Japanese Karate Terms

 

This page lists all of the Japanese terms that a student of Shotokan Karate is expected to know. Beginning students are expected to first learn counting from one to ten in Japanese so that he/she can follow the count of exercises during training. As the student progresses, he/she will be required to learn the names of the various kata, stances, punches, blocks and kicks in Japanese.

 

Opening and Closing Class

Arigato Gozaimashita thank you very much
Kyotsuke stand (sit) up straight
Mokuso meditate
Mokuso Yame stop meditating
Narande line up
Onegashimasu please help me
Otagai ni rei bow to each other
Seiza sit in kneeling position
Sensei ni rei bow to the teacher
Shomen ni rei bow to the Shomen

Numbers

ichi one
ni two
san three
shi four
go five
roku six
shichi seven
hachi eight
ku nine
ju ten

 

General Terms

dan grade
dojo training hall
domo thanks
domo arigato gozaimasu thank you very much
dozo please
gi uniform
hai yes
kamaete make the position
karate empty hand
karate-Do the way of karate
kime focus
kohai student
kyoshi head instructor
kyu class
makiwara punching post
onegashimasu please help me
Oss exclamation uttered when bowing
rei bow
reigi feeling of respect
sempai senior
sensei teacher
shomen front wall of the dojo
yame stop
yoi ready

Basics (Kihon)

ashi leg
chudan middle level
gedan low level
hanmi half facing
hidari leftside
hikite pulling hand
jodan high level
kiai shout (YA)
mae frontward
mawashi round (turning)
migi rightside
shomen front facing
te hand
ushiro backward
waza technique
yoko sideways

 

Punching

choku straight
gyaku reverse
oi or jun lunging
tate vertical

Striking

kentsui hammer fist
nukite spear hand
shuto knife hand
uraken back fist

 

Stances

kiba side
kokutsu back
shizentai natural
zenkutsu front or forward

Shifting

gyaku kaiten opposite direction
jun kaiten same direction
kaiten rotation
naname-ni-yokeru-koto diagonal evasion
ushiro-ni-yokeru-koto rearward evasion
yokeru-koto evasions

 

Kicking

keage snapping
kekomi thrusting
mae frontward
mawashi roundward
ushiro backward
yoku sideward

Blocking

age rising
gedan barai low sweeping
shuto knife hand
soto outside to inside
uchi inside to outside
ude forearm
ude barai forearm sweeping