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Beginner's Guide To Terminology

As you progress through the ranks, you'll encounter many Japanese terms. Below is a sampling of some common terms you'll want to remember to prepare for testings.


Jodan = Upper Area

Chudan = Middle Area

Gedan = Lower Area


Barai = Sweep

Uke = To receive (we use this word as a translation for the word 'block')

Tegatana = Open Hand

Nuki = Spear

Te = Hand

Ken = Fist

Hiji / Empi = Elbow

No Sakai Kata = Ways of Doing / Method of Doing

(Example: Hiji No Sakai Kata = Methods of Elbow)

Kata = Form


Mae Geri = Front Snap Kick

Mae = Front or Forward (pronounced 'My')

Ne Ate = Thrust (pronounced 'Nay Ah Tay')

Yoko = Side

Soba = Beside

Hiza = Knee

Toshi = Squat or Drop

(Adding the sound O before a word elevates it to larger or bigger.

Example, O Toshi Geri = Big Drop Kick)


Dachi = Stance

Sei Za = Proper Sitting

Sei Ken = Proper Fist

Do = Way

Budo = Martial Way

Dojo = School

Sensei = One Who Came Before (we use this word as a translation for the word 'teacher')

Kiotsuke = Attention

Rei = Bow

O Negai Shimasu = Thank you for Teaching me

Gi = Uniform

Obi = Belt

Shomen = Head or Main (Most Important or Highest Importance)

Kumi = To engage

Te = Hand

Kumi Te = Engagement of Hands (we use this as a translation for the word sparring)

Kobudo = Ancient Martial Way (we use this as a translation for the word weapons)

Ush / Mate / Yamae = Stop

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu = Thank you very much

Waza = Technique

Shiai = Tournament / Contest

Suki = Punch


Aka = Red

Shiro = White

Wazari = Half Point

Ippon = Full Point

Mubobi = Penalty given for failure to protect oneself

Jogai = Penalty given for going out of bounds

Chukoku = Penalty given for using techniques in an unsafe manner

No Kachi = Winner

Yowai = Too Weak

Maai = Improper Distance

Hayai = Indicates which athletes technique hit first

San Bon = 3 point

Shobu = Game / Match

Hajime = Begin

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