We put great store in using the Japanese words for the techniques that we do.  This is primarily because they don't translate fully into English; any translation loses part of the meaning.  Take for instance the term "tekubi".  The first translation might be "wrist".  Closer analysis leads us to recognise that it is the neck of the hand.  The Japanese analysis of the body part as more than a humble joint turns it into a vital part of getting blood and energy to the hand, and also means that it can be "choked".

Check below for the easy translations.  More in-depth versions may be mentioned in class:

Karatedo The way of the empty hand 

Shotokan the hall of Pine Waves.  Shoto/Pine Waves was Funakoshi sensei's pen-name.

Eikoku Karate-do Keikokai The British Way of the Empty Hand Training Club

Dojo The Place of the Way

Sensei One who has gone before

Sempai big brother

Kohai little brother

Dohai my equal

Rei bow

Mokuso kneeling meditation

Seiza kneel down

Kiritsu get up

Seiritsu line up

Yoi ready

Yame return to ready

naore relax

Hajime action!


Zenkutsudachi front stance

Kokutsudachi back stance

Kibadachi horse-riding stance

Shikodachi square stance

Nekoashidachi cat-foot stance

Hangetsudachi crescent-moon stance

Sochin dachi strong stance

Fudodachi immoveable stance

Tsuruashidachi crane-footed stance

Renojidachi grh stance

Kosadachi woman stance (cross-legged

Uke Waza- Methods of Receiving

Age uke Rising receiver technique

Soto uke Outside receiver technique

Uchi Uke Inside receiver technique

Gedan Barai Low level sweep

Shuto uke Sword hand receiver

Haiwan Uke Receive with the back of the arm

Nagashi uke gthrownh receiver technique

Otoshi uke dropping receiver


Zuki Waza Thrusting Techniques

Oi-zuki Lunge thrust

Gyakuzuki Opposite thrust

Kizamizuki Snap thrust

Urazuki Back thrust (uppercut)

Furizuki Tornado thrust (hook punch)

Kage zuki gkeyh shaped punch

Tatezuki vertical fist thrust

Agezuki rising thrust

Otoshizuki dropping thrust

Keri Waza Kicking Techniques

Maegeri front kick

Yokogeri side kick

Keage rising kick

Kekomi smashing kick

Mawashigeri Turning (roundhouse) kick

Ushirogeri Back kick

Uramawshigeri back of roundhouse kick

Ushiromawashigeri Backward Turning roundhouse kick

Mikazukigeri Crescent moon kick

Kingeri Groin kick

Hizageri Knee kick

Kansetsugeri Joint kick

Tobi- Jumping

Uchi Waza Striking Techniques

Uraken uchi backfist strike

Tetsui uchi hammerfist strike

Shuto uchi sword hand strike

Haito uchi ridge hand strike

Nukite spear hand

Teisho palm heel

Washide eaglefs head

Keito chickenfs beak


Kata form, shape, pattern, style

embusen performance line

Kihon basic, fundamental

Taikyoko sono ichi Great Universal First Cause

Heian peaceful mind

shodan level one

nidan level two

sandan level three

yondan fourth level

godan level five

tekki iron horseman

bassai to storm a fortress

dai great

sho minor

kanku to view the sky

jion temple grounds

jitte 10 hands

jiin within the sound of the temple bells

empi flight of the swallow

hangetsu half moon

gankaku crane on a rock

sochin strong, calm

nijushiho 24 steps

gojushiho 54 steps

chinte queer hands

unsu cloud hands

meikyo bright mirror

Terms for yudansha to study



mizuru no kokoro




Please use the forum to raise questions about terminology and translations.

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