The majority of dojos around the world use Japanese terminology for the various techniques and principles taught in the class; the main advantage of this, aside from retaining a sense of tradition, is that it allows students to train in countries all over the world using a common language. For beginners, the techniques will also be both described and referred to by English and Norwegian equivalents, although the Japanese terms are soon picked up throughout training. Below is a brief list of common terms used in the dojo, with their equivalent English terms.

stances (dachi)

left – hidari
right – migi
front stance – zen kutsu dachi
back stance – ko kutsu dachi
horse stance – kiba dachi
immovable stance – fudo dachi
cat-foot stance – neko ashi dachi
natural (ready) stance – shizen tai (yoi)
half-moon stance – hangestu dachi
cross-leg stance – kosa dachi
freestyle stance – jiyu dachi
attention stance – musubi dachi

blocking (uke-waza)

rising block – age uke
outside-inside block – soto uke
down (sweeping) block – gedan barai
inside-outside block – uchi uke
knife-hand block – shuto uke
sweeping (deflecting) block – nagashi uke
back-of-hand block – haishu uke
back-of-forearm block – haiwan uke
two-handed separating block – kakiwake uke
two-handed augmented block – morote uke
x-block – juji uke
vertical knife-hand block – tate-shuto uke
hooking block – kake uke

arm techniques

fist – seiken
punch – tsuki/zuki
stepping punch – oi zuki
reverse punch – gyaku zuki
jab punch – kizami zuki
spear-hand strike – nukite
backfist strike – ura-ken
knife-hand strike – shuto
vertical knife-hand – tate shuto
ridge hand strike – haito
hammer fist strike – tetsui
palm-heel strike – teisho
single-knuckle strike – ippon ken
elbow strike – empi

leg techniques

kick – geri
front (snap) kick – mae geri (keage)
front thrust kick – mae geri kekomi
roundhouse kick – mawashi geri
reverse roundhouse kick – ura-mawashi geri
spinning roundhouse kick – ushiro-mawashi geri
side thrust kick – yoko geri kekomi
side snap kick – yoko geri keage
back kick – ushiro geri
knee – hiza
jumping kick – tobi geri
double kick – ren geri
foot sweep – ashi-barai

sparring (kumite)

head level – jodan
stomach level – chudan
lower level – gedan
five-step sparring – gohon kumite
three-step sparring – sanbon kumite
one-step sparring – ippon kumite
one-step semi-free sparring – jiyu ippon kumite
free sparring – jiyu kumite
no score – torimasen
half-point score – waza-ari
full-point score – ippon
ippon from two waza-ari – awasete ippon

other terms

basic training – kihon
“spirit focus”, a focusing shout – kiai
“decision”, focus – kime
bow – rei
take natural/ready stance – yoi
stop – yamae
turn – mawate
begin – hajime
quiet personal meditation – mokuso
proper kneeling position – seiza
relax – naore

“karate ni sente nachi”


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