Karate Terms (Japanese/English)


AGE UKE , upper rising block, generally used to guard against an attack to the face; can also be used effectively as an attack
AGE ZUKI (TSUKI), rising punch. Seen in the kata Empi
ASHI BARAI, foot/leg sweep
BUNKAI, an analysis of the techniques and application of kata
BUSHIDO, way of the warrior
CHOKU ZUKI, straight punch = kara zuki
CHUDAN UKE, middle level block. A general term for middle level blocks
CHUDAN ZUKI , a punch to the mid-section of the opponent’s body
DOJO, place of the way, the place where martial art is practised
EMBUSEN , performance line of a given kata
EMPI/ ENPI, elbow
EMPI UCHI, elbow strike also called hiji ate
EMPI UKE, Elbow block. A general term for the blocking action using the elbow
GEDAN BARAI, lower level sweep
GEDAN BARAI UKE, lower level sweeping block, same as the gedan barai but using it as a block
GEDAN, lower section of body
GEDAN UKE, lower Level block
GEDAN ZUKI, a punch to the lower section
GERI /KERI , kick.
GOHON KUMITE, five steps basic sparring. The attacker steps and attacks five times one after the other , attacking on each step,while the defender steps back five times, blocking each technique. After the fifth block, the defender applies a counter-attack, usually jodan tsoki then chudan tsoki, maigeri chudan, ma washi geri jodan, yokogeri chudan and the final technique is ushirio geri kekumi
GYAKU ZUKI, reverse punch
HACHIJI DACHI, open leg stance. The feet are positioned about one shoulder width apart and pointed outwards at 45 degrees
HAJIME, begin. It is the command given to start a given technique, kata, or kumite
HARA, abdomen
HEISOKU DACHI, an informal attention stance
HIDARI, left (left side)
HOMBU DOJO, it is the term used to refer to the central dojo
IPPON KUMITE, basic one-step sparring
JIYU IPPON KUMITE, one step free sparring. The participants can attack with any technique, whenever ready
JIYU KUMITE, free sparring
JODAN UKE, high level block
JODAN, upper level, neck and above
JUJI UKE, X-block
KARATE, empty hand
KARATE-DO, Way of Karate, not only the physical aspect of karate
KARATEKA, a practitioner of karate
KEAGE, kick up, snapping kick
KEKOMI, thrust kick (literally, kick into/straight)
TETTSUI UCHI , hammer fist strike
KIAI, spirit focus a focusing yell,One should try to preserve the feeling of kiai within techniques
KIBA DACHI , straddle stance, horse riding stance
KIHON, fundamental. Used to refer to basic techniques
KIME , focus of power; decisive technique (“decision”)
KIZAMI ZUKI, jabbing punch
KOKUTSU DACHI , back stance
KOSA UKE, crossed block
KUMITE, sparring
MAE ASHI GERI, kicking with the front leg
MAE GERI, front kick
MAE GERI KEAGE , front snapping kick
MAE GERI KEKOMI, front thrust kick
MAWASHI GERI, roundhouse kick
MAWATTE, this is a command given to turn around
MIGI, right (right side)
MIKAZUKI GERI, crescent kick
MOKUSO, meditation . This is practice often begging or at the end of training, with a brief period of meditation
MOROTE UKE, assisted block. One arm and fist supports the other arm
MOROTE ZUKI /AWASE ZUKI, U-punch. Punching with both fists simultaneously
MUSUBI DACHI, Informal attention stance, heels placed together, feet at 90 degrees, but with each foot turned out at 45 degree
NEKO-ASHI DACHI, cat’s foot stance, or as commonly called, cat stance
NUKITE, spear hand, straight thrust
OI ZUKI, lunge punch
REI, respect. This is a way of showing respect in Japanese culture to each other by bowing
REN GERI, consecutive kicking, alternate kicking, for example: left and then right
SANBON KUMITE, three step sparring
SANBON ZUKI, A series of three punches, generally the first is oi zuki jodan, followed by a slight pause then two chudan oi zuki
SEN NO SEN , attacking at the exact moment when the opponent attacks
SEN SEN NO SEN, attacking before the opponent attacks – pre-emptive attack
SHIHON NUKITE, four finger strike
SHIZEN DACHI, natural stance, body relaxed but alert
SHUTO UCHI , knife hand strike
SHUTO UKE, knife-hand block
SOTO UDE UK, outside forearm block or sometimes said as lower wrist block. Block from outside inward
SOTO UKE, outside block, normally a shortened version of soto ude uke
TE, hand
TETTSUI UCHI bottom fist strike
UCHI UDE UKE, inside forearm block. Block from inside outward
UCHI-UKE, inside block generally used as a short version of uchi ude uke
UDE UKE, forearm block
UKE, block
URAKEN, back knuckle; back-fist
URAKEN UCHI, back fist strike
URAKEN UKE, back fist block
USHIRO, back or rear
USHIRO GERI, back kick
YAMA ZUKI, U-shaped double punch
YOI , ready
YOKO EMPI UCHI, side elbow strike
YOKO GERI KEAGE, side snap kick.
YOKO GERI KEKOMI, side thrust kick
YOKO GERI, side kick
YOKO, side
YORI ASHI, sliding the feet, moving both feet at the same time without changing
ZANSHIN, remaining in a balanced and aware state after a technique has been completed
ZENKUTSU DACHI, forward stance. The actual translation means front knee bent stance
ZUKI / TSUKI, punching


Ichi = 1
Ni = 2
San = 3
Shi = 4
Go = 5
Roku = 6
Shichi = 7
Hachi = 8
Ku = 9
Ju = 10
11 Jyu Ichi
12 Jyu Ni
13 Jyu San
14 Jyu Shi
15 Jyu Go
16 Jyu Roku
17 Jyu Shichi
18 Jyu Hachi
19 Jyu Ku
20 Nijyu