Dictionary

In Shotokan Karate-do, as in many another Japan-based martial art, all of the terms used in the Dojo are in the native tongue - Japanese. These pages attempt to provide acceptable interpretations of terms.

Click this link for a very good general purpose English-Japanese dictionary

A B C D E F G H I  J  K M N O R S T U W Y Z

Japanese

English

Age Uke Upper Rising Block
Age Zuki Upper Rising Punch
Aka Red
Aoi Blue
Ai Ki Harmonious Spirit
Ashi Foot
Ashi Barai Foot Sweep
Ashi Ura Sole of Foot
Ashikubi Ankle
Atama Head
Ate Strike
Atemi Striking
Awase Combined
Azato (1827/8 - 1906) Master Yasutsune Azato was one of the two most important teachers of Master Funakoshi. Note Master Azato shares his forename with Master Itosu.

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Japanese

English

Bassai-dai (Kata) To Storm a Fortress
Bitei Coccyx
Bo Long Staff
Bojutsu Long Staff Techniques
Bokken Wooden Sword
Budo Martial Way
Bugei Martial Arts
Bunkai Application (of moves from Kata)
Bushi Warrior Class
Bushido Way of the Warrior

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Japanese

English

Cha-iroi Brown
Cha-iroi Ichi Shiroi Brown and White (stripe implied, for belt colours)
Cha-iroi Ni Shiroi Brown and Double White (stripes implied, for belt colours)
Chinte (Kata) Chinese Hands
Choku Zuki (or Tsuki) Straight Punch
Chudan Middle Level
Chui Foul (as in competition)

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Japanese

English

Dachi Stance
Dai (as in Bassai-dai) Major
Dan Level (or Man)
Do Way
Doji Simultaneous
Dojo Place of the Way; Training Place

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Japanese

English

Embusen Line(s) of movement (in Kata)
Empi Elbow (anatomical - also name of Kata Empi
Empi Uchi/Uke Elbow Strike/Block
Engetsu Uke Circle Foot Block
Enoy Spirit of getting ready
Eri Collar

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Japanese

English

Fudo Dachi Rooted Stance
Fumikomi Stamping kick
Funakoshi ((November?) 1868 - April 26th, 1957) Gichin Funakoshi - the master, and founder of modern Karate-do

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Japanese

English

Gamae Withdrawing
Gankaku (Kata) Crane on a Rock
Gasshuku Training Camp
Gedan Lower Level
Gedan Barai Downward Block
Gedan Zuki Lower Level Punch
Geri Kick
Gi Training Clothes
Gojushiho (-sho, -dai) (Kata) Fifty-four Steps
Gohon Kumite Five Attack Sparring
Go No Sen Technique where opponent is tricked to attack first, exposing themselves to counter-attack
Gyaku Reverse
Gyaku Zuki Reverse Punch

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Japanese

English

Hachiji Dachi Naural Stance
Hai Yes
Haishu Back-hand
Haishu Uke Back-hand Block
Hajime Begin
Haisoku Instep of foot
Haito Ridge Hand
Haito Uchi Ridge Hand Strike
Haiwan Back-arm
Hajime Begin
Hangetsu (Kata) Half Moon
Hangetsu Dachi Half Moon (or Wide Hour Glass) Stance
Hanmi Half Front (45 degrees, facing opponent)
Hanshi Master - honourary title for the highest black belt in an organisation
Hansoku-make Lose - referring to losing by transgressing rules of a competition
Hara Belly
Harai Te Sweeping arm technique
Haiwan Back-arm
Hayai Fast
Heian Kata's (Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan) The Five Heian Kata's, derived from Kanku-dai
Heisoku Dachi Informal Attention Stance
Hichu Adams Apple
Hidari Left
Hikite Both Hands retracting
Hikiwake Draw
Hiku Pull
Hiraken Back-hand-knuckle strike
Hiza Knee
Hiza Geri Knee Kick
Hizagashira Kneecap
Hombu Main Dojo
Hon Basic, fundamental
Horan No Kamae 'Egg in nest' ready position, as in Kata Bassai-dai
Hyosh Timing

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Japanese

English

Iee Iie No
Ippon One
Ippon Ken One-knuckle Fist
Ippon Nukite One Finger Spear Hand
Itosu (1830/32 - 1916) Master Yasutsune Itosu was one of the two most important teachers of Master Funakoshi. Note Master Itosu shares his forename with Master Azato.

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Japanese

English

Ji'in (Kata) Temple Grounds, or Gardens
Jikan Time (as in calling time in competion)
Jion (Kata) From the Temple of Jion
Jitte (Kata) Ten Hands
Jiyu Dachi Free Stance
Jiyu Ippon Kumite Semi-free One-attack Sparring
Jiyu Kumite Free Sparring
Jo Short staff
Jodan Upper Level
Jogai Out of bounds
Joko Slow
Juji Uki X-Block

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Japanese

English

Ka Student
Kachikake Point of jaw
Kaeshi Counter attack
Kaeshu Ippon Kumite Counter attack, semi-free sparring
Kage Uki Hook Block
Kage Zuki Hook Punch
Kai Style
Kaisho Open hand (palm)
Kaiten Rotating
Kakae Te Trapping block
Kakato Heel
Kakiwake Uke Wedge Block
Kake-te (or Kake Waza) Hooking technique
Kakushi Waza Hidden techniques
Kakuto Wrist
Kamaete Get Ready
Kami Hair
Kan Hall
Kanazawa (1931 - ) Hirokazu Kanazawa, successor to Master Funakoshi
Kanku (-sho, -dai) (Kata) Look to the Sky
Kansetsu Waza Joint lock techniques
Kappo Techniques for resuscitating people suffering from shock to nervous system
Kara Empty
Karate Empty Hand
Kasumi Temple
Kata Form, or Formal Exercise
Katana Long curved sword
Kawashi Evasion
Keagi Snap
Keichu Back of neck
Keiko Joined fingertips
Keito Uke Chicken-head Wrist-block
Kekomi Thrust
Kempo Fist Law (in Chinese: Chuan Fa)
Ken Fist
Kensei Technique carried out with silent Kiai
Kesa Geri Diagonal kick
Ki Inner Strength
Kiai Shout
Kiba Dachi Horse riding Stance
Kihon Basics
Kihon Ippon Kumite Basic One Attack Sparring
Kime Focus (Tension and Relaxation)
Kin Geri Groin Kick
Kinteki Testicles
Kiroi Yellow
Kizami Zuki Jabbing Punch
Ko Small, lesser
Ko Bo Ittchi The idea of attack and defence as a unified event
Kobore Tibia
Kohai Junior (to oneself)
Koken Wrist joint
Kokoro Spirit in the heart
Kokutsu Dachi Back Stance
Kosa Crossing
Kosa Uke Crossing Block
Koshi Ball of the Foot
Koshin Rearward
Kuatsu Resuscitation of person unconcious from strangulation or shock
Kubi Neck
Kumade Bear Hand
Kumite Sparring
Kun Oath
Kuroi Black
Kyoku Breathing
Kyosen Solar plexus
Kyoshi Master instructor
Kyototsu Sternum
Kyu Grade (or Boy)
Kyusho Waza Pressure point techniques

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Japanese

English

Ma-ai Distance
Ma-ai Distance/timing (in respect to one's partner)
Mae Front
Mae Geri Front Kick
Mae Ukemi Forward roll
Makiwara Striking Post
Manabu Method of learning by copying what you see
Manji Uke Double arm block (one Gedan Barai, one Judan Uchi Uke)
Mata Top of thigh
Matte Wait
Mawashi Geri/Zuki Roundhouse Kick/Punch
Mawat-te Turn
Meikyo (Kata) Bright Mirror
Midori Green
Migi Right (opposite to Left)
Mikazuki Geri Crescent Kick
Mimi Ears
Mokuso Meditation. A pause for reflection to clear one's mind
Moroashi Dachi Semi-forward stance
Morote Augmented
Morote Uke Augmented Block
Morote Zuki Augmented Punch
Moto Dachi Short forward stance (e.g. as achieved in Heian Sandan when pulling back for Tetsui Uchi
Mudansha Non-blackbelt students
Mune Chest
Murasaki Purple
Musubi Dachi Attention stance (as before Rei), feet at 45 degrees

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Japanese

English

Nagashi Uke Sweeping Block
Nage Waza Take-down techniques
Naginata Pole-arm weapon with blade at one end
Moroashi Dachi Semi-forward stance
Naiwan Uke Inside (of) arm block
Nami Ashi Inside Leg Block
Neko Ashi Dachi Cat Stance
Nidan Geri Double Kick
Nihon Nukite Two-finger Spear Hand
Nijushiho (Kata) Twenty-four Steps
Nukite Spear hand
Nunchaku Okinawan weapon (two sticks with chain or rope connecting them at one end)

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Japanese

English

O Big
Obi Sash, or Belt
Oi Zuki Stepping Punch
Okinawa Influential home of Japanese Karate
Onaji The same
Onegai Shimasu "I ask of you..." (e.g. a polite precursor to asking a question of Sensei or a training partner)
Orenji Orange
Osae Pressing
Osae Uke Pressing Block
Oss General term, predominately meaning "Yes, I understand", but is also used for "Thank-you", or "Hello"
Osu Push
Otoshi Dropping (e.g. Otoshi Empi)
Oyayubi Ippon Ken Thumb knuckle

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Japanese

English

Rei Respect, invariably demonstrated with a bow
Reigi Ettiquette
Renoji Dachi 'L' stance
Rensei Practice tournament
Renshi Master of oneself (usually applied to an expert instructor)
Ren Zuki Combination Punching
Ryo Both
Ryoken Both Fists
Ryowan Both Arms
Ryu School

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Japanese

English

Sae Rei Tu Line up
Sagi Ashi Dachi One-legged stance
Sai Okinawan weapon
Sakotsu Collar bone
Sanbon Kumite Three Attack Sparring
Sanbon Shobu Three-point match (competition)
Sanbon Zuki Triple punch
Sanchin Datchi (Narrow) Hour Glass Stance
Sasae Prop
Sashi Ashi Stepping Over
Sashite Raising the hand to strike, block or grab
Seiken Fore Fist
Seiryuto Ox-jaw (block or strike with base of Shuto
Seiza Kneeling Position
Sempai Senior student
Sen No Sen Attack at exactly same time as opponent
Sen Sen No Sen Attack before opponent (pre-emptive)
Sensei Teacher (One who has gone before)
Seppuku Japanese ritual suicide
Shiai Contest (e.g. match in competition)
Shidoin Assistant instructor, not yet a Sensei
Shihan Teacher of teachers
Shiko Dachi Square stance
Shime waze Choking/strangling techniques
Shiroi White
Shizentai Natural stance
Sho (as in Bassai-sho) Minor
Shobu Official contest
Shomen Front or top of head, but also used to refer to front of the Dojo, as in Shomen Rei!
Shoto Pine Waves (Master Funakoshi's pen-name)
Shotokan Hall of Shoto
Shushin Referee
Shuto Knife Hand
Shuto Uchi Knife Hand Strike
Sochin (kata) Immovable Stance
Sochin Dachi Immovable, Straddle-leg Stance (from Sochin Kata)
Sode Sleeve
Soete Open Hand
Sokumen Side
Sokuto Side of Foot
Soto Ude Uke Outside Forearm Block
Sukui Scooping
Sutemi Sacrifice
Suwari Waza Sitting position techniques

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Japanese

English

Tachi Long, single-edged curved Samurai sword
Tai Body
Tai Sabaki Body-shifting
Taikyoku Shodan (Kata) First Cause
Tai Sabiki Body Shifting
Tameshiwara Test by Breaking
Tanto Short dagger, often used in Seppuku
Tate Vertical
Te Hand
Teiji Dachi T-Stance
Teisho Palm Heel
Tekki Iron Horse, or Iron Knight
Tekki Shodan, Nidan, Sandan (Katas) Tekki Katas of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels
Tekubi Wrist
Tento Top of head
Tettsui Bottom/Hammer Fist
Tettsui Uchi Bottom Fist Strike
Te Wazza Hand Techniques
Tobi Jumping
Tokui Favourite
Tomoe Stomach
Tonfa Farm implement used as weapon by Okinawans
Tora Tiger
Tsukami Grasping, or catching
Tsumasaki Tips (of Fingers or Toes)
Tsuru Ashi Dachi Crane Leg Stance
Tuite Grappling

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Japanese

English

Uchi Strike
Uchi Ude Uke Inside Forearm Block
Ude Forearm
Uke Block
Ukemi Waza Breaking fall techniques
Uki Ashi Dachi Stance akin to cat stance (Neko Ashi Dachi), used in the Kata Hangetsu
Unsu (Kata) Hands Like a Cloud
Ura Zuki Close-quarter Punch
Uraken Back Fist
Ushiro Back
Ushiro Geri Back kick

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Japanese

English

Wa Harmony
Wakizashi Short sword, about 3/4 length of Katana
Wan Arm
Wankan (Kata) Kings Crown
Washide Eagles beak hand
Waza Technique
Waza-ari Half point (in competition)

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Japanese

English

Yama Zuki Wide U-Punch
Yame Stop
Yari Polearm weapon with straight blade
Yoi Ready
Yoko Side
Yoko Empi Side Elbow (Strike)
Yoko Geri Side Kick
Yubi Finger
Yudanshi Blackbelt
Yusei-gachi Winner (of competition)

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Japanese

English

Zanchin Awareness
Za-rei Traditional bow from kneeling position
Zenkutsu Dachi Front Stance
Zenshin Forward
Zori Japanese-style slippers
Zuki (or Tsuki) Punch