During any training session a lot of Japanese terms are used for simple instructions or for the names of techniques. It might seem confusing, but to most people ‘shihonage’ is no more confusing than being told to do a ‘four directional throw’.

If you’re getting a bit stuck with all that confusing lingo being thrown around the dojo (along with you) then this brief little guide to what all the Japanese means should help you out.

UnSoku – foot movements

Tegatana DoSa – 5 hand blade movements

Tegatana Awase – correct distance and eye contact practice

Sei Chu Sen No BoGyo – simulated attack, pushing onto chest

GaSho Uke – Yokomen, gyakumen, keri, (side and knee attacks) praying hands

Tegatana No BoGyo – Same as above using one hand

ShoTei Awase – Pushing practice

HiRiki No YoSei – Neutralising practice

Hachi Hon No Kuzushi – 8 balance breakers

Ai – Harmony
Ai-gamae- Matching stances
Aiki- Harmony of Spirit
Aikido- Way of Harmony of Spirit
Aikidoka- Person who practices Aikido
Aiki-Ken- Aikido Sword techniques
Ashi- Leg or Foot
Atemi- Strike
Atemi-Waza- Striking techniques

Barai- Sweep
Bokken- Wooden Sword used in Aikido and Kendo Training
Budo- Martial Ways

Chudan- Middle
Chudan-no-kamae- Basic posture
Chudan-uke- Middle block

Dan- Degree ranking for Black Belt
Do- The Way or Path
Dojo- Training Hall or Place of the Way
Dori- Hold or Grasp

Eri Dori- Collar held

Furitsuki- Slashing thrust (Normally with a knife)

Gassho no renshu- Blocking exercise with the hands joined together.
Gedan- Low
Gedan no kamae- Low posture
Gedan-uke- Low block
Gi- Aikidoge traditional clothing worn when training
Go- Five
Go-no-sen- Attacking after you have been attacked.
Gyaku- Opposite/Reverse
Gyaku-gamae- Opposite stances

Hachi- Eight
Hajime- Begin
Hantai- Change
Hara- A point in the lower abdomen
Hasso- High sword posture
Hidari-gamae- Left stance with the left foot forward.
Hiji- Elbow
Hiji waza- Elbow techniques
Hikitate-geiko- Middle level of competition.
Hyaku- One Hundred

Iaido- Art of sword Drawing
Ichi- One
Idoryoku- Locomotive power; the power of movement
Irimi- Entering principle
Irimi-nage- Entering throw

Jo- Short staff about 4’ long
Jodan- High
Jodan-no-kamae- High posture
Jodan-uke- High block
Jujitsu- Ancient Japanese martial art
Ju-nana-hon waza- 17 basic techniques of Tomiki Aikido
Jushin- Balance/Centre of gravity
Jyu- Ten
Jyu-Ichi- Eleven
Jyu-Ni- Twelve and so on

Kakari-geiko- Lowest level of competition
Kamae- Stance/Posture
Kanetsu- Joints
Kanetsu-waza- Joint techniques
Kata- Pre-arranged techniques, Form or Shoulder
Kata-Dori-Men-Uchi- Strike to the head while holding the shoulder
Kata-Dori- Shoulder held
Katate- Single hand
Katate-Dori- One hand held
Keiko-gi- Kit/Uniform
Ken- Sword
Kendo- The Way of the Sword
Ki- Spirit or Energy
Kime-waza- Final locking technique
Kiritsu- Stand to attention
Kissaki- Point or tip of the sword
Kohai- Junior student
Kokyu- Blending- Fitting in as a movement
Kokyu-Dosa- Breath Exercise
Kokyu-Nage- Breath Throw
Koryu-no-kata- Pre-arranged traditional techniques in kata form
Koshi- Hips or lower back
Koshi-Nage- Hip Throw
Kotai- Switch/Change
Kote- Wrist also called Tekubi
Kote-Gaeshi- Outer wrist throw – Wrist twist
Ku- Nine
Kyu- Ranking for belts below black belt
Kuzushi- Break balance
Kyudo- Japanese Archery

Mae- Forward, front
Ma-ai- Correct distance
Marui- Circular / Round
Men- Sword cut to the centre of the head
Me-tsuke- Eye contact, one focuses on the opponent’s eyes
Migi- Right
Migi-gamae- Right posture with the right foot forward
Mochi- Grasp or hold with hands
Morote Dori- One hand held by two hands
Mu-gamae- Without stance
Mushin- Without emotion
Mune- Chest

Nage- Throw/Technique
Nana-hon nage
kuzushi-Kuzushi training exercise comprised of 7 throw
Ni- Two
Ni-Jyu-Ichi- Twenty one
Ni-Jyu-Ni- Twenty and so on

Obi- Belt worn over the Gi
Omote- Front
O-Sensei- Great Teacher (Reference to the Founder)
Otoshi- Drop

Randori- Freeplay
Randori-no-kata- Basic 17 techniques in the Tomiki system of Aikido
Rei- Bow
Ritsu-rei- Standing Bow
Rokku- Six
Ryo-kata-Dori- Both shoulders held
Ryote-Dori- Both hands held

San- Three
Seichu-Sen- Centre line of one’s body
Seiza- Sitting Properly
Sempai- Senior Student
Sen- Initiating an attack slightly before your opponent
Sensei- Teacher
Sensei-ni-rei- Bow to the teacher
Sen-sen-no-sen- Sensing and preparing for your opponent’s attack
Shi- Four
Shiai- Tournament, Competition
Shichi- Seven
Shichihon-no-kuzushi- Balance breaking
Shihan- A master teacher/teacher of teachers
Shiho-nage- Four directional Throw
Shikko- Knee walking
Shime- Lock
Shinkokyu- Deep breathing exercise at the end of practice
Shite- Defender also called Tori
Shizentai- Natural standing position
Shomen- Front also called Omote
Shomen ni rei- Bow to the front
Shomen-Uchi- Strike to the top of the head
Shotei-awase- Tension exercise
Sode- Sleeve
Suwari-waza- Sitting techniques from Seiza position

Tachi-waza- Standing techniques
Tai-sabaki- Evasion of an attack by avoidance
Taiso- Warm-up callisthenics
Tandokuo-undo- Foot and hand movements exsercises
Tanto- Knife
Te- Hand
Tegatana- Hand blade
Tegatana-awase- Hand blade exercise
Tekubi- Wrist also known as Kote
Tekubi waza- Wrist techniques
Tenkan- Absorption principle
Tentai- Hip-turn
Tori- The defender/Person doing the technique
Tsugi- Thrust
Tsugi-ashi- Sliding feet

Uchi- Hand strike
Uke- Attacker/Person being thrown
Ukemi- Break falls
Uki-waza- Floating or timing techniques
Ura- Back
Uraken- Back fist
Unsoku- Foot movements (Avoidance) exercises
Ushiro- Backward, behind

Waza- Technique
Waki-gammae- Low Sword posture

Yame- Stop
Yoi- Prepare
Yoko- Side
Yokomen- Temple area of the face
Yokomen-uchi- Side strike to the opponent’s temple

Zanshin- Awareness
Za-rei- Sitting bo

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