JAPANESE TERMS

Some of the japanese terms more commonly heard in the dojo and in discussion of karate are listed here with a brief (often rough) translation.

General Terms
karate (empty hand)
dojo (training facility/school)
sensei (teacher, generally chief instructor)
shihan (master)
sempai (senior student, student of higher rank than yourself)
kohai (junior student, student of lower rank than yourself)
otagani (fellow students or opponents)
karateka (practitioner of karate)
karate-do (empty-handed way)
kihon (basic techniques)
kata (pre-arranged forms)
kumite (sparring)
gohon kumite (five step sparring)
sanbon kumite (three step sparring)
ippon kumite (one step sparring)
jiyū-ippon kumite (semi-free one step sparring)
jiyū kumite (free sparring)
kime (focus, energy transfer at point of impact)
kiai (sharp yell or grunt at instant of kime)
ossu (respectful greeting/acknowledgement)
gi (karate uniform)
obi (karate belt)
kyu (color belt rank)
dan (black belt rank)
dojo kun (five guiding principles of karate)
niju kun (twenty principles of karate)

Commands
yoi (assume ready position)
hajime (begin)
yame (stop, return to ready position)
rei (bow)
mawate (turn)
seiza (kneel)
mokusoh (meditate)
naore (relax, return to natural position)

Counting
ichi (one)
ni (two)
san (three)
shi (four)
go (five)
roku (six)
shichi (seven)
hachi (eight)
ku (nine)
juu (ten)

Stances
shomen (front, full-facing)
hanmi (45°, half-facing)
shizen-tai (natural position)
musubi-dachi (informal attention stance with feet turned out)
heisoku-dachi (informal attention stance)
hachiji-dachi (open-leg stance)
teiji-dachi (T stance)
heikō-dachi (parallel stance)
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
kōkutsu-dachi (back stance)
kiba-dachi (horse stance, or straddle-leg stance)
shiko-dachi (square stance)
fudō-dachi or sochin-dachi (rooted stance, or immovable stance)
neko-ashi-dachi (cat stance)
sanchin-dachi (hourglass stance)
hangetsu-dachi (half-moon stance)

Body/Target Regions
jōdan (upper body, face region)
chūdan (mid-section, chest/stomach/solar plexus region)
gedan (lower body, belt/groin region)
hidari (left)
migi (right)

Tsuki (Punching Techniques)
gyaku-zuki (reverse punch)
oi-zuki (lunge punch)
ren-zuki (alternate punching)
dan-zuki (consecutive punching)
morote-zuki (two fist punch)
tate-zuki (vertical fist punch)
age-zuki (rising punch)
kizami-zuki (jab)

Keri (Kicking Techniques)
mae-geri (front kick)
mae-geri keage (front snap kick)
mae-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
yoko-geri (side kick)
yoko-geri keage (side snap kick)
yoko-geri kekomi (side thrust kick)
mawashi-geri (roundhouse kick)
ushiro-geri (back kick)

Uchi (Striking Techniques)
ate-waza (smashing techniques)
empi-uchi or hiji-uchi (elbow strike)
mae-empi-uchi (forward elbow strike)
yoko-empi-uchi (side elbow strike)
ushiro-empi-uchi (back elbow strike)
yoko-mawashi-empi-uchi (side-round elbow strike)
tate-empi-uchi (upward elbow strike)
otoshi-empi-uchi (downward elbow strike)
uraken-uchi (back-fist strike)
shutō-uchi (knife-hand strike)
kentsui-uchi (hammer-fist strike)
nukite (spear-hand thrust)

Uke (Blocking Techniques)
soto-uke (outside forearm block)
uchi-uke (inside forearm block)
ude-uke (forearm block)
gedan-barai (downward block)
age-uke (rising block)
shutō-uke (knife-hand block)
otoshi-uke (dropping block)
morote-uke (augmented forearm block)
jūji-uke (X-block, two-handed cross block)
kakiwake-uke (reverse wedge block, two-handed separating block)
gedan-kake-uke (downward hooking block)