important terms & Glossary



Dojo: School (lit. “place where ‘the Way’ is practiced”)
Kamiza/Shomen: Top area of the training mats that symbolically represents our practice
Kamidana: Small shrine above the shomen that is a symbolic dedication to ancestors
Tatami: mats


Nage/tori: Person performing a given technique
Uke: Person receiving a given technique
Ukemi: General term for falls and rolls ( lit. “receiving with the the body”)
Shikko: Knee walking
Sensei: Teacher
Sempai: Senior member
Kohai: Junior member
Kyu: 5 foundational learning grades before black belt level. 5th kyu is most junior grade, 1st kyu is just below black belt level
Dan: Black belt grades, beginning with 1st degree (“shodan”)
Yudansha: General term for holders of black belt grade
“Onegaishimasu”: Used before initiating class or practice with a partner (lit. “please”)
“Arigato gozaimashita”: “Thank you very much.”
“Hai”: “Yes.” Can also be used to indicate general comprehension or understanding


Basic Concepts:
Tai-sabaki: Body movement
Irimi: entering movement, typically to your partner’s blind spot
Tenkan: pivoting the hips 180°, often while also stepping back
Kuzushi: Breaking the balance
Ma-ai: martial distance/space
Kokyu: lit. breath; also the expression of unified physical power/structure
Jodan/Chudan/Gedan: Upper/middle/lower level (of physical space)
Omote: “in front” performing technique on the front side of your partner
Ura: “behind” performing technique to the rear side of your partner

Basic Attacks:
Katatedori Gyakuhanmi 片手取 逆 半身, single wrist grab, reverse stances (“same side”)
Katatedori Aihanmi  片手取 相 半身 single wrist grab, identical stances (“cross-hand”)
Ryotedori 両手取, grabbing both wrists
Morotedori もろ手 取り, grabbing one arm with two hands
Katadori 肩取, Shoulder (lapel) grab
Ryokatadori 両肩取, grabbing both shoulders (lapels)
Shomenuchi 正面打, overhead strike to top of head
Yokomenuchi 横面打, overhead angled strike to temple or neck
Tsuki 突き, straight punch
Ushiro Ryotedori  後ろ  両手  取 り , grabbing both wrists from behind
Ushiro Ryokatadori 後ろ 両肩 取り, grabbing both shoulders from behind
Katate Eridori 片手襟取, grabbing both the wrist and collar from behind
Hanmi Handachi半身半立, standing attack to a seated partner
Suwari Waza座り技, both kneeling


Basic Techniques:
Ikkyo 一教 : first principle, rotational control of the elbow
Nikkyo 二教 : second principle, control of the wrist
Sankyo 三教 : third principle, a rotational wristlock that directs upward-spiraling tension throughout the arm, elbow and shoulder
Yonkyo 四教 : fourth principle, similar to Ikkyo, controlling uke by applying contact to radial nerve points on the forearm
Gokkyo 五教 : fifth principle, control of the elbow by locking
Rokkyo 六教: sixth principle, arm bar
Sumiotoshi 隅落 : corner drop, throw achieved by extending uke’s elbow into their own blind spot
Shihonage 四方投げ : four-direction throw
Kotegaeshi 小手返し : wristlock-throw
Iriminage 入身投げ : entrance throw
Kokyunage 呼吸投げ : literally, breath throw, a collection of throwing techniques emphasizing principles of kokyu and timing
Kokyuho 呼吸法: rotational throw from side of partner, ending with both palms facing upward, the study of kokyu
Tenchinage天地投げ: literally, heaven and earth throw where unbalancing movement comes from extending one arm completely upward and the other completely downward
Kaiten nage 回転投げ : rotational throw
Uchi kaiten nage (内回転投げ), “inside” throw, tori enters between uke‘s arm and uke‘s body
Soto kaiten nage (外回転投げ), “outside” throw, tori stays on the side of uke‘s arm and uke‘s body
Koshinage 腰投げ : hip throw
Seoinage 背負い投げ : “shoulder throw” ; hip throw executed over the shoulder instead of waist
Jujinage 十字投げ : cross arm throw
Katagatame肩固め: control by pinning the shoulder to the ground
Udegarami 腕絡み: arm entanglement, locking partner’s elbows together