AGE UKERising Block.
AGE ZUKI Rising Punch.
AI-UCHI Simultaneous actions of two opponents making the same movements at the same time.
ASHI WAZAName given to all leg and foot techniques
ATEMI WAZAStriking techniques that are aimed at vital or weak points of an opponents body.
BASSAITo storm a fortress.
BOStaff. A long stick used as a weapon (approximately 6 feet long).
BUDOMartial way(The way of combat). Budo is concerned with the physical and spiritual training offered through the study and practice of the martial arts.
BUNKAIA study of the techniques and applications in Kata.
BUSHIWarrior. Name given to all the warriors who made up families with a warror tradition.
CHOKU ZUKIStraight Punch.
CHUMiddle, centre.
CHUDANMiddle level. Chest height.
CHUDAN ZUKIA punch to the mid-section of the opponent's body.
DAIGreat, big.
DAISHOThe name given to the pair of swords carried by Samurai. or Bushi. These generally consisted of a Katana (or O-dache) and a Wakizashi (or Kodachi).
DAN Lever, Rank or Degree. Black Belt rank. Ranks under Black Belt are called KYU ranks.
DO Way/path. The Japanese character for "DO" is the same as the Chinese character for Tao (as in "Taoism"). In Karate, the connotation is that of a way of attaining enlightenment or a way of improving one's character through traditional training.
DOJO Literally "place of the Way." The place where we practice Karate. Traditional etiquette prescribes bowing in the direction of the designated front of the dojo (SHOMEN) whenever entering or leaving the dojo.
DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA Japanese for "thank you very much." At the end of each class, it is proper to bow and thank the instructor and those with whom you've trained.
EKKUA Wooden oar used by the Okinawans which was imporovised as a weapon.
EMBUSEN Floor pattern of a given Kata.
  1. One the Black Belt level Kata, translated as "The Flight of a Swallow".
  2. Elbow. Sometimes referred to as HIJI.
EMPI UCHIElbow strike (also called HIJI-ATE)
FUDO DACHIImmovable Stance. Also referred to as SOCHIN DACHI.
FUMIKERI Kick using the cutting edge of the foot (sokuto).
FUMIKOMI Stamping kick.
GANKAKU DACHI Crane Stance, sometimes referred to as TSURU ASHI DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI. Used in the advanced kata Gankaku (A crane on a rock).
GASSHUKUA special training camp.
GEDAN Lower level.
GEDAN BARAI Downward Block.
GEDAN ZUKIA punch to the lower section of the opponent's body.
GETAWooden clogs worn by the Japanese in wet weather. In karate training, heavy metal geta are sometimes worn to perform kicking techniques in order to strengthen all the muscles involved.
GI Also known as DOGI, KEIKOGI and KARATE-GI. Uniform worn for training. In most traditional Japanese and Okinawan Karate Dojo, the GI must be white.
GOHON KUMITE Five step basic sparring. A form of prearranged kumite. The attacker steps in five consecutive times with a striking technique with each step. The defender steps back five times, blocking each technique. After the fifth block, the defender executes a counter-strike.
GO NO SEN The tactic where one allows the opponent to attack first so to open up targets for counteracttack.
GYAKU MAWASHI GERI Reverse Round-house Kick.
GYAKU ZUKI Reverse Punch.
HACHIJI DACHI A natural stance, feet positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed slightly outward.
HAI "Yes".
HAISHU UCHI A strike with the back of the hand.
HAISHU UKEA block using the back of the hand.
HAITO UCHI Ridge-hand Strike.
HAJIME "Begin". A command given to start a given drill, Kata, or Kumite.
HAMNIBody position where hips are at 45 degrees. As in blocking.
HANGETSU A Black Belt level Kata.
HANGETSU DACHI "Half-Moon" Stance.
HANSHI "Master." An honorary title given to the highest Black Belt, signifying their understanding(Kokoro) of their art.
HARABelly. The body's inner centre of gravity and the source of energy-KI which is located about 4cm below the naval.'Deep' breathing must take place from the hara.
HARAI-TE Sweeping technique with the arm.
HASAMI ZUKI Scissor Punch.
HEIKO DACHI A natural stance. Feet positioned about one shoulder width apart, with feet pointed straight forward. Some Kata begin from this position.
HEIKO ZUKI "Parallel Punch" (A double, simultaneous punch).
HEISOKU DACHI An informal attention stance. Feet are together.
HIDARI "Left".
HIJI "Elbow", also known as Empi.
HIJI-ATE Elbow strike (also called EMPI-UCHI)
HIJI UKE A blocking action using the elbow.
HIKI-TE The retracting (pulling and twisting) arm during a technique. It gives the balance of power to the forward moving technique. It can also be used as a pulling technique after a grab, or a strike backward with the elbow.
HIZA GERI Knee Kick.
HIZA UKE A blocking action using the knee.
HOMBU DOJO A term used to refer to the central dojo of an organization.
IPPON KEN "One Knuckle Fist".
IPPON_KUMITE One attack sparring.
IPPON NUKITE A stabbing action using the extended index finger.
IPPON SHOBU One point match, used in tournaments.
IRIMI Body position where hips are 90 degrees i.e. hip position in kokutsu dachi.
JIYU IPPON KUMITE One step free sparring.
JIYU KUMITE Free Sparring.
JOWooden staff about 4'-5' in length.
JODAN Upper level.
JUJI UKE X Block. Arms are crossed at the wrists.
JUN ZUKI Another term for OI-ZUKI. Normally used to refer to a punching technique following a kick. The same arm is used as the advancing leg.
KAGI ZUKI Hook Punch.
KAISHO Open hand. This refers to the type of blow which is delivered with the open palm. It can also be used to describe other hand blows in which the fist is not fully clenched.
KAKE-UKE Hook Block.
KAKIWAKE A two handed block using the outer surface of the wrist to neutralize a two-handed attack, such as a grab.
KAKUSHI WAZA "Hidden techniques."
KAKUTO UCHI Wrist joint strike. Also known as "KO UCHI."
KAKUTO UKE Wrist Joint Block. Also known as KO UKE.
KAMAE A posture or stance either with or without a weapon. KAMAE may also connote proper distance (Ma-ai) with respect to one's partner. Although "KAMAE" generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important prallel in Karate between one's physical and one's psychological bearing. Adopting a strong physical stance helps to promote the correlative adoption of a strong psychological attitude. It is important to try so far as possible to maintain a positive and strong mental bearing in Karate.
KARATE-DO "The Way of Karate". This implies not only the physical aspect of Karate, but also the mental and social aspects of Karate.
KARATEKA A practitioner of Karate.
KATA A "form" or prescribed pattern of movement.
KEAGE Snap Kick. (Literally, Kick upward).
KEIKOTraining. The only secret to success in Karate.
KEKOMI Thrust Kick ( Literally, Kick Into/Straight ).
KEMPO "Way of the Fist." A generic term to describe fighting systems that uses the fist. In this regard, KARATE is also KEMPO.
KENSEI The technique with silent KIAI. Related to meditation.
KENTSUI Hammer Fist Also known as TETTSUI.
KERI Kick.
KI Mind. Spirit. Energy. Vital-force. Intention. (Chinese "chi") The definitions presented here are very general. KI is one word that cannot be translated directly into any language.
KIAI A shout delivered for the purpose of focusing all of one's energy into a single movement. Even when audible KIAI are absent, one should try to preserve the feeling of KIAI at certain crucial points within Karate techniques. Manifestation of KI (simultaneous union of spirit and expression of physical strength).
KIBA DACHI Side Stance or 'horse riding stance'.
KIHONFundamental. Basic techniques.
KIME Focus of Power.
KOHAI A student who practises under the direction of a 'Sempai'.
KOKEN Wrist Joint.
KOKORO "Spirit, Heart." In Japanese culture, the spirit dwells in the Heart.
KOKUTSU DACHIBack Stance where most of the body weight is on the rear leg.
KOSA DACHI Crossed-Leg Stance.
KUMADE Bear hand.
KYU "Grade". Any rank below Shodan.
KYUSHO WAZA Pressure Point techniques.
MA-AI Proper distancing or timing with respect to one's partner. Since Karate techniques always vary according to circumstances, it is important to understand how differences in initial position affect the timing and application of techniques.
MAE Front.
MAE EMPI Forward Elbow Strike.
MAE ASHI GERI Kicking with the front leg.
MAE GERI KEAGE Front Snap Kick.
MAE GERI KEKOMI Front Thrust Kick.
MAKIWARAA straw pad fixed to a pole used in training punching and striking techniques and for conditioning of the hands.
MAKOTO A feeling of absolute sincerity and total frankness, which requires a pure mind, free from pressure of events.
MANABU "Learning by imitating." A method of studying movement and techniques by following and imitating the instructor.
MANJI UKE A Double block where one arm executes GEDAN BARAI to one side, while the other arm executes JODAN UCHI UKE (or JODAN SOTO YOKO TE).
MATTE "Wait".
MAWASHI GERI Roundhouse Kick.

MAWASHI ZUKI Roundhouse Punch.
MAWASHI EMPI UCHI Circular Elbow Strike. Also referred to as MAWASHI HIJI ATE.
MAWASHI HIJI ATE Circular Elbow Strike. Also referred to as MAWASHI EMPI UCHI.
MAWAT-TE A command given by the instructor for students to turn around.
MIKAZUKI GERI Crescent Kick.
MOKUSO Meditation. Practice often begins or ends with a brief period of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to clear one's mind and to develop cognitive equanimity. Perhaps more importantly, meditation is an opportunity to become aware of conditioned patterns of thought and behavior so that such patterns can be modified, eliminated or more efficiently put to use.
MOROTE ZUKI U-Punch. Punching with both fists simultaneously. Also referred to as AWASE ZUKI.
MOROTE UKE Augmented Block. One arm and fist support the other arm in a block.
MUSHIN "No Mind." The state of being that allos freedom and flexibility to react and adapt to a given situation.
MUSUBI DACHI An attention stance with feet pointed slightly outward.
NAGASHI UKE Sweeping Block.
NAKADAKA IPPON KEN Middle Finger Knuckle.
NAMI-GAESHI Returning Wave. Foot technique found in Tekki Shodan to block an attack to the groin area. The technique can also be used to strike the opponent's inner thigh or knee.
NIHON NUKITE Two finger stabbing attack.
NIDAN Second Level, as in Second Degree Black Belt.
NIDAN GERI Double Kick.
NUKITE Spear Hand.
NUNCHAKU An Okinawan weapon consisting of two sticks connected by rope or chain. This was originally used by the Okinawans as a farm tool to thrash rice straw.
OBI A belt.
OI-ZUKI Lunge Punch.
OSAE UKE Pressing Block.
OTOSHI EMPI UCHI An elbow strike by dropping the elbow. Also referred to as Otoshi Hiji Ate.
REI "Respect". A method of showing respect in Japanese culture is the Bow. It is proper for the junior person bows lower than the senior person.
REISHIKI Etiquette. Observance of proper etiquette at all times (but especially observance of proper DOJO etiquette) is as much a part of one's training as the practice of techniques. Observation of etiquette indicates one's sincerity, one's willingness to learn, and one's recognition of the rights and interests of others.
RENSHI "A person who has mastered oneself." This person is considered an expert instructor. This status is prerequisite before attaining the status as KYOSHI. Renshi "has a name." Renshi is no longer one of the many, so to speak. Renshi is usually given at yodan to rokudan, depending on the system.
SAGI ASHI DACHI One Leg Stance. Also referred to as GANKAKU DACHI or TSURU ASHI DACHI.
SAI An Okinawan weapon that is shaped like the Greek letter 'Psi' with the middle being much longer.
SANBON KUMITE Three Step Sparring.
SANCHIN DACHI Hour-glass Stance.
SASHITE Raising of the hand either to strike, grab, or block.
SEIKEN Forefist.
SEIRYUTO Bull Strike. A hand technique delivered with the base of the SHUTO (Knife hand).
SEIZA A proper sitting position. Sitting on one's knees. Sitting this way requires acclimatization, but provides both a stable base and greater ease of movement than sitting cross-legged. It is used for the formal opening and closing of the class.
SEMPAI A senior student.
SEN NO SEN Attacking at the exact moment when the opponent attacks.
SEN SEN NO SENAttacking before the opponent attacks. Preemptive attack.
SENSEI Teacher. It is usually considered proper to address the instructor during practice as "Sensei" rather than by his/her name. If the instructor is a permanent instructor for one's DOJO or for an organization, it is proper to address him/her as "Sensei" off the mat as well.
SHIAI A match or a contest (Event).
SHIDOIN Formally recognized Instructor who has not yet be recognized as a SENSEI. Assistant Instructor.
SHIHAN A formal title meaning, approximately, "master instructor." A "teacher of teachers." Hanshi is "wise" or sage-like, hence the common translation of "master." Shinan may be an alternative pronunciation.
SHIKO DACHI Square Stance. A stance often used in Goju-Ryu and Shito-Ryu.
SHIZENTAI Natural Position. The body remains relaxed but alert.
SHOMEN Front or top of head. Also the designated front of a Dojo.
SHUTO TE Same as SHUTO UKE. This name was used before the advent of sport karate. Used to describe one of the techniques in BOGYO ROKU KYODO.
SHUTO UKE Knife-hand Block.
SOCHIN DACHI Immovable Stance. Also referred to as FUDO DACHI.
SOKUTO Edge of foot. This term is often used to refer to the side thrust kick.
SOTO (UDE) UKE Outside (Forearm) Block.
SUKUI UKE Scooping Block.
SUWARI WAZA Techniques from a sitting position.
TAI SABAKI Body movement/shifting.
TATE EMPI Upward Elbow Strike.
TATE ZUKI Vertical Punch. A fist punch with the palm along a vertical plane.
TATE URAKEN UCHI Vertical back-fist attack.
TEIJI DACHI A Stance with the feet in a 'T-shape.'
TEISHO UCHI Palm Heel Strike.
TEISHO UKE Palm Heel Block.
TETTSUI UCHI Hammer Strike. Also called KENTSUI.
TOBI GERI Jump Kick.
TONFA A farm tool developed into a weapon by the Okinawans.
TSUKAMI WAZA Catching technique. A blocking technique by seizing the opponent's weapon, arm, or leg. Used often for grappling techniques.
TSUKI A punch or thrust (esp. an attack to the midsection).
TSURU ASHI DACHI Crane Stance, also referred to as GANKAKU DACHI and SAGI ASHI DACHI.
TUITE Grappling skills.
UCHI MAWASHI GERI Inside Roundhouse Kick.
UCHI (UDE) UKE Inside (Forearm) Block.
UKEMI WAZA Breakfall techniques.
URA ZUKI An upper cut punch used at close range.
URAKEN Back Knuckle.
USHIRO EMPI UCHI Striking to the rear with the elbow.
WAZA Technique(s).
YAMA ZUKI Mountain Punch. A wide U-shaped dual punch.
YAME Stop!
YASUMI Rest. A term used by the instructor to have the students relax, normally following a long series of drills.
YOI Ready.
YOKO Side.
YOKO GERI KEAGE Side Snap Kick. Also referred to as YOKO KEAGE.
YOKO GERI KEKOMI Side Thrust Kick. Also referred to as YOKO KEKOMI.
YOKO MAWASHI EMPI UCHI Striking with the elbow to the side.
YOKO TOBI GERI Flying Side Kick.
YOWAI "Weak Focus"
YUDANSHA Black belt holder (any rank).
ZANSHIN Lit. "remaining mind/heart." Even after a Karate technique has been completed, one should remain in a balanced and aware state. ZANSHIN thus connotes "following through" in a technique, as well as preservation of one's awareness so that one is prepared to respond to additional attacks.
ZA-REI The traditional Japanese bow from the kneeling position.
ZENKUTSU DACHI Forward Stance.
ZENSHIN Forward.