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AIKIDO ACADEMY LOS ANGELES

Japanese-English Basic Aikido Terminology


Ai - harmony

arigato - thank you

ashi - foot, leg

atemi - strike, blow

awase - blending movement

ayumi ashi - normal, ordinary walking, where the legs move forward alternately


Bokken - wooden sword

budo - Japanese martial arts

bushi - warrior

bushido - the feudal-military Japanese code of behavior of samurai/warrior


Chikama - shortest distance (face to face with the opponent)

chudan - middle level


Dan - black belt rank

DNBK - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (lit. “Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society”) is a Japanese martial arts organization established in 1895 in Kyoto.

It’s aims include the restoration of classical martial cultures and promotion of international peace and harmony through the education and training of the traditional Japanese martial arts disciplines.

do - way, path

dojo - martial arts studio

domo arigato gozaimashita- thank you very much (used after each class to your partner and instructor)

dori - grab


Eri - collar, lapel


Geiko - training, practice

geri - kick

gedan - lower level

godan - 5th degree black belt rank

gyaku hanmi - opposite stance


Hachidan - 8th degree black belt rank

hai - yes

hakama - traditional Japanese pants usually worn by black-belt ranks or senior students

hara - one’s center of mass, located about 2” below the navel

hanmi handachi waza - Aikido practice in sitting position against standing attacker(s)

hasami - scissors

hidari - left

hiji - elbow

hiza - knee


Irimi - entering movement

irimi nage - throw thru entering/stepping in (one of the fundamental Aikido techniques)


Jo - wooden staff

jo omote - take your jo

jo ite - place your jo away

jodan - upper level

judan - 10th degree black belt rank


Kai - organization

kaiso - school/system founder

kamae - position, stance

kata - a “form” or prescribed pattern of movements, especially with the Jo or Bokken

keiko- training

ki - mind, spirit, energy

kokoro - heart, spirit.

kokyuho - way or method of breathing

kokyu nage - “breath throw” techniques

kote - wrist

kote gaeshi - outward wrist turn or twist

kubi - neck

kuzushi - body out of balance

kyu - any rank below black belt

kyudan - 9th degree black belt rank


Ma-ai - correct, proper distance

mae - front

marui - spherical movement

meguri - flexibility and rotation of the forearms

men - head

mokuso - meditation

mune - chest


Nage - throw

nanadan - 7th degree black belt rank

nidan - 2nd degree black belt rank

Nippon - Japan


O - grand, big

O’Sensei - Grand Master

obi - a belt

omote - in the front direction (in Aikido we can divide all techniques into omote and ura)

onegai shimasu - in Japanese culture “onegai shimasu” is used in many different situations. The basic connotation is the feeling of exchanging "good will" towards the "future" of the two meeting parties. In Aikido training it is used at the beginning of each class and it can be understood as “I welcome you to train with me” / “please let me train with you”


Rei - bow

renshi - Is a

rokudan - 6th degree black belt rank


Sandan - 3rd degree black belt rank

shiho nage - throw in four directions

seika-tanden - central point of stomach located slightly below the navel

shikko - knee walking

seiza - sitting position

seme - attacker, term especially used during aiki-ken and aiki-jo training. In aikitai-jutsu the term would be replaced with “uke”

sensei - instructor, teacher, master

shite - defender, term especially used during aiki-ken and aiki-jo training. In aikitai-jutsu the term would be replaced with “tori”

shihan - teacher of teachers, master instructor

shodan - 1st degree black belt rank

shomen - front or top of head

sode - sleeve

soto - outside, on the outside

suburi - basic Jo or Bokken practice in striking and thrusting

suwari waza - Aikido techniques in sitting position


Tachi - long sword

tai-sabaki - body movement

tai-jutsu - the art of the body (in Aikido - unarmed techniques)

tachi-rei - bow in standing position

tachi-tori - techniques against opponent with a sword

tanto - knife

tatami - mat, padded flooring

te gatana - “hand sword”

tokui waza - favorite techniques

to-ma - big distance

tori - the one who is carrying out the technique, the thrower. Also see “shite”

tsugi ashi - sliding and follow up step (moving to either side of the line of the incoming attack). Tsugi ashi vs. ayumi ashi

tsuki - straight/front punch/thrust


Uchi - strike

uchi deshi - a live-in student, direct student of the instructor/master

uke - attacker, person being thrown. Also see “seme”

ukemi waza - the art of falling in response to a technique

ura - (tenkan) - rear (omote vs. ura)

ushiro - backwards or behind


Waza - technique, method, group of techniques


Yame - stop

yoko - side

yokomen - side of the head

yondan - 4th degree black belt rank

yudansha - any black belt rank holder


Zarei - bow in a sitting position

zori - sandals worn off the mat to help keep the mat clean

zubon - Aikido uniform pants


Japanese Counting

ichi - one

ni - two

san - three

shi - four

go - five

roku - six

shichi - seven

hachi - eight

kyu - nine

ju - ten

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