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Aikido Terms

Ai  Meeting, joining, harmony
Aikido  The way of being one with energy
Ai hanmi  Mutually agreeing stance (both uke and nage lead with same foot
Aikidoka  Person who practices Aikido
Aikitaiso  Mind-body coordination exercises
Atemi  Strikes, used as a part of Aikido technique
Awase Meeting or coming together
Ayumi ashi  Normal stepping, as in walking
Bo  Wooden staff, usually 72”
Bokken  Wooden sword
Bokken dori  Sword-taking technique; also called tachitori
Bokuto  Wooden sword
Bu  Martial
Budo  Martial way
Budoka  A practitioner of budo
Bushi  Warrior class
Bushido  Way of the warrior
Butsudan  “Buddha shelf;” a Buddhist shrine, often placed at the front of a dojo influenced
by Buddhist tradition
Cho  Chief or head, as in dojo-cho
Chudan  Middle position
Dame  Incorrect, bad
Dan  Black belt ranks
Do  Way or path, same word as the Chinese Tao
Dogi  Training uniform
Dojo  Place of enlightenment; training hall
Doshu  Master of the way; currently Kisshomaru Ueshiba
Eri  Collar
Fudo  Immovable; e.g. fudoshin, immovable mind; fudo no shisei, immovable posture
Gaeshi  Reversal
Ganmenuchi  Thrust to the face
Gedan  Low position
Gi  Training uniform
Giri  Obligation to another
Gokyo  Fifth teaching; an elbow-locking technique
Gyaku  Reverse or opposite
Gyaku hanmi  Mutually opposite stance (nage and uke lead with different feet)
Hakama  Divided skirt
Hanmi  Half-body stanc
Hantachi  Half-standing (kneeling position)
Hanmi hantachi waza  Techniques performed by a kneeling nage against standing uke
Hantai  Opposite or reverse
Hara  The lower abdomen; the seat of correct breathing and of internal power
Hasso  A stance with the bokken or jo held to one side of the head, extending up from
the shoulder
Heiho  Strategy, martial science
Henka waza  “Changing technique;” changing from one technique to another
Hidari  Left
Hiji  Elbow
Hitai  Forehead
Hito e mi  One layer of the body; a description of distance relative to an opponent
Hiza  Knee
Ho  Method
Hoho  Cheek
Hombu  Headquarters
Ii  Good
Iie  No
Ikkyo  First teaching; an arm-controlling technique
Irimi  Entering
Iriminage  Entering throw
Isshin den shin  From mind to mind; the way in which knowledge is said to be transmitted from teacher to pupil
Jiyu  Free (as in free technique)
Jo  Short wooden staff (usually 50”)
Jodan  Upper position
Jo dori  Jo-taking technique
Jo nage  Throwing with the jo
Joseki  Upper (senior) side of mat area; facing shomen, joseki is the right side
Joza  Upper seat, where the instructor sits
Jiujinage  Crossed-arms throw; literally "number-ten" throw, referencing the cruciform shape of that character in Chinese writing
Kaeshi waza  Counter technique; applying a technique against the person attempting to apply one to you.
Kaiso  Founder
Kaitenage  Rotary throw
Kakari geiko  Group practice
Kamae  Stance or position
Kami  Diety, spirit, divine being; a Shinto term
Kamiza  “God seat;” shrine or front of the dojo, if Shinto-influenced
Kan  House or hall; also romanized this way is a different word meaning intuition
Kata  Shoulder; also, a different word meaning a form used in training; e.g. bokken kata
Katatori  Grasping the shoulder or lapel
Katate  Forearm area
Katate ryotetori  One wrist grasped by both hands
Katame waza  Pinning technique
Katana  A type of long sword, worn edge upwards
Ken  Sword
Kenshusei “Student who strives for mastery through polishing;” in the Association, students committed to a more intense study of Aikido
Ki  Spirit, vital force, energy
Kiai  Explosive projection of energy in the form of a shout or yell; also refers to the general energy level of a person or thing
Kihon  Basic technique
Ki musubi  Linking one’s energy with that of the opponent
Kiri  Cut
Kirigaeshi  A suburi exercise of continuous yokomen and gyaku yokomen strikes
Kohai  Junior
Kotai  Movement to the rear
Kote  Forearm or wrist
Kotegaeshi  “Wrist-turning;” a throwing technique
Kokyu  Animating breath; also used to imply timing
Kokyudosa  Breath or timing exercise
Koshi  Hip
Koshinage  Hip throw
Kuden  Oral instruction
Kubi  Neck
Kubishime  Choking the neck
Kumitachi  Sword against sword
Kumijo  Jo against jo
Kyu  Ranks below dan grade
Ma-ai  Distance
Mae  Front or forward
Meiso ho  Meditation exercise
Men  Head
Migi  Right
Misogi  Purification practices; often refers specifically to a breathing technique
Morote tori  See Katate ryotetori
Mune  Chest
Mune tsuki  Thrust to the chest
Mushin  “No-mind;” a state of mind free from obstruction or attachment to thoughts
or happenings
Nage  Throw; also, the person executing the throw
Nikyo  Second teaching
No  An article indicating possession or connection; e.g. chudan no kamae: “stance of middle position”
Ni  A directional indicator; e.g. shomen ni rei: “bow to the front”
Obi  Belt
Omote  Front
Orenaite  Unbendable arm
Osae  Pin; e.g. ude osae: arm pin
O’Sensei  “Venerable teacher;” refers in Aikido to Morihei Ueshiba
Oyo waza  Advanced or applied technique
Randori  Multiple person attack (lit. “seizing chaos”)
Rei  Bow
Ritsurei  Standing bow
Ryote  Both hands
Ryotetori  Grasping both hands
San  Suffix, expression of respect
Sankakutai  Triangular stance
Sankyo  Third teaching
Sayu  Side
Seika no itten  The “one point;” see tanden
Seiza  Formal kneeling position
Sempai  Senior
Sensei  Instructor (lit. “born before”)
Shikko  Walking on the knees
Shihan  Teacher of teachers
Shihonage  Four corner throw
Shime  Choking or strangling
Shimoza  Lower seat; place where students sit; the wall opposite from kamiza or shomen
Shimoseki  Junior area of mat; facing shomen, the left side
Shinken  Alive, steel sword; figuratively, implies seriousness and commitment
Shinken shobu  A fight to the death; figuratively, implies a situation requiring total abandon and concentration. The spirit of good practice should be shinken shobu.
Shinto  The native Japanese religion
Shisei  Posture, body alignment
Shomen  Front; the wall towards which students bow
Shomenuchi  Overhaed strike to the font ofthe head
Shugyo  Intense physical/ internal training to perfect character and realize one’s true nature
Shuto Cutting strike with the edge of the hand
Sokumen iriminage  Side of the head entering throw
Suburi  “Empty swing;” individual striking practice with a weapon
Suburito  A heavy bokken used for suburi, and sometimes for kumitachi
Sumi otoshi  Corner drop, a throwing technique
Suki  Opening or weakness, mental or physical, in an opponent’s defenses
Suriashi  Sliding foot
Suwari waza  Technique with both uke and nage in kneeling position
Tachi  A type of long sword; technically refers to swords worn edge downward
Tachitori  See Bokken dori
Taijutsu  Unarmed body arts
Tai sabaki  Body movement; e.g. irimi, tenkan
Tanden  (Chinese: tan tien); the “one point,” the center of the body’s gravity and source of spiritual power, located two inches below the navel in the center of the hara
Tanto  Knife
Tanto dori  Knife-taking techniques
Tatami  Mat
Tegatana  ”Hand sword;” the manner in which the arm and hands are used in Aikido to move and strike
Tekubi  Wrist (lit. “throat of the hand”)
Tekubitori  Wrist grab
Tenkan  “Spinning change;” a turning body movement
Tenchinage  “Heaven-and-earth throw”
To  Sword; also, the article “and”
Tori  To grab or seize; also, the nage or defender
Toshu  Without a weapon
Tsuba  Sword hilt
Tsuki  Thrusting attack, with fist or weapon
Uchi  Strike
Uchideshi  ”Inner disciple;” students living in a dojo and committed to full-time training,
24 hours a day
Ude  Arm
Ude garami  Arm-entwining technique
Uke  One who is thrown (lit. “one who receives”)
Ukemi   “Receiving body;” the art of falling and receiving techniques without injury
Undo  Exercise
Ura   Behind
Ushiro  From behind or rear
Ushirotori  Any rear attack; often refers specifically to bearhug. Other rear attacks include ushiroeridori, ushirotekubitori, ushirokubishime, ushirohijitori, ushirokatatori, etc.
Waza  Technique
Yame   Stop (a command)
Yoko   Side
Yokomenuchi   A strike to the side of the head or temple
Yonkyo   Fourth teaching
Yubi   Fingers
Zanshin   “Remaining mind;” a continued extension of concentration, energy and awareness at the conclusion of a technique and immediately afterward; the “follow through” of the technique
Zen   (Sanskrit: “Dhyana”; Chinese “Ch’an”); literally “meditation;” a school of Buddhism emphasizing personal, intuitive experience of reality, and having a strong influence on Japanese thought and the martial arts
Zori   Sandals

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