Upper or rising.
Rising instep strike. Raising your instep into your attackers groin. Usually combined with a knee kick. It is used in the Kata Nijushiho. This is an effective “close-in” technique.
Upper rising block. A basic block to a Jodan attack.
Rising punch. Also called Age Tsuki.
Upward elbow strike or rising elbow strike. Also referred to as Tate Empi Uchi (vertical elbow strike).
Jaw or chin, as in mouth.
Informal sitting. This is sitting with the legs crossed.
Harmony posture. This is in relation to your opponent when you are in matching stances. i.e. both have the right leg forward.
Harmonious spirit. This is where you integrate all your movements, breathing etc. to exactly match your opponents and you then control him from it. It is also called “Spirit Meeting” or “Harmony Meeting”.
The way of harmony.
Opponent or partner.
Conditioning of your opponent or partner. This is the preparing or setting up of your opponent in order to execute your technique so that it is most effective.
Achilles tendon. The large tendon at the back of the foot.
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata, meaning light from the south.
Balance, stability or equilibrium. Also see Fu-Anti.
Foot or Leg.
One leg or single leg.
Foot strikes or leg strikes. These are methods of attacking with the knee, ball or edge of the foot, heel, etc.
Foot or leg sweep. Also called Ashi Harai.
Single leg stance, a general term for one leg stances. See also Sashi Ashi Dachi, Tsuru Ashi Dachi and Sagi Ashi Dachi.
Used in the Kata Bassai Sho, where you hook your foot behind your attackers and then pull your foot back in towards you pulling your attackers foot with you, pulling him off balance. This is different to an Ashi Barai because this is not done in a sweeping motion.
Foot or leg sweeping, another name for Ashi Barai.
Leg lock or crunch. You apply pressure to your opponent’s lower calf in order to pin him to the floor.
Foot work or foot movement.
Name given to all leg and foot techniques.
Toes. Ashi meaning “of the foot” and Yubi being “the digit”.
Leg hooking block, in which the leg is raised to the side and swung in a circle to deflect an opponents side kick to the abdomen.
Ankle. Ashi means “of the foot” and Kubi means “of the joint”.
Ankle hooking block. Normally used to block a front kick. It is similar in motion to Ashibo-Kake Uke.
Bottom foot. You use this to sweep your opponents foot during Ashi Barai.
Head, or the top of the head.
Strike or striking.
Striking or smashing techniques.
Body strike or striking.
Body striking techniques that are normally used in conjunction with grappling and throwing techniques.
To place, to put, or to hold.
Delayed strike or feint. A feint must cause your opponent to believe that the attack is going to hit him and therefore cause him to move his guard and try to block it, which in turn will give you your target area.
To meet. This means to encounter an opponent, be it in the Dojo or “on the street”.
Combined upper rising block, both arms coming up together performing the block. It is seen in the Kata Bassai Dai. It can also be used as a defence when someone attempts a two handed grab.
Combined pulling grasp, As seen in the Kata Heian Godan after the hand-pressing block.
Combined tiger mouth block, as seen in the Kata Empi. A good technique against a Jo or Bo attack.
Combined round house hooking block. Seen in the Kata Nijushiho. This technique can also be used to unbalance or throw your attacker.
Combined roundhouse block, as seen at the start of Kata Kankau Dai.
Combined knife hand rising block. As seen in the Kata Chinte. The thumbs touch forming a triangle.
Combined strike. A general term for all combined strikes.
Combined block. A general term for all combined blocks.
U-punch. Also referred to as Morote Zuki.
Step or pace.
Stepping foot, a method of footwork, where the feet move alternatively one ahead of the other each sliding along the floor.
A stance found in ItosuKai Shito-Ryu. It is a natural “walking” stance with the weight over the centre.
Sweep, sometimes seen as Harai.
To penetrate a fortress (greater of pair). Normally taught once third Kyu has been obtained. This Kata was originally called Passai.
To penetrate a fortress (lesser of pair). A technically more advanced Kata than Bassai Dai. The Kata is notable for its leg sweeps and blocks against a staff or Bo.
The bones at the base of the spine.
Staff. A long stick used as a weapon (approximately 6 feet long).
Bo strike. A general term for any strike using a Bo.
Bo block, a block against an attack from a Bo. This is a general term that covers any block against a Bo attack.
Wooden staff art.
Protective equipment. i.e. hand mitts.
Sparring wearing protective equipment.
A method of fighting wearing armour.
Six defence actions. A basic drill of the Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai. Uses the old names of techniques.
A wooden sword. It resembles a Katana and is used for practice.
Martial way. In Karate, there is an assumption that the best way to prevent violent conflict is to emphasise the cultivation of individual character. The way (Do) of Karate is thus equivalent to the way of Bu, taken in this sense of preventing or avoiding violence so far as possible.
A study of the techniques and applications in Kata.
Warrior hands. One of the old names for Karate.
Way of the warrior. Bushi meaning “warrior” and Do meaning “way of”.
To topple a folded screen. This is a throwing technique where you step your leg behind your attackers front leg and at the same time that you sweep his leg you attack his chin with your open hand pushing his head back in the opposite direction that which his leg is being swept in.
Power or strength.
Strange hands. A higher grade Kata. Master Funakoshi named this Kata Shoin. The Kata originally came from China.
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata, meaning fighting to the east. The old name for the Kata Gankaku, which means “crane on a rock”. Funakoshi changed its name.
“T”-stance, this is an old name for what is now called Teiji Dachi. It is a stance where the feet form the shape of a “T”.
Straight punch. This is a punch that is normally practised from the standing position and is generally the first punch taught in Karate. It is seen used in the Kata Bassai Dai.
Harmony. The harmonious mental and physical reaction while at practice.
To have harmony with opponent, to harmonise movements in Kata demonstrations etc.
Jumping counter attack.
Mid-Level or mid-section. If called prior to an attack it indicates that the attack will be to the stomach area.
Middle level sweeping block. The same as a Gedan Barai Uke but used against a middle level attack.
A straight punch to the mid-section of the opponent’s body.
Middle level posture, or middle level guard. A freestyle posture where your hands are held at middle level.
Middle level palm heel circular strike. Used in the Kata Chinte.
Middle level inside forearm block. A basic Shotokan block. Also see Uchi Ude Uke.
Middle level forearm block, blocking an attack to the mid-section.
Middle level block. A general term for middle level blocks.
A punch to the mid-section of the opponent’s body.
Ball of foot.
Lesser or minor. (the term describes the movements of the Kata rather than its importance).
Level, rank or degree. A black belt rank. Grades under black belt are known as Kyu grades. Most associations recognise up to 10 levels of black belt.
Consecutive punching (same hand). This can be effective if done quickly because your opponent will not expect a second punch from the same hand.
Summit of breast bone or sternum. A good technique to drop your opponent to the floor is to push your fingers down behind the top of the sternum.
Encountering. see Deai Osae Uke.
Pressing block, stepping in at the time, or encountering as the attack comes forward, or suppressing it.
Advanced foot sweep. Sometimes seen as Deashi Harai.
The area between the seventh and eighth ribs.
Way or path. In Karate, the connotation is that of a way of attaining enlightenment or a way of improving one’s character through traditional training.
Torso or trunk of body.
Movement or activity.
Tools, equipment, instruments, etc. All of the pieces of equipment used in martial arts practice.
Simultaneous techniques. Used to describe any time that techniques are performed simultaneously.
Literally “place of the way.” Also “place of enlightenment.” The place where we practice Karate.
Traditional etiquette prescribes bowing in the direction of the designated front of the Dojo (Shomen) when entering or leaving the Dojo.
School oath, or standard of the school.
The ring of the way; repetition, constant practice.
The Mastoids. Found by pressing up behind the base of the ears.
Japanese for “thank you very much.” At the end of each class, it is proper to bow and thank the instructor and those with whom you’ve trained.
Pull or hold.
Master or master of the way.
A wooden oar used by the Okinawans which was improvised as a weapon.
Performance line, the floor pattern of a given Kata. All Shotokan Kata will start and finish on the same spot.
A black belt level Kata, translated as “Flying Swallow”. This Kata was originally called Wanshu. It is named after a flying swallow because the alternate high and low attacks that are seen in it are said to resemble a swallow in flight. It is considered to be one of the oldest Kata.
Elbow. Sometimes referred to as Hiji.
See Hiji Suri Uke.
Elbow strike (also called Hiji Ate)
Elbow block. A general term for the blocking action using the elbow.
Round heel, an alternative name for Kakato.
Circular foot block.
Relax. You may also see this as Enoy.
Relax. See Enorei.
Elbow, normally spelt as Empi.
Centre of a circle or circular.
Lapel, as in the lapel on a Gi.
Lapel shoulder throw. People often think that there are no throws in Karate, yet the earliest Karate books demonstrate throws as Karate techniques.
Instability or lack of balance.
Immovable stance or rooted stance. Also referred to as Sochin Dachi.
Calf (of the leg).
The outside of the lower part of the thigh.
Cutting kick. A stamping style kick using the edge or blade of the foot to strike with. A good technique for striking in to an opponents wind-pipe when he is on the floor.
Stamping kick. Usually applied to the knee, shin, or instep of an opponent.
Swing or circular or round.
Circular cross sweep, It is used in the Kata Nijushiho.
Turn (look) round, rotate and look back.
Defence or ground.
Counter. This is also spelt Kaeshi.
Outer arm, part of the forearm located on the side opposite the thumb.
Eye. You may also see this as Gansei.
Area below the nipples.
“Crane on a rock”, a Kata from Shotokan Karate.
Crane stance, sometimes referred to as Tsuru Ashi Dachi and Sagi Ashi Dachi.
Crane posture, as used in the Kata Gankaku. The legs are in Tsuru Ashi Dachi and the arms in Manji Uke.
Special training camp.
Lower level or lower section. If called prior to an attack it indicates that the attack will be to the lower area of the body.
Lower level sweep. A basic karate block. Normally the first move students make prior to going on to do their combinations, one of the reasons for this is so that the first move in Karate is a block which demonstrates that Karate is for self-defence.
Lower level sweeping block, usually shortened to Gedan Barai.
A punch to the lower section of the opponent’s body, normally the groin.
Lower level X block. As seen in the Kata Heian Yondan and others. Normally used to block a front kick. The block should land after the attacker has raised his knee but prior to his leg beginning to extend.
Lower level hooking block.
Lower level knife hand press. As seen in the Kata Gojushiho Dai.
Lower level outside forearm block, as seen in the Kata Tekki Nidan.
Lower level hooking block, as seen in the Kata Bassai Dai.
Low forearm block.
Lower level block.
Lower level punch, usually directed at the groin area.
The spot beneath the lower lip. Ippon Ken is a good technique to use to attack this target.
Kick, sometimes also seen as being spelt as Keri.
Best described as slipping through the enemy by kicking.
Return kick or kick counter. After you have executed the kick and performed Gerihanashi you then reextend the kick back in to the target. This technique often works because after you have put your first kick in which may have been blocked by your opponent he doesn’t expect the second kick to come from the same leg and drops his guard to it.
Kick release. After executing a kick you must withdraw the leg with the same speed as the kick went in. If you leave your leg out after a kick it can be grabbed by your opponent who can then easily break your supporting leg with a simple kick.
Training uniform. Traditionally in Japanese and Okinawan Karate Dojo, the Gi must be white and cotton. The only markings allowed are the organisation patch on the left breast area and the person’s name at the front bottom corner of the jacket.
The tactic where one allows the opponent to attack first so to open up targets for counter acttack.
Five step basic sparring. The attacker steps in five consecutive times with a striking technique with each step. The defender steps back five times, blocking each technique. After the fifth block, the defender executes a counter-strike and Kiais.
Hard, soft way. An Okinawan style of Karate.
An Okinawan Kata, meaning 54 steps.
Fifty Four Steps. Two high grade Katas which were originally performed over fifty four steps.
Hip, sometimes is spelt as Koshi.
Reverse or opposite.
Reverse foot or reverse leg.
Reversed side-on, half front facing position. This stance is useful in assisting kicking off the back leg as a counter move because the hip is all ready in.
Reverse round-house kick. Sometimes also called Ura Mawashi Geri. Instead of coming from the outside in, the leg travels from the inside out.
Reverse roundhouse elbow strike.
Back or reverse crescent kick, as seen in the Kata Empi. May also be seen as Ura Mikazuki Geri.
Reverse punch. A basic Karate punch. The punching hand is the opposite one to the leg that is forward.
A natural stance, feet positioned about shoulder width apart, and pointed slightly outward.
Skin. also see Hifu.
Back arm-sweeping block. Nagashi can mean “flowing” as in Nagashi Zuki, or “flowing punch”.
Back arm block.
Back or rear side.
Backhand or back of the hand.
Back hand rising strike. Used in the Kata Nijushiho.
Backhand combined block, the opening block in the Kata Gankaku. Also seen in Bassai Sho.
Backhand cross block.
Back hand strike. A strike with the back of the hand where the hand and fingers are straight.
Back hand block. A block using the back of the hand.
Instep of the foot. The area at the base of the shin bone and the top of the foot.
Ridge hand. Thumb extended across the palm touching the base of the little finger and striking with the area just below the base of the index finger to the first joint of the thumb. Often used against the temple.
Ridge-hand hip posture. The bottom hand is held as Seiken and the top hand is held in Haito with the palm facing up.
Ridge-hand scooping throw. Used to counter a front kick. As you scoop the leg you bring it up high, hopefully taking your attacker off balance and throwing him to the floor.
Ridge hand strike.
Ridge hand block.
Begin. A command given to start a given drill, Kata, or Kumite.
Half front stance, where the feet are only half the distance apart from the full stance. Also see Moto Dachi.
A black belt level Kata, meaning half moon.
Half moon stance. It is also known as wide hour glass stance.
Side on, half front facing position.
Side on or half front facing stepping across position, as seen in the Kata Hungestsu.
Half facing position.
Master. An honorary title given to the highest black belt of an organisation, signifying their understanding of their art.
Abdomen, belly, means the same as Tandan.
Sweep or sweeping. Normally seen as Barai.
Sweeping stamping kick, as seen in the Kata Bassai Dai.
Sweeping technique with the hand.
Scissor (forearm) block knee posture. Both forearms perform a scissor block and at the same time the right knee raises attacking the groin.
Scissor bottom fist strike. Both bottom fists perform a scissor strike in to the sides of your attackers body.
Quick, fast or rapid.
Pulling away hand, used to describe the action of pulling your hand away, after it has been grasped.
Peaceful mind or peace or tranquillity. These five Kata were originally called Pinan. Funakoshi said that having mastered these five Kata and all of their moves, you should now be confident enough that you could defend yourself from attack and the meaning of the name Heian is to be taken in this context.
Parallel stance. A natural stance. Feet positioned about shoulder width apart, pointed straight forward.
A heiko dachi stance, where the front foot is turned slightly inwards while the rear foot is straight.
Parallel vertical fist punch, As seen in the Kata Gojushiho Dai.
Parallel close punch. Used in the Kata Bassai Sho.
Parallel punch. A double, simultaneous punch.
An informal attention stance. Feet and toes are together and pointed straight forward.
Changing hands. This means changing your blocking hand to your attacking hand, or your attacking hand to your blocking hand. For example you block and then attack straight away with the same hand.
Changing hands techniques.
The base of the throat, Adam’s-apple or projection of the thyroid cartilage of the larynx.
Left or left side. Also spelt as Hadari.
Left defensive posture.
Left hooking stance or posture, as seen in the Kata Hiean Godan.
Left posture. Used to describe when your left side is forward in a stance.
Left diagonal evasion.
Skin. also see Hada.
Elbow, also known as Empi. Hiji is the older version.
A blocking action using the elbow.
Elbow strike, also called Empi Uchi.
Retract or pull back. Also sometimes spelt as Hiku.
Retracting leg, pulling your front leg back so that it is level with what was the rear leg. i.e. to avoid a sweep.
The retracting (pulling and twisting) arm during a technique. It gives the balance of power to the forward moving technique. It can also be used as a pulling technique after a grab, or a strike backward with the elbow.
Scratch, to wound with the nails. This is can be an application from the Kata Bassai Sho, where you bring your fingers back across your attackers eyes.
Twist. Sometimes this is also seen spelt as Hineru.
A move where you twist and change your course, e.g. when you twist your wrist out of the grip of your opponent and at the same time change your body course. It is seen in the Katas Heian Sandan and Kanku Dai.
Twisting lateral elbow strike.
Twisting hand block.
Twist. Sometimes this is also seen spelt as Hineri.
Flat or level.
Flat scissors. Normally called Koko or Tiger Mouth.
Level spear hand or level piercing hand. This is when the palm is facing down.
Level forearm. Centre of the outer and inner forearms.
Flat fist or fore knuckle fist, as in a punch but with the knuckles extended. Also referred to as Hiraken Zuki.
Flat or level hand.
Slap, as in open handed strike.
Fore hand pressing block, or flat hand pressing block.
Think without thinking; consciousness beyond thought.
Brow or forehead.
Forefinger knuckle fist, more commonly seen as Ippon Ken.
Fore finger fist. Normally called Ippon Ken.
Knee or lap.
One knee stance. Half or single kneeling position. As seen in the Kata Gankaku.
Knee block, A blocking action using the knee.
Knee cap kick.
Kneefist kick. Another name for Hiza Geri.
Step or pace.
A term used to refer to the central Dojo of an organisation.
Basic or fundamental.
“Egg in the nest posture” or ready position used in some Kata where the fist in covered by the other hand. Another way of explaining this position is that empty hand (karateka) over comes angry fist (A non-karate person). It is also called wrapped fist.
Half moon. A black belt Kata mainly performed from Hungetsu Dachi. This Kata is sometimes seen spelt as Hangetsu.
Half moon stance. Also seen spelt as Hangetsu Dachi.
Sparring which begins with both the attacker and the defender seated and facing each other is called Iai.
Way of the sword.
Position or location.
In one breath.
No, that is incorrect.
To kill with one blow.
Evasion of an on-coming attack through the course of removing the body from the line of attack.
One point (in sport karate).
Another term for a one legged stance, also see Ashi Dachi.
One knuckle fist.
One step sparring.
One finger spear hand. A stabbing action using the extended index finger. Normally aimed at the eyes or throat.
One finger thrust. Normally called Ippon Nukite.
To penetrate, to enter. Usually describes moving closer to the opponent than the attack as you close in defence.
“One heart school” An Okinawan style of karate.
From the temple of Ji-On. A higher grade Kata
To be in harmony with one’s self (start position of Ji Katas). It said that it was a form of greeting used by the monks at the temple of Ji-On.
In harmony with one’s self posture, as seen at the start of the Katas Bassai Dai, Jion, Jiin etc. It describes the state of mind that you should be in before you begin the Kata.
Philtrum, or the spot just under the nose.
A Shorei-Ryu Kata.
Ten hands. A higher grade Kata. The translation implies that if the Kata is mastered you can face ten opponents. This Kata is unique in that there is not a single punch in it.
Freedom (of movement etc.).
Free sparring posture.
One step free sparring.
Wooden staff about 4′-5′ in length. The Jo originated as a walking stick.
Jo grasping techniques.
Jo block, A block against a Jo.
Upper level. If called prior to an attack it indicates that the attack will be to the head area.
Upper level augmented forearm block. As seen in the Kata Ji-On.
Upper level block.
Way of the 4 foot staff.
Out of bounds.
Cross block or X block. Where the arms cross and block at the base of where they cross.
Art of gentleness.
Regular rotation, corresponding rotation. The hip and arm going in the same direction.
Corresponding punch. i.e. punching with the same arm as the leg that is forward.
The Wado Ryu term for Oi Zuki.
A Shorei Ryu Kata.
A forked iron truncheon.
Person or practitioner.
Point on jaw. Also see Ago.
Counter, the countering of an opponent’s offensive action. Sometimes this seen spelt as Kaesu.
Returning one step sparring, or countering one step sparring.
Lower half of the body.
Open heart, The beginning move of the Kata Kanku Dai.
Open hand. This refers to the type of blow or block which is delivered with the open hand. It can also be used to describe other hand blows in which the fist is not fully clenched or blocks with an open hand.
Open hand cross block.
Open hand block.
Turn or rotate.
Open the cloud. From the Kata Unsu
Trapping hand block
Heel (of the foot)
Heel kick or also known as Axe Kick, striking with the back of the heel of the foot.
Hooking grasp or pull.
A two handed block using the outer surface of the wrist to neutralise a two-handed attack, such as a grab.
Reverse wedge block. A two handed block used when an attacker attempts to grab the front chest area of the defender.
Heel of hand.
Bent wrist strike. Wrist joint strike. Also known as Ko Uchi.
Bent wrist block. Wrist joint block. Also known as Ko Uke.
Grass sickle (an Okinawan weapon).
Posture or stance. Sometimes spelt Gamae.
A command given by the instructor for students to get into position.
Hair. Kami Dori or Tsukami is Hair grab. Also see Ke.
Fighting awareness, or penetrating the true nature of things.
The symbols of Japanese writing. Karate is made up of two kanji. The first being the symbol for “Empty” and the second symbol being for “hand”.
A Shotokan Kata, meaning “To view the sky” Developed from the Okinawan Kata Kusanku.
Viewing the sky. (Sho describes the movements of the Kata rather than its importance)
Against the joint. Also used to describe locking techniques against joints.
Joint kick, against a joint. Often used against the knee.
Against the joint techniques, or locking techniques.
Face, as in of the head.
Empty. In Karate we use the Kara to imply that we are weapon-less or empty handed. Also, Master Funakoshi said “that the person who follows Karate must make himself void or empty by ridding himself of all selfcentredness and greed, making yourself empty within, but upright without. This is the real meaning of the “empty” in Karate.
Empty Hand. When Karate was first introduced to Japan, it was called “To- De”. The meaning of To De is Chinese Hand.
A term which sums up the essence of the art, it means “in Karate there is no first strike”.
The first book written by Gichin Funakoshi. It translates literally as “A passage through the gates of the Karate way”.
The way of the empty hand. This implies not only the physical aspect of Karate, but also the mental and social aspects of Karate.
A practitioner of Karate.
Under kick. It is kicking from under your opponent. It is seen in the Kata Unsu.
Temple on the side of the head. Also see Komikami
The area between the fifth and sixth vertebra.
Form, figure or shape. In Karate, Kata is a form or prescribed pattern of movement fighting imaginary opponents.
Single or one.
A type of sword. It was the longer of the two swords normally carried by a Samurai.
One hand or single hand.
One hand or single hand block.
A resuscitation technique.
A type of loud shout, similar to a Kiai.
“Interaction”, In practice you pass through your opponents attack, in effect exchanging places with him. Stepping in towards the attacker, while turning (Kawasu) your body to avoid the attack. Evasion.
Hair Grab. This could also be Kami Tsukami.
“Kick Up” Generally used to describe snapping as opposed to thrusting kicks. See Keriage
Injury or wound.
Nape of the neck.
Training or practice.
Joined fingertips or Chicken Head hand.
Chicken head strike.
Chicken head block.
Chicken head blocking sweep.
Thrust kick (literally kick into or straight). See Kerikomi.
Fist Law. A generic term to describe fighting systems that uses the fist.
Way of the sword.
The technique with silent Kiai. Related to meditation.
Hammer Fist Also known as Tetsui.
Hammer fist strike. See also Tetsui Uchi
Hammer fist block. Also know as Tetsui Uke.
Kick. Also called Geri when used with another word.
Kick up, this is the original name for a snap kick Keage.
Kick in, this is the original name for a thrust kick or Kekomi.
Mind. Spirit. Energy. Vital force. Intention. (Chinese “chi”) Ki cannot easily be translated directly into any language.
Spirit, technique and body as one.
Attention. Musubi Dachi with open hands down both sides.
A shout delivered for the purpose of focusing all of one’s energy into a single movement. One translation of Kiai is “the expression of vital spirit”. It is often translated as “spirit shout”.
Horse straddle stance or horse riding stance. Also known as Naihanchi Dachi.
Basic one-step sparring. The attacker calls the attack. The defender blocks and counters the attack. All carried out in basics. Kihon Kumite would be basic sparring.
Focus of power and concentration. Kime comes about as a result of Shin-Gi- Tai.
Front kick with the instep (aimed at groin).
Cut or repeat.
Returning one step sparring.
Jabbing kick. Also called Kizami Mae Geri. It is a front kick off the front leg, thrown with a jabbing action.
The concept of “attack-defence connection”.
Rear elbow strike. Normally called Ushiro Empi Uchi.
Wrist joint strike. Also known as Kakuto Uchi.
Crane block or arch block. Same as Kakuto Uke.
“Small forest” An Okinawan form of Shorin Ryu karate.
Ancient warrior art. Usually refers to weapons training.
Fist, in Karate Seiken is used.
The base of the spine.
A student junior to oneself.
Back, behind or rear.
Rear turning jump, as used in the Kata Empi.
Rear grab. Often called a “bear hug”.
Wrist joint or bent wrist.
Tiger mouth knee pull down as seen in the Kata Nijushiho.
Tiger mouth grasp.
Tiger mouth strike. A strike using the area between the thumb and index finger.
Tiger mouth block
Spirit, heart. In Japanese culture, the spirit dwells in the heart.
The centre point of the fibula and tibia (shin bone).
Back stance. A stance with most of the weight over the rear leg. The actual translation means back knee bent stance.
Breath or breathing.
Spinning top. This is a throwing technique where you place your hand in the arm pit area of your attacker whilst your other hand holds his wrist. You then force your opponent down.
The temple area of the head.
Near or against.
Peers, those of similar grade.
The upper surface of the instep.
Crossed stance referring to the feet. or Kosa Ashi Dachi.
Ball of foot.
Hip or waist.
Hip posture or stance. A stance where the fists are held one above the other against the hip.
Wrist releasing techniques.
Neck circle or “to encircle the neck”. This is a throwing technique where you encircle your opponents neck with your arm and then force his head and body off balance backwards throwing him to the ground.
A self-defence tool developed by Takayuki Kubota. This tool serves normally as a key chain.
Bear hand strike.
Fighting or sparring
The outside edge of the top of the foot.
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata, named after a Chinese Master.
Bent. For example, Hiza Kussu is bent knee.
Breaking or upsetting.
Teach or teaching.
Area below the armpits, approximately the spot between the fifth and sixth ribs.
Solar plexus. Also called Suigetsu.
Knowledgeable person. Usually this title is conferred at rokudan or shichidan, depending on system.
Base of breastbone or sternum.
Grade. Any rank below Shodan.
To study or seek. You may also see this as Kyoshin.
Vital points, or pressure points.
Vital point techniques.
Distancing. Distancing with respect to one’s partner. Since Karate techniques always vary according to circumstances, it is important to understand how differences in initial position affect the timing and application of techniques.
Not proper distance.
Front or forward.
Front leg or front foot.
Front leg kick. A kick delivered from your front leg.
Forward elbow strike.
Front elbow strike.
Front Kick. One of the basic Karate kicks.
Front snap kick. Also referred to as Mae Keage.
Front thrust kick. Also referred to as Mae Kekomi.
Front elbow strike.
Front jumping kick or flying front kick.
Forward fall or roll.
Punching board or post.
A feeling of absolute sincerity, which requires a pure mind, free from pressure of events.
Learning by imitating. A method of studying movement and techniques by following and imitating the instructor.
A double block where one arm executes Gedan Barai to one side, while the other arm executes Jodan Haiwan Uke, usually carried out in Kokutsu Dachi.
Another way of saying Manji Kamae.
Top of the thigh.
The side of the neck.
Stop or wait.
Turning (like a top).
Round house or circular elbow strike. Also referred to as Mawashi Hiji Ate.
Roundhouse kick. This kick is considered to be a recent innovation and may explain why it is not seen in many Kata.
Roundhouse elbow strike. Also referred to as Mawashi Empi Uchi.
Roundhouse knee kick. Done with the same action as a normal roundhouse kick but striking with the knee.
Roundhouse jumping kick, or flying roundhouse kick.
Roundhouse punch. This punch can be hooked around your opponents guard. It is not often used in Karate.
A command given by the instructor for students to turn around.
Expert or master.
Polished mirror. A black belt Kata.
Side, face or surface.
Right or right side.
Right posture. Used to describe when your right side is forward in a stance.
Right diagonal evasion
The lower ridge of the lower jaw, the mandible base.
Crescent kick block, where the kick is used to block an attack.
Summit of the nose in the centre of the forehead.
Water flowing posture, Nagare also translates as “sweeping” in the same way that Nagashi does.
Mind like water. A psychological principle emphasising the need to calm your mind, like the surface of undisturbed water, while facing an opponent.
Meditation. Training often begins or more normally ends with a short period of meditation. The reason for this is to clear ones mind and relax.
Two leg sweep.
Augmented, double or two handed.
Double handed Jo block.
Double tiger mouth grasp.
Double tiger mouth block.
Two handed head or neck hold, where both hands are used to grab either side of the opponents head.
Two handed Ox-jaw strike. Generally used against the collar bones.
Augmented forearm block. The opposite fist is placed close to the elbow of the blocking forearm. Often called Morote Uke.
Augmented block. One arm and fist support the other arm in a block.
Augmented punch or U-punch. Punching with both fists simultaneously. Also referred to as Awase Zuki.
Students without black-belt ranking.
Free of all idea’s and thoughts. You are therefore ready to learn, or act with a clear mind, dedicating yourself to the task in hand.
The front portion of the throat on either side, just above the collar bone. The supraclavicular fossa.
No mind, or without mind. It indicates a clear, calm spirit.
Informal attention stance. Heels placed together but with each foot turned out at 45 degrees.
Area about one inch below the navel.
Flowing stream or current. It has the same meaning or translation as Nagashi. Also spelt as Nagare or Nagareru.
Flowing, or sweeping.
Sweeping open handed block.
This was the original name for the Tekki Katas, but was changed by Funakoshi.
Middle finger one knuckle fist. Sometimes also called Nakayubi Ippon Ken.
Middle finger fist. Normally called Nakadaka Ippon Ken.
Inside snapping block, also known as Returning Wave because of the motion of the leg. It is some times called Nami Geashi.
In two beats (feint).
Two finger spear hand. Striking with the index and middle fingers, usually to the eyes.
Two consecutive punches from alternate hands.
Twenty four steps. A black belt Kata that is performed over twenty four steps.
Double chicken head posture.
Facing opposite way.
A style of breathing used in Karate that advocates proper breath control even in the face of danger.
An Okinawan weapon. Two lengths of wood hinged together by cord. Was probably developed from a horse bridle (and not rice flail).
One of a group of islands South East of Japan. Where karate was developed.
An old name for what today is known as Karate, also see To-De and To-Te.
Moving on-to foot sweep. The opponents foot is swept out from under him as he steps forwards.
Front forearm or inner forearm.
Pressing or holding.
Forearm pressing block.
Pressing. Also see Osae.
A word peculiar to Karate; it is used as a form of greeting, or “yes” etc.
Drop or dropping.
Dropping (downward) elbow strike. An elbow strike made by dropping the elbow. Also referred to as Otoshi Hiji Ate.
Applications “interpreted” from techniques in Kata, implicated according to a given condition.
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata, whose meaning is unknown.
A series of five Kata formulated by Itosu.
Bow, respect. A method of showing respect in Japanese culture is the bow.
Etiquette. Also referred to as Reishiki. Observance of proper etiquette at all times, especially observance of proper Dojo etiquette.
A stance with feet making a “L”-shape.
Etiquette. See Reigi.
Consecutive punches or kicks i.e. Ren Zuki or Ren Geri.
Consecutive kicking; alternate kicking i.e. left and then right.
Consecutive punching; alternate punching i.e. left and then right.
A stance with feet making a “L” shape. If called as Migi Renoji Dachi then the right foot is in front, and Hidari Renoji Dachi the left foot is in front.
Combinations. In relation to fighting combinations.
Combination techniques. Multiple attacks and defences performed in succession.
“A person who has mastered oneself.” This person is considered an expert instructor. This status is prerequisite before attaining the status as Kyoshi. Renshi means “has a name.” Renshi is no longer one of the many, so to speak. Renshi is usually given at yodan to rokudan, depending on the system.
A leaderless samurai, he was seen as being of low moral virtue.
Both or both sides.
Both feet or legs.
Both hip stance. A stance where the fists are clenched and placed on the hips. So that the bottoms of the fists are touching the hips.
School or Style. The literal translation of Ryu is to flow, drift or circulate. It has been used to mean “Style” or “Method” because of the way Karate was taught. In more primitive times, the style was “handed down”-“circulated” from master to pupil.
Lowered elbow strike. Normally called Otoshi Empi.
One leg stance or Heron stance. Also referred to as Gankaku Dachi or Tsuru Ashi Dachi.
An Okinawan weapon, a steel pronged truncheon.
Three step sparring. Usually the first attack is Oi Zuki Jodan, the second Oi Zuki Chudan and the third Mai Geri.
Three point match. Used in tournaments.
A series of three punches, generally the first is Oi Zuki Jodan, followed by a slight pause then, Chudan Gyaku Zuki, immediately followed by Chudan Choku Zuki.
The core Goju Ryu Kata, which emphasises correct breathing.
Hour-glass stance. So named from the shape that the legs form.
Triangular. It translates as “three angles”.
Prop or propping.
Stepping across or extending the foot.
Raising of the hand either to strike, grab, or block.
Tranquillity or inactivity.
An Okinawan Karate system founded by Soke Toma. It encompasses the punching, kicking and blocking techniques of Karate; the throwing and joint locking techniques of Aiki-Ju-Jutsu; and the traditional weaponry of Okinawa.
The area above and below the eyes.
Forefist. This is the basic fist where the fingers are rolled tightly in to the palm and the thumb presses on top. The two largest knuckles are used to strike.
Fore fist punch.
An Okinawan Shorei Ryu Kata.
Ox jaw. The area on the hand corresponding to the base of the Shuto.
Ox jaw block. A hand technique delivered with the base of the Shuto.
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata.
Mind and spirit.
Proper sitting position. Sitting on one’s knees. It is used for the formal opening and closing of the class.
A senior student.
A senior student.
To counter attack or attack at the precise moment your opponent attacks you.
Literally “one who as gone before”. Teacher. It is usually considered proper to address the instructor during practice as Sensei.
Bow to teacher.
A formal title meaning master or master instructor. A teacher of teachers. Generally a 5th Dan or above.
Square stance. A stance often used in Goju-Ryu and Shito-Ryu.
Body, another expression for body.
Natural stance. A term used to describe any natural stance.
Natural position. The body remains relaxed but alert.
Major or Greater.
Palm, as in hand.
A first level black belt.
Side of neck.
Front or top of head. Also the designated front of a Dojo.
Bow to the front.
An Okinawan karate system which originated in Naha.
The major style of Okinawan karate, meaning “Pine Forest” school.
A style of Karate. The name is derived from the pen name that Gichin Funakoshi. The name is made up of “Shoto”, meaning Waving Pines, which was Funakoshi’s pen name, and “Kan” meaning House or School.
An ancient Okinawan style of karate – the forerunner of Shorin Ryu.
Back of the hand. Generally called Haishu.
Same as Shuto Uke.
Knife hand strike.
Knife hand block.
Hammer hand. See Tetsui.
The area on the inside of the lower part of the leg, approximately at the base of the calf.
Immovable in the face of danger. A black belt Kata mainly performed in Sochin Dachi.
Diagonal Straddle Leg Stance or Immovable Stance, also referred to as Fudo Dachi. In Sochin Dachi the weight is evenly distributed over both legs.
The area between the shoulder blades.
Attach or to attach.
Palm on or palm assisted.
Palm assisted counter fore-arm.
Hand on or hand assisted.
Hand on or hand assisted front elbow strike.
Hand assisted side block.
Top of the foot.
Side or flank.
Side combined block.
Side combined elbow strike. The opponent is pulled onto the strike.
Side double punch.
Side hand assisted lower level inside fore-arm block.
Sole of foot.
Sole (foot) circular block.
Sole (foot) pressing block.
Edge of foot. The striking area in a side thrust or snap kick.
Edge of foot kick. Also called Ashi Gatana.
Hooking foot block. Using the edge of the foot.
Foot edge pressing block.
Area between the throat and top of the breastbone or sternum.
Outside, outer or exterior.
Outside (forearm) block.
Outside forearm block or sometimes called lower wrist block.
Outside block, a shortened version of Soto Ude Uke.
Same as Uchi Ude Uke.
The outer part of the forearm where the pulse can be felt.
Both arm block.
Horizontal or level.
Horizontal bo grasp.
Scooping or to scoop up.
Same as Sukui Uke.
No contact, arresting a technique.
Shin block. Generally used against a roundhouse kick.
Sliding, as in Hiji Suri Uke or elbow sliding block.
To slide your feet along the floor.
“Last chance” technique.
Techniques from a sitting position.
A Japanese long sword.
Standing or stance. Zenkutsu Tachi is the old term for Zenkutsu Dachi.
Stances. In some works you may see TachiKata as a general term for karate stances.
Body movement, shifting or evasion.
Build or physique, body shape.
First cause. The first Kata taught in Shotokan Karate. Three Taikyo Kyu Kata were originally devised and all share a common line of movement. Funakoshi noted that a beginner would take appropriately 40 seconds to complete and a higher grade some 5 seconds less. Taikyo Kyu 4, 5 and 6 are French inventions. Some say that Taikyoku Kata were originally from the Goju-Ryu and as the name implies, consist of nine Kata. Funakoshi made the statement that if a student understood the concepts of the Taikyoku Kata, then he should be able to understand the idea that you begin with basics and return to basics.
Not proper timing.
Level or even.
To test and to break. Breaking (of wood, tiles, etc.). Trial by Wood.
Centre of gravity, naval area.
To push off a cliff. This is a form of shoulder throw where you step in to your attacker so that your shoulder goes under your attackers same armpit whilst holding on to his same arm.
Vertical (or upward) elbow strike. Also called Age Empi.
Vertical spear hand, or vertical piercing hand.
Vertical knife hand press, used to push your attackers punching arm further round than in just a block and therefore turning his body further away from you.
Vertical knife hand block.
Vertical back fist strike.
Vertical punch. A fist punch with the palm along a vertical plane.
Hand sword, generally referred to as Shuto.
Hand sword strike, generally referred to as Shuto Uchi.
Hand sword block, generally referred to as Shuto Uke.
Hand sweeping block. Usually called Nagashi Uke
Hand pressing block. Usually called Osae Uke.
A Stance with the feet in a “T” shape. If called Migi Teiji Dachi then the right foot is forward, and if termed Hidari Teiji Dachi then the left foot is forwards.
Palm heel. The area at the base of the palm.
Palm heel sweep.
Palm heel strike.
Palm heel block.
Horse riding. Originally called Naihanchi.
A group of three Katas each performed from Kiba Dachi or horse riding stance.
Wrist hooking block.
A Kata created and designed under the leadership and guidance of Funakoshi. It is a Kata unique to the Shotokai.
Heaven and earth. “Tenchi Uke” is to simultaneously perform the same blocking technique, one high and one low.
The crown of the head.
Changing course. See Hineri Tenshin.
The space between the crown of the head and the forehead.
Hammer fist or bottom fist.
Bottom fist scissor strike. As seen in the Kata Bassai Dai.
Bottom fist strike or hammer fist strike. Also called Kentsui Uchi.
An old Okinawan name for Karate, also see Okinawa-Te and To-Te.
To-te was an Okinawan form of Karate, also see To-De and Okinawa-Te.
Jump or jumping.
Jumping foot sweep. Used to clear the target area for Tobi Ushiro geri.
Jumping Bottom Fist Strike. The normal target area would be the top of the head or the collarbone.
Jumping back kick.
Jumping front punch.
Favourite. I.e. Tokui Kata would be your favourite Kata.
A farm tool developed into a weapon by the Okinawans.
Tiger. The animal that represents Shotokan Karate.
V-turning swallow. A throwing technique.
Following foot, a method of moving where one foot follows the other, but never passes it.
Grasping technique. A blocking technique by seizing the opponent’s arm, leg or weapon.
Grasping and pulling.
A punch or thrust. Also referred to as Zuki.
Tips of the toes.
Kicking using the tips of the toes to strike with. Only used to attack the soft parts of the opponents body e.g. groin.
Nail, of the fingers or toes. Used to cut across the opponent’s eyes.
Crane, as in the bird.
Crane stance, also referred to as Gankaku Dachi and Sagi Ashi Dachi.
Strong or powerful.
Strike or striking.
Inner or interior.
Inside (Forearm) block.
Number one student, sometimes a live-in student or trainee.
Inside roundhouse kick.
Inside block. Generally used as a short version of Uchi Ude Uke.
Same as Soto Ude Uke.
Inverted open leg stance, or inverted figure eight stance. The feet are shoulder width apart but with the feet facing inwards.
The inner parts of the forearm where the pulse can be felt. Sometimes called Miyakudokoro.
The inside of the ankle joint.
Top, as in “on”, “above” or “over”.
Blocking and finishing.
Rhythm and fluidity of movement.
Moving (leg movement).
Hands in the cloud. A senior black belt Kata.
Reverse, rear, reverse side or back.
Back or reverse round house kick.
Back or reverse crescent kick.
An upper cut or close punch used at short distance. Sometimes called Staz Zuki.
Back fist strike. This is an extremely fast technique although mechanically it is not as powerful as some other hand techniques.
Back fist block.
Both sides, back and front.
Back or rear.
Rear leg sweep. Sweeping an opponent’s back leg.
Striking to the rear with the elbow.
Back kick. Delivered with the heel of the foot, the toes must point down.
Back heel kick. A good technique when in a “bearhug”. The target area would be your attackers shin bone.
Back roundhouse elbow strike.
Back round house kick.
Best described a “bear hug” from behind.
Rear sliding leg. The movement of the rear leg to meet the front leg.
The point at the base of the nose between the eyes.
Circle or ring.
Circle block, where the path taken is a half-circle. At the end of the block the hand is angled slightly to the outside.
Way of peace school. A Japanese style of karate.
Side or flank.
Side of the chest.
The shorter of two swords worn by the Samurai.
A Shotokan Kata. “Kings Crown”
An Okinawan Shorin Ryu Kata named after a Chinese Master.
Top of outside edge of upper arm.
Eagle hand. Formally called Washi-te.
Eagle hand rising strike.
Eagle hand dropping strike.
Eagle hand strike
Eagle hand block
The inside of the upper thigh.
Mountain punch. A wide U-shaped dual punch.
Finish or stop.
Rest. An instruction to the students to relax, normally following a long series of drills.
Ready, in a state of alertness.
Side or lateral.
Side elbow strike.
Side snap kick. Also referred to as Yoko Keage.
Side thrust kick. Also referred to as Yoko Kekomi.
Side roundhouse elbow strike. Striking with the elbow to the side.
Side jumping kick or flying side kick.
Four finger spear hand. It is more commonly called Nukite.
Sliding the feet, without legs crossing.
Finger or toe.
The collective name for all Dan grades present.
Black belt holder (any rank).
Bow, as in archery.
Bow punch, or called bow drawing punch. One hand pulls your opponent forward as you execute the punch.
Seated or kneeling.
The traditional Japanese bow from the kneeling position.
Literally “remaining mind or heart”. Awareness of one’s surroundings. Even after a technique has been completed, one should remain in a balanced and aware state.
Front or forward.
Front elbow strike. Normally called Mae Empi Uchi.
Forward stance or front stance. The actual translation means front knee bent stance. The most basic Karate stance.
Forward or advance.
Whole (entire) body.
An alternative spelling of Tsukami meaning grasping.
A different spelling of Tsuki.