Terminology

  • Ai (ah-ee) ~ harmony, unity to join or become one with. The word carries the feeling of the strength and power of natural forces.
  • Atemi waza (ah-teh-mee-wah-zah) ~ striking techniques blows.
  • Bokken (boh-ken) ~ wooden sword used in practice.
  • Budo (boo-doh) ~ literally, the Way of the Warrior arts; but the deeper meaning is the Way of the protection of society, of strength and honor in peace. “A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong and practices only to fell an opponent. There are neither opponents nor enemies for true budo. Therefore, to compete in techniques, winning and losing, it is not true budo. True budo knows no defeat. ‘Never defeated’ means never fighting.”
  • Bushido (boo-shee-doh) ~ Warrior’s code, “Way of the Warrior.”
  • Dan (dahn) ~ Aikido rank, grade holder, black belt rank.
  • Do (doh) ~ the Way or Path. “The Way” means to be one with the will of the Universe and embody its function. If you are even slightly apart from it, it is no longer the “Way.”
  • Dojo (doh-joh) ~ the place where the Way is revealed. A place for strengthening and refinement of body, mind, and spirit. (Formerly, a term used by Buddhist priests in reference to the place of worship.)
  • Dojo cho (doh-joh choh) ~ term used for the head of the dojo; dojo leader.
  • Doshu (doh-shoo) ~ honorary title for the Master of the Art. Present Doshu is Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the late O-Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba.
  • Dozo (doh-zoh) ~ please, as in go ahead (This may be an instruction from your teacher when he wants you to begin practice after demonstrating a technique.)
  • Gaeshi (gah-eh-shee) ~ to reverse.
  • Gi (ghee) ~ white training uniform.
  • Hajime (hah-jee-meh) ~ please start. (This will be said by your teacher when he wants you to begin; often said with emphasis.)
  • Hakama (hah-kah-mah) ~ wide-skirted pants worn over the gi. Symbol of the Samurai culture and an important part of the Aikido training uniform. Typically worn by yudansha.
  • Hanmi (hahn-mee) ~ the relaxed triangular stance of Aikido, stable yet flexible enough to move quickly in any direction.
  • Hanmi handachi (hawn-mee hawn-dah-chee) ~ nage is kneeling and opponent attacks from a standing position.
  • Hara (hah-rah) ~ the lower abdomen; the center of life energy, physical and spiritual. Often used as a synonym for “guts,” courage.
  • Irimi (ee-ree-mee) ~ moving into and through the line of attack with no thought of escape. Technique of entering and choosing death.
  • Jo (joh) ~ wooden training staff about 50” long and ¾–1” thick.
  • Jo tori (joh toh-ree) ~ jo taking techniques.
  • Kaiten (kah-ee-ten) ~ to revolve or rotate.
  • Kannnagara (kah-nah-gah-rah) ~ the stream of God. The flow or creative energy which reaches from the past into the future.
  • Kao tsuki (kah-oh tsoo-kee) ~ punch to the face.
  • Kata (kah-tah) ~ shoulder.
  • Kata tori (kah-tah toh-ree) ~ one hand grab to the shoulder.
  • Katana (kah-tah-nah) ~ Japanese sword; blade.
  • Katate tori (kah-tah-teh toh-ree) ~ one hand grab to the wrist.
  • Keiko (keh-ee-koh) ~ study or practice. The deeper meaning is reflection and refinement; to return to the origin and discover reality. Only through the study of the past, and an appreciation for its experience can we understand the present and refine our spirit.
  • Ken (kehn) ~ Japanese sword.
  • Kete tsuki (keh-teh tsoo-kee) ~ kick to the gut.
  • Ki (kee) ~ spirit; life force or vital energy; the essence of universal creative energy.
  • Kiai (kee-ah-ee) ~ the release of spiritual and physical power in the form of a piercing scream originating in the hara. Literally, a meeting of the spirits.
  • Kokyu (koh-kyoo) ~ power of breath and life force; the coordination of ki flow and breathing.
  • Konban wa (kohn-bahn wah) ~ good evening.
  • Konnichi wa (kohn-nee-chee wah) ~ good afternoon.
  • Kotodama (koh-toh-dah-mah) ~ the spiritual function of sound. Every one syllable sound has its own spiritual vibration.
  • Kyu (kyoo) ~ white belt grade; a mudansha or undergraduate.
  • Maai (mah-ah-ee) ~ the distance of time and space between uke and nage; the movement of mind, the stream of spirit and the direction in which mind and spirit move, along with physical distance determines the balance and proper use of space.
  • Misogi (mee-soh-ghee) ~ purification of mind, body, and spirit. Swearing is misogi; cleaning is misogi; fasting is misogi; keiko is misogi.
  • Morote tori (moh-roh-teh toh-ree) ~ two hands on one.
  • Mune tori (moo-neh tsoo-kee) ~ one lapel grab from the front.
  • Mune tsuki (moo-neh tsoo-kee) ~ thrust or punch to the gut
  • Mushin (moo-sheen) ~ no mind; a mind without ego. A mind like a mirror which reflects and does not judge.
  • Musubi (moo-soo-bee) ~ opposites are but different images of the same reality, musubi is the process of their unification. It is the movement of the spiral.
  • Nage (nah-geh) ~ to throw; the person who throws.
  • Obi (oh-bee) ~ belt, part of the gi.
  • Omote (oh-moh-teh) ~ to the front.
  • Onegaishimasu (oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo) ~ thank you for what we are about to do. (Spoken at the beginning of practice.)
  • O-Sensei (oh-sen-seh-ee) ~ Great Teacher. The title used for the Founder of Aikido.
  • Randori (rahn-doh-ree) ~ freestyle against multiple attack.
  • Reigi (reh-ee-ghee) ~ rei also translates at Holy Spirit; Gi as manifestation. Combined, it means proper etiquette, to respect the creative force and spirit which is the same in all of us. In essence, we are different, but one in origin; our bodies are different, but our spirits are the same; our functions are different, yet we share the same responsibility to God.
  • Ryokata tori (ree-oh-kah-tah toh-ree) ~ front two shoulder grab
  • Ryote (ree-oh-teh) ~ both hands.
  • Ryote tori (ree-oh-teh toh-ree) ~ both wrists grabbed from the front.
  • Samurai (sah-moo-rah-ee) ~ originally came from the verb “to serve.” Noble and honorable, one who has he duty and responsibility of protecting society.
  • Seiza (say-zah) ~ formal sitting position, the only proper way to sit on the mat.
  • Sempai (sehm-pah-ee) ~ senior student. Anyone who began the study of Aikido before you. You should respect this person’s experience.
  • Sensei (sen-seh-ee) ~ teacher; one who gives guidance along the way. Literally means “born before.”
  • Senshin (sen-sheen) ~ a purified and cleansed heart and spirit; enlightened attitude.
  • Shihan (shee-hahn) ~ title for a master teacher who has been ranked at least to the grade of sixth Dan.
  • Shinai (shee-nah-ee) ~ a split bamboo practice sword.
  • Shogyu(shoh-gyoo) ~ the day-to-day struggle; the work of education to refine and purify the quality of life.
  • Shomen (shoh-men) ~ the upper seat, the shrine which houses the picture of the Founder and the spirit of Aikido. Not a religious symbol, but a spiritual one.
  • Shomen uchi (shoh-mehn oo-chee) ~ strike to forehead
  • Suburi (soo-boo-ree) ~ training. Suburi is training as opposed to kumi tachi, which is study (keiko).
  • Suwari waza (soo-wah-ree wah-zah) ~ techniques from sitting
  • Suwari waza (soo-wah-ree-wah-zah) ~ techniques beginning with both attacker and defender in formal sitting positon, executed from the knees.
  • Tachi (tah-chee) ~ Japanese long sword; can also mean “from the standing position.”
  • Tachi tori (tah-chee toh-ree) ~ sword taking techniques
  • Taijutsu (tah-ee-joo-tsoo) ~ empty handed techniques.
  • Takemusu aiki (tah-keh-moo-soo ah-ee-kee) ~ Enlightened Aikido. “Aiki has a form, and does not have a form. Aiki is a life which has a form and still flows with change; it expresses itself by changing itself. A form without a form is a word and a poem that expresses the universe limitlessly.”
  • Tanden (tahn-den) ~ the center; your center of being.
  • Tanto (tahn-toh) ~ wooden practice knife.
  • Tanto tori (tahn-toh toh-ree) ~ knife taking techniques
  • Tenkan (ten-kahn) ~ turning to dissipate force.
  • Uchi deshi (oo-chi-deh-shee) ~ live in student; personal student or discipline.
  • Uke (oo-kay) ~ one who receives; the person being thrown.
  • Ukemi (oo-keh-mee) ~ techniques of falling. The art of protecting oneself from injury the first and most important step to developing good Aikido technique is learning to take ukemi well.
  • Ura (oo-rah) ~ to the rear.
  • Ushiro kubishime (oo-shee-roh koo-bee-shee-meh) ~ back choke
  • Ushiro ryokata tori (oo-shee-roh ree-oh-kah-tah toh-ree) ~ shoulders grabbed from behind
  • Ushiro tekubi tori (oo-shee-roh teh-koo-bee toh-ree) ~ both wrists grabbed from behind
  • Waza (wah-zah) ~ technique. Way of…
  • Yoko menuchi (yoh-koh meh-noo-chee) ~ strike to the side of the head
  • Yudansha (yoo-dahn-shah) ~ black belt rank holders.
  • Zanshin (zahn-sheen) ~ continuity; remaining aware and prepared for the next attack.

 

Body Parts

  • Ashi (ah-shee) ~ foot
  • Hara (hah-rah) ~ stomach
  • Hiji (hee-jee) ~ elbow
  • Hiza (hee-zah) ~ knee
  • Kata (kah-tah) ~ shoulder
  • Koshi (koh-shee) ~ ship
  • Kubi (koo-bee) ~ neck
  • Me (meh) ~ eye
  • Men (mehn) ~ head
  • Mune (moo-neh) ~ chest
  • Rokkutsu (roh-koo-tsoo) ~ rib
  • Senaka (seh-nah-kah) ~ back
  • Te (teh) ~ hand
  • Tekubi (teh-koo-bee) ~ wrist
  • Yubi (yoo-bee) ~ fingers

 

Counting

  • Ichi (ee-chee) ~ one
  • Ni (nee) ~ two
  • San (sahn) ~ three
  • Shi (shee) ~ four
  • Go (goh) ~ five
  • Roku (roh-koo) ~ six
  • Shichi (shee-chee) ~ seven
  • Hachi (hah-chee) ~ eight
  • Ku (koo) ~ nine
  • Ju (joo) ~ ten