Welcome to the Aikido Durham glossary of common martial arts terms. Here you will find definitions to some of the common Japanese terms and phrases we use in our training.

Please refer to this pronunciation guide to help you to speak the words.

Pronunciation Guide


In Japanese, consonants are pronounced as in English but the vowels are slightly different, and are not usually silent when single.
 
A………………..As in “Father”
E…………………As in “Met”
I………………….As in “Marine”
O………………..As in “Solo”
U………………..As in “Rule”
e.g.
Ueshiba…………Oo- eh-she-bah
Budo……………..Boo-doh
Aikido……………Eye-kee-doh
 
Some vowels are long, these are usually either represented with macrons (‘a’) or doubled (‘aa’). Long vowels are not indicated in this book.  An ‘n’ is pronounced ‘m’ before ‘m’, ‘p’, and ‘b’. The pronunciation of ‘hi’ is sometimes close to ‘shi’.

Click on the Letter to expand the associated terms in alphabetical order:

A


Agatsu – Victory over your egoism
Ai – Harmony
Ai Hanmi – Same stance
Aiki Nage – Kind of breath throw
Arigato Gozaimashita – Thank you very much
Ashi – Leg, foot
Ashi Kiriage – Cut the foot up
Ashikubi – Ankle
Atemi (Ate) – Strike
Awase – Matching
Aya – Cross
Ayagyakutemochi – Cross wrist reverse grasp
Ayajunmochi – Cross wrist straight grasp
Ayamochi – Cross wrist grasp

B


Bango Hajime – Begin counting
Bokken – Wooden sword
Bokken Motoe- Put back the bokken
Bokken Yoi – Take the bokken
Bukiwaza – Weapon Techniques

C


Choyaku (Undo) – Jumping in place
Chudan (Seigan) – Basic sword stance

D


Dai – Order, number
Do – Way
Dogi – Training uniform
Do giri – Horizontal body cut
Dohai – Equal
Dojo – Place of practice, study, or enlightenment
Dosa – Movement

E


Eri – Collar
Erimochi – Collar grasp

F


Fukkin Undo – Leg lift excersise
Fukuso Totonoete – Fix your uniform
Fumikomi – Cross step
Fumikomi Kotai – Cross step back
Fumikomi Taihenko Ichi – Cross step in body change
Fumikomi Uketome – Cross step block
Fumikomi Yoke – Cross step evasion
Futari – Two persons

G


Gaeshi – Reversal or change (direction)
Gaiwan Uchi Yoke – Arm bent down block
Ganmen – Face
Ganmenzuki – Face thrust
Gedan – Basic Stance with weapon low
Giri – Cut
Go – Hard
Gyaku – Reverse
Gyaku Hanmi – Shite/Uke in mirror image stance
Gyaku Mawashi – Circles in opposite direction
Gyakutemochi – Reverse grasp

H


Hajime – Begin
Hakama – A divided skirt
Hanmi Handachi – Shite sitting and uke standing
Happo Giri – Eight direction cut
Hashirikomi – Running steps
Hasshu Giri – Eight different cuts
Hasso – A basic stance with weapon held vertical at shoulder
Hidari – Left
Hiji – Elbow
Hijiate Nage – Hitting elbow throw
Hijigiri – Elbow cut
Hijimochi – Elbow grasp
Hijishime – Elbow lock
Hijiosae – Elbow control
Hikiashi – Step back
Hikiotoshi Nage – Pulling down throw
Hirakimi – Open stance
Hiriki – Elbow
Hiriki No Yosei Ichi – Elbow power #1
Hiriki No Yosei Ni – Elbow power #2
Hitoemi – Side facing stance with shoulders and feet in line
Hiyaku – Jump
Hiyaku Ukemi – Jumping forward breakfall
Hiza – Knee
Hiza Giri – Knee cut
Hojodosa – Supplementary movement
Hyaku Hachi Ju Do Kaiten – 180 Degree Pivot

I


Ichi Ni Tsuite – Everyone to their place
Ika – Less than
Ikkajo – First control
Ikkyu Yoke (Fumikomi Yoke) – First kyu evasion
Irimi – Step in
Irimi Nage – Step in throw
Irimi Zuki – Step in thrust

J


Jiyu Waza – Freestyle Technique
Jo – A wooden stick
Jodan
A basic stance with weapon held high
Ju – Flexible
Judogi – Practice uniform
Juji Kumi – Crossing (overlap)
Juji Nage – Arm cross throw
Juji Yoke – Arm cross block
Junbi Undo – Warm up exercises
Junmochi – Straight grasp

K


Kaiten – Rotary
Kaiten Nage – Rotary throw
Kaiten Yoke – 180 degree, body change escape
Kakari Geiko – Continuous round training
Kakuji Hajime – Begin (doing) yourself
Kancho – Head of house
Kankyu – slow – fast
Kanren Waza – Applied technique
Kamae – Basic stance
Katahizatsuki – One knee down
Katakotai – Put on shoulder
Katamochi – Shoulder grasp
Kataoshi – Shoulder push
Katate Ayamochi – Cross wrist grab
Katate Ayajunmochi – Cross wrist straight grab
Katatemochi – One wrist grasp
Keiko Shuryo – Class dismissed
Ken – Sword
Kenshu – A period of more intensive training
Kenshusei – A kenshu student
Kessa Giri – Diagonal body cut (up or down)
Ki – Spirit; force; energy
Kiai – A cry concentrating Ki; (opp. aiki)
Kihon – Basic
Kihondosa – Basic movement
Kihonwaza – Basic technique
Kin Chaku Shibori – To squeeze out a towel (the sword on cutting)
Kirikaeshi – Block side with bokken
Kirioroshi – Cut down
Kiriwake – Hands guiding – one palm up, one down
Kohai – Junior
Koho – Backward
Koho Kaiten Ukemi – Backward roll
Koho Ukemi Ichi – Back breakfall #1
Koho Ukemi Ni – Back breakfall #2
Kokyu – Breath
Kokyu Ho – Breath method
Kokyu Nage – Breath throw
Koshi Nage – Hip throw
Kotai – Retreat, change
Kote – Wrist
Kotegaeshi – Reverse hand throw
Kubi – Neck
Kubi Ate – Neck strike
Kumitachi – Sword forms with partner
Kuzure – Broken or sliding
Kuzushi – Advanced; an advanced movement

M


Ma-ai – Appropriate distance
Maki Otoshi – To push the opponent’s sword away in a circular thrust
Masakatsu – True victory
Meimoku – Close your eyes: empty your mind
Metsuke – Watching
Migi – Right
Misogi – Purification of mind and body
Mochi – Grasp
Mokuso – Close your eyes: concentrate
Mukai Atte, Kamae – Face each other, basic stance
Mukai Atte, Seiza – Face each other, kneel
Mune – Chest
Mune mochi – Chest grasp

N


Nage – Throw
Naore – Back from kamae
Nido – Two times
Nido Mawari – Two times pivot
Nido Zuki – Two times thrust
Nikajo – Second control
Nikyu Yoke (Kaiten Yoke) – Second kyu evasion (shuffle 180 degree pivot)
Nishu Hanpuku – Two kinds – repeat

O


Omote – Front
Onajiku – Same
Onegaishimasu – Please
Osae – Control
Otagaini Rei – Bow to each other
Oyo – Advanced, variation

R


Rei – Bow
Renshu – Practice
Renzoku – Continuation
Ri-Ai – Princliple, mechanism
Ryo – Both
Ryohijimochi – Both elbows grasp
Ryohizatsuki – Both knees down
Ryote Hiraki – Both arms open
Ryotemochi – Both hands grasp
Ryu – Flow, style

S


Sabaki – Body movement
Sankajo – Third control
Sankaku – Triangle
Sankaku Yoke – Triangle block
Sankaku Uchi Yoke – Cutting triangle block
Sankaku Soto Yoke – Outside triangle block
Seiretsu – Line up
Seiza – Kneel (sitting on your heels)
Seiza Chumoku – Kneel and attention
Sempai – Senior
Sempai Ni Rei – Bow to the Senior
Senaka – Back
Senaka Giri – Back cut
Sensei – Master; Teacher
Sensei Ni Rei – Bow to the Sensei
Seoi – Over the shoulder
Seoshi Undo – Back to back exercise
Shiho Nage – All direction throw
Shiho Nage Sabaki – All direction type of control
Shikko – Knee walking
Shime – Lock
Shin Ko Kyo – Breathing exercise
Shin Kon – Centering
Shisei O Tadashite – Stand up straight
Shita – Under
Shite – Performer of Technique
Shite Uke Kotai – Shite uke change
Shitei Waza – One previous technique
Shitoemi – (See Hitoemi)
Shitsumon – Question
Shomen – Front
Shomen Ni Rei – Bow to the front
Shomenuchi – Front strike
Shomenzuki – Front thrust
Shugyo – Intensive Training
Shumatsu Dosa Ichi – After class exercise #1
Shumatsu Dosa Ni – After class exercise #2
Shuto – Cut with edge of arm
Sodemochi Hyaku Ukemi – Sleeve grasp jumping breakfalll
Soke – Founder
Sokumen Irimi Nage – Side step in throw
Sotai Dosa – Movement with partner
Soto Yoke – Outside block
Suigetsu – Body (middle chest)
Suriage – From under (raise up)
Suriashi – Slide
Suwari – Sitting
Suwari Komi – Suddenly drop to kneeling position
Suwari Waza – Kneeling techniques

T


Tachi – Weapons
Taihenko – Body change
Taihenko Ni (Kyu Ju Go Do Kaiten) – 95 Degree Pivot
Taihiraki – Body open
Taitenkan – Hands overhead body change
Tandoku – Solo
Tanto – Knife
Tatami – Straw mat
Tegatana – Hand Sword
Tegatana Ate – Chop to face
Tegatana Kirioroshi – Chop with cut down
Tegatana Kubiate – Chop to hit neck
Tegatana Michibiki – Lead/guide with hand
Tegatana Sabaki – Knife hand control
Tegatana Yoke – Knife hand block
Te Kiriwake – Hands move in opposite direction
Tekubi – Wrist
Tekubi Mawashi – Wrist circles
Tekubi Mochi – Wrist grasp
Tenchi Nage – Heaven and earth throw
Tenkai – Pivot
Tenkan – Body change
Tenkan Nage – Body change throw
Tenoko Mochi – Grab back side of hand
Tenoshita Kuguri – Duck under the arm
Tenouchi Kiriage – Cut up inside the wrist
Tobikoshi – Jump  and go over
Tori Fune Undo – Rowing exercise
Toshu – Bare hands
Toshuwaza – Technique without weapons
Tsugiashi – Shuffle
Tsugiashi Taihenko – Shuffle in, body change
Tsuki (or zuki) – Thrust

U


Uchi – Strike
Uchi Yoke – Inside block
Ude – Arm
Udegarami – Arm lock
Ude Osae – Arm control
Ue – High
Uke – Follower of the technique; attacker
Uke Nagashi – A pivot block letting uke flow
Uke Tome – Block/stop straight
Ukemi – Breakfall
Ukemi Uchite Renshu – Mat hitting exercice
Unaji – Nape of the neck
Undo – Exercise
Ura – Back
Ushiro – Back, behind
Ushiro Nage – Back throw
Ushiro Waza – Behind technique

W


Waza – Technique

Y


Yame – Stop, finish
Yoke – Protection (evasion)
Yokomenuchi – Side strike
Yonkajo – Fourth control
Yubi – Finger

Z


Zanshin – Remaining attentive; balance
Zenpo Kaiten Ukemi – Forward breakfall
Zujo Mawashi – Turn above the head
Zuki (or Tsuki) – Thrust