Useful Terms


Number / Japanese / Pronunciation
1 / ichi / eech
2 / ni / nee
3 / san / sahn
4 / shi / shee
5 / go / goh
6 / roku / rohk
7 / shichi / sheech
8 / hachi / hahch
9 / kyuu / kyoo
10  / juu / joo

General Terms

Kihon (kee-hohn) – basic techniques
Kata (kah-tah) – pre arranged forms consisting of techniques
Kumite (koo-mee-teh) – sparring
Osu (ohss) – used to mean almost anything; an affirmative, an agreement, a greeting, etc.
Kime (kee-meh) – focus
Kiai (kee-aee) – spirit yell to focus and strenghten techniques; a “coming together of decision/spirit/energy”
Johdan (joh-dahn) – upper level i.e. face, chin, head
Chuudan (choo-dahn) – mid-level i.e. chest, stomach
Gedan (geh-dahn) – low-level i.e. groin, knees, shins
Dojo kun (doh-joh koon) – the five precepts of shotokan karate


Yoi (yoy) – get ready (into ready stance)
Hajime (hah-jee-meh) – begin
Yame (yah-meh) – stop
Yasume (yah-su-meh) – relax
Mawatte (mah-wah-teh) – turn around (in stance)
Rei (ray) – bow
Shomen ni rei (shoh-men nee ray) – bow to the front (of the dojo)
Sensei ni rei (sen-say nee ray) – bow to instructor
Otaigai ni rei (oh-tai-gai nee ray) – bow to each other (partner)
Seiza (say-zah) – sit (in Japanese formal sitting position)
Mokusoh (mohk-soh) – meditate


Zenkutsu dachi (zen-koo-tsoo dah-chee) – front stance
Kokutsu dachi (koh-koo-tsoo dah-chee) – back stance
Kiba dachi (kee-bah dah-chee) – side stance (horseriding/straddle stance)
Hachiji dachi (hah-chee-jee dah-chee) – ready stance (yoi position)


Age uke (ah-geh oo-keh) – rising block
Gedan barai (geh-dahn bah-raee) – downward block
Soto uke (soh-toh oo-keh) – outside forearm block
Uchi uke (oo-chee oo-keh) – inside forearm block
Shuto uke (shoo-toh oo-keh) – knifehand block

Arm Techniques

Oi zuki (oy zoo-kee) – stepping punch
Gyaku zuki (gyah-koo zoo-kee) – reverse punch
Kizami zuki (kee-zah-mee zoo-kee) – jab
Sanbon zuki (sahn-bohn zoo-kee) – triple punch
Nukite (noo-kee-teh) – spearhand strike
Empi uchi (em-pee oo-chee) – elbow strike
Uraken (oo-rah-ken) – backfist strike
Tettsui (tet-soo-ee) – hammerfist strike

Leg Techniques

Mae geri (maee geh-ree) – front snap kick
Yoko keage (yoh-koh geh-ree keh-ah-geh) – side snap kick
Yoko kekomi (yoh-koh geh-ree keh-koh-mee) – side thrust kick
Kizami geri (kee-zah-mee geh-ree) – front leg snap kick
Mawashi geri (mah-wah-shee geh-ree) – roundhouse kick
Ushiro geri (oo-shee-roh geh-ree) – back thrust kick
Nidan geri (nee-dahn geh-ree) – double kick
Hiza geri (hee-zah geh-ree) – knee strike

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