Karate Terms

Karate Terms

Karate Terms

The following is a list of the Japanese terms commonly used in karate training. Some of these terms are used regularly at the HQ FSKA Dojo, though many more are included for reference. The typical pronunciations and English meanings are given, along with a “Kanji” representation where available. These are not presented as the literal translations, but rather how the terms are generally used in karate training.

  ETIQUETTE
  COMMANDS
  GENERAL TERMS
  DACHI (STANCES)
  UKE WAZA (BLOCKING TECHNIQUES)
  DIRECTIONS
  TSUKI WAZA (PUNCHING TECHNIQUES)
  GERI WAZA (KICKING TECHNIQUES)
  KAZA (NUMBERS)


ETIQUETTE  

JapanesePhoeneticKanjiEnglish
Shomen ni reishoh-men ni ray正面に礼Bow to school
Sensei ni reisen-say nee ray先生に礼Bow to teacher
Senpai ni reisehm-pie nee ray先輩に礼Bow to senior
Otagai ni reioh-tah-gah-ee nee rayお互いに礼Bow to partner
Mokuso kudasaimoh-koo-soh koo-dah-sai黙想くださいMeditation, please
Domo arrigato gosai mastadou-mo ah-ree-gah-toh goh-zai-mas-taどうも有難う御座いますFormal thank you


COMMANDS  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Hajime hah-jee-meh 始めBegin
Yasume yah-soo-meh 休めAt ease
Yooi yoy 用意Ready position(stance)
Kiai key-eye 気合Spirit shout
Mawatte mah-wah-tay 回ってTurn around
Kamaette kah-mah-eh-tay 構えってReady position to begin kihon


GENERAL TERMS  

JapanesePhonetic Kanji English
Karate kah-rah-tay空手Empty Hand
Dojo doe-joe 道場School
Shotokan show-toh-kahn 松涛館Pinetree wave house
Kihon key-hon 基本Basic
Kata kah-tahchoreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in teams
Ibuki ee-boo-key息吹Breathing
Empi em-pee猿臂Elbow
Bunkai Boon-kai 分解Kata Application
Waza wah-zah Technique


DACHI (STANCES)  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Zenkutsu dachi zen-koo-tsue dah-chee 前屈立ちFront stance
Kiba dachi key-bah dah-chee 騎馬立ちHorse stance
Kokutsu dachi koe-koo-tsu dah-chee 後屈立ちBack stance
Seiza dachi say-zah dah-chee 正座立ちMeditation stance
Shizen tai shih-zen-tie自然体Natural position
Sanchin dachi sahn-chin dah-chee 三戦立ちHourglass stance
Neko ashi dachi neh-koh ah-she-dah-chee 貓足立ちCat stance


UKE WAZA (BLOCKING TECHNIQUES)  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Jodan berai joh-dahn bah-rye上段 払Side rise kick
Chudan uchii uke chew-dahn oo-chee oo-kay 中段内受Fan block
Gedan barai geh-dahn bah-rye 下段払いDown block
Soto uke so-toe oo-kay外受けOutside block
Jodan Age uke joh-dahn ah-gay oo-kay 上段上げ受けRise block
Morote Uke moh-row-teh oo-kay諸手受けAugmented block
Shuto uke shoe-toe oo-kay 手刀受けKnife hand block


DIRECTIONS  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Mae myFront
Ushiro oo-she-row後ろBack
Yoko yoh-kohSide
Naname nah-nah-may斜め45-degree angle
Hidari hee-dah-ree Left
Migi mee-gee Right
Jodan joh-dahn上段Upper
Chudan chew-dahn 中段Middle
Gedan geh-dahn下段Lower
Tate tah-tayVertical (also, "stand up")


TSUKI WAZA (PUNCHING TECHNIQUES)  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Seiken say-ken 正拳Forefist
Oi zuki oy-zoo-key 追い突きForward punch
Gyaku zuki gya-koo zoo-key 逆突きReverse punch
Tsukitsoo-key突きThrust
Muchi te moo-chi-tay笞手Snap whip punch
Nukitenew-key-tay貫手Spear hand
Kakushitekah-koo-shee-tay隠し手Deceptive strike
Shutoshoe-toe手刀Knife hand
Seiken zukisay-ken zoo-key正拳 突きSingle punch
Urakenoo-ra-ken 裏拳Backfist


GERI WAZA (KICKING TECHNIQUES)  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Kin geri keen geh-ree 金蹴りGroin kick
Mae geri my-geh-ree前蹴りFront kick
Yoko geri yoh-koh-geh-ree 横蹴りSide kick
Mawashi geri mah-wah-she-geh-ree 廻蹴りRoundhouse kick
Hiza geri hee-zah geh-ree 膝蹴りKnee kick
Kakato geri kah-kah-toe geh-ree 踵蹴りHeel kick
Kansetsu geri can-set-soo geh-ree 関蹴りJoint break kick
Keage key-ah-gay蹴上Snapping kick
Kekomi key-ko-mee蹴込Thrusting kick
Ushiro geri oo-she-row-geh-ree 後蹴りBack kick
Mikazuki gerimee-kah-zoo-key geh-ree 三日月蹴りCrescent kick


KAZA (NUMBERS)  

JapanesePhoneticKanjiEnglish
Ichieech one
Ninee two
Sansan three
Shishe four
Gogo five
Rokuroksix
Shichiseech seven
Hachihach eight
Kukoo nine
Jujoo ten
Ju-ichijoo eech 十一eleven
Ju-nijoo nee 十二twelve
Ju-sanjoo san 十三thirteen
Ju-shijoo she 十四fourteen
Ju-gojoo go 十五fifteen
Ju-rokujoo rok十六sixteen
Ju-shichijoo seech 十七seventeen
Ju-Hachijoo hach 十八eighteen
Ju-kujoo koo 十九nineteen
Ni-Junee joo 二十twenty
Ni-Ju-ichinee joo eech 二十一twenty one
Ni-Ju-ninee joo nee二十二twenty two
Ni-Ju-sannee joo san二十三twenty three
Ni-Ju-shinee joo she 二十四twenty four
Ni-Ju-gonee joo go 二十五twenty five
Ni-Ju-rokunee joo rok二十六twenty six
Ni-Ju-shichinee joo seech 二十七twenty seven
Ni-Ju-hachinee joo hach 二十八twenty eight
Ni-ju-kunee joo koo 二十九twenty nine
San-jusan joo 三十thirty
Yon-juyon joo四十forty
Go-jugo joo五十fifty
Roku-jurok joo六十sixty
Nana-junana joo七十seventy
Hachi-juhach joo八十eighty
Ku-jukoo joo九十ninety
Hyakuha-ya-kooone hundred

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