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Karate Dictionary

Below is a list of terms you may need:

AikidoAI - harmony; KI -the vital enegy of the universe (Japanese equivalent of CHI); DO - way. A martial art that harmonises with the opponents attacking force and utilises throws and locks to defeat them. Formulated by Morihei Ueshiba from the Japanese art of Jui Jitsu.
AgetsukiRising Punch
AgeukeRising Block
AtemiAttacking vital targets on the body. These can include pressure points, joints and vital organs. Blows to these areas can cause great pain, diasablement and even death.
AkaRed. Often used in kumite (fighting) competition where one competitor wears a red belt and the other a white belt. The officials then refer to the competitors by the colour of their belt.
Bodai shinThe awakened or illuminated mind/spirit; satori
BoA staff. Usually about 6 feet in length. Used in many Japanese martial arts.
BokkenA wooden sword. Used predominantly in Kendo.
BudoThe way of combat. A Japanese term for arts that use peaceful combat as a way of mastering the self. The ideogram for bu also means to stop the combat; there is an implication of containment of military power and prohibition of abuse.
BushidoThe Way Of The Warrior. A code of ethics that all warriors were meant to follow. This code included loyalty to one's Lord, respect to others, Justice and honesty.
BunkaiThe (Study Of) application to kata. Practising the movements, sometimes with partners, paying attention to what the move is doing and how it could be used against an attacker.
ChadoThe (way of the) tea ceremony.
ChokutsukiStraight Punch
ChiIt is believed that a form of energy circulates through the Universe. On its path it travels through everything, including people. Many martial arts believe that if this power can be directed, it can be used to put power into techniques. It is also believed that if this energy's path through the body is blocked, illness will follow. The arts of Acupressure and Acupuncture attempt to remove blockages from the meridians (pathways the energy uses to travel through the body) to ensure good health. The Japanese term for Chi is Ki
ChudanStomach level as a target - eg Junzuki Chudan. Proper target is to aim for the Solar Plexus, a nerve centre in the stomach that causes malfunction or ceasation of the Autonomic breathing action.
DanLevel. Prefixed by another word to say what level. Examples Chudan - Stomach Level; Jodan - head level; Shodan - first level etc..
DachiPronounced Datch. Stance.
DoThe Way
DojoA training hall where people can practice Karate and other Japanese martial arts.
EtiquetteAn important element of Karate Training. Properly observed etiquette allows us to maintain focus on what we are trying to achieve , lets us release our egos and concentrate on learning and becoming better people.
Funakoshi Gichin (1869-1957)The founder and inventor of the Shotokan style of Karate. Considered by many to be the father of all Karate as he introduced it into Japan in the early 1920's.
Funakoshi YoshitakaThe son of Funakoshi Gichin. Funakoshi Yoshitaka taught students to pull kicks and punches rather than using full force. This enabled them to compete in competitions. He also formulated rules for competitions. He is acclaimed to have turned Karate-Jutsu into Katrate-Do.
FumikomiStamping Kick
Gedan BaraiLower Level Sweep. A defensive action whereby the arm is swept across the body to defend against chudan or gedan attacks. The purpose is to redirect an incoming attack and upset the attackers balance and stability to make an opening for your own counter attack.
Gedan Juji ukeLower X Block
GiMartial arts Uniform
GiriOften wrongly interpreted to mean "Loyalty", Giri means Obligation. This is far stronger than a mere loyalty, This is when you promise something to such an extent that the thought of not fulfilling the promise just does not cross your mind. This is the attitude that you should have towards your training. The technique is the technique. It can't be any less because today you have a headache, or because today your favourite football team lost their match. Right is Right and you must always strive to make each and every technique the right technique.
GokokuA resuscitation point in the fleshy area be tween the thumb and index finger.
Go No SenWaiting for your opponent to attack and counter attacking the opening they leave. "You are at your weakest at the moment of attack" relies on the fact that the attackers mind becomes focussed on the attack, thus the defender has more chance of a sucessful counter attack.
Go Rin No ShoThe Book Of Five Rings. A book on strategy and technique written by Miyamoto Mushashi, an incredible swordsman of the 17th Century. The book is still studied by students of Kendo and by Japanese businessmen who adopt the strategies to everyday business life.
GyakuReverse or back. Often used before a technique (eg gyakuzuki - reverse punch) to specify how that technique is to be performed.
GyakuzukiReverse punch or back hand punch. The punch is delivered with the opposing hand to the leading foot; ie if you have the left foot forward, you punch with the right hand.
Gyakuzuki No tsukkomiReverse Leaning Punch To Groin
HaraThe Japanese term for the abdomen. The centre of the Ki or universal vital energy within the body.
HarikiriRitual Suicide
HaittoRidge Hand
HidariLeft. As in Hidari Gamae which means left guard.
Hironora Ohtsuka (1892 - 1982)The founder and inventor of the Wado Ryu style of Karate. Hironora Ohtsuka had studied both Japanese Jui Jitsu and Karate. The Wado Ryu style of karate utilises aspects of both forms of these martial arts.
HaraIntestines; the center and source of physical energy, in the lower abdomen
HishiryoThink without thinking; consciousness beyond thought
HonbuThe dojo or training hall of the chief instructor. The main dojo for an association or group of clubs. Often where the teachers go to learn.
IaidoThe Japanese art of drawing the sword. The sword is drawn directly into an attacking movement the returned to the scabbard.
IrimiTo enter your opponents incoming technique allowing a counter attack. Instead of stepping away from your opponent, use angles to avoid the income attack and simultaneously take you closer to them. The last two moves in Pinan Godan are a good example of this.
Ichi or ShoOne
IpponFull point in Contest
Ippon KenSingle Knuckle Strike
Ippon KumiteOne step sparring
Jeet Kune DoThe Way Of The Intercepting Fist. A style of Kung Fu formulated by Bruce Lee, based on the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu.
Jigaro Kano (1860-1938) The founder of Judo.
Jiyu KumiteFree Sparring
JoShort Staff
Jodan Juji UkeX Block above head
Jodan UkeA head level defence. The defending arm is brought across the face in a twisting motion (Similar to punching diagonally above the head) to redirect an incoming, jodan attack
JujiukeX Block
JunzukiA front hand punch. Sometimes refered to as a lunge punch but this can suggest a lack of balance when performing the technique.
Kado(The way of) flower arranging, or ikebana.
Kagi tsukiHook Punch
KamaeAttitude, Posture. Performing a technique rather than "Going Through The Motions".
KammeAttitude, posture; very important in the martial arts, especially kendo.
KanjiChinese writing, adopted by Japan.
KarateThe literal translation means Empty Hand. Karate is a number of different styles for unarmed self defense. Karate-Jutsu is concerned with using unarmed combat in real situations with the aim being to win in a fight. Karate-Do is concerned with using the art of Karate to master oneself.
KaratekaA student of the art of Karate.
KataA preset series of movements that show the principles of the style under which they were formulated. To really "Master" a kata takes years of diligent practice. Kata is also the Highest Level of Moving Zen and allows the student to block out all the daily troubles and woes and to become at one with their existence. Means Form (as a verb i.e to form).
KatachiForm. This is form as a noun (as opposed to Kata which is form as a verb). This means the shape, stance etc..
KatanaThe Japanese sword used by the Samurai. The blade of the sword is slightly curved.
Katsu1) to win
2) particular kind of loud cry or shout, same as kiai
3) a technique of resuscitation or stimulation of energy.
KeriTo kick. Often prefixed by another word to show what type of kick. When prefixed with another word Keri becomes Geri Example Ushiro means backward or behind, Ushirogeri means a back kick.
Keri WazaKicking Technique
KiThe japenese term for Chi
Ki Ken Tai No ItchiSpirit (Ki), Technique (Ken) and body (Tai) as one
KiaiThis is the "Shout" given out to reinforce certain moves. It should be performed by tensioning the stomach muscles rather than just shouting. It can be thought of as the joining of the spiritual and the physical. Whilst many people do not believe that Kiai actually means anything, I have heard it translated as "Bringing spirit and body into Harmony". Certainly this is a good tought to hold whilst uttering the Kiai. Ki means Universal Energy and Ai means harmony. The act of uttering the Kiai should be to attempt to bring your physical and spiritual being in line with the universal energy, thus making you undefeatable.
Kiba DachiHorse Riding Stance
KihonA basic technique.
Kikai"The ocean of energy" (lower abdomen); also kikaitanden.
KimeFocus. In performing basic techniques without a partner, each technique must be focused. It is necessary to imagine where the opponent would be and the technique should finish at that point. All too frequently peoples techniques end when their arm is straight, ie when the physical limits of the body have been reached, rather than at a predefined point in space.
KoanInitially, a law, principle of government; later the riddles, questions, etc., used by Zen masters to educate their disciples.
Kobo IchiAttack and defence as one. In Wado Ryu there is no attack, There is no defence. The two are simultaneous.
Kokutsu DachiAny stance where the weight is predominantly over the rear leg. According to styles and schools this can include stances such as Neko Ashi Dachi, Mahanmi Neko Ashi Dachi etc.. The opposite of Zenkutsu Dachi.
KokyuBreathing. Correct breathing is important to ensure that you do not run out of breath during long combinations or kata.
KumiteTo spar or partnerwork. Can be preset partnerwork where both attacker and defender have prearranged moves (Ippon Kumite, Ohyo Kumite Kihon Kumite) or free sparring (Jiyu Kumite).
KyosakuA long, flat stick used by a Zen master or person in charge of a dojo or zazen, to arouse or calm disciples having difficulty with their posture.
KyuBelt Grade
Kyudo(The way of) archery
KyushoA pressure point in the body. The art of Kyusho-Jutsu looks to attacking the pressure points on the body to cause the maximum damage from the minimum effort.
LearnSomething you must strive to do. Admit that you don't know everything and release your ego, Failure to do so will result in a stagnation of mind and body and a failure to reach your true potential.
Ma-aiProper distance or timing with regard to your opponent.
Mae geriFront Kick
Mae Tobi geriJump Front Kick
MawashiRound or circular as in Mawashigeri (roundhouse kick) or Mawashizuki (roundhouse punch)
MigiRight. As in Migi Gamae which means Right guard.
MikazukiCrescent as in Kick
MokusoMeditation. Emptying or clearing the mind. Can be done prior to and after training.
MoroteTwo arm or Hand
Mushin"Empty Mind". A state that allows you to be receptive to anything that is happening around you.
MusoNot-posture; unselfconscious, undeliberate posture
NagareFlow. In combinations (renraku) each technique (waza) should flow into the next. It is not sufficient to perform one technique after another stacatto style as this leads to a "dead time" between each technique. It also means that the kinetic energy that you have built up (by moving the body) is disipated and needs to be restarted.
NagashiTo sweep away
NagashizukiEvading jumping front hand punch. The body weight is propelled forward while punching without stepping or changing stance (similar to tobikomizuki). However, at the same time the body angle is changed by turning the hips, to avoid any incoming attack.
Neko ashi DachiCat stance
Nidan GeriDouble Kick with Jump
Nihon NukiteTwo finger strike
NukiteSpear hand
NunchukaTwo rods joined with rope or chain (weapon)
OitsukiForward lunge punch
Otosu (Otoshi)To drop. As in Otosu Empi - a strike by dropping the elbow or Otosu Uke - A defence by dropping the hand down.
PersevereTo persist, To maintain an effort, not to give in. Something all martial artists do. If you don't do it you won't succeed.
ReiTo show respect. The showing of respect is normally done by bowing, consequently all students normally bow on the command Rei
RinzaiACh'an master and founder of a school; known in Chinese as Lin Tsi. In Rinzai Zen more formal use is made of koans; and zazen, which is practiced facing the center of the room, tends to be seen as a means of obtaining satori.
Renraku WazaCombination Techniques. Multiple attacks and defences performed in succession.
RoshiA master
RyuSchool or style.
SamadhiPerfect, total concentration
SanranIn zazen, a state of excessive tension or agitation. Satori awakening to the truth of the cosmos.
SekakuAccuracy. A jodan technique should be performed at head level. It should not be "waved about in the air".
Sen No SenTo counter attack or attack at the precise moment your opponent attacks.
SeizaGo to kneeling position
SempaiSenior black belt up to 2nd dan
SepukkuJapanese ritual suicide. The person commiting Sepukku (or Harikiri) would use a small sword in a kneeling position to disembowel themselves. They would have a friend standing by their side who would complete the suicide by cutting of the head with a sword.
ShiroWhite. Often used in kumite (fighting) competition where one competitor wears a red belt and the other a white belt. The officials then refer to the competitors by the colour of their belt.
Shodo(The way of) calligraphy.
ShihanOne who is 4th Dan or higher
Shizen taiNatural stance
ShutoKnife hand
SotoThe school of Zen founded by Dogen. It differs from Rinzai in that zazen is practised facing the wall, less systematic use is made of the koan, and zazen, rather than a means of obtaining satori, is satori.
Soto ukeOuter Block
Sukoshi Wa Karate KaiThe name of Paul Furnivals club in Hinkley. Translated it means "Little Harmony Karate Club". This is because, although we study the Wado Ryu style of karate, we do not know it all. We are still practicing and, hopefully, still improving but can never expect to know all there is about the style. The club name reflects this fact.
Tai SabakiBody Movement. A method of moving the body to avoid incoming attacks whilst still remaining in distance with your opponent. In this way, a counter attack can be delivered simultaneously with your defence. This leads to the Ideom in Wado Ryu that there is no attack and no defence, the two are simultaneous.
TatamiThick mats made of rice straw. They form the flooring of traditional Japanese rooms and are used underfoot in many dojos practising the martial arts.
TatetsukiUpper cut punch
TeishoPalm heel
TettsuiHammer Fist
TobikomizukiJumping front hand punch. The body weight is propelled forward while punching without stepping or changing stance.
ToriAn attacker.
TsukiTo punch. Often prefixed by another word to show what type of punch. When prefixed with another word Tsuki becomes Zuki Example Gyaku means reverse, Gyakuzuki means a reverse, or back hand, punch.
UchiTo strike. This term is normally used for strikes that can not be classed as Kicks or punches. For example Uraken, Tettsui etc..
Uchi ukeInner forearm Block
UkeA defence or a defender. Sometimes translated as a block, we try to avoid this translation as we do not perform "blocks", we guide, parry or redirect incoming attacks.
UraBack or flipside (mirror image)
Ushiro geriBack kick
Wado RyuThe School of the way of harmony. So called because practitioners of the style try to harmonize with their opponents on a physical and mental plane.
WazaA single technique; the individual building blocks of karate.
YokogeriSide kick
YudanchaThe collective noun for all dan grades present.
ZanshinAwareness. To be pasively aware of things that are happening as opposed to actively concentrating on them. In this state of mind we are able to react intuitively to anything that happens around us. The physical aspects of Karate allow us to practice and perfect moves for fighting. The ability to achieve an empty mind and Zanshin allows us not to be preoccupied by anything happening around us. The combination of physical skill and mental control should allow any student to become profficient at self defence.
ZenTrue, profound silence. Commonly translated as objectless concentration or meditation; or, the original, pure human spirit.
Zenkutsu DachiAny stance where the weight is predominantly over the front leg. According to styles and schools this can include stances such as Junzuki Dachi, Gyakuzuki Dachi etc.. The opposite of Kokutsu Dachi.

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Why Derby Karate Club?

Derby Karate Club is a friendly low cost place for you and your family to learn. We offer a fresh, no pressure approach teaching the basics right through to Dan grades.

About Derby Karate Club

Derby Karate Club is a friendly low cost place for you and your family to learn. We offer a fresh, no pressure approach teaching the basics right through to Dan grades.

Unlike other karate clubs we never pressure our members. You pay only when you train and we will never ask you to pay up front or to sign any contract.

Put simply, it’s Karate as it should be. Safe fun and friendly.

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