Some useful basic terminology for training in karate.

General Terms:  
Japanese English
Dojo Training Hall
Karate Empty hand / Chinese hand
Hidari Left
Gi Training suit
Kiai Expression of spirit
Kime Focus of power
Mawate Turn
Migi Right
Moroto Double
Obi Belt
Rei Bow
Shomen Front
Shomen ni rei Bow to the front
Shoto Pine waves
Shotokan Hall of pinewaves
Japanese English
Dachi Stance
Hangetsu Dachi Half moon stance
Heiko Dachi Parallel stance
Heisoku Dachi Informal attention stance (feet together)
Kiba Dachi Horse riding stance
Kokusto Dachi Back stance
Musubi Dachi Knot stance
Neko Ashi Dachi Cat stance
Renoji Dachi L stance
Shiko Dachi Square stance
Shizentai Natural stance
Tsuruashi Dachi Crane stance
Uchi Hachiji Dachi Inverted open leg stance
Zenkutsu Dachi Front stance


Japanese English
Age Uke Upper rising block
Ashibo Kake Uke Leg hooking block
Gedan Barai Downward block / sweep
Haishu Uke Backhand block
Juji Uke Cross / x block
Kake Uke Hooking block
Kakiwake Uke Bent wrist block
Moroto Uke Double / augmented forearm block
Manji Uke Swastika block / High low block / Chinese block
Nagashi Uke Sweeping block
Shuto Uke Knife hand block
Soto Ude Uke Outside forearm block
Sukui Uke Scooping block
Tekubi Kake Uke Wrist hooking block
Te Osae Uke Hand pressing block
Tsukami Uke Grasping block
Uchi Ude Uke Inside forearm block
Japanese English
Age Zuki Rising punch
Awase Zuki U punch
Choku Zuki Straight punch
Gyaku Zuki Reverse punch
Heiko Zuki Parallel punch
Kagi Zuki Hook punch
Kizami Zuki Jab punch
Oi Zuki Stepping punch
Sanbon Zuki Three punches
Tate Zuki Vertical fist punch
Ura Zuki Close punch
Yama Zuki Mountain / Wide U Punch


Japanese English
Empi Uchi Elbow strike
Hashu Uchi Backhand strike
Haito Uchi Ridge hand strike
Hiji Ate Elbow strike
Nakadaka Ippon Ken Middle finger one knuckle fist
Nihon Nukite Two finger spearhand
Nukite Spearhand
Otoshi Empi Uchi Downward / dropping elbow strike
Shuto Uchi Knifehand strike
Uraken Uchi Backfist strike
Japanese English
Fumikiri Cutting kick
Fumikomi Stamping kick
Geri Kick
Kekomi Thrust kick
Mae Geri Keage Front snap kick
Mae Geri Kekomi Front thrust kick
Mae Tobi Geri Front jumping kick
Mawashi Geri Roundhouse kick
Mikazuki Geri Crescent kick
Ushiro Geri Back kick
Yoko Geri Keage Side snap kick
Yoko Geri Kekomi Side thrust kick


Parts of the body:  
Japanese English
Ago Chin
Ashi Foot or leg
Ashiko Instep
Ashikubi Ankle
Chichi Nipple
Chudan Chest / middle level
Chusoku Ball of foot
Do Torso / trunk of the body
Empi Elbow
Ensho Round heel
Gaiwan Outer arm
Gedan Groin / lower level
Gawa Side
Goshi Hip
Haibu Back area
Haishu Back of hand
Haisoku Instep
Haito Ridge hand
Haiwan Back arm
Hana Nose
Hiji Elbow
Hiraken Flat / fore knuckle fist
Hiza Knee / lap
Ippon Ken One knuckle fist
Kaisho Open hand
Kakato Heel
Kakuto Bent wrist
Kanjinoke Hair
Kau Face
Keito Chicken hand wrist
Kentsui Hammer fist
Koko Tiger mouth
Koshi Ball of foot / hips
Kote Wrist
Kubi Neck
Kuchi Mouth
Kumade Bear hand
Me Eyes (pronounced may)
Mune Chest / abdomen
Naiwan Inner arm
Seika Tanden Lower abdobmen
Seiken Forefist
Seiryuto Ox jaw hand
Shita Tongue
Shuwan Palm arm
Sokuto Edge of foot
Tanden Lower abdomen
Te Hand
Teisho Palm heel
Tobu Head area except face
Tsumasaki Tip of toes
Ubi Fingers
Wan Arm
Washide Eagle hand


This is a curious term which is heard often throughout all Karate Lessons. It can mean a multitude of different things. It can be used as a greeting when bowing to other karateka, it can be used to indicate to other karateka that you are ready, it can be used to the instructor to indicate that you have understood an instruction. It can be used as a mark of respect when bowing to higher grades and it can also be used as a respectful way of saying to the Instructor I understand but please be patient whilst I try to put what you have taught me into practice.

Oss derives from two Chinese characters one means to bear hardship the other to push aside obstacles.