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Lost in Terminology…

To keep True Vision Karate within the traditional nature of Karate-Do, we incorporate Japanese terminology and Dojo etiquette.  I have put together a few terms and etiquette that are used frequently and should be understood by yellow belt and above….Of course there are some terms and etiquette that are just good to know…so I threw them in for good measure!



Keoskite (Skie) – Attention

Rei – Bow

Hajime – Begin

Mawate – Turn around

Shomen Ni – Turn to the Head of Dojo

Yame – Stop (immediately)

Tome – Return to original location

Yoi – Return to ready stance

Mokuso – Close Eyes – Prepare for meditation

Seiza – Formal seated position (kneeling)

Agura – Informal seated position (feet in front)



1 ichi             11 ju-ichi

2 ni                12 ju-ni

3 san             13 ju-san

4 shi              14 ju-shi

5 go              15 ju-go

6 roku           16  ju-roku

7 shichi         17  ju-shichi

8 hachi          18 ju-hachi

9 ku               19 ju-ku

10 ju              20 ni-ju


*Note: The pronunciation of numbers when counting in the Dojo differs from the modern Japanese pronunciation of each number.  Dojo counting is more guttural with shortened, single-syllabic versions of each number. For example…Ichi is pronounced “Itch” – shichi pronounced “chitch” or even “hitch”! The best thing to do is to listen and learn from senior ranks when counting.



Onegaishimasu – Please teach me. (may be used upon entering the dojo)

Gokorosan  – Thank you for doing what was expected.

Domo arigato gozaimashita -Thank you very much. (can be said upon exiting the dojo)

*When thanking the teacher, refrain from using a shorter version of this phrase.

Osu (Oosss!) – Let’s train hard and persevere! (can be said upon entering/exiting the dojo)

Hai – Yes

Iie (ee yea) – No

Ohiyo gozai-imasu – Good morning.

Omede to – Congratulations.

Konnichi wa – Good day.

Kon bon wa – Good evening.

Sumimasen – Excuse me.

Wakarimasu Ka – Do you understand?

Wakarimasen – I do not understand.

Wakarimasu – I understand.



Ippon kumite – One-step sparring

Jiyu kumite – Freestyle sparring

Kansetsu Waza – Theory and practice of joint techniques

Kata – Formal exercises (Form)

Kihon waza – Basic techniques

Kobudo – Weapons training or “Way of Stopping War”

Kumite – Sparring (Formal, Light to Contact)

Nage Waza – Theory and practice of throwing/take-down techniques

Randore – Slow fighting

Ukemi Waza -Theory and practice of falling


TACHI WAZA (Theory and practice of standing)

Kake Dachi – Crossed stance (used in kata)

Kiba dachi – Horse-riding/energy stance

Kokutsu dachi – Back-stance

Kumite dachi – Fighting stance

Neko ashi dachi – Cat stance

Sanchin dachi – Hour-Glass stance

Teiji dachi – T stance

Yoi dachi – Ready stance

Zen-kutsu dachi – Forward-stance


UKE WAZA (Theory and practice of defense)

Age uke – Rising block

Gedan barai – Downward parry

Uchi uke – Middle-area block (inside of forearm or inwards to the centre of body)

Soto uke – Middle-area block (outside of forearm or outwards from the body)

Shuto uke – Knifehand block

Osae uke – Pressing block

Morote uke – Augmented block

Juji uke – X-block


TSUKI WAZA (Theory and practice of punching)

Seiken – Fist

Hon tsuki – Frontal punch

Gyaku tsuki – Reverse punch

Oi tsuki – Lunge punch

Nidan tsuki – Double punch

Gedan tsuki – Punch to lower target

Chudan tsuki – Punch to middle target

Jodan tsuki – Punch to upper target


GERI WAZA (Theory and practice of kicking)

Ashi – Foot

Kekomi – Thrusting kick

Keage – Snapping kick

Mae geri – Front kick

Yoko geri – Side kick

Mawashi geri – Roundhouse kick

Mikazuki geri – Crescent kick

Ushiro geri – Back kick

Tobi geri – Jumping kick

Kin geri – Groin kick

Mae Keage – Training Kick


UCHI WAZA (Theory and practice of striking)

Shuto uchi – Knifehand strike

Hiiji uchi or empi uchi – Elbow strike

Hiza uchi – Knee strike

Nukite uchi – Spearhead strike

Tettsui uchi – Hammerfist strike

Uraken uchi – Backfist strike



Budo – Way of martial arts

Bunkai – Applications of kata techniques

Bushido – Way of the samurai (bushi)

Chudan – Middle target (solar plexus)

Dojo – School (place of the Way)

Gi – Uniform

Gomen Kudasai – Forgive me/I am sorry

Hata – Dojo flag

Irimi – To enter into an attack

Isshin – One heart or mind

Jodan – High target (philtrum)

Kakate – Run

Kakato – Heel

Karate – Empty Hand

Ki – Spirit, energy, life force

Kiai – Spirit-unifying shout (spirit-wind)

Kime – Focus of power

Kohai – A student junior to oneself

Koshi – Ball of foot

Kote – Wrist

Kuzushi – Balance, body alignment

Kyosen – The solar plexus

Kyusho – Vital points

Mudansha – One’s without dan (coloured belts)

Morote – Double

Obi – Belt (centre of body)

Miai – Distancing

Mushin – No heart or mind

Musubi – Harmony

Rei – bow (show respect)

Sempai – Senior student

Sensei -Teacher

Taitaikyo – Dojo etiquette

Tanden or hara – Center of the body

Tai sabaki – To evade and counterattack

Tenkan – To turn and dissipate an attack

Tore – One who executes a technique

Uke – One who receives a technique

Yudansha – Holder’s of dan rank (black belts)

Zanshin – Reflecting heart or mind

Categories: The Knowledge Pool
  1. Mitch Holloway
    May 1, 2008 at 5:59 am

    Oh so sleepy…..

    I will add to and edit this again when my brain returns from REM.

  2. tamarasheehan
    May 13, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Wow, this is freakin’ great.

  3. Mitch Holloway
    May 13, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    You’re freakin’ great!

    Now make sure you go next Sunday!


  1. July 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm

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