Cambridge Aiki Dojo

Glossary of basic Japanese terms


Aikido: The way of spiritual harmony
Aikikai: Aikido organisation/Foundation
Dojo: Place of practising "The Way"
Hombu Dojo: Aikido world headquarters
O Sensei: Great Teacher; the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba
Doshu: Current head of Aikido
Sensei: Teacher
Sempai: Senior (student)
Kohai: Junior student
Uke: "To receive", person attacking (who receives the technique)
Tori: The taker ("winner") of a technique

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Keikogi or just Gi: Practice uniform
Hakama: Traditional pleated trousers
Obi: Belt
Zori: Sandals worn from the changing room to the mat

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Keiko: Practice, training
Rei: Bow, shows of respect
Seiza: Kneeling (Correct Sitting)
Kiai: Spirit shout (Energy Harmonizing)
Kototama: Chanting
Hanmi: Half-body, a half forward stance
Migi: Right
Hidari: Left
Ai Hanmi: partnered stance (right to right; left to left)
Gyaku Hanmi: Reverse partnered stance (left to right; right to left)
Hanmi Handachi: Tori kneels and Uke stands for the technique
Suwari Waza: Both Tori and Uke kneel for the technique
Tachi (or Dachi): Stance/standing

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Tai Sabaki: Body motion
Irimi: (Straight) entering
Tenkan: Change (direction/turn), to harmonize with (by moving)
Omote: Front, forwards
Ura: Back, backwards
Ukemi: Receiving with the body; falling skills
Mae Ukemi: Forward/front falling
Ushiro Ukemi: Backwards/rear falling
Hai Shin Undo: Back stretch
Onegaishimasu: Please (when asking for something, as in "Please lets practice together")
Domo arigato gozai mashita: Thank you very much for what you have done for me (teaching, in this case)

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Locks and Throws:

Ikkyo: First technique (principle)
Nikyo: Second technique (principle)
Sankyo: Third technique (principle)
Yonkyo: Fourth technique (principle)
Gokyo: Fifth technique (principle)
Rokyo: Sixth technique (principle)
Irimi Nage: Entering body throw
Tenshi Nage: Heaven and earth throw
Koshi Nage: Hip throw
Kaiten Nage: Spin(rotary) throw
Shiho Nage: Four directions throw
Kote Gaeshi: Wrist turn reverse/throw
Atemi: Strike

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Katate Dori: One hand holding one hand
Morote Dori: Holding wrists with both hands
Ryote Dori: Two hands holding two hands
Kata Dori: Shoulder hold
Mune Dori: Chest hold
Sode Dori: Sleeve hold
Ryo Kata Dori: Holding both shoulders
Ushiro Ryo Kata Dori: Rear hold, both shoulders
Shomen Uchi: Overhead strike to the head
Yokomen Uchi: Side strike to the head
Tsuki: Thrusting strike/punch
Jodan: Upper level (shoulder, head)
Chudan: Middle level (abdominal region)
Gedan: Lower level (below waist)

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