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Glossary

Welcome to a quick Glossary of some Shotokan Karate terms.
If you see a symbol like this......click on it for an mp3 file for your iPod. It will help you learn the Japanese names and how to pronounce them. Important: You will be hearing a Welshman saying these Japanese words that he learned from his Liverpudlian instructors...so I do not claim to be pronouncing them correctly. Use them as a guide only.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Age Uke - Rising Block. Blocks a punch to the head. The block works by quickly twisting the forearm at the very end, and as with most blocks, the body is twisted to an angle of 45 degrees.

 

Ashi-barai - Foot sweep

B

Back Stance - See "Kokutsu Datch".

 

Bassai Dai - Kata required for 2nd and 1st Kyu.
C
Choku-tsuki - Punch

 

Chudan - Region of the body below the neck and above the belt.

D

Dojo - Training hall

E

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Empi Uchi - Elbow strike. Despite the name, the striking point it immediately above or below the elbow joint.
F

Freestyle - This is your "fighting" stance. There is no right or wrong way, as everyone will have an individual way of fighting. Though important points should be:

Both legs should be bent to enable rapid movements in all directions (forwards, backwards and to the sides).

Arms should be in front to provide a good guard to jodan, chudan and gedan, and in a position to attack with various techniques to various targets.

 
 

Front Stance - See "Zenkutsu Datch".

 

Fudoh-dachi - Rooted stance
G
Go - Japanese for the number Five

 

Gedan - Region of the body below the belt.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Gedan Barai - Downward block defending against a kick to the body. The twist of the forearm at the very end of the move helps the block. As with most blocks, the body is twisted to an angle of 45 degrees.

 

Gohon Kumite - 5 Step Sparring required in gradings for orange, red and yellow belts.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Gyaku Tsuki - Reverse punch. If your right leg is in front, this punch is delivered with the left arm, and vice versa. Co-ordinated use of the reaction arm and the twisting of the body can make this a very fast and powerful attack. But make sure it is still a straight punch and don't let it swing and hook round to the target.
H Hajime - Begin
  Hachi - Japanese for the number Eight

 

Heian Godan - Kata required for 4th Kyu.

 

Heian Nidan - Kata required for 7th Kyu.

 

Heian Sandan - Kata required for 6th Kyu.

 

Heian Shodan -Kata required for 8th Kyu.

 

Heian Yondan - Kata required for 5th Kyu.

 

Horse Riding Stance - See "Kiba Datch".

I

Ichi - Japanese for the number One

J

Jodan - Head and neck region.
  Ju - Japanese for the number Ten

 

Ju Ippon Kumite - Semi freestyle sparring. Required for 2nd and 1st Kyu. Both sides fight from freestyle. The attacker states their target, then attacks in their own time. The defender can use any block and any counter strike they wish, including the use of either arm or leg. The attacker must step forward using the correct attack and side (i.e. left or right), but the timing and tactics of the attack are up to them. This is where the attacker learns ways and tricks (including use of timing, deception, faints etc.) to make sure their strike lands, and the defender must develop a wide range of blocks and counters, without relying on just one or two.
  Juuji-uke - X-Block

K

Kiai - A strong, ferocious shout delivered at the same time as a strike to an opponent. It is to help channel power to the move, in the same way a shot putter or javelin thrower shouts when they compete.

 

Kiba Datch - Horse riding stance. Important notes to remember are to keep the feet in line, the heels and knees out (don't let them cave in) and the back straight and bum in. The body weight distribution should be exactly half on each leg.

 

Kihon Ippon Kumite - Basic 1 step sparring. The attacker states their target, then steps forwards and attacks once. The defender must block and counter immediately using basic blocks and counters. Both the attack and defence must be done using the right and left sides, and sometimes more than one of each attack is carried out (exact details will be given by the examiner). This is an opportunity to learn and perfect more than one block for each attack.

 

Kihon Kata - Kata required for your orange belt (9th Kyu).
  Kime - Decision / focus

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Kizame Tsuki - Lunging punch. Twist the body to get more distance, but don't let the shoulder lift up.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Kokutsu Datch - Back stance. Make sure the feet are in a straight line, the back foot is pointed at right angles to the side and the front foot is pointing directly to the front. The body weight distribution should be approx. 3/4 on the back, and 1/4 on the front leg.
  Ku - Japanese for the number Nine

 

KUGB - The Karate Union of Great Britain. This is the largest Karate governing body in the country, and among other things, regulates competitions and gradings.

L

 

M

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Mae Geri - Front Kick. Always done as a snap, and making contact with the ball of the foot. Make sure the knee is lifted high both before and after the kick.

 

Mae Ren Geri - 2 Mae geri kicks done as one sequence. The target heights and which legs to use will be determined by the examiner, but the timing is important. The 2 kicks should be done correctly in quick succession, but not rushed. There should be a definite pause before the next sequence is carried out.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Mawashi Geri - Roundhouse kick. This is an effective kick to all heights, and can be used from a long distance. Make sure the upper body is controlled during the kick.
  Mokusoh - Meditate
  Morote-uke - Double arm block
N
Neco-ashi-dachi - Cat stance
  Ni - Japanese for the number Two

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Nukite - Knife hand strike. Similar to an oi tsuki punch, but with the hand open. Imagine your fingers as a blade and the finger tips as the point stabbing into someone.

O

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Oi Tsuki - Stepping punch. The body is square to the opponent, and the reaction arm is brought back with as much power and ferocity as the punching arm goes out. The first 2 knuckles should make contact with the target.

P

 

Q

 
R Rei - Bow

 

Roku - Japanese for the number Six
S
San - Japanese for the number Three

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Sanbon Tsuki - Three punches done as a sequence. The first is a stepping kizame tsuki jodan, then a gyaku tsuki and oi tsuki chudan. The timing should be the kizame tsuki (pause) then a rapid double punch.

 

Sanbon Kumite - 3 step sparring. The aggressor steps back gedan barai, states their target, and attacks 3 times. On the third attack, the defender counter punches. Kumite is important to learn and develop the right attitude for karate, and to make sure you can judge distance between you and your opponent correctly.
  Seiza - Sit down
  Sempai - Karate student

 

Sensei - Japanese name for your instructor.
  Shi - Japanese for the number Four
  Shichi - Japanese for the number Seven

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Shuto Uke - Knife hand block. Make sure this block makes contact with the edge of the hand, like a "Karate chop", and not the back of the hand like a slap.
  Siretsu - Line up

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Soto Uke - Outside Block. Blocks a punch to the body. Make sure the body is twisted at an angle, and the blocking arm is far enough across to cover the chest. Don't stop the arm short, leaving a gap for the attack to get through.

T

Targets - Different areas you aim your attacks. Roughly divided into Jodan, Chudan and Gedan.

 

Tekki Shodan - Kata required for your 3rd Kyu.

U

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Uchi Uke - Inside block. An alternative to Soto Uki. The twist of the forearm at the end of the block must be co-ordinated with the reaction arm coming back, and the body twisting to an angle.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Uraken Uchi - Back fist strike. Start the move with your arm completely bent, and the elbow pointing to the target. Then snap the forearm out and strike with the knuckles.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Ushiro Geri - Reverse kick. While the body must spin at the start, the kick must be straight, and not allowed to swing and hook round to the target.

V

 

W

 

X

 
Y Yame - Stop / finish
  Yasume - At ease / relax
  Yoh-i - Get ready

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Yoko Geri Keage - Side Snap Kick. Making contact with the edge of the foot, the leg should immediately snap back after the kick.

 

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Yoko Geri Kekomi - Side Thrust Kick. Making contact with the edge of the foot. The leg should be extended for a split second. At the point of impact, the foot, leg, hips, body and head should all be in a straight line, and the supporting foot should be pointing in the opposite direction to the kick.

 

Yoko Ren Geri - Sequence of 2 yoko geri kicks. The targets, speed and method of step will be determined by the examiner. But make sure the timing is correct. Make the 2 kicks in rapid succession, pause, then continue with the next sequence.

Z

Click for an mp3 file for your iPod Zenkutsu Datch - Front stance. In this basic stance, your feet should be shoulder width apart, and at least twice as long. The back leg should be straight, and the front knee should be strongly bent outwards, not caving inwards. The body weight distribution should be approx 3/4 over the front, and 1/4 over the back leg.

This Glossary comes entirley from the brain of Cerin Rees. If anyone wants to add to this, please Contact us so we can make this as comprehensive as possible.


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