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Selected Glossary of Japanese Terms used in Aikido

Basic guide to pronunciation of Japanese words

Consonants and vowels in the Japanese language are pronounced the same way each time they are encountered. Thus, if you know the pronunciation of one word, you already know how the vowels and consonants will sound in another word containing those vowels and consonants. The following guide, primarily for speakers of English, provides some examples that may be of help:
‘a’ sounds like ‘a’ in ‘march’   ‘y’ sounds like the ‘y’ in 'young'
‘e’ sounds like ‘e’ in ‘bed’   ‘ai’ sounds like the ‘I’ in 'sign'
‘i’ sounds like ’ee’ in ‘keel’   ‘ae’ sounds like the ‘i’ in ‘high’
‘o’ sounds like ‘oa’ in ‘boat’   ‘ei’ sounds like the ‘a’ in 'say'
‘u’ sounds like the ‘oo’ in 'mood’   ‘g’ sounds like the ‘g’ in 'great'

 

Basic counting in Japanese

Counting in Japanese has more nuances and complexity than counting in English, and the way of counting differs, depending on the nature of the object or thing that is being counted. This guide covers very basic counting that one might commonly encounter during training in the dojo.
one ichi   eleven juu-ichi
two ni   twelve juu-ni
three san   thirteen juu-san
four yon (or shi)   fourteen juu-yon
five go   fifteen juu go
six roku   sixteen juu roku
seven nana (or shichi)   seventeen juu shichi
eight hachi   eighteen juu hachi
nine ku (or kyu)   nineteen juu kyu
ten jyu   twenty ni-juu

 

Some common Japanese expressions used in the Dojo

Japanese Expression

Approximate English Pronunciation

Translation

"arigato gozaimashita!" "ah-di-gah-toh go-zigh-mosh-ta" "thank-you very much"
"one-gaishimasu!" "on-nay-guy-shee-moss" lit. "I make a request"
(as in "Please", when asking for something)
"sumi-masen!", or
"gomen-nasai!"
"soo-me-mah-sen"
"go-men-nah-sigh"
"please excuse me!"
(accompanied by a bow)
"hai!" "Hi!" "yes!"
"oshiete kudasai!" "oh-shee-ay-tay koo-da-sigh" "please teach me" or
"please show me"

 

Japanese names of some attacks used in Aikido training

Katate tori one-handed grip on one wrist
Ryote tori one-handed grip on each wrist
Morote tori two-handed grip on one wrist
Mune tori (muna-mochi) one-handed grip on lapel
Sode tori one-handed grip on one sleeve
Kata tori one-handed grip on shoulder
Ryokata tori one-handed grip on each shoulder
Eri-tori (also: Eri-dori) collar grasp at the back of the neck
Ushiro ryotekubi tori ryote-tori grip from behind (also: ushiro ryote tori)
Ushiro ryokata tori ryokata grip from behind
Ushiro katate tori kubishime one-handed grip on wrist and choke from behind
Tsuki straight punch
Shomen uchi vertical strike to the head with the hand-blade (or weapon)
Yokomen uchi diagonal strike to the head with the hand-blade (or weapon)
Kesa uchi Diagonal strike to the neck with the hand blade (or weapon)
Kata tori men uchi one-handed grip on shoulder with shomen-uchi strike
Kata tori yokomen uchi one-handed grip on the shoulder with yokomen-uchi strike

 

Types of Aikido Training

Hanmi Handachi waza techniques executed with an attacker in a standing position and receiver (nage) in a kneeling position
Henka waza modifying or varying technique(s), or shifting to another technique during execution
Jiyu waza multiple attack(s)
Kaeshi waza counter technique(s)
Kata renshu forms training
Ki-no-nagare flowing/continuous practice
Kihon waza basic/static training
Renraku waza changing from one technique into another technique
Suwari waza techniques executed from a kneeling position
Tachi waza Techniques executed from a standing position

 

Selected Glossary of Japanese Terms used in Aikido

A

"Arigato gozaimasu" "Thank you"
"Awari" (or "Awarimasu") "finished"
Ai harmony, unity, to join or become one with, to love
Ai-hanmi asymmetric stance (e.g. right foot to right foot)
Ai-hanmi katate-tori a wrist grabbing attack, with right on right or left on left. (Compare: Gyaku-hanmi katatedori)
Aiki harmonizing or blending with energy
Aikibudo budo based on the aiki principle (one of the earlier names O-Sensei used for Aikido)
Aikido the way of harmonizing with the force and principle of nature
Aikidoka one who trains in Aikido (specifically, at an advanced or professional level)
Aiki-jinja the Akido temple in Iwama
Aikijo Aikido jo-staff exercises
Aiki-jutsu refers to a style of jujutsu. The term is often used in reference to Daito Ryu, a style of jujutsu in which the founder trained (Sometimes also referred to as aiki-jujutsu)
Aikikai Aikido "association" or "organization" or "club"
Also refers to the name of the Aikido association headed by the Ueshiba family
Aiki-ken sword exercises/forms of Aikido
Aiki-nage aiki-throw (a throwing technique)
Aiki-otoshi aiki drop (a throwing technique)
Aiki-taiso aikido warm-up exercises
Ashi leg or foot
Atemi (also: Ate) strike
Awase to blend/harmonize/match the timing of the attack and response
Ayumi-ashi leg movement using alternating steps, right and left (similar to a normal walking gait)

 

B

Batto sword
Batto-ho sword training
Bo a longer wooden staff  (approx. 180-200cm in length)
Bokken wooden sword
Bokuto wooden sword
Bu "Martial" or "military." The Kanji character for "bu" has two components: one indicates a weapon, while the other means to stop or lay aside. Thus, bu has a different connotation than the direct English translation.
Budo from Japanese, lit. "the way of battle" or "the way of martial arts"
Budoka one who trains in budo (specifically refers to someone who is at an advanced or professional level)
Bugei martial arts/battle arts (older usage)
Bujin person/people of a martial art tradition
Buki-waza

(also Bukiwaza)

(training in) weapons techniques
Bunbu-ichi refers to a unity of martial and literary arts. One of the historic ideals of the Japanese samurai class
Bunbu-ryodo the dual paths of the martial and literary arts. One of the historic ideals of the Japanese samurai class
Bushi term referring to a classical Japanese warrior or professional martial artist (usually in a historical context)
Bushido "The Way of the Warrior." A code of ethics relating to the bushi or samurai class in ancient Japan.

 

C

Chikara referring to power, force or strength
Choku Direct (eg. choku-zuki = direct thrust/punch)
Choku-zuki

(also: Choku-tsuki)

direct, mid-level thrust with the jo or fist
Chudan Middle guard position (compare with: Jodan=upper position and Gedan: lower position)
Chudan-no-kamae guard position with hands or a weapon at middle (belly or solar plexus) height
Chudan-zuki
(also: Chudan tsuki)
a thrusting attack (with fist or a weapon) at middle height, aimed at the belly or solar plexus

 

D

Daisho refers to the pair of swords traditionally worn by samurai, consisting of a long sword (daito) and short sword (shoto)
Daito ryu the name of a school/lineage/style of Aiki-jujitsu
Dame "wrong", or "bad"
Dan blackbelt rank (lit: "step")
Den "A tradition", "a teaching" or, "a system" (See ryu)
Deshi (Seito) student, pupil, disciple, apprentice
Do (Michi) the "way", path, or road
"Do chu no sei" a phrase describing "stillness in motion".
"Do" is "movement," while "sei" has the meaning of "calmness."Do chu no sei" is, then, "calmness in the midst (chu) of action". When martial arts are depicted as "moving meditation," it is typically in reference to this quality.
Do-gi (Keiko-gi) training uniform
Dojo training hall, place where the ‘way’ is practiced
Dojo cho title referring to the head/leader of a dojo (Chief Instructor)
Doka poem about the way
Domo much (as in: domo arigato gozaimashita)
Domo arigato gozaimasu thank you very much (for something going on in the present)
Domo arigato gozaimashita thank you so much (for something completed)
Dori (also: tori) take, catch, grab
Dosa action; movement
Doshu Lit: "way master"; title referring to the leader of a Japanese martial style
"Dozo!" "Please!"

 

E

Embu or Embukai public demonstration
Empi elbow strike
Eri referring to the neck or collar
Eri-tori (also: Eri-dori) collar grasp at the back of the neck

 

F

Fudo-shin "Immovable mind". A state of mental equanimity or imperturbability. Fudoshin does not indicate a state of mind that is inflexible, but rather, refers to a mental state where one is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external factors.
Fuku-shidoin a formal title with an approximate meaning of "assistant instructor" (compare with shidoin and shihan)
Funakogi undo "rowing exercise" (also called: Torifune)
Furitama movement and breathing exercise to still/calm/settle the flow of Ki in the body
Futari referring to two persons
Futari-dori/Futari-gake attacks featuring two opponents (also see: ni-nin-gake)

 

G

-gaeshi (also: Kaeshi) reversal or change (of direction or technique)
-garami (also: Karami) tie up, entangle, arrest
Gasshuku training/seminar/camp; lit: "lodging together"
Gedan lower position (compare with: Jodan and Chudan)
Gedan-barai block in a lower position
Geri Kick (eg. Mae-geri = front kick)
Gi training garments (also Do-gi or Keiko-gi)
Giri Duty/obligation
-giri (also: Kiri) to cut (such as with a sword or knife - eg. Kesa-giri)
Go the number "Five"
Gokyo "Fifth technique" - a pinning technique against knife attack
"Gomen-nasai" "Excuse me"
Go-no-sen refers to the timing of response to an attack: in this case a "late" or "waiting" response to an attack
Gotai (also see: Kotai) static training. Compare: jutai, ryutai and ki-no-nagare
Gyaku reverse, or opposite
Gyaku-hanmi symmetric stance (eg. Right foot to left foot). Compare with Ai-hanmi
Gyaku-hanmi katatedori a wrist grabbing attack, with right on left or left on right. (Compare: Aihanmi katatedori)
Gyaku-kesa diagonal upward cut, from low to high position
Gyaku-te referring to a reversed hand position
Gyaku-tsuki a thrusting strike with opposing arm and leg forward

 

H

Ha refers to the cutting edge of a Japanese Sword
Hachi the number "Eight"
Hagakure Meaning "In the Shadow of Leaves", is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the Japanese samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo. Tsuramoto Tashiro compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716. However, it was not published until many years afterwards. Hagakure is also known as the The Book of the Samurai, Analects of Nabeshima, or the Hagakure Analects.
"Hai!" "Yes!"
"Hajime" "begin!"
Hakama pleated divided-skirt (usually worn by senior ranks in Aikido)
Hancho team leader or chairperson
Hanmi basic oblique stance common to aikido
Hanmi-handachi nage kneeling and uke standing
Hantai opposed
Happo eight directions (compare: Shiho)
Happo-giri eight direction cutting (compare: Shiho-giri)
Happo-moku attention in all (eight) directions
Hara the body's center of gravity located in the area of the lower abdomen (see also: Tanden)
Harai (also: Barai) a sweeping block
Harai-zuki jo technique consisting of a sweeping block/parry, followed by a thrusting counter attack
Hasso-gaeshi jo technique that involves sweeping the jo through an arc to a vertical position at shoulder level
Hasso-kamae guard position with a weapon raised vertically at the shoulder level
"Hayaku!" "quickly!"
Heiho method (of training)
Henka-waza changing techniques during the execution of basic techniques or shifting to other techniques
Hiragana Japanese phonetic writing. (Compare: Katakana)
Hito e mi making the body small: guard position with more angle than hanmi (see also: Ura Sankaku)
Ho method (of training)
Hidari left (side or direction)
Hiji elbow
Hiji-jime/Hiji-kime elbow lock (also called: Rokkyo in some dojo)
Hiji-ryoku elbow power
Hineri twist
Hiza knee
Hombu headquarters dojo or organization (in Aikido this is usually used in reference to Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan)

 

I

Ichi the number "one"
Ikkyo "first technique" arm immobilization
"Ima!" "now!"
Irimi entering movement (lit: "enter body")
Irimi-nage throw by entering (irimi) either in front of, or  behind an opponent

 

J

Jiyu Free; freedom
Jiyu-waza free-style techniques
Jo (also: Jyo) ‘shorter’ wooden staff (approx. 130-135cm in length)
Jodo (also: Jyodo) the way of the staff
Jo-nage (also: Jyo-nage) nage (with jo) defends against/throws one or more unarmed attacker(s)
Jo-tori (also: Jyo-tori) jo taking (disarming) techniques
Jodan upper guard (high) position
Jodan tsuki straight punch/thrust to the face or neck
Jodan-gaeshi upper position block and counter attack with the jo
Joseki Reference to position/location in the dojo position - the place of honored, or high seat, on one’s right side when facing the kamiza
Ju (also: Jyu) soft, flexible
Ju (also: Jyu) the number "ten"
Juji plus sign, vertical cross (lit: "10 symbol")
Juji-garami crossed arm-lock throw
Juji-nage crossed arm-lock throw
Ju-jutsu (also: jujitsu) lit: "soft skill"
Jun-tsuki strike with the same arm and leg forward, also called: oitsuki (compare: gyakutsuki)
Jutai "soft body" or smooth training.
(compare: gotai, ryutai and ki-no-nagare)
Jutsu lit: "skill"; "technique" or "art"

 

K

Kaeshi (also: Gaeshi) reversal or change (of direction or technique)
Kaeshi-waza technique reversals or counters (lit. reversing technique)
Kaeshi-tsuki

(also: Kaeshi-zuki)

reverse hand thrusting strike with the jo-staff
Kaiten Turning around; revolving
Kaiten-nage rotation throw
Kakari-keiko

(also: Kakari-geiko)

continuous attack training (often in groups forming a line of sequential attackers)
Kaku corner/angle (eg. Sankaku = triangle)
Kakudo angle
Kaiso Founder or originator
Kamae guard stance or ready position (also: gamae)
Kamiza refers to an honorary location in the dojo: Lit. "Seat of the gods"
Kan intuition
Kangeiko "cold training"; referring to a period of high intensity winter training
Kanji Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system, along with hiragana, katakana, and the Arabic numerals. The Japanese term kanji literally means "Han characters".
Kansetsu joint (on the body)
Kansetsu-waza techniques that involve pinning/immobilization using joint locks
Karami
(also: Garami)
tie up, entangle, arrest
Kata pre-defined forms or specific techniques
Kata shoulder
Kata-gatame shoulder pin
Katakana Japanese phonetic writing. (Compare: hiragana)
Katame lit: to harden, solidify, fix, stabilize
Katame-waza pinning/immobilization techniques
Kata-mochi one handed grip to one shoulder
Katana Japanese sword
Katate Lit: "one-side hand"
Katate-tori one handed grip on one wrist
Katate-tori kubishime one handed grip to wrist with neck choke from behind
Kata-tori one handed grip to one shoulder
Kata-tori men-uchi one handed grip on one shoulder with shomen-uchi strike to the head
Kata-tori yokomen-uchi one handed grip on one shoulder with yokomen-uchi strike to the head
Kata renshu training involving the accurate repetition of specific
pre-defined kata (forms)
Keiko training or practice
Ken referring to the Japanese sword
Kesa-uchi diagonal strike to the side of the neck with the intent of cutting the body
Ki spirit, life force, or vital energy
Kiai a forceful exhalation of the breath with a sharp vocalization, shout or scream
Kihon basic (basic point, emphasis point)
Kihon-waza training in basic techniques; can also refer to "static" practice of techniques. (also see: Kotai)
Kime mental focus
Kime lock/immobilization (eg. Hiji-kime: elbow immobilization)
Ki-musubi to connect/bind the ki
Ki-musubi-no-tachi series of paired sword encounter movements that build awareness of connection/ki of the partner
Ki no nagare to flow with ki (flowing/continuous practice)
Kiri to cut
Kiri-kaeshi turning cutting movement with the sword
Koan Zen training riddle
Kobudo refers to older/traditional budo, or budo of the pre-modern era
Kohai one’s junior
Koho backward, to the rear
Koho tankan backward turning step
Koho ukemi backward ukemi
Koho undo backward rolling exercises
Kokoro "heart"
Kokyu breath
Kokyu-dosa seated breath power exercise
Kokyu-nage breath throw
Kokyuho breath exercise ("method of the breath")
Kokyu ryoku breath power
"Konban wa" "Good evening"
"Konnichi wa" "Good day"
Kosa to cross over or pass
Kosa-tori cross hand grasp to the wrist, the same as Ai-hanmi katate-tori
Koshi referring to the hip(s) or lower back
Koshi-nage hip throw
Kotai (also: Gotai) static training. Compare: jutai, ryutai and ki-no-nagare
Kote wrist/forearm
Kote-gaeshi wrist/palm turning throw
Kote-hineri twisting of the wrist (eg. Sankyo)
Kote-mawashi turning of the wrist (eg. Nikyo)
Ku the number "nine"
Kubi neck
Kubishime neck choke
Kumi group/set
Kumi-jo jo-staff techniques/encounters, practiced jo against jo
Kumi-tachi sword exercises/encounters, practiced sword against sword
Kuzushi to break the balance
Kyu rank, grade, level (also: term for a white belt rank/grade)

 

L

Terms starting with the letter ‘L’ are not found in Japanese

M

Ma-ai "distance" or "spacing" between two or more persons
(In a martial context this is used in reference to physical distance between two parties. May also be used in reference to "psychological" or "psychic" distance)
Mae-geri front kick
Mae-ukemi forward roll or fall
"Masakatsu Agatsu" "True Victory is Self-Victory" - a principal tenet of AIKIDO
"Matte!" "stop!"
Mawashi to turn around or rotate
Men Referring to the face or head
Metsuke a way of using/focusing the eyes (referring to: eye focus)
Michi a "Way", "road" or "path"
Migi right. Refers to right side - eg. Migi-hanmi = right foot forward stance (Compare: hidari)
Misogi self purification
Mitori-keiko
(also Mitori-geiko)
training with the eyes (observing training)
Mochi grasp (eg. katate-mochi)
Mokuso Silent meditation or concentration
Morote-tori two handed grip, both on one wrist
Mu nothing/empty
Mudansha practitioner below dan grade (lit: "no rank person")
(compare: Yudansha)
Mune chest or lapel
Mune-mochi one handed grip on lapel
Mune-tori (also: Mune-dori) one handed grip on lapel
Mushin empty mind
Muso Shinden Ryu name of a style/school of Iaido
Musubi to tie together
(eg. "ki musubi", meaning: "to bind/tie-up Ki")

 

N

Nage the person who performs the technique (also: shite or tori)
Nagare from the Japanese verb "Nagaru" - to flow
Nagewaza throwing techniques
Nana (also: Shichi) the number "seven"
Nen purity/unity of mind
Ni the number "two"
Nikkyo "second technique" arm control technique applied with a wrist/hand turn
Ni-nin-gake two person attacks/training (see also: Futari-tori)

 

O

Obi belt
Oitsuki a strike with same arm and foot forward
also called jyuntsuki
Omote to the front (movement or direction)
Onegaishimasu lit. "I make a request"
(as in: "Please", when asking for something)
Osae control (eg. ude-osae = arm control)
Osae-waza controlling techniques
O-Sensei "great teacher" or "revered teacher" (in Aikido this title is most often used in reference to Master Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido)
Otoshi drop (as in a technique, eg. Sumi-otoshi= corner drop)
Oyo-waza applied techniques, modified for efficiency

 

P

Terms starting with the letter ‘P’ are rarely used in Japanese

Q

Terms starting with the letter ‘Q’ are not used in Japanese

R

Randori free-style practice or sparring, often freestyle with multiple-attacker. Lit. "messy striking"
Rei term meaning "veneration" or "respect". Also refers to the etiquette and the formal bow or salutation,  in the context of showing respect
Reigi (also: Reigi-saho) Etiquette/manner of respectful conduct - in the context of showing veneration or respect
Renshu "training": to prepare or train the body through repetition
Renzoku continuous
Renzoku uchikomi jo-staff exercise
Ritsurei standing bow
Rokkyo "Sixth teaching": a technique which applies a bar or pin to the elbow (See: hiji-kime/hiji-jime osae)
Rokku the number "six"
Ryo both
Ryote-mochi two handed grip, one on each wrist
Ryokata-tori two handed grip, one to each shoulder
Ryote-tori two handed grip, one on each wrist
Ryu school or tradition
Ryu "to flow"
Ryu-tai flowing/fluid training.
(compare: jutai, ryutai and ki-no-nagare)

 

S

Sabaki (body) movement (eg. Tai-sabaki or Ashi-sabaki)
San the number "three"
Sankaku triangle
Sankakutai lit: "triangle body" refers to the positioning of the feet in hanmi to make a triangular shape
Sankyo movement similar to ikkyo with added outward twisting of the hand/palm
San-nin-dori three person attacks/training
San-nin-gake three person attacks/training
Saya sword scabbard
Saya-biki refers to the sliding movement of the scabbard around the hip, while drawing a Japanese sword
Satori enlightenment (in reference to meditation/Zen training)
Seigan middle "ready" position with tachi or bokken
Seiretsu! "line up!"
Seiza formal sitting position on the knees (correct/preferred way to sit on the mat in the dojo)
Sempai a senior student
Senaka undo back stretch
Senaka the back (of the body)
Sen-no-sen refers to the timing of response to an attack: in this case countering/responding as an attack is initiated
Sen-sen-no-sen refers to the timing of response to an attack: in this case countering/responding before an attack is initiated or formulated
Sensei teacher, lit. "one who was born before"
Shi (also: Yon) the number "four"
Shi "death" or "dead"
Shiai competition or tournament
Shichi (also: Nana) the number "seven"
Shidoin a formal title with an approximate meaning of "instructor"
Shihan a formal title meaning, approximately, "master instructor" or "teacher of teachers" (usually only given to professional instructors of 6th dan rank or above)
Shiho four directions
Shiho-giri four direction cutting
Shiho-nage four direction throw
Shi-kaku a square; fourth corner (also: ‘dead corner’)
Shiki courage
Shikko knee walking
Shime squeeze or strangle (as in a joint lock, or application of a choke)
Shimoseki refers to a location or position in the dojo.  Lower place or lower seat (on the left side when facing the kamiza)
Shimoza refers to position in the dojo.  Lower seat (the side of the dojo opposite the kamiza)
Shin mind/heart
Shinken sharp authentic Japanese sword; a "live-blade"
Shinogi a ridge on the rear lateral side of a sword/bokken
Shisei posture
Shite thrower, throwing side; protagonist
Shizentai natural body posture
Sho first; beginning
Shodan lit: "first step". Refers to the first "dan" or black belt grade
Shomen directly in front; Lit: "straight face" (referring to the front of the dojo, or to an attack to the head/face)
Shomen-ate an attack to the head/face
"Shomen ni rei!" "rei/bow to the shomen of the dojo!"
Shomen-uchi vertical strike to the center of the head with the hand blade
Shoshinsha beginner
Shuto (also: Tegatana) hand blade
Sode sleeve (at the elbow)
Sode-tori one handed grip to the sleeve (near the elbow)
Soku iriminage a side entering throw with the arm across the partners chest (also: Kokyuho)
Soto outside; eg: as in "soto-tenkan" (outside body turning movement)
Soto-kaiten outside turning/rotation
Soto-tenkan Turning/rotating to the outside
Suburi a basic movement of repetitive body/mind purification training (often with a weapon)
Suki referring to a physical or mental "opening"; undefended point
Sumi-otoshi corner drop
Sutemi Lit: "to throw away/sacrifice the body"
Sutemi-waza "sacrifice" techniques that involve intentionally losing one's own balance
Suri To rub, graze, scrape, abrade to slide
Suri-ashi to slide the legs/feet (a method of walking by sliding the feet)
Suwari waza techniques performed from a kneeling position

 

T

Tachi tori sword taking (disarming) techniques
Tachi waza techniques performed from a standing position
Taijutsu body arts; empty-handed (unarmed) techniques
Tai-no henko lit: "change of the body"; body changing/turning exercise
Tai-sabaki body movement
Taiso Body exercises
Tanden center (also see: hara)
Tanren drill/exercise
Tanto knife (usually < 25-30cm)
Tanto-tori knife taking (disarming) techniques
Tatami traditional Japanese mat made of bound-straw
Te referring to hand/hands (eg. Tegatana = "hand blade")
Tegatana hand-sword/hand-blade (see also: Shuto)
Te-ho-doki method of moving the hand to detach a katate-tori grip
Tekubi wrist
Tenchi-nage "heaven and earth" throw
Tenkan turn around, conversion, change body pivoting/turning movement
Tori take, hold, take away; thrower, throwing side;
person who executes a technique (see also: shite and nage)
Torii a Japanese gate
Tsuba sword guard
Tsuka the handle of a Japanese sword
Tsuka-ate a strike with the "butt" or handle of a bokken or Japanese sword
Tsugi-ashi following step; a sliding step where the front foot slides and the back foot follows without passing the front foot
Tsuki (also: Zuki) a straight thrust or punch
Torifune "Rowing exercise" (also called: Funakogi Undo)
Toyama-no-metsuke lit: "far mountain attention" or "far mountain eyes; refers to the way/method of focusing the eyes during training

 

U

Uchi referring to "inside", as in uchi-tenkan (inside body turning movement)
Uchi a strike (eg. shomen-uchi)
Uchi-deshi live-in student or inside student
Ude arm
Udekime-nage arm-lock throw
Ue high (referring to location)
Uke one who receives; the person being thrown
Uke block or parry (eg. Jodan uke= block or parry overhead)
Ukemi receiving a technique; falling
Undo exercise
Ura rear; back (direction)
Ushiro toward/from the back/rear
Ushiro-geri back kick
Ushiro ryokata-tori two handed attack: one hand grasps each shoulder from behind the nage (left hand grasps left shoulder, right hand grasps right shoulder)
Ushiro ryotekubi-tori two handed attack: one hand grasps each wrist from behind the nage (left hand to left wrist, right hand to right wrist)
Ushiro-tenkan backward turning step
Ushiro-ukemi backward/rearward fall
Ushiro-waza techniques involving attacks from behind the nage

 

V

Terms starting with the letter ‘V’ are not found in Japanese

 

W

Waza Technique (singular or plural); skill; training method
Waka sensei "young teacher"; used in aikido in reference to the successor of the Doshu
Waki side (of the body)
Waki-kamae side guard position, where the sword is held to the rear of the body in a low position
Waki-o-shimeru a posture where the arm pits are kept closed (or in tension)
Wakizashi Japanese short sword

 

X

Terms starting with the letter ‘X’ are not found in Japanese

Y

"Yame!" "stop!" or "finish!"
Yawara refers to a historical style of jujutsu
Yoko side, sideways, horizontal
Yoko-geri side kick
Yoko-giri diagonal cut (typically with a sword)
Yoko-ukemi Falling to the side in ukemi
Yokomen side of the head
Yokomen-uchi diagonal strike to the side of the opponent's head with the handblade
Yoko-ukemi sideways fall
Yonkyo "fourth teaching" ikkyo with application of pressure to a point on the wrist
Yudansha refers to person(s) who hold blackbelt rank

 

Z

Za seated position
Zaidan Hojin Aikikai Aikikai Foundation
Zarei refers to a bow from the seated or seiza position
Zanshin lit: "remaining mind"; extension of continuous attention and awareness
Zazen sitting meditation (see also: mokuso)
Zempo to the rear, backward (eg. "zempo-kaiten")
Zen refers to a form of Buddhism
Zo-kin cloths used for washing the dojo floor
Zori Japanese-style open sandals. Traditionally made from rice straw or lacquered wood
-Zuki see: "tsuki"

 

 

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