AIKIDO GLOSSARY

Ai

harmony.

Aiuchi

Mutual kill. Both partners are able to strike.

Ai-hanmi

partners face each other in a mutual triangular stance (i.e. both partners stand in right hanmi).

Aikido

the way (Do) of spiritual harmony.

Aikidoka

an Aikido practicant. A judoka is a Judo practicant.

Aikikai

the name of any Aikido school recognized by Aikido world headquarters.

Aiyumiashi

"walking" style footwork characterized by hanmi change. The opposite of suriashi.

Arigato

thank you.

Ashi

leg or foot.

Atemi

the use of striking techniques.

Boken

wooden sword.

Budo

any Japanese martial art. It also connotes the way of martial development.

Bushido

The way or code of the samurai or warrior. It comes from Bu (martial) Shi (warrior) Do (way).

Chudan

middle variation of an exercise or technique.

Dan

suffix used to denote black belt rank. Degrees go from one to ten with ten being the highest possible rank.

Do

a way or spiritual path. Derived from Chinese word Tao.

Dojo

a place where martial arts training takes place.

Domo arigato gozaimashita

thank you very much. It is a more formal and respectful "thank you" than arigato.

Doshu

leader of the way. A term designating the head of a school or following. The original Doshu of Aikido was O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba. The current Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba, is the grandson of the founder.

Eri-tori

an attack in which the collar is grabbed from behind.

Gedan

lower variation of an exercise or technique.

Gi

practice uniform.

Gokyo

5TH technique: wrist technique in which the wrist is held palm up; usually employed against a knife attack.

Gyaku-hamni

the partners stand in opposite triangular stances (i.e. one in left hanmi, one in right hanmi).

Gyakute (grip)

thumbs point toward each other as the practitioner grips the jo.

Hakama

pleated skirt like pants worn over the gi.

Hanmi

 

 

triangular stance, the basic on guard position. When standing in hanmi the back foot should be at right angles to the forward foot and the shoulders should be aligned with the hips.

Hanmi handachi

nage is in a sitting posture while uke attacks from a standing posture.

Hara

stomach. The term refers to the practicant’s center of gravity, located in the abdomen about three fingers below the navel.

Hidari

left.

Hiji

elbow.

Ichi

one. Japanese counting goes: 1, ichi, 2 ni, 3 san, 4 shi or yon, 5 go, 6 roku, 7 shichi, 8 hachi, 9 ku, 10 ju.

Ichi geki

one encounter. Weapons practice exercise with only one attack and response.

Ikkyo

first immobilization, a technique in which the pinning energy is directed toward the elbow.

Irimi

entering motion. Nage moves directly toward the uke.

Irimi-nage

a throwing technique employing an entering motion.

Irimi-tenkan

an entering motion followed by a pivoting turn.

Jiyu-waza

free style with one uke.

Jo

a short wooden staff.

Jo-dori

empty handed technique applied against attack with a jo.

Jodan

upper variation of an exercise or technique.

Jodan no kamae

a position in which the sword is held above the head.

Jodo

the way (or study) of the jo.

Jo-tai-ken

jo against ken.

Juji nage or Juji garami

a type of throw in which the nage uses the pressure of crossing the uke’s arms against each other.

Junte (grip)

the thumbs of both hands grasping the jo point to the end of the weapon.

Kaiten

round, circular; wheel. Used to describe a turning motion.

Kaiten-nage

a technique employing a circular spinning motion to throw the uke forward; pressure is exerted by holding the uke’s head down and pushing the arm on a diagonal.

Kamae

posture.

Kamiza

the shrine area of a dojo.

Kangeiko

mid winter training, usually a test of resolve.

Kata

 

prearranged movements done individually or in pairs designed to teach martial techniques.

Kata

shoulder.

Katana

long sword, worn edge upward through the sash.

Katagatame

circular hand movement which takes or holds the person down by immobilizing the arm.

Katate-dori

nage uses one arm to grab uke’s wrist.

Kata-dori

an attack in which the uke grabs at the nage’s shoulder.

Kata-dori-shomen-uchi

shoulder grab accompanied by shomen strike.

Ken

sword, as in boken -wooden sword - or kendo - sword way.

Ki

the energy filling the universe.

Ki-no-nagare

The flow of ki. Free flowing techniques.

Kokyu

breathing, used in the sense of breath power.

Kokyu-nage

a type of throw employing no joint techniques.

Kokyu-ho

a method of coordinating breath power and body movement to increase one’s ki power.

Kokyu-ryokyu

breath power emanating from the abdomen.

Koshi-nage

a throw in which the uke is thrown over the nage’s hips.

Kote

wrist.

Kote-gaeshi

wrist technique in which pressure is applied on the wrist away from the uke’s body.

Kubishime

choke.

Ma-ai

combative distance, the proper spacing between uke and nage.

Migi

right.

Morote-dori

nage uses two hands to grab one of the uke’s forearms.

Munadori

Chest grab.

Mune

chest

Mune-tsuki

punch to the abdomen or chest.

Nage

the partner executing the technique.

Ni Geki

two encounters. Ukejo begins with the first attack, ukijo responds with a counter, and ukejo then executes the practice technique in response to the ukijo’s counter.

Nikyo

second immobilization, wrist technique in which pressure is applied on wrist toward the uke’s body.

Obi

belt.

O’Sensei

 

teacher of teachers. The term is highly respectful and used in Aikido to refer to the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.

Omote

front techniques, usually characterized by irimi movement.

Onegaishimasu

a respectful way of asking a partner to practice with you.

Osae

a pin, a method of holding down.

Randori

freestyle in which nage is attacked by more than one uke.

Rei

respect. Bow, executed before and after training sessions.

Reigi

proper etiquette.

Ryote-dori

an attack in which the uke grabs both of the nage’s wrists.

Ryu

style or school.

Sankaku-irimi

triangular entering.

Sankyo

third immobilization. Technique in which pressure is applied upward against the wrist in a twisting motion.

Seiza

proper sitting, used in meditation practices and Aikido.

Shiho-nage

a technique in which pressure is applied against the uke’s wrist and elbow, using a sword swinging motion to take the uke down.

Shikko

a technique of walking on the knees.

Shinai

bamboo practice sword.

Shojin

the first stage of practice, characterized by will and consciousness.

Shomen

The shrine area of the dojo.

Shomen-tsuki

strike to the face.

Shomen-uchi

knife hand attack to the top center of the head.

Soto-kaiten

an outside turning motion.

Sumi-otoshi

corner drop. The uke's balance is taken by being extended diagonally backward by the hand of the nage.

Suriashi

sliding footwork where one does not change hanmi.

Suwari-waza

techniques done from a sitting position in which both uke and nage employ shikko.

Tachi

Japanese long sword.

Tachi

standing position.

Tachi-waza

standing techniques.

Tachi-dori

sword taking. Empty handed techniques applied against a sword or boken.

Tai no henko

blending practice characterized by circular movement.

Tai-jutsu

body techniques done empty handed, without weapons.

Tai-sabaki

body turning movement used to evade and attack.

Tanden

Center of gravity or one point, located just below the navel.

Tanto

dagger. Refers to the wooden knives used in practice.

Tanto-dori

empty handed techniques used against a tanto or knife.

Tatami

straw practice mats.

Tekubi

wrist

Te-gatana

outer edge of hand; knife hand attack.

Tenchi-nage

 

 

 

heaven and earth throw. A technique in which the uke’s balance is broken by an irimi movement involving the extending of one of the nage’s hands upward while the other moves downward.

Tenkan

circular or turning motion directed away from an opponent.

Tsuba

sword guard. The part of the sword just above the handle that protects the hands.

Tsuki

thrust or strike, often with a cutting penetrating sense.

Uchi-dechi

inside or in house student. The term usually refers to O’Sensei’s elite trainees who lived with him and accompanied him on his travels.

Uchi-kaiten

an inside turning motion.

Uchitachi

the partner in boken practice who provides the attack.

Udekime-nage

throw in which pressure is applied to the underside of the elbow.

Uke

the "attacker" whom the nage throws.

Ukejo

used in jo practice to designate the partner who practices responding and controlling the attack.

Ukemi

defensive techniques, often involving rolling and falling.

Uketachi

the partner in boken practice who blends with and controls the attack.

Ukijo

the partner in jo work who provides the attack for practice.

Ura

movement to the rear or back of the uke, usually a turning motion.

Ushiro

behind, usually refers to an attack directed towards the back of an opponent.

Ushiro-katate-dori kubi-shime

an attack from behind in which the uke grabs one of the nage's wrists while choking with the other arm.

Ushiro-ryo-kata-dori

an attack in which the uke grabs the nage's shoulders from behind.

Ushiro ryote-dori or

Ushiro-ryo-tekubi-dori

an attack in which the nage grabs both the uke's wrists from behind.

Wakizashi

short sword

Waza

technique.

Yobi-dashi

A preemptive strike designed to neutralize an attack before it develops

Yokomen-uchi

knife hand attack directed at the temple or neck.

Yonkyo

 

 

fourth immobilization. A technique in which one arm immobilizes the wrist while the other applies against the underside of the lower part of the forearm above the wrist.

Yudansha

Practicant of black belt rank.

Zanshin

Awareness, unbroken concentration.

Zazen

sitting mediation practiced in Zen.

Zen

a Japanese Buddhist religion of Chinese origin.

 

This glossary reflects my understanding of Japanese terms used in Aikido and Iaido. As I do not speak Japanese, there may be errors. This file is constantly updated, and I welcome any corrections or refinements. Please send any e-mail to: iokuuke@direcway.com