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PRONUNCIATION GUIDE AND DICTIONARY

 

Ranks Courtesies  Commands  Colors  Numbers  Body Parts  Body Weapons  Directions  Strikes  Stances  Kicks

Kobudo  General Terms  Kata  Teachers  Other  Strategies  Precepts  Dojo Kun  Guiding Principles

 

This guide provides a Karate related vocabulary for the student’s use in the Dōjō.  Do not feel overwhelmed at having to learn these terms, they will become familiar through constant usage in the Dōjō.  The serious student of Karate will find that knowledge of the language, history and culture of Okinawa are invaluable to further study.

Many Japanese words do not have a word for word translation; therefore, more than one translation may be given. For example, the word kokoro; can be defined as spirit; heart; will; mood; and intention.

Another distinction is the lack of singular and plural forms.  Whether something is singular or plural is derived from the context of the sentance.  You would not pluralize a Japanese or Okinawan term such as dōjō. 

Vowels

The key to correct pronunciation of Japanese lies in the five vowel sounds.

A as in father. I as in unique, U as in rude, E as in yet, O as in hope

Consonants

Consonants are pronounced the same as in English with the following exceptions:

G is always hard as in go. R is halfway between the English R and D sounding something like L.

Long Vowels

Long vowels like Karate-Dō, are pronounced the same only held longer.

Double Consonants

Double consonants are both pronounced. For example, the word tettsui; is pronounced tet-tsui with both t's enunciated.

Muting

Vowels are frequently muted after a soft consonant. Examples are:

Mokuso

mok' so

desuka

des' ka

Sound Changes

The pronunciation of some consonants changes when combining words and when shifting to the combining form of verbs. Some examples are:

keri

mae-geri

tachi

yoi-dachi

mawasu

mawashi

Ranks and Titles in Karate-Dō

Kyū - The 10 grades before black belt level. The mudansha grades.

Dan - The 10 ranks of black belt level. The yudansha ranks.

Mudansha - A person who holds a kyu grade.

Yudansha - A person who holds a dan rank.

Sempai - One's senior; a form of address for a senior student.

Sensei - Your teacher; a title of respect for someone older (and wiser).

Shihan - A person who holds an instructor's license.

Renshi - A title which may be given to one who is Godan or Rokudan and at least 30 years of age.

Kyōshi - A title which may be given to one who is Nanadan or Hachidan and at least 40 years of age.

Tasshi - A title which may be given to one who is Kyudan and at least 50 years of age.

Hanshi - A title which may be given to one who is Jūdan and at least 60 years of age.

Ranks

Yudansha Ranks

Mudansha Grades

Shodan

1st Dan

Jū Kyū

10th Kyū

Nidan

2nd Dan

Kyu Kyū

9th Kyū

Sandan

3rd Dan

Hachi Kyū

8th Kyū

Yondan

4th Dan

Nana Kyū

7th Kyū

Godan

5th Dan

Ro Kyū

6th Kyū

Rokudan

6th Dan

Go Kyū

5th Kyū

Nanadan

7th Dan

Yon Kyū

4th Kyū

Hachidan

8th Dan

San Kyū

3rd Kyū

Kyudan

9th Dan

Ni Kyū

2nd Kyū

Jūdan

10th Dan

Ik Kyū

1st Kyū

Dōjō Courtesies

Anata wa o-genki desu ka?

How are you? (Your health)

Arigato gozaimasu

Thank you very much. (More polite)

Arigato

Thank you

Dō itashimashite

Not at all. You are welcome.

Dōmo arigato gozaimasu

Thank you very much (most polite form).

Dōmo

Thanks. [Very casual form]

Dōzo

Please (do this). [Very casual form]

Genki desu, arigato.

I am fine, thank you.

Gomen-nasai

Excuse me

Hajime shaste kudasai

Permission to begin, please.

Konban wa

Good evening or Hello, when used as a greeting.

Konnichi wa

Good afternoon.

Kudasai

Please give me the favor of. [Polite form]

Ohayō-gozaimasu

Good morning.

Omedeto-gozaimasu

Congratulations.

Onegai-shimasu

I humbly request. Please teach me.

Oyasumi-nasai

Good night. (Said whenever a person is going straight home for the night.)

Sayōnara

Good bye

Shitsurei, shimasu

Excuse me. Good bye (To a senior).

Dōjō Commands

Hajime

Begin.

Hayaku

Hurry up. (Quickly.)

Ki-o-tsuke

Attention. Pay attention.

Matte

Wait. Stop.

Mawatte

Turn around.

Mōichido

One more time.

Mokusō hajime

Meditation begins.

Mokusō yame

Meditation ends.

Naotte

Return to the Yoi.

Narande

Line up.

Ō-tigai ni rei

Bow to each other.

Ō-tigai ni tashi

Face each other.

Rei

Bow.

Sensei ni rei

Bow to the teacher.

Shōmen ni rei

Bow to the front.

Shomen ni tashi

Face the front

Suware

Sit

Tare

Stand up.

Yame

Stop.

Yasume

Rest or relax.

Yoi

Ready

Yoshi

Continue

Iroi - Colors

Shiroi

White

 

Murasaki

Purple

 

Kiiroi

Yellow

 

Orenji

Orange

 

Aoi

Blue

 

Midori

Green

 

Chairo

Brown

 

Kuroi

Black

 

Akai

Red

 

Bango - Numbers

Ichi (Sho)

1

Nijū

20

Ni

2

Nijuichi

21

San

3

Sanjū

30

Shi (Yon)

4

Yonjū

40

Go

5

Gojū

50

Roku

6

Rokujū

60

Shichi (Nana)

7

Hyakū

100

Hachi

8

Gohyakū

500

Ku (Kyū)

9

Sen

1000

Ju

10

Gosen

5000

Juichi

11

Ichiman

10000

Juni

12

Jūman

100000

Body Parts

Ago

Jaw

Ashi

Leg or foot

Ashikubi

Ankle

Ashiyubi

Toes

Atama

Head

Hana

Nose

Hara

Abdomen

Hiji (Empi)

Elbow

Hiza

Knee

Kami no ke

Hair

Kao

Face

Koshi

Hips

Kata

Shoulder

Kuchi

Mouth

Kubi

Neck

Me

Eyes

Mimi

Ears

Mune (Kyobu)

Chest

Nodo

Throat

Senaka

Back

Sune

Shin

Te

Hand

Tekubi

Wrist

Ude

Arm

Yubi

Fingers

   

Body Weapons

Haishu

Back of hand

Haito

Ridge hand

Hiraken

Fore knuckle fist

Ippon ken

One knuckle fist

Ippon nukite

One finger spear

Josokutei (Koshi)

Ball of foot

Kakato

Heel

Kakutō

Bent wrist

Ken

Fist

Kentsui (Tettsui)

Hammer Fist

Nakadaka ken

Middle knuckle fist

Nihon nukite

Two finger spear

Nukite

Hand spear

Seiken

Forefist

Shi

Beak (fingertips)

Shotei (Teisho)

Palm heel

Shutō

Knife Hand

Sokko (Haisoku)

Instep

Sokutei

Bottom of foot

Sokutō

Footblade

Tsumasaki

Tips of toes

Uraken

Backfist

Directions and Actions

Age

Rising, upward

Ate

A strike or smash

Hantai

Opposite

Harai

Sweep

Hidari

Left

Keri

Kick

Kiri

Cut

Mae

Front

Migi

Right

Nage

Throw

Naka

Center, middle

Nuki

Pull

Omote

The front or face of

Oshi

Push

Otoshi

Dropping

Shita

Down, below

Soto

Outside, outward

Tori

Grab

Tsuki

Thrust or punch

Uchi

Inside, inward

Uchi

Strike

Ue

Above, upper

Uke

To receive, block

Ura

Behind, the back of

Ushiro

Back, rear

Yoko

Side

Strikes and Blocks

Age Tsuki

Rising Punch

Age Uke

Rising Block

Choku-zuki

Punch with the leading hand

Chūdan-uke

Middle level block.

Gedan-uke

Lower block

Jodan-uke

Upper level block

Gyaku-zuki

Reverse punch

Kaku-zuki

Punch across the front (Naihanchi Kata).

Nukite-zuki

Spear hand thrust.

Oi-zuki

Stepping punch.

Seiken-zuki

Forefist punch.

Soto Uke

Outside, middle block

Tate-zuki

Vertical fist punch.

Tomoe-zuki

A circular block/punch. (Passai kata)

Ude-uke

Arm block.

Ura-zuki

A close punch delivered

Stances

Heisoku-dachi

Feet together stance.

Ippon-ashi-dachi

One legged stance

Kiba-dachi

Horse stance. (Naihanchi-dachi)

Kosa-dachi

Cross legged stance (Kake dachi)

Musubi-dachi

Attention stance, heels touching, feet open

Naihanchi-dachi

Horse stance

Neko-dachi

Cat leg stance

San Kaku Dachi

Triangle Stance

Seisan Dachi

Front Stance - (Zenkutsu)

Shizentai-dachi

Short forward stance

Yoi-dachi

Ready stance.

Zenkutsu-dachi

Forward leaning stance

Kicks

Ashi barai

Foot sweep

Ashuke

Leg block

Deashi-barai

Front leg sweep

Fumikomi geri

A stomping kick

Kansetsu-geri

Joint kick

Kekomi

Kicking outward; a hrust kick.

Keage

Kicking upward; a snap kick.

Kinteki-geri

Groin kick (Kin-geri)

Mae-geri

Front kick.

Mawashi-geri

Roundhouse kick.

Mikazuki-geri

Crescent Kick

Nidan-geri

Double jumping 2 level front kick

Osoto-geri

Outside sweep; a type of takedown.

Tobi-geri

A jump kick.

Ushiro-geri

A back kick

Yoko-geri

Side kick

Weapons – Kobudō

Bō (Rokushaku-bō)

Wooden staff ~ 6 feet in length

Bō-jutsu

Art of the bo

Chizikun Bō

Two short sticks fastened to the middle finger with a string.

Chinte

A bamboo stave, approximately two-foot in length, strapped to each arm.

Eaku

A boat oar, used as a weapon. (Also called Kai)

A staff 4 feet in length.

Kama

Sickle; bladed weapon with a wooden handle

Nunchaku

A wooden flail; Okinawan weapon

Sai

Trident shaped weapon made of steel

Manji

Like a sai but pointed on each end and with the forks pointing in opposite directions

Nunte

Manji sai attached to the end of a bo; used like a spear and weapon of entrapment.

Surichin

A 6ft rope with weighted ends used to twirl and entangle limbs and weapons.

Tan Bō

Two short sticks (2ft) used in pairs for striking and grappling.

Tonfa

Originally the handle for a grinder; used as a flail to spin and strike opponents.

General Terminologv

Antei

Balance

Atemi

Strike or blow causing pain.

Atemi-jutsu

Art of vital point striking.

Atemi-waza

Vital point striking techniques

Bogu

Protective armor

Budo

Martial ways

Bujutsu

Martial arts

Bunkai

To take apart kata moves

Bushi

A "warrior"

Bushido

Way of the Warrior (Japan).

Bushi no te

Warrior's hand, old name for Karate.

Chiisai

Small, little

Chikama

Close distance, can strike without stepping

Chikara

Strength

Chudan

Middle level (waist to neck)

Dai sempai

The most senior student

Dai

Major (e.g. Passai-Dai) A prefix for numbers (e.g. Dai-ichi).

Dekimashita

I have done it.

Dekimasen

I cannot do it.

Dekimasu

I can do it.

Way, a suffix for an art that is practiced as a way of life.

Chest protector used in Bogu Kumite

Dōjō kun

The guiding maxims of a Dojo.

Dōjō

"Way place"; training

Fudōshin

Immovable mind (cannot be distracted).

FuKyū

Fundamental

Fumikomi

An attack step

Gi

Karate uniform.

Ge

"Art", skill or technique

Gedan

Lower Area

Gei

Skilled or Skill

Giri

Obligation or duty.

Go

Hard

Gokui

The inner meaning or technique best suited to a given situation.

Hai

Yes; signifies agreement with a question

Hara

Abdomen; seat of the soul; spiritual strength.

Hiragana

The Japanese cursive alphabet

Iie

No; disagreement to a question

Jiyū-kumite

Free style kumite,

Jodan

Upper

Soft; flexible; yielding.

Jutsu or Jitsu

"Art"; science.

Kakushide

Hidden technique

Kamae

Combative posture

Kamidana

The small wooden house on the shelf in front of the Dojo

Kamiza

The Spirit seat (also see, Shinden)

Kanji

Japanese writing borrowed from Chinese

Kansetsu

Joints (of the body)

Kansetsu-waza

Joint locking or dislocating techniques.

Karate-Dō

"Way of Karate"

Karate gakusei

A karate student

Karate-ka

A practitioner of karate

Kata

Form; a prearranged exercise for individual practice

Katakana

Phonetic alphabet, used for writing foreign words

Keiko

Practice or study

Ken Kyū

Study or Analyze

Kempo

"Fist method."

Ki

Life force, Energy

Kiai

A focusing of ki; a shout of the spirit

Kihon

Basic

Kime

Focus (of mental or physical energy)

Kōhai

One's junior in a Dojo

Kobudō

Ancient martial ways; the weapons arts of Okinawa.

Kobujutsu

Ancient martial arts. Old name for weapons arts of Okinawa.

Kogeki

Attacker (yakusoku kumite)

Kokoro

Mind, heart, spirit, will, intention, mood.

Kokyū

Breath

Kokyū-chikara

Internal power, generating power by inhaling

Kote

Gloves used in Bogu Kumite

Kote-kitae

Arm conditioning exercises

Kumite

Sparring match

Kundoku

The native Japanese word for a kanji

Kuzushi

To destroy the balance of an opponent prior to throwing

Kyūsho

A vital point on the human body.

Kyūsho-jutsu

Vital point art. An advanced part of Karate that deals with striking the vital points

Ma

Distance

Ma-ai

Combat engagement distance

Makiwara

A wrapped target

Men

Reinforced head protector used in Bogu Kumite

Mitsu-tomoe

The crest of Hachiman (Shinto god of war) which was adopted as the family crest of Okinawa's ruling dynasty the Sho family.

Mizu no kokoro

Mind like water; a calm mind

Modote

Return to ready

Mushin

Without conscious thought; no min

Nage-waza

A throwing technique

Naha-te

A type of Karate that developed around Naha city under Kanryo Higaonna. The forerunner of Goju ryu Karate

Nihongo

Japanese language

Nintai

Perserverance

Oboeru

Memorization

Obi

A belt.

Ōkii

Big, large,

On

a favor, When someone does you a favor, you are said to be carrying his on and giri forces you to repay it

Ondoku

The Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word for a kanji

Onna

Female

Otoko

Male

Reigi

Courtesy

Romanji

The system of writing Japanese words with the English alphabet

Renshū

Training; repetitive practice of techniques

Ryū

A style of an art. A method of passing an art down through time

Ryūkyū

The ancient kingdom of Okinawa

Ryūkyū Kempo

Ryukyu fist way Old name for Okinawan Karate

RyūTe®

"Ryukyu Hands", Taika Oyata’s karate system

Seiza

Formal sitting posture

Shiai

A contest.

Shime

A choke

Shin

Same as Kokoro.

Shinden

Spirit seat; the front area of the Dojo

Shitahara

The lower abdomen; the seat of the soul.

Shō

Small, minor. (Passai-Sho)

Shomei

The front area of a Dojo

Shugyō

Austere training

Shugyōsha

A person undergoing intense training

Shuri-te

The type of Karate that developed around Shuri city under Tode Sakugawa

Sōji

Cleaning up the Dojo (before and after class).

Suburi

Slide swing. A sword exercise for developing motion and striking

Suburitō

A heavy wooden sword used for Suburi

Suki

A momentary gap in concentration; an opening

Sukoshi

A few, a little bit

Sukui

Scooping

Tachi

A stance (specifically the. position of the lower body).

Tachirei

A standing bow(also called Ritsurei)

Tai

The physical body

Tai sabaki

Body motion

Tai-chikara

External power; physical strength

Taiso

Exercises; martial exercises

Takusan

A lot

Tameshiware

Tests of strength in which boards, bricks and other objects are broken.

Tanren

Spiritual forging

Tatami

Straw floor mat

Te

Hand; old name that refers to the original fighting art that developed in Okinawa.

Todame

Forceful or Final Strike

Tōde

China hand; old name that refers to the art that developed from the blending of Te and Chinese arts.

Tōma

Long distance (more than one step from the opponent).

Tomari-te

The type of Karate that developed around Tomari city under Kosaku Matsumora

Tomoe

Comma shaped, half circle

Tsuki-no-kokoro

Mind like moon. Refers to awareness

Tsuyoki

Strong spirit,

Uchikomi

Step forward and strike.

Tuite

Grappling art found in the older forms of Karate

Uchima

Striking distance (one step from the opponent).

Uke

To block; to receive; the receiver of a technique

Ukemi

The art of falling.

Uki-ashi

A floating foot (one that steps lightly).

Undō

A movement; an exercise,

Wakarimasen

I do not understand.

Wakarimasu

I understand.

Waza

A technique.

Yakusoku

Prearranged

Yowaki

Weak spirit.

Yukkuri

Slowly

Zanshin

"Remaining spirit"; perfect finish. Continuing concentration after a technique. Total awareness

Zarei

A seated bow.

   

Kata Names

Naihanchi Shodan

Naihanchi Nidan

Naihanchi Sandan

Tomari Seisan

Pian Shodan

Pian Nidan

Pian Sandan

Pian Yondan

Pian Godan

Passai

Kusanku

Niseshi

Shiho Hapo No Te

Shiho Happo Miyo No Te

 

Kata Techniques

Hiji gatame

Elbow Press

Jodan Gedan atemi

High-low strike

Te hira gatame

Palm Press

Ude gatame

Arm Press

Ude hiki osae ago atemi

Side arm pull chin strike

Ude hiki osae gatami

Side pull press

Ude osae atemi keri

Side block – strike-kick

Ude osae koyubi kyusho atemi

Side block-small knuckle strike

Ude osae kyusho atemi

Side block-throat nerve strike

Five Basic Steps From Beginner to Advanced.

  • To learn the sequence of kata correctly.
  • To practice each movement of the kata slowly with full power and concentration.
  • To practice kata with full speed.
  • To combine each movement of kata with realistic timing, to be applicable, for protection techniques.
  • To cultivate detailed protection movements, with accuracy and total body control.

RyūTe® Line of Instructors

Taika Oyata – Judan from Okinawa, Japan. He is the Head Instructor of RyūTe® Renmei and Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryū®…. Taika began his training from Uhugushiku and Wakinaguri. He later trained with Shigeru Nakamura and was training partners with Seikechi Uehara. He moved to the United States in 1977 to set up his international organizations with his senior students.

Uhugushiku - A retired warrior, who had been one of the last to have served in the capacity of guard to the royal family of Okinawa. He taught Taika Oyata, weapons, weapons fighting theory and how to study kata.

Wakinaguri - A descendent of the Chinese families that were sent to Okinawa from China as envoys. He taught Taika Oyata theory about the body and how to study and develop technique. He was an expert in the art of kyusho jitsu.

Nakamura - Responsible for introducing Bogu Kumite into karate as a means to test techniques while offering protection to the karate practitioners. He taught Taika Oyata the 12 basic empty hand kata that are taught in RyuTe®.

Uehara - Inherited the art of Motobu Ryū from Choyu Motobū. He led a research group where Taika Oyata compared what he had learned from Uhugushiku and Wakinawari with the art taught by Uehara.

Other Important Information

Ken Pu Kan - The name of Taika Oyata's dojo in Okinawa. He was given that name because of his quick hands. They reminded his instructors of a Typhoon. Taika Oyata bestowed the same name to Tasshi Logue's dojo.

Okinawa - The largest island in the Ryukyu Island Chain. Okinawa is located below Southern Japan and just North of Taiwan. Okinawa played an important role in the development of karate and is considered the birth place of modern karate.

RyūTe® Renmei - This is the name of the organization headed by Taika Seiyu Oyata. RyūTe® is sort of an accronym for Ryukyū Hands. Taika Chose this name because he believes that all of the Ryukyū's and it's people are responsible for the development of karate. He wanted to show this relationship in the name of the art that we practice.

Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryū® - Taika Oyata has taken the art past to him by his teachers and has combined it with the wisdom and experience he has gained to form an elite group of his most trusted students. He believes that character, not just technique is important to understanding the true meaning of karate. "Shin Shu Ho®" is translated as, "To strive to attain true moral goodness and To express it through one's every action."

Strategies

Rok-kan: To study your opponent to determine his basic physical factors. Observe his actions while walking, talking, drinking or doing any physical activity. Is he left-handed or right-handed? How tall is he? Is he large or small build? This will give a picture of his physical makeup and possibly point out his strengths and weakness.

Ken-kyu: To study your opponent's technique. That is, observe his actions to determine his skill level and the way in which he carries himself. If you can observe him actually using a technique, is there a weakness?

Skiga-nai: To create a diversion by not taking a defensive position or showing weakness. Appearing to be open while being aware of what is open.

Ichi geki: (one technique). In strategy, timing is of utmost importance. Strike the opponent when he is at his weakest point to defend, when he is attacking. Block or divert and strike in one motion.

Karate Ni Sente Nashi: (there is no first attack in karate). While this has come to have moral applications, it is also a strategy. Attack the opponent after he begins his move, he will reveal his weak areas and will not be able to defend.

Kogeki Wa Sai Dai No Bogyo Nari: (use offense as a defense) If an attack is only diverted, the opponent will attack again. Defend by attacking weak points to control the attacker.

Ai Te: Surprise opponent

Important Precepts

TE WA ZERO DE HAJIMARI,

ZERO DE OWARU

Hands (Ryū Te) begins with zero (Birth) and ends with zero (Death)

   

RYŪ TE® WO RIKAI SHITE

SONO JITSU WO KENKYŪ SUREBA

TAMA NI NARI

RYŪ TE® WO RIKAI SEZU

SONO JITSU WO RENSHU SHITE

ASE NAGASHITE MO

MUDA NI NARU

If you study the techniques of RyūTe®, without comprehending the true meaning of it and practice it while perspiring, you will be wasting your time.

If you study the techniques of RyūTe® with full knowledge; your perspiration will turn to gold.

Dōjō Kun

Jin kaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto

Seek perfection of character.

   

Makoto no michi o mamaru koto

Keep an honest and sincere way.

   

Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto

Cultivate perseverance.

   

Reigi wo omonzuru koto

Develop a respectful attitude.

   

Keki no yu wo imashimeru koto

Refrain from violent behavior.

UNDERSTANDING THE WAY OF KARATE

A guiding principle

The following articles were written so that those who seek the way of karate will always be aware of their guiding principles.

1. When entering a dojo or asking to be taught, be free from prejudice and be submissive, so that you will accept the teachings as shown. This will help you to not establish bad habits.

2. Observe respect toward the Master and superiors. Also, be courteous to fellow students and followers. Strive to develop the virtue of humbleness.

3. A healthy body can be obtained through constant training. Cultivate the spirit of perseverance.

4. Strive to be a warrior for the construction of a peaceful and free world through the character building, morality, and spirituality obtained by learning the way of karate.

5. In daily conduct, do not engage in fights or arguments always be prudent.

6. In actual training, move up from the easy to the difficult and from the simple to the complicated. More time and hard work will be required for repetitious and continuous training. Never hurry but strive for gradual development, and never engage in senseless or reckless practice.

7. Become familiar with the use of the makiwara and other training equipment. Train yourself to use your fist or other parts. Be patient and earnestly study the kata or matches. Never aim for hurried success.

8. It has been said that it takes three years to comprehend a kata. In ancient days, a master studied a single kata for ten years. There is no time limit for a kata to be improved. Never be proud, even if much is accomplished. Pride hurts achievement in virtue, as well as technique and will become like a poison.

9. Be cautious in training, do not develop a favorite technique or it may become a weakness. Be careful not to become too theoretical or technical.

10. Any question should be freely asked. Always strive to understand what is being taught.

Official Web Site of the RyuTe® Ren Mei
Updated 01-08-2012
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