Japanese Terminology

The format of this page is to give the Japanese term first, then its phonetic pronunciation and then its meaning in English.


Hajime (ha’jeh-may) Begin
Kamae (ka-ma-eh) On guard
Mawate (ma-wa’tay) Turn around
Mokuso (mohk-soh’) Quiet meditation
Yoi (yo-ee) Ready
Yame (ya-meh) Stop
Seiza (say’za) Sit back on heels
Rei (ray) Bow
Sensei ni rei (sen-say nee ray) Bow to teacher
Otagai ni rei (oh-ta’gay nee ray) Bow to each other
Kiritsu (kee-reet-soo) Stand
Kokyu (koh’kyoo) Breathing
Matte (mah’t-teh) Break

Stances – Dachi-waza

Musubi-dachi (mu-soo’bee da’chee) Stance with heels together toes apart
Heiko-dachi (hay’koh da’chee) Parallel stance feet shoulder width apart
Zenkutsu-dachi (zehn-kut’soo da’chee) Forward or Standard stance
Shiko-dachi (shee’koh da’chee) Straddle stance with toes out
Neko-ashi-dachi (nay-koh a-shee da’chee) Cat stance
Sanchin-dachi (san’cheen da’chee) Hour glass stance
Kosa-dachi (koh’sa da’chee) Crossed leg stance
Sage-dachi (sa-gee da’chee) Single leg stance (supported)
Tsuru-ashi-dachi (tsoo-roo-a’shee da’chee) Crane stance
Kakato-dachi (ka-ka’toh da’chee) Heel stance
Teiji-dachi (teh-gee da’chee) T stance
Reinoji-dachi (ray-no-gee da’chee) L stance

Punching Techniques – Tsuki-waza

Choku-zuki (choh-koo zoo’kee) Straight punch
Gyaku-zuki (yah’koo zoo’kee) Reverse punch
Mae-ken (ma-eh kehn) Front hand punch
Oi-zuki (oyh-ee zoo’kee) Lunge punch
Tsuki-age (tskee a-gay) Rising punch or Uppercut
Ura-zuki (oo’ra zoo’kee) Close punch
Kage-zuki (ka’gee zoo’kee) Hook punch
Mawashi-zuki (ma-wash’ee zoo’kee) Roundhouse punch
Yama-zuki (ya’ma zoo’kee) Two handed U-punch (wide)
Awase-zuki (aw-wa-seh zoo’kee) Two handed U-punch
Hiraken-zuki (hee-ra-kehn’ zoo’kee) Four-knuckle punch (second joint)
Ippon-ken-zuki (ee’pawn-ken zoo’kee) One-knuckle punch (index finger)
Nakadaka-ippon-ken (na-ka-da-ka ee’pawn ken) One-knuckle punch with middle finger
Teisho-zuki (tay’shoh zoo’kee) Palm heel straight punch
Tateken-zuki (ta’tay-ken zoo’kee) Vertical fist punch , Mae-ken or Oi-zuki
Morote-zuki (moh-roh-teh zoo’kee) Double fist punch
Heiko-zuki (hay’koh zoo’kee) Parallel punch (as above, Morote-zuki)
Hasami-zuki (ha-sa-mee zoo’kee) Scissors punch (semicircle: hips-target)
Morote-ura-zuki (moh-roh-teh oo’ra zoo’kee) Double close punch
Nagashi-zuki (na-gaa’shee zoo’kee) Floating punch
Sekkyaku-zuki (sek-ee oo’kay zoo’kee) Flying Gyaku-zuki (punch on one leg)

Striking Techniques – Uchi-waza

Haishu-uchi (heye’shoo oo’chee) Back hand strike
Haito-uchi (heye’toh oo’chee) Ridge hand strike
Shuto-uchi (shoo-toh oo’chee) Knife hand strike
Teisho-uchi (tay’shoh oo’chee) Palm heel strike
Tettsui-uchi (teht-soo-ee oo’chee) Hammer fist strike
Mae-hijiate (ma’eh-hee’gee-ateh) Basic front elbow strike
Tate-hijiate (ta-te hee’gee-ateh) Front uppercut elbow strike
Yoko-hijiate (yoh-koh hee’gee-ateh) Side elbow strike
Ushiro-hijiate (oo-shee’roh hee’gee-ateh) Back elbow strike
Otoshi-hijiate (oh-toh-shee hee’gee-ateh) Downwards elbow strike
Kesa-hijiate (keh’sa hee’gee-ateh) Diagonal elbow strike
Mawari-yoko-hijiate (ma-wa’ree yoh-koh hee’gee-ateh) Spinning side elbow
Uraken (oo’rah-ken) Back fist strike
Ago-uchi (ah’go oo’chee) Jaw strike (from Jiin, rearhand blocking)
Nukite (noo’kee’tay) Spear hand strike
Nihon nukite (nee’hohn noo’kee’tay) Two finger spear hand
Yonhon nukite (yon’hohn noo’kee’tay) Four straight fingers spear hand
Kakuto-uchi (ka-koo’toh oo’chee) Bent wrist strike
Keito-uchi (kay’toh oo’chee) Chicken head wrist strike
Sakotsu-uchi-komi (sa-koh’t-su oo’chee koh’mee) Straight shuto thrust (as in Hachi-ban)
Hiraken-uchi (hee-ra-kehn’ oo’chee) Four-knuckle strike
Kumade-uchi (koo-ma’day oo’chee) Bear hand strike or Rake hand strike

Kicking Techniques – Keri-waza

Fumikomi (foo’mee koh’mee) Stamping kick
Fumikiri (foo’mee kee’ree) Cutting kick
Hiza-geri (hee’za gay-ree) Knee kick
Kin-geri (keen gay-ree) Groin kick
Ushiro-uchi (oo-shee’roh oo’chee) Hooking back heel kick
Mae-geri (ma’eh gay-ree) Front kick
Mae-geri-keage (ma’eh gay-ree kay-a’gay) Front snap kick
Mae-geri-kekomi (ma’eh gay-ree kay’koh-mee) Front thrust kick
Mae-tobi-geri (ma’eh toh’bee gay-ree) Flying front kick
Mawashi-geri (ma-wash’ee gay-ree) Roundhouse kick
Mawashi-tobi-geri (ma-wash’ee toh’bee gay-ree) Jumping roundhouse kick
Yoko-geri (yoh-koh gay-ree) Side kick
Yoko-geri-keage (yoh-koh gay-ree kay-a’gay) Side snap kick
Yoko-geri-kekomi (yoh-koh gay-ree kay’koh-mee) Side thrust kick
Yoko-tobi-geri (yoh-koh toh’bee gay-ree) Flying side kick
Ushiro-geri (oo-shee’roh gay-ree) Back kick
Ushiro-geri-keage (oo-shee’roh gay-ree kay-a’gay) Back snap kick
Ushiro-geri-kekomi (oo-shee’roh gay-ree kay’koh-mee) Back thrust kick
Ushiro-tobi-geri (oo-shee’roh toh’bee gay-ree) Jumping back kick
Ushiro-mawashi-geri (oo-shee’roh ma-wash’ee gay-ree) Reverse roundhouse kick
Ura-mawashi-geri (oo’rah ma-wash’ee gay-ree) Hooking kick
Mikazuki-geri (mee-ka-zoo’kee gay-ree) Crescent kick
Kakato-geri (ka-ka’toh gay-ree) Axe kick

Blocking Techniques – Uke-waza

Jodan uke (joh’dan oo’kay) Rising block with forearm above head
Chudan uke (choo’dan oo’kay) Middle level inner forearm block
Gedan barai (gay’dan ba-reye) Downward block
Soto-uke (soh’toh oo’kay) Outside block
Juji-uke (joo’jee-oo’kay) X block or cross block
Kake-uke (ka’kay oo’kay) Hooking block
Kake-te (ka’kay teh) Hook hand
Tekuki-kake-uke (tehk-oo-kee kah-kee oo’kay) Wrist hooking block
Kakuto-uke (ka-koo’toh oo’kay) Bent wrist block
Mawashi-uke (ma-wash’ee oo’kay) Circular block
Mine-uke (mee’nee oo’kay) Bent wrist back hand block
Morote-uke (moh-roh-teh oo’kay) Two handed forearm block
Tazuna-uke (ta-zoo’na oo’kay) Double block (palms rotated outward)
Nagashi-uke (na-gaa’shee oo’kay) Sweeping block
Shuto-uke (shoo-toh oo’kay) Knife hand block
Gedan shuto barai (gay’dan shoo-toh ba-reye) Downward knife hand block
Sukui-uke (soo-koo’ee oo’kay) Scooping block
Nami-ashi (na’mee a’shee) Inside snapping block with foot
Teisho-uke (tay’shoh oo’kay) Palm heel block
Tettsui-uke (teht-soo-ee oo’kay) Hammer fist block
Uchi-otoshi (oo’chee oh-toh’shee) Dropping block
Ashi-kake-uke (a’shee ka’kay oo’kay) Leg hooking block
Sune-uke (suh-nay oo’kay) Shin block

Other Terms

Ashi-barai (a’shee ba-reye) Sweeping ankle throw
Sensei (sen’say) Teacher (literally ‘born before’.)
Osu (oo’s) Means ‘request’, ‘affirmation’, or ‘push ahead’
Jodan (joh’dan) High level (from the neck upward)
Chudan (choo’dan) Middle level (from the neck down to the navel)
Gedan (gay’dan) Low level (from the navel down)
Kamae (ka-ma-eh) “attitude” or “posture”
Hidari (hee-da’ree) Left
Migi (mee’gee) Right
Hikite (hee’kee-teh) Drawing or pulling hand
Dojo (doh’joh) Training place (lit. place of the Way)
Gi (gee) A Karate uniform, dogi or simply called a Gi
Ki (kee) Spirit
Kime (kee-meh) Focus (the concentration of Ki)
Kata (ka’ta) Forms, the traditional prearranged exercises
Tori (tau-reh) “Taker”, person performing a technique on the other partner
Uke (1) (oo’kay) “Receiver”, 1.Partner upon whom a technique is performed
Uke (2) (oo’kay) 2.To block
Kiai (kee’eye) Spirit shout
Kihon (kee’hohn) Basics or basic training
Kumite (koo’mee-teh) Sparring or combat
Bunkai (bun-keye) Analysis of technique and practical kata applications
Zanshin (zan’sheen) “perfect posture”
Kyu (kyoo) “grade”, rank designation below black belt
Dan (dan) “rank” or “degree”, rank of at least first level black belt
Tai Sabaki (teye sa-ba’kee) Body movement, one’s position in relation to the opponents
Ashi Sabaki (aw-shee sa-ba’kee) Foot work or foot movement
Tanden (tan-den) Abdomen, centre of balance (also known as Hara)
Koshi (koh’shee) Ball of the foot, or the hip
Tsumasaki (tsoo-ma-sa-kee) Tips of the toes
Haisoku (heye-sok-koo) Instep
Haishu (heye’shoo) Backhand
Haito (heye’toh) Index finger edge of hand (ridge hand)
Hirate (hee-ra-teh) Fore knuckle as used in Hiraken and Ippon-ken
Hiza (hee-sa) Knee
Kakato (ka-ka-toh) Heel
Seiryuto (seer-yuh-toh) Ox-jaw part of hand used in shuto
Seiken (see-ken) Fore-fist, two largest knuckles of hand
Shuto (shoo’toh) Edge of hand
Sokuto (so-kuh-toh) Blade of foot
Teisho (tay’shoo) Palm heel
Teisoku (tay-soh-koh) Sole of foot
Ude (oo’day) Forearm
Ukemi (oo’key’mee) Breakfall

Classes held at

Tuesday 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Mancetter Memorial Hall
Old Farm Road
Warwickshire, CV9 1QN
(Currently not accepting new students at this class)

See Map

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Sunday 10 am – 11:30 am
Mancetter Memorial Hall
Old Farm Road
Warwickshire, CV9 1QN

See Map

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All instructors are:

  • Fully insured and qualified
  • Enhanced DBS checked
  • First Aid certified
  • Child Safeguarding trained
  • Registered Black Belts

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Upcoming events:,

Sun 05Jun2022


No class due to hall closure

Sun 04Sep2022


No class due to grading

Sun 25Sep2022


No class due to association course for senior grades


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Atherstone is an incredible martial arts club. My son joined just 9 months ago and has enjoyed every moment of his journey. His fitness has improved, he is more confident in everything that he does/

— Faye Atkins