Terminology

Counting

  1. Ichi - One  
  2. Ni - Two 
  3. San - Three 
  4. Shi or Yon - Four
  5. Go - Five
  6. Roku  -Six
  7. Shichi  - Seven
  8. Hachi  - Eight
  9. Ku or Kyu  - Nine
  10. Ju  - Ten

Starting a class

  • Seiza - Kneel 
  • Mokuso - Meditate 
  • Mokuso Yame - Stop Meditating 
  • Sensei ni Rei Bow  - to Sensei 
  • Kiritsu  - Stand Up 
  • Rei - Bow

Karate stances

  • Heisoku Dachi - Formal Closed Foot Stance (i.e. heels and toes together, hands by side of body)
  • Musubi Dachi  - Formal Open Foot Stance (i.e. heels together, toes pointing out at 45 degrees, hands by side of body)
  • Heiko Dachi - Feet Apart (Hip Width), Feet Parallel
  • Hachiji Dachi - Feet Apart (Hip Width), toes pointing out at 45 degrees.
  • Yoi - Ready Position (Parallel Stance), hands out in front of body.
  • Uchi-Hachiji Dachi (Niafanchi Dachi) - Feet Apart (Shoulder Width), toes pointing IN at 45 degrees.
  • Zenkutsu Dachi  - Forward-Stance ("Standard Stance)
  • Moto Dachi - Similar to Zenkutsu Dachi, but shorter, and front knee only partially bent.
  • Neko Ashi Dachi - Cat Foot Stance
  • Ukiashi Dachi - Similar to Neko Ashi Dachi, but more upright, and with a loose-floating front foot.
  • Kokutsu Dachi - Looking Back Stance
  • Sanshin Dachi - Hourglass (Inward Tension) Stance
  • Shiko Dachi - Sumo Stance (feet pointing out at 45 degrees)
  • Kiba Dachi - Horse Stance (feet parallel)
  • Kosa Dachi - Hooked Leg Stance (both legs bent, one knee tucked-in behind the other)
  • Sagi Ashi Dachi - Heron Foot Stance (supporting leg straight, the foot of the other leg either resting beside, behind or in front of the knee of the supporting leg) 
  • Renoji Dachi - Stance resembling the letter "L”.
  • Shizen Dachi - Natural Stance

Striking / Punching

  • Zuki / Tsuki - Punch
  • Uchi - Strike
  • Jodan Zuki  - Head Level Punch
  • Chudan Zuki - Mid Level Punch
  • Gedan Zuki - Low Level Punch
  • Age Zuki - Rising Punch
  • Choku Zuki - Straight Punch
  • Gyaku Zuki - Opposite Punch (e.g. left leg forwards but punching with the right hand, or vice versa) 
  • Oi Zuki - Stepping Punch
  • Heiko Zuki - Parallel Punch
  • Kagi Zuki - Hook Punch
  • Kizami Zuki - Snap / Jab Punch
  • Maeken Zuki - Front Hand Punch
  • Mawashi Zuki - Roundhouse Punch
  • Nakadaka Ippon Ken Zuki - Middle Finger Knuckle Punch
  • Nihon Zuki - Double Punch
  • Ura Zuki - Upper Cut Punch
  • Empi Uchi - Elbow Strike
  • Haishu Uchi - Backhand Strike
  • Haito Uchi - Ridge Hand Strike
  • Kote Uchi - Forearm Strike
  • Ko Uchi - Bent Wrist Strike
  • Nukite Uchi - Spearhand Strike
  • Shotei Uchi - Palm Heel Strike
  • Shuto Uchi - Knife Hand Strike (the Karate chop!)
  • Tettsui Uchi - Hammerfist Strike
  • Ura Ken Uchi - Backfist Strike

Kicking Techniques

  • Geri - Kick
  • Mae Geri  - Front Kick
  • Yoko Geri - Side Kick
  • Mawashi Geri - Roundhouse 
  • Ushiro Geri - Back Kick
  • Ura Mawashi Geri - Back / Reverse Roundhouse Kick
  • Ura Yoko Geri - Spinning Side Kick
  • Mikazuki Geri - Crescent Kick
  • Kakato Geri - Axe Kick
  • Hiza Geri - Knee Strike
  • Ashi Barai - Foot Sweet
  • Kin Geri - Groin Kick
  • Fumikomi Geri - Heel Stamp Kick
  • Tobi Geri - Jumping Kick
  • Haisoku - Instep (as used for roundhouse kick)
  • Hiza - Knee (as used for knee strikes)
  • Josokutei - Ball of the foot (as used for front kick)
  • Kakato - Heel of the foot (as used in back kick and heal stamp kick)
  • Sokuto - Edge / Blade of the foot (as used in side kick)

Blocking Techniques

  • Uke - Block
  • Age Uke - Rising Block
  • Soto Uke - A block from the inside (centre) of the body, towards the outside of the body.
  • Uchi Uke - A block from the outside of the body, towards the inside (centre) of body.
  • Gedan Barai - A sweeping low level block from the inside (centre) of the body towards the outside of the body.
  • Gedan Uchi Barai - A sweeping low level block from the outside of the body towards the inside (centre) of the body.
  • Shuto Uke - Knife-Hand Block
  • Sukui Uke - Scooping Block
  • Ura Uke - Back-of-Hand Block
  • Morote Uke - Double Forearm (Reinforced) 
  • BlockJuji Uke - Cross (or "x”) Block
  • Shotei Uke - Palm Heel Block
  • Otoshi Uke - Dropping Forearm Block
  • Kake Uke - Open Hand Hooking Block
  • Empi Uke - Elbow Block
  • Hiza Uke - Knee Block

General Terminology

  • Ashi o kaete - Change legs (stance)
  • Ashi Tanden - Leg conditioning
  • Atemi - The art of striking vital points
  • Budo - The martial way or path
  • Bushi - Martial warrior
  • Bushido - The way of the warrior (code of conduct)
  • Bunkai - Applications of kata
  • Chudan - Middle area
  • Dan - A level of competence in the martial arts, above the basic. A Dan grade must be awarded to a karate practitioner before he or she may wear a black belt.  In a reputable school, Dan Grade Black Belts are only awarded when the student has reached a good level of competence. The first level of black belt (Shodan) could be seen as graduation from primary school level, with each subsequent black belt being equivalent to graduation from middle school, high school, bachelor degree, masters degree and doctorate level!  The black belt is thus seen not so much as an end, but rather as a beginning, a doorway to advanced learning: the individual now "knows how to walk" and may thus begin the "journey."
  • Dojo - Martial arts training place
  • Gasshuku - Martial arts training camp
  • Gedan - Lower area
  • Gi - Karate uniform
  • Go - Hard / Rigid
  • Gyaku - Reverse
  • Hara - Central point of body
  • Hajime - Start / Begin
  • Hai - Yes
  • Hidari - Right
  • Honbu Dojo - Main dojo
  • Iie - No
  • Ju - Soft / Flexible
  • Junbi Undo - Warm-up exercises
  • Kamaete - On-guard
  • Kamae - Fighting stance
  • Karate - Empty hand
  • Karate-do - The way of Karate
  • Karateka - A person who practises Karate

General Terminology 

  • Ki - Spirit / Energy
  • Kata - A series of pre-determined techniques
  • Kiai - A shout to focus spirit and energy
  • Kihon - Basic techniques
  • Kime - Focus
  • Kohai - Junior Student
  • Kyu A junior grade in the martial arts, Kyu-level practitioners are, by the Japanese, considered to be "mudansha” (that is, "initiates”, not even students; "mu” literally means "nothing”).
  • Mawatte - Turn around
  • Menkyo Kaiden - Licence of Total Transmission. It is a certificate granted by a school meaning that the recipient has learned everything that the school can teach, and is therefore licensed to pass on all aspects of their training.
  • Migi - Right
  • Obi - Belt
  • Ryu - School or tradition
  • Samurai - A member of the Japanese warrior class (feudal era)
  • Seiken - Fist with the emphasis on the first two knuckles
  • Sempai - Senior student / lower dan grade
  • Sensei - Instructor / Teacher
  • Shihan - Master instructor
  • Soke - Headmaster or Head of Family.  The singular leader of a school or style of martial art. The term "Soke” does not necessarily mean the founder of the martial art, although many current Soke are both founders and Soke.
  • Soto - Outside (inside to outside)
  • Tanden - Strength centre of body
  • Te - Hand
  • Uchi - Inside (outside to inside)
  • Uchi Dechi - A Japanese term for a student who lives at a Dojo (or the home of his Sensei), to train under and assist a Sensei on a full-time basis.  The term literally means "inside student” ("uchi” = inside, "dechi” = "student”)
  • Ude Tanden - Arm conditioning
  • Yame - Stop
  • Zanshin - Awareness in defence or attack