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Karate Dictionary

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Japanese Terminology and Definitions used in  Karate

GENERAL TERMS

Karate Empty Hands Karate Do The Way of Karate
Karateka Practitioner of Karate Dojo School or training room
Sensei Teacher Sempai Senior
Kohai Junior Kyu Rank
Gi Uniform Obi Belt
Hai Yes Osu "I understand and will try my best." Also used to show respect.
Do Way Budo Way of combat
Zanshin Poise and control Kime Focus
Kihon Fundamentals Kiai Spirit shout/focus of spiritual energy
Kata Practice form Embusen Floor pattern/lines of a kata
    Maai Distance Bunkai Application (interpretation) of kata techniques
    Kumite Sparring/fighting Ippon kumite One-step sparring
    Yakusoku kumite "Promise" premeditated sparring Gohon kumite Five-step sparring
    Jiyyu kumite Free sparring Waza Technique
    Dachi Stance Tsuki (Zuki) Punch
    Uchi Strike Uke Block
    Geri Kick Ashi-barai Foot sweep
    Kamae Posture Yori-ashi Sliding the feet
    Tai-sabaki Body shifting Shotokan "House of Shoto" ; "pine sea"; pen name of Funakoshi.
    DomoArigato Gozaimashita "Thank-you very much" Onegai Shimasu "I welcome you to train with me" Literally: " I make a request." Said to one's partner when initiating practice.

    MAJOR CONCEPTS

    Zanshin: Awareness; Continuing mind/heart - connotes "following through" a technique while maintaining awareness Sen: Initiative
    Sen no sen: Seizing the initiative earlier; Attacking at the same moment your opponent attacks. Go no sen: Seizing the initiative later; Allowing your opponent to attack first so as to open up target for counter-attacks.
    Sen sen no sen: Seizing the opponents sen no sen; Attacking before your opponent attacks-a preemptive attack Ikken Hissatsu: "To kill with one blow"
    Karate ni sente nashi: Karate does not include the first move. Karate wa sente nari: Karate is the first move.
    Shorin (kata): Quick movement, emphasizing speed Shorei (kata): Slow, strong movement, emphasizing strength
    Sun-dome: Stopping a technique just prior to contact (three centimeters)

    COMMANDS

    Narande: Line up Seiretsu: Line up by rank
    Yoi: Ready Yame: Stop
    Yasume: Relax (or ready position) Sensei ni: Face towards the teacher
    Otaigai ni: Face towards each other Shomen ni: Face towards the front
    Rei: Bow Seiza: Meditation position-kneeling
    Age-te: Hands up (cover position) Mawatte: Turn around
    Hajime: Begin Naore: Return to Shizen-tai

    DIRECTIONS

    Mae: Front Yoko: Side
    Ushiro: Back Tate: Vertical
    Mawashi: Round Jodan: Head high level
    Chudan: Mid-high level Gedan: Low level; Down
    Migi: Right Hidari: Left
    Tobi: Jump Gyaku: Reverse
    Age: Rising Uchi: Inner
    Soto: Outer Otoshi: Dropping
    Sokumen: Side

    DACHI WAZA (STANCES)

    Kamae: Posture (Yoi) Heisoku dachi: Formal Attention Stance (Yoi)
    Zenkutsu dachi: Front Stance Kokutsu dachi: Back Stance
    Kiba dachi: Straddle Stance Fudo dachi: Fighting Stance
    Musubi dachi: Informal Attention Stance (feet in a 'V") Hachiji dachi: Open-legged Stance (Yoi)
    Shizen-tai dachi: Natural Stance Neko-ashi dachi: Cat Stance
    Renoji dachi: "L" Stance Kosa dachi: Cross-legged Stance
    Hangetsu dachi: Wide Hour-glass Stance Migi Ashi Orishiku: Right Leg Kneeling
    Hidari Ashi Orishiku: Left Leg Kneeling

    UKE WAZA (BLOCKS)

    Age uke: Rising block Gedan uke: Down block
    Soto ude uke: Outside forearm block Uchi ude uke: Inside forearm block
    Shuto uke: Knife block Morote uke: Augmented block
    Kakiwaki uke: Reverse wedge block (Heian 4) Juji uke: X block
    Kosa uke: Cross block (Uchi/gedan uke-Heian 3) Manji uke: Hi/low block (Heian 5)
    Tate shuto uke: Vertical knife-hand block (Heian 3) Haishu uke: Back-hand block (Heian 5)
    Empi uke (or Hiji uke): Elbow block (Heian 3) Osae uke: Pressing block (Heian 2, 3)
    Otoshi uke: Dropping or falling block (Heian 2, 3) Nagashi Uke: Sweeping block (Tekki, Jion)
    Haiwan Nagashi Uke: Sweeping back-arm block Te Nagashi Uke: Sweeping hand block (parry) (Heian 5)
    Sukui Uke: Scooping block (Bassai, Chinte) Sokumen Awase Uke: Side combined block (Bassai-Dai)
    Tsukami Uke: Grasping block (Bassai-Dai, Jion) Awase Shuto Age Uke: Combined rising knife-hand block (Kanku-Dai)
    Ryowan Uchi Uke: Double inside block( Jion, Bassai-Sho) Seiryuto Uke: Ox-Jaw block

    GERI WAZA (KICKS)

    Mae geri keage: Front snap kick Mae geri kekomi: Front thrust kick
    Yoko geri keage: Side snap kick Yoko geri kekomi: Side thrust kick
    Mawashi geri: Round kick Ushiro geri: Back thrust kick
    Fumikomi geri: Stomping kick (Heian 3, 5) Uchi mikazuki geri: Inside crescent kick
    Soto mikazuki geri: Outside crescent kick Tobi geri: Flying kick
    Name ashi geri: Returning wave kick (Tekki 1) Hiza geri: Knee kick/strike
    Nidan geri: Double kick (Kanku-Dai)

    TSUKI WAZA (PUNCHES)

    Oi tsuki: Lunge punch Gyaku tsuki: Reverse punch
    Kizami tsuki: Jab Choku tsuki: Straight punch
    Kagi tsuki: Hook punch Oi-gyaku tsuki: Lunging reverse punch
    Ura tsuki: Close punch Morote tsuki: Parallel punch
    Ren tsuki: Double punch San tsuki: Triple punch
    Age tsuki: Rising punch Gedan tsuki: Downward punch
    Yama tsuki: Wide "U" punch Awase tsuki: "U" punch
    Otoshi tsuki: Dropping punch (Empi) Ippon Ken tsuki: One-knuckle fist punch (Hangetsu)

    UCHI WAZA (Strikes)

    Tettsui Hammer-fist strike Kumade Uchi: Bear Claw Strike
    Uraken Uchi: Backfist Strike Hiraken Uchi: Foreknuckle Strike
    Teisho Uchi: Palm Heel Strike Ippon Nukite Uchi: Single Finger Strike
    Nihon Nukite Uchi: Two Finger Strike (Fork) Shuto Uchi: Knife Hand Strike
    Soto Shuto Uchi: Outside Knife Hand Strike Uchi Shuto Uchi: Inside Knife Hand Strike
    Shihon Nukite Uchi: Spear Hand Strike Gyaku Haito Uchi: Reverse Backfist Strike
    Haito Uchi: Backfist Strike Empi Uchi: Elbow Strike
    Mawashi Empi Uchi: Round Elbow Strike Mae Empi Uchi: Front Elbow Strike
    Otoshi Empi Uchi: Downward Elbow Strike Ushiro Empi Uchi: Back Elbow Strike
    Yoko Empi Uchi: Side Elbow Strike Yoko Mawashi Empi Uchi: Side Roundhouse Elbow Strike
    Tate Empi Uchi: Upward Elbow Strike Hiza Age Ate: Rising Knee Strike
    Washide Uchi: Eagle Beak Strike Koko Uchi: Tiger Mouth Strike
    Haishu Uchi: Back Hand Strike

    KATA

    Taikyoku: First Cause Heian: Peaceful mind
    Tekki: Iron Knight Bassai: Storm the Fortress
    Sho: Lesser, small Dai: Greater, big
    Jion: Bhuddist temple name; Gratitude for the Bhudda (2nd Kyu) Kanku: To look at the sky (2nd Kyu)
    Hangetsu: Crescent or Half moon (1st Kyu) Empi: Flying Swallow (1st Kyu)
    Chinte: Extraordinary Hands (Nidan) Jitte: Ten Hands (Nidan)
    Gankaku: Crane on a rock (Sandan) Sochin: To keep the peace; Grand Suppression (Sandan)
    Nijushiho: Twenty-four steps (Sandan) Shorei Kata: Light and quick; emphasizing agility and speed
    Shorin Kata: Slow, hard, and strong; emphasizing muscles and strength

    BODY PARTS

    Ken Fist Ippon Ken Single-point index-finger Fist
    Tate Ken Vertical Fist Te Hand
    Kaishu Open hand Tekubi Wrist
    Teisho Palm heel Ude Forearm
    Empi (also Hiji) Elbow Ashi Leg
    Ashikubi Ankle Hiza (also Hitsui) Knee
    Ensho Back of the heel Heisuko Top (instep) of the foot
      Teisoku Bottom of the foot Kakato Heel of the foot
      Koshi Ball of the foot Sokuto Outer edge (knife) of the foot
      Tsumasaki Toe tips Atama Head
      Wan Arm Naiwan Back of Arm
      Kata Shoulder Jiku Ashi Pivot leg
      Jodan Head - level Chudan Mid - level
      Gedan Lower - level

      Colors

      Shiro: White Ki: Yellow
      Ao: Blue Midori: Green
      Murasaki: Purple Cha: Brown
      Kuro: Black Aka: Red

      COUNTING

      Ichi: One Ni: Two
      San: Three Shi: Four
      Go: Five Roku: Six
      Shichi: Seven Hachi: Eight
      Ku: Nine Ju: Ten
      NiJu: Twenty NiJu-Go: Twenty-five
      Hyaku: One Hundred Ippon: First
      Yon: Fourth Gohon: Fifth

      Tournament Terms

      Sanbon Shobu: Three point Match Sanbon Shobu Hajime: Start the Match
      Shiai-jo: Ring (size = 8-10 meters square) Wazari: Half point
      Ippon: Full point Jogai: Out of Bounds
      Ai-uch: Clash Uchi-majiri: Brawl (melee)
      Jikan: Time (Aka/Shiro) No Kachi: (R/W) Victorious
      Fusen-gachi: Victory by default Hantei: Decision
      Hansoku: Disqualify Hikiwake: Draw
      Chui: Warning Keikoku: Severe warning
      Shiro: White Aka: Red

      WEAPONS

      Bo: Long staff Jo: Short staff
      Sai: forked knife (Jitte) Nunchaku: Thrasher (two sticks joined by a chain)
      Kama: Sickles Tonfa: Batons
      Shinai: Bamboo sword Bokken: Wooden sword

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