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From the first instruction session, you'll encounter Japanese terms and expressions used in karate. Over time, you'll learn the meanings of these various expressions, though it may initially seem confusing. Below is a selection of these phrases and words, so now it's just a matter of memorizing them!

Starting and Ending Terminology

  • Seiza: Kneeling

  • Mokuso: Closing eyes and meditating

  • Kaimoku/Mokuso Yame: Opening eyes, ending meditation

  • Shomen ni Rei: Bowing towards the dojo's main wall

  • Sensei/Shihan ni Rei: Bowing to the instructor

  • Otaga ni Rei: Everyone bowing to each other

  • Yoi: "Ready"



  • Ate: Thrust technique

  • Geri: Kick

  • Tsuki/Zuki: Punch

  • Uchi: Arcing technique

  • Uke: Block



  • Agezuki: Upward punch

  • Gyakuzuki: Reverse punch

  • Hiraken Zuki: Punch with front knuckles

  • Ippon-ken Zuki: One-knuckle punch

  • Kagezuki: Hook punch

  • Mawashizuki: Swinging punch

  • Morote Zuki: Double punch

  • Oizuki: Front punch

  • Seiken Zuki: Standard punch

  • Tateken Zuki: Vertical punch

  • Urazuki: Uppercut

  • Yamazuki: Double vertical punch



  • Ashi Barai: Foot sweep

  • Gyakumawashigeri: Reverse roundhouse kick

  • Hiza Geri: Knee kick

  • Kakato Geri: Heel kick

  • Maegeri: Front kick

  • Kizami Maegeri/Maeashigeri: Jab front kick

  • Mawashigeri: Roundhouse kick

  • Mikazukigeri: Crescent kick

  • Sokuto Geri: Edge kick

  • Tobi Geri: Jumping kick

  • Uramawashigeri: Reverse hook kick

  • Ushiro Geri: Back kick

  • Ushiromawashigeri: Spinning back kick

  • Yoko Geri: Side kick



  • Age Uke: Rising block

  • Barai Uke: Sweeping block

  • Chudan Uke: Middle block

  • Gedan Barai: Downward block

  • Jodan Uke: Upper block

  • Haishu Uke: Backhand block

  • Haito Uke: Ridge hand block

  • Kakiwake Uke: Wedge block

  • Kentsui Uke: Hammer fist block

  • Ko Uke: Wrist block

  • Kosa Uke: Cross block

  • Mawashi Uke: Circular block

  • Mine Uke: Leading block

  • Morote Uke: Augmented block

  • Namiashi Uke: Inside foot block

  • Ninoude Uke: Forearm block

  • Osae Uke: Pressing block

  • Sasae Uke: Supporting block

  • Shotei Uke: Palm heel block

  • Shuto Uke: Knife-hand block

  • Soto Uke: Outside block

  • Sukui Uke: Scooping block

  • Yoko Uke: Side block

  • Ura Uke: Backhand block

  • Ude Uke: Forearm block

  • Uchi Uke: Inside block

  • Wa Uke: Circular bloc

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