To better help you understand the Japanese terminology used within Karate Do, Sensei Jon has built an extensive glossary that not only shows how the words are pronounced but also how the words should be spoken via an audio collection. This glossary is forever expanding as new Japanese terminology, wether a name of a technique or a simple greeting will be added. As you progress through your grades as a student of Karate you should become more accustomed to the terminology used in this section. The glossary should be used in conjunction with the written syllabus. If there is wording in syllabus which is unfamiliar you can return to this section find the word and it’s meaning. The glossary is split into various sections so you can quickly and efficiently find the word your are looking for. Happy learning Sensei Jon.


Japanese Pronunciation English
Dachi da-chee Stance
Zenkutsu dachi zen-ku-tsu da-chee Front stance
Kokutsu dachi ko-ku-tsu da-chee Back stance
Kiba dachi kee-ba da-chee Horse Stance
Fudo dachi foo-do da-chee Immovable stance

Areas of the body

Japanese Pronunciation English
Jodan jo-dan Upper level
Chudan choo-dan Middle level
Gedan gae-dan Lower level

Punches and hand techniques

Japanese Pronunciation English
Zuki zu-kee Punch
Choku zuki cho-ku-zu-kee Straight punch
Oi zuki oee zu-kee Stepping punch
Gyaku zuki gya-ku zu-kee Reverse punch
Ura zuki oo-ra zu-kee Close punch
Kizami zuki kee-zamy zu-kee Front hand punch
Morote zuki mo-ro-tay zu-kee Double hand punch
Tate zuki ta-tay zu-kee Vertical fist

Kicks and leg techniques

Japanese Pronunciation English
Geri ge-ree Kick
Mae geri my ge-ree Front kick
Yoko geri kekomi yo-ko ge-ree ke-ko-mee Side thrust kick
Yoko geri keage yo-ko ge-ree kay-a-gee Side snap kick
Mawashi geri ma-wa-she ge-ree Round house kick
Ushiro geri u-she-ro ge-ree Back kick
Tobi geri toh-bee ge-ree Jumping kick
Ren geri ren ge-ree Combination kicking
Ashi Barai ah-she bah-rye Foot sweep


Japanese Pronunciation English
Uke ooh-keh Block
Age uke ah-gae oo-kay Rising block
Soto uke soh-toe oo-kay Outside block
Uchi ude uke oo-chee oo-day oo-kay Inside block
Gedan barai gae-dan bah-rye Downward block
Shuto uke shoo-toh oo-kay Knife hand block

Striking points

Japanese Pronunciation English
Shuto shoo-toh Knife hand
Empi em-pee Elbow
Tetsui tet-tsue-ee Hammer fist
Nukite noo-key-teh finger strike
Kakato kah-kah-toe Heel
Sokuto soh-koo-toe Knife edge of foot
Koshi ko-she Ball of foot
Hittsui hit-tsue-ee Knee strike

Karate form

Japanese Pronunciation English
Kihon kee-hohn Basic movements
Kata ka-tah Basic form
Kumite koo-me-teh Sparring

Sparring forms

Japanese Pronunciation English
Gohon kumite goh-hohn koo-mee-teh Five Attack Sparring
Sambon kumite sahn-bohn koo-mee-teh Three Attack Sparring
Ippon kumite eep-pone koo-mee-teh One Attack Sparring
Jiyu Ippon Kumite jee-yoo eep-pone koo-mee-teh Semi Free Sparring
Jiyu Kumite Jee-yoo koo-me-teh Free Style Sparring


Japanese Pronunciation English
dojo doe-joe Training hall
sensei sehn-seh-ee Instructor
rei reh-ee Bow
Osu oh-soo Dojo Greeting
Kamae kah-mah-eh Fighting posture
Waza wha-zah Technique
Hajime hah-jee-may Begin
Yoi yoh-ee Ready position
Yame yah-mah-eh At Ease

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