Karate Terminology

At CMA Karate we use a number of Japanese terms when teaching, in this glossary you will find the terms used in day to day classes. You will also find the translations for numbers and stances.

There are differences in the way some letters are pronounced in English and Japanese, for example;

  • a is pronounced as in ‘ah’, ‘father’
  • e is pronounced as in ‘get’, ‘vet’
  • i is pronounced as a double ‘e’ as in ‘street’
  • o is pronounced as in ‘pole’
  • u is pronounced like a double ‘o’ like ‘tool’

 

Hand Techiques

Te Waza

  • English Japanese Pronunciation
  • Straight punch Choku zuki choc-o zuki
  • Elbow Empi m-pea
  • Rising punch Furi zuki fur-i zuki
  • Reverse punch Gyaku zuki gi-ak-a zuki
  • Ridge hand Haito hi-toe
  • Round punch Mawashi zuki ma-wash-i zuki
  • Slip punch Nagashi zuki nag-ash-e zuki
  • Spear hand Nukite nook-e-tae
  • Palm heel Taisho tay-show
  • Upright punch Tate zuki tat-e zuki
  • Hammer fist Tetsui tet-su-e
  • Knife hand Shuto shoe-toe
  • Front snap punch Komi zuki kom-e zuki
  • Back fist Uraken ur-ack-en
  • Lunge punch Jun zuki jun zuki

Kick Techniques

Geri Waza

  • English Japanese Pronunciation
  • Snap kick Kette ket-ae
  • Front kick Mae Geri my geri
  • Round house kick Mawashi Geri ma-wash-e geri
  • Side kick Yoko Geri yo-ko- geri
  • Side stamping kick Sokuto Fumikomi sock-u-toe fur-ri-komi
  • Crescent kick Mikazuki Geri mik-a-zuk-e geri
  • Outer crescent kick Uchi Mikazuki Geri oo-ch-e mik-a-zuk-e geri
  • Hook kick Ura Mawashi Geri ur-a ma-wash-e geri
  • Back kick Ushiro Geri o-shi-ro geri

Stances

Dachi

  • English Japanese Pronunciation
  • Horse riding stance Kiba Dachi Key-ba dach-ee
  • Back stance Kokustsu Dachi Ko-cut-soo dach-ee
  • Inside fighting stance Nihanchi Dachi Ni-han-chee
  • Forward facing cat stance Shomen Nekoashi Dachi
  • Side facing cat stance Mahanmi Nekoashi Dachi
  • Straddle stance Shiko Dachi She-ko Dach-ee
  • Natural stance Shizentai She-zen-tie
  • Forward (fighting) stance Zenkutsu Dachi Zen-cut-zoo Dach-ee
  • Attention stance Musubi dachi Moo-zoo-ba Dach-ee
  • Ready stance Yoi Yo-ee

Kazu

Kazu

  • English Japanese Pronunciation
  • 1 Ichi
  • 2 Ni
  • 3 San
  • 4 Shi (Yon)
  • 5 Go
  • 6 Roku
  • 7 Shichi
  • 8 Hachi
  • 9 Ku
  • 10 Ju
  • 11 Ju Ichi
  • 12 Ju Ni
  • 20 Ni Ju
  • 25 Ni Ju Go

General terms

Jeneraru

  • English Japanese Pronunciation
  • Red Aka
  • Blue Ao
  • Head Jodan
  • Mid-section Chudan
  • Lower section Gedan
  • Left Hidari
  • Right Migi
  • Step up/through Surikomi
  • Jump Tobi
  • Turning/spinning Ushiro
  • Stop Yame
  • Relax Yasume
  • Bow (show Respect) Rei
  • Kneel Seiza
  • Black belt grade Dan
  • Non black belt grade Kyu
  • Begin (start) Hajime
  • Attention Kiritsu
  • Leaning No tsukomi
  • Turn (basic) Mawatte
  • Training hall Dojo
  • Knife defences Tanto dori
  • Staff Jo
  • Flails Nunchaku
  • Instructor Sensei
  • Assistant Instructor Sempai
  • Basic fighting (pair) Kihon Gumite
  • Semi-free fighting (pair) Ohyo Gumite
  • Block (to receive) Uke
  • Upper block Jodan Uke
  • Low sweeping block Gedan Barai
  • Outer block Uchi Uke
  • Inner block Soto Uke