Japanese Terms Glossary
Japanese words often used in Aikido teachings and discussions
Ai-hanmi: position when partners stay in the same-side stance
Aiki: the principle that allows to negate or redirect an opponent's power
Aiki jo: the staff of aikido
Aiki ken: the sword of aikido
Aikido: a modern budo developed from Japanese old jujutsu
Aikikai Hombu Dojo (often referred as Aikikai or Hombu): World Headquarter of Aikido largest organization
Atemi: strike or punch to vital point applied to create conditions for aikido technique
Bokken: wooden sword
Bokuto: wooden sword
Budo: general term for Japanese martial arts
Choku: straight
Chudan: middle position
Dan: upper grades in Aikido; 1 dan (shodan) is the lowest dan
Deshi: student
Dojo: training hall
Fumikae: to exchange a fore foot for a back foot or vice versa
Gedan: lower position
Gyaku-hanmi: position when partners stay in the reverse or opposite stance
Gyaku-yokomen: a side strike with a ken or jo at the right side of the opponent's head
Hachi-no-ji: a movement based on the shape of eight
Harai (barai): a movement intended to sweep an opponent's sword or jo away.
Hanmi: a basic aikido stance with one side of body ahead; e.g. hidari-hanmi, migi-hanmi - left stance, right stance
Hasso: a posture where the jo or sword is held vertically at the right shoulder
Hasso gaeshi: a movement from the basic stance to the hasso posture
Henka: change, variation
Henkawaza: variation of technique
Hidari: left
Ho: method
Ikkyo: the first principle, teaching; first technique to control an opponent
Irimi: entering technique; to move ahead from a fore foot in hanmi
Iriminage: a waza to tumble an opponent face up by pushing the neck with an arm
Jo: staff, wooden stick, wooden rod
Jodan: upper position
Jodan gaeshi: a circular movement with the jo aimed at the upper part of the opponent's body
Kaitennage: a waza to throw an opponent forward by pressing the neck face down and push the arm
Kamae: posture
Kata: a series of movements designed to teach form and basic movements
Katadori: shoulder grab
Katate: one hand
Katate dori: to grasp an opponent's hand by one hand
Katate ryotedori: to grasp an opponent's hand by two hands
Ken: sword; Ken is also called as tachi.
Ki: spirit or energy; vital force of the body
Kihon: basic forms of techniques
Ki Musubi: blending of spirits
Ki-no-nagare: flowing technique
Kirikaeshi: to swing down a sword through left or right above the head in hanmi
Kokyunage: a waza to throw an opponent by round movement without strong force
Kokyu: breathing
Kokyuho: breathing way or method; series of exercises to develop breathing, ki extension, and a stable posture.
Kosadori: cross-handed grab
Kote: wrist
Kotegaeshi: wristlock technique
Kuden: oral teaching
Kyu: a grade lower than Dan; 1 Kyu is the highest Kyu.
Mae: front
Migi: right
Morotedori: two-hand grab (two hands on one)
Munadori: chest grab
Nagare gaeshi: to make a strike to the front and then thrust or strike to the rear in one movement
Nage: throw
Nikyo: second teaching
O-Sensei: lit., “great teacher,” term of respect used to refer to Morihei Ueshiba
Omote: front; refers to entering movements
Oyowaza: applied technique
Renzoku: series; a series of; continuous
Ryotedori: two-hand grab (one hand on one)
Sankyo: third teaching
Sensei: teacher
Shihan: suffix for referring high-ranked teachers (from 6 dan and above)
Shiho: four directions
Shihonage: a waza to tumble an opponent face up by taking the opponent's arm as a sword
Shikko: Moving on knees
Shomenuchi: frontal head strike
Sodedori: sleeve grab (at elbow level)
Sodeguchidori: cuff grab
Suburi: basic movements with weapons
Suwariwaza: seated technique
Tachi: sword
Tachidori: sword-taking techniques
Tachiwaza: to do waza in standing
Tai: body
Tai no henko: body change or shift; exercise to develop ability to turn properly
Taijutsu: body technique; i.e., technique executed empty-handed
Taisabaki: to move to dodge an attack or to control an opponent
Takemusu Aiki: lit., “Aiki, progenitor of martial techniques”; refers to the highest level of spontaneous execution of aikido
Tanren Uchi: practice to develop the hips power
Tanto: short sword, knife
Tantodori: knife-taking techniques
Tegatana: hand-blade
Tenchinage: a waza to throw down an opponent grasping both hands by leading one hand up and another hand down
Tenkan: to turn around a back foot in Hanmi
Toma: great distance
Tsuki: to thrust an opponent with a fist; The word "tsuki" changes to "zuki" when it placed behind other words
Uchi: a strike
Uchi-deshi: stay-in student
Uchikata: how to hit with a hand
Uchitachi: attacking sword
Uchikomi: to step forward and hit with a hand, a ken or a jo
Uke: a person who receives an attack
Ukemi: breakfall; e.g. Mae-Ukemi, Ushiro-Ukemi and Tobi-Ukemi (Jumping Ukemi)
Uketachi: defending sword
Ura: back, reverse; refers to turning or pivoting movements
Ushiro: back, rear
Waza: technique; how-to
Yokomenuchi: lateral head strike
Yonkyo: fourth teaching
Zagi: to do waza on the knees in shikko position
Zengo: forward and backward; front and back
Zenpo: forward