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Anza - Cross legged sitting posture

Ashi Sabaki - Foot movement, can also mean leg and foot movement

Chudan - Middle (area from neck to belly button)

Dojo - “The way hall”, the karate practice area

Gedan - Lower (area from belly button to knees)

Gi - The Karate uniform, also called “do gi”

Hiza - Knee, “take a knee” used for children; actual command is ashi orishiku.

Jisen Dachi - Full contact sparring stance

Jisen Kumite - Full contact sparring, “actual combat sparring”

Jodan Tsuki, Chudan Tsuki, Gedan Tsuki: High punch, middle punch, low punch

Jodan Uke - Chudan Uke, Gedan Uke: High block, middle block, low block

Jodan - Upper (area from top of head to neck)

Kamaete - Assume the posture, a command

Kata/Gata  -  “Mold”, as in forming from clay, term used for formal karate training forms

Kiai -  “Energy release”, the name of the karate sound made when striking

Kihon - Basic

Kiotsuke - Energy all together, a command for the class to stand at attention as a unit

Kumite - “Touching hands”, sparring

Mae Geri, Yoko Geri, Mawashi Geri, Ushiro Geri - Front kick, side kick, round kick, back kick.

Naihanchi Dachi - The stance used in the ancient Nahanchi Kata

Naihanchi - Ancient Okinawan Kata, obscure meaning, likely meaning is “gripping the ground as an animal” from an ancient Okinawa Hogen dialect.

Obi - Belt

Rei - Courtesy, bow

Ryukyukan - “Dragon Ball House” , Ryukyu’s are the islands of Okinawa, kan is house

Seiken  - “knuckle weapon”, Basic fist formed to strike with the knuckles

Seiken -  Basic karate fist, striking with first two knuckles

Seiza - Sitting posture, both knees on floor, sitting on heels

Sensei - Teacher

Shikodachi - “Four corner stance” rectangle stance

Shorinryu - Okinawan term for original Karate, also pronounced Kobayashi in Japanese

Shuto - Sword hand

Suri Ashi - “Gliding feet”, gliding the toes and ball of foot on the ground

Te - Hand

Yame - Stop

Yoi - Ready position

Yori Ashi - Slide stepping, shuffle stepping; lead foot moves first


One: Ichi, Two: Ni, Three: San, Four: Shi, Five: Go, Six, Roku, Seven: Shichi, Eight: Hachi, Nine: Kyu, Ten: Ju


Ashi Sabaki  - Foot movement, a general term for movement of feet and legs.

Dachi Gata - Stances, usually referring to leg and foot position

Deshi - Student

Dohai - Deshi of the same rank

Gyaku  - Reverse, rear hand or foot technique

Heiko Dachi - Parallel stance, feet shoulder width

Heisoku dachi - Closed foot stance

Hiki Ashi - Pulling foot back (Oi/Hiki; as the ocean tide moving onto land/receding back)

Hiki Te - Pulling hand back

Jisen Kumite - Full contact sparring, "real combat" sparring, knockdown sparring

Jiyu Kumite - Free sparring, controlled contact

Kamae - Posture

Kata/Gata - Form; literally a mold to make an object of clay, used for sets of karate moves.

Keri Waza - Kicking technique

Kihon - Basic

Kizami  - Snapping front hand or foot technique

Kohai - Junior student

Mae - Front, example: Mae Geri, front kick

Moto Dachi - Beginning sparring stance

Naihanchi Dachi - Stance used in Naihanchi Kata

Neko Ashi Dachi - Cat foot stance

Oi Ashi - Lunging step.

Onegaishimasu - Please, may I

Reishiki - “Constant courtesy practice”, etiquette

Seiretsu  -  Line up!

Sempai - Senior student, mentor

Shikodachi - Four point stance

Shinzen  - The traditional shrine representing the ancestors, founders of karate

Shobu Kumite - One point sparring

Shomen - The front of the classroom

Shuto - Knife hand, little finger side of hand

Uchi Waza - Striking techniques

Uke Waza - Blocking techniques

Uraken - Inverted fist strike

Ushiro - Back, example: Ushiro Geri, backward kick

Waza - Technique

Yori Ashi - Slide step, shuffle step

Zenkutsu Dachi - Forward Stance

Arigato gozaimashita - Thank you very much

Ashi Sabaki - Foot movement, a general term for movement of feet and legs.

Dachi Gata - Stances, usually referring to leg and foot position

Deshi - Student

Dohai - Deshi of the same rank


First: Shodan, Second: Nidan, Third: Sandan, Fourth: Yondan, Fifth: Godan, Sixth: Rokudan, Seventh: Nanadan, Eighth: Hachidan, Ninth: Kyudan, Tenth: Judan