Glossary

Name of Basic Attacks

Hiji dori – Elbow grab
Katate dori – One hand grabbing one hand/wrist
Kata dori men uchi – Shoulder grab, punch to the face
Kata dori – Shoulder grab
Mune tsuki – Straight thrust (punch) to the chest
Men tsuki – Straight thrust (punch) to the face
Men-uchi – Strike to the head
Mae geri – Front kick
Morote dori – Two hands grabbing one hand/wrist
Mune dori – One or two hand lapel grab
Mawashi geri – Roundhouse kick
Ryo kata dori – Grabbing both shoulders
Ryote dori – Two hands grabbing two hands/wrists
Ryo Hiji dori – Grabbing both elbows
Shomen uchi – Overhead strike to the head
Ushiro dori – Rear bear hug
Ushiro eri-dori – Collar grab from behind.
Ushiro hiji-dori – Elbows grabbed from behind.
Ushiro tekubi dori – Wrist grab, from behind
Ushiro ryote dori – Two hands grabbing two hands/wrists, from behind
Ushiro ryo kata dori – Shoulder grab, from behind
Ushiro kubi shime – Choke from behind
Yokomen uchi – Strike to the side of the head
Yoko geri – Side kick

Names of Basic Techniques

Ikkyo – First pinning technique or lock
Nikkyo – Second pinning technique or lock
Sankyo – Third pinning technique or lock
Yonkyo – Fourth pinning technique or lock
Gokkyo – Fifth pinning technique or lock
Irimi-nage – Entering technique
Shiho-nage – Four direction throw
Kokyu-nage – Breath throw. Often used for techniques that do not have a specific name
Kote-gashi – Wrist twisting technique
Koshi-nage – Hip throw
Kaiten-nage – Rotary throw
Tenchi-nage – Heaven-and-earth-throw
Sumi-otoshi -Corner drop throw
Kokyu-ho – Seated kokyu exercise

Basic Directions of A Throw

Omote-waza – Techniques which goes forward or to uke’s front
Ura-waza – Techniques which goes around or behind uke
Irimi – Entering (similar to Omote-waza)
Tenkan – Turning (similar to Ura-waza)

How to decipher the meanings of names of techniques

The whole name of a technique in Japanese is formed by the word for the attack, then technique, then direction, e.g.,
shomen-uchi ikkyo omote-waza (example 1)
katate-dori shiho-nage ura-waza (example 2)

Attack Technique Direction
shomen-uchi ikkyo omote-waza
katate-dori shiho-nage ura-waza

Counting in Japanese

Japanese Pronounced As English
itchi Itch One
ni Nee Two
san Sahn Three
yon She Four
go Goh Five
roku Roke Six
shichi Shich-ee Seven
hachi Hach Eight
ku Koo Nine
ju Joo Ten

Common Aikido Terms

Aikido – AI = Harmony; KI = Spirit; DO = The Way or Path Aikido = Way of Harmony with the Spirit of the Universe
Atemi – A strike. Strike technique
Ai-hanmi – Mutual stance. Partners stand facing one another with the same foot forward, i.e. right/right
Bokken – Wooden sword
Budo – Warrior way. The group of disciplines that simultaneously teach martial technique and guide mental and spiritual development
Dojo – Training hall
Dan – Black belt rank
Fuku Shidoin – Assistant instructor. The lowest of three instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo at the time of the creation of the International Aikido Federation. Corresponds approximately to 2nd and 3rd dan.
Gi – Training uniform
Gyaku hanmi – Opposite stance. Partners stand with the opposite foot forward, i.e. right/left
Hakama – A divided, trouser-like skirt.
Hanmi – Triangular stance.
Hanmi Handachi – Nage (thrower) is kneeling and uke (attacker) approaches from a standing position.
Hara – Lower abdomen; physical and spiritual center.
Irimi – to enter; entering
Jiyu Waza – Free style practice
Jo – Wooden staff
Kaiten – To revolve or rotate
Kamae – Stance
Kata – Shoulder
Kata – Pre-arranged exercise that teaches basic forms and principles
Ken – Japanese sword
Ki – Spirit; the vital force of the body; Universal Energy
Kiai – A pierce scream or cry that unifies all parts of the body and spirit
Kokyu – Breath — energy/ki flow and the motions of the body unified by control of the breath.
Kyu – Ranks below “dan” (black belt)
Ma-ai – The appropriate distance between uke and nage. Means “harmony of space”
Men – Face, head
Musubi – Uniting, bonding
Nage – Throw; the person who throws
O’Sensei – “The Great Teacher.” Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
Rei – Salutation, bow
Reigi – Etiquette
Sempai – Senior student
Sensei – Teacher, instructor
Seiza – Formal sitting posture
Shidoin Instructor – The middle of three instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the mid-1970s at the time of the creation of the International Aikido Federation. Corresponds approximately to 4th and 5th degree black belt
Shihan – Master Instructor – The highest of three instructor levels instituted by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the mid-1970s at the time of the creation of the International Aikido Federation. Corresponds approximately to 6th degree black belt and above.
Shiho – Four directions
Shomen – Front of a dojo. Often there is a photo of the Founder. Also means front or top of head.
Suwari Waza – Techniques done from a sitting position
Tanto – Knife
Te – Hand
Tsuki – Thrust, punch
Uchi – To strike
Uke – “To receive.” A person who receives an attack. Generally “uke” refers to the person being thrown.
Ukemi – The art of falling. “To receive through the body”
Ushiro – Back, behind, rear
Waza – Technique
Yokomen – Side of head
Yudansha – Person holding black belt rank