Aikido glossary

Aikido is a Japanese martial art and we use lots of Japanese words and terms during our classes. Below are some of the common ones we use in our Aikido training.

Japanese we use in our classes.

  • Aikido (I kee doh): The Way of Harmony of the Spirit (the name of the Martial Art that we practice)
  • Shudokan (Shoe doh can): The place to learn the way (the name of the style of Aikido we practice)
  • Sensei (Sen say): Instructor or teacher
  • Sempai (Sem pie): Senior student

What we say at the beginning and the end of a class

  • Ki wo tsu ke (Kee oo su key): Pay attention and stand straight and still
  • Shomen ni rei (Show men nee ray): Bow to the shomen
  • Sensei ni rei (Sen say nee ray): Bow to sensei
  • Domo arigato gozaimas’ta (Domo aah ree garto go zay mas ta): Thank you very much

What we say during a class

  • Hajime (Haa jee may): Begin
  • Mate (Mat tay): Wait
  • Mokuso (Mook u soo): Meditate
  • Otagai ni rei (Otaagay ne ray): Bow to each other
  • Sekkin (Sek kin): Advance/ move together
  • Yame (Yam may): Stop
  • Osu (Oss): I understand
  • Hai (Hi): Yes
  • Rei (Ray): Bow
  • Otagai ni rei (O taga nee ray): Bow to each other
  • Basics
  • Kamae (Kam mi): Posture, stance
  • Kihon dosa: Basic movements
  • Kihon waza: Basic techniques
  • Seiza (Say za): Kneeling
  • Uke (Oo key): Receiver of the technique (attacker)
  • Shite (Sh tay): Person performing the technique

Technical terms

  • Atemi: Strike or hit
  • Aya mochi: Cross hand grasp
  • Bokken: Wooden sword
  • Chushin: Centre
  • Dai ichi kihon waza: 1st basic technique
  • Dai ni kihon waza: 2nd basic technique
  • Dai san kihon waza: 3rd basic technique
  • Eri mochi: Collar grasp
  • Gyaku hanmi: Both partners assume opposite stances, one right, the other left
  • Hajime: Begin
  • Hanmi: Standing position in which one foot is forward, often used interchangeably with kamae
  • Hanmi handachi: Shite seated, uke standing
  • Hidari: Left
  • Hiji: Elbow
  • Hiji ate kokyu nage: Hitting elbow breath throw
  • Hiji mochi: Elbow grasp
  • Hiji shime: Elbow lock
  • Hiji osae: Elbow control
  • Hiriki no yosei: Elbow power
  • Hojo dosa: Supplementary movement
  • Ikkajo osae: First control
  • Irimi: Entering movement
  • Irimi nage: Entering throw
  • Jiyu waza: Free-style techniques
  • Jo: Wooden staff
  • Jodan: Upper level
  • Juji nage: Arm cross throw
  • Kaiten nage: Rotary throw/pivoting throw
  • Kata: Shoulder
  • Katate aya mochi: Cross wrist grasp
  • Katate mochi: One-handed grasp
  • Ken: Sword
  • Kihon: Basic
  • Kime waza: Locking techniques
  • Koho kaiten ukemi: Backward roll
  • Koho ukemi: Back backfall
  • Kokyu nage: Breath throw
  • Kokyu ryoku: Breath power
  • Kote gaeshi: Outward wrist turn
  • Kubi ate: Hit the neck
  • Mune: Chest
  • Nage: Throw
  • Nikajo osae: Second control
  • Oyo waza: Advanced techniques
  • Ryo hiji mochi: Both elbows grasp
  • Ryo hiza tsuki: Both knees down
  • Ryote mochi: Both wrists grasp
  • Sankajo osae: Third control
  • Shiho nage: Four direction throw
  • Shime waza: Locking techniques
  • Shomen tsuki: Front thrust/punch
  • Shomen uchi: Front strike
  • Sokumen irimi nage: Side entering throw
  • Suwari waza: Kneeling techniques
  • Tachi waza: Standing techniques
  • Tenchi nage: Heaven and earth throw
  • Tsuki: Thrust/punch
  • Uchi: Strike
  • Udegarami: Arm lock
  • Ude osae: Arm control
  • Ushiro waza: Techniques initiating from behind shite
  • Yokomen uchi: Strike to the side of the head
  • Yonkajo osae: Fourth control
  • Zuki (tsuki): Thrust/punch

Clothing

  • Gi (Gee): Practice uniform
  • Hakama (Hak a ma): Split skirt, wide legged pants (worn by Black belts)
  • Obi (O bee): Belt

Counting

  • 1 ichi
  • 2 ni
  • 3 san
  • 4 shi / yon
  • 5 go
  • 6 roku
  • 7 shichi / nana
  • 8 hachi
  • 9 ku
  • 10 ju