho awase zuki  Punch (combination) palm

Teisho hasami uchi  Strike (palm heel scissors)

Teisho irimi awase zuki  Punch (combination) palm while pushing the body forward

Teisho otoshi uke  Block (lower palm heel dropping)

Teisho sasae uke  Block (sideways combined). AKA Sokumen awase uke

Teisho uchi  Strike (palm heel)

Teisho uke  Block (lower palm heel). AKA Gassho uke

Teisho zuki  Punch (palm heel)

Teisoku ashi braai  Foot (sweep with the sole of the foot)

Tekki Sho-Dan, Ni-Dan and San-Dan Kata series (Iron Knight) I, II, III

Tekubi  Wrist

Tekubi kake uke  Block (wrist hooking). AKA Maki otoshi uke

Tekubi sokumen kake uke  Block (wrist hooking to the side) as in kata Jitte

Tenchi haito uchi  Strike (heaven and earth sword-ridge)

Tenshin  Turn of the body

Tettsui   Fist hammer. AKA Kentsui

Tettsui uchi  Strike (hammer fist). AKA Kentsui uchi/Shuttsui uchi

Timing ga osoi  Timing was too slow

Tobi  nidan geri  Kick (double jumping), chudan and jodan

Tobi geri  Kick (jumping)

Tôkon  Fighting spirit

Tokui kata  Kata (favourite) 

Toremasen  Referee (does not recognise that a technique scored)

Tsugu  Join together

Tsukami uke  Block (grasping)

Tsukami Yose  Grasping and pulling (as in Bassai-Dai/Sho). AKA Soete Kaki Dori

Tsuki te  Punching hand

Tsuki uke  Block/punch. AKA Hiji nagashi uke (kata Unsu)

Tsuki waza  Punching techniques

Tsumasaki  Tips of the toes

Tsumasaki geri  Kick (with the tips of your toes)

Tsuru  Crane

Tsuru ashi dachi  Stance (crane foot)

Tsuyoku  Strongly/powerfully

Tsuzukete  Continue/fight-on

Tsuzukete hajime  Resume fighting



Uchi gawa  Inside

Uchi hachi ji dachi   Stance (inverted hachi ji dachi, toes inwards). AKA Nai hachi ji dachi

Uchi komi  To drive-in (one person is used as a stationary target by the other)

Uchi ude uke  Block (inside forearm)

Uchi waza  Striking techniques

Ude/Wan  Arm

Ugokizen  Meditating (while moving)

Uhô  Direction (Right)

Uke  Block

Uke gae  Block (changing)

uke waza  Blocking techniques

Unsu  Kata (hands in the clouds)

Ura mawashi geri  Kick (reverse roundhouse)

Ura zuki  Punch (uppercut)

Uraken  Fist (back). AKA Riken

Uraken uchi  Strike (back fist)

Ushiro empi uchi  Strike (backward elbow). . AKA Ushiro hiji ate

Ushiro geri  Kick (back) 

Ushiro hasami uchi  Strike (rear scissors) using the little finger side of the fist. AKA Haimen hasami uchi

Ushiro mawashi empi uchi  Strike (backward roundhouse elbow). AKA Ushiro mawashi hiji ate

Ushiro tettsui hasami uchi  Strike (rear scissors) using the little finger side of the fist. AKA Haimen hasami uchi

Ushiro tobi geri  Kick (back jumping) 



Waki  Side

Wan  Arm. AKA Ude

Wankan  Kata (king and crown)

Wanto  Forearm/sword arm

Washide  Hand (eagle)

Waza ari  Score (almost a full point)

Waza no kankyu  Slowness and quickness of technique

Waza o hodokosu kôki  Golden opportunity to carry-out a technique



Yakusoku kumite  Sparring (predetermined)

Yama gamae  Guard up (arms up, fists facing each other and elbows at shoulder level) as in Jitte kata

Yama uke  Block (mountain) 

Yama zuki  Punch (wide ‘U’). AKA Irimi awase zuki

Yame  Finish/stop

Yame soremade  End of the match

Yasume  Relax and bow

Yoi  Ready/attention

Yoko empi uchi  Strike (sideway elbow). AKA Yoko hiji ate

Yoko gamae  Guard up (sideways kamae)

Yoko geri keage  Kick (side snap)

Yoko geri kekomi  Kick (side thrust)

Yoko sashi ashi  Step (sideways stealthy)

Yoko tobi geri  Kick (jumping sideways). AKA Kesa geri

Yoko uraken uchi  Strike (side back fist)

Yomi  Perceptiveness

Yon ju  Forty

Yori, Yose or Tsugi ashi  Foot (glide) front foot moves before the other foot

Yoru  Approach/draw near

Yoseru  Bring near/gather together

Yowai   Technique too weak

Yubi  Finger

Yuki  Courage

Yukkuri  Slowly

Yumi zuki  Punch (bow) as in Jion



Zanshin  Awareness

Zazen  Meditating (while sitting)

Zen  Meditation/life philosophy

Zengo  Forward and backward

Zenkutsu dachi  Stance (front) 

Zenpô  Direction (front)

Zenwan  Forearm