Aikido Glossary

Counting  |  Ranks |  Words

Counting

  • ichi – itchy or eech
  • ni – knee
  • san – saan or sun
  • shi – she
  • go – go
  • roku – rock or ro-koo
  • shichi – she-che
  • hachi – hat-she
  • kyu – coo
  • ju – chew or joo

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Ranks 

  • 5th kyu – gokyu
  • 4th kyu – yonkyu
  • 3rd kyu – sankyu
  • 2nd kyu – nikyu
  • 1st kyu – ikkyu
  • 1st dan – shodan
  • 2nd dan – nidan
  • 3rd dan – sandan
  • 4th dan – yondan
  • 5th dan – godan
  • 6th dan – rokudan
  • 7th dan – shichidan
  • 8th dan – hachidan
  • 9th dan – kudan
  • 10th dan – judan

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Words

  • Ai Hanmi – Same, or matched stance. Attacker and defender have the same foot forward (i.e. toe to toe).
  • Atemi – Strike; blow. Used to distract or unbalance the attacker during execution of a technique.
  • Bokken – Wooden sword. Usually made of oak wood; used in solo and partner practices.
  • Dan – Grade; rank. Used in the black belt grading system.
  • Dojo – Training hall; gymnasium. Lit. – place where the Way is practiced.
  • Eridori – Collar or lapel grab.
  • Gi – Training uniform.
  • Gyaku Hanmi – Reverse or opposite stance; the situation in which the attacker and defender are in ready stances with the opposite foot forward.
  • Haishin undo – Final back stretch.
  • Hakama – Pleated skirt. Usually black or dark blue in color, worn by black belt holders and often women of any rank. The white hakama usually implies master status.
  • Hanmi-Handachi – Uke Standing, Nage Sitting.
  • Hanmi-Handachi waza – Technique done with Uke Standing, Nage Sitting.
  • Hombu Dojo – Refers to Aikikai Hombu Dojo located in Shinjuku Ward of Tokyo. The present four-floor concrete building, which rests on the site of the old Kobukan Dojo, was completed on 15 December 1967 and dedicated on 12 January 1968.
  • Ikkyo – A basic technique in which the attacker is unbalanced through the application of pressure on the elbow and shoulder of his outstretched arm which is followed by a pinning movement which immobilizes the opponent’s arm at a 45 degree angle to his body with pressure applied to both the elbow and wrist.
  • Irimi – Entering (movement); direct inward movement by the defender in front or to the rear of the attacker prior to the execution of a technique.
  • Iriminage – A technique where the defender enters linearly behind the attacker, gains the initiative and seizes him by the collar or neck with one hand while entering under the chin with the other arm and then downward to execute the throw.
  • Jo – Staff; stick.
  • Jotori – Jo techniques.
  • Kaitennage – Rotary throw. Technique where the attacker is thrown forward with pressure applied on the head or neck while his arm is raised over the head.
  • Kamae – Combative ready position; stance.
  • Kamiza – Shrine, picture of O’Sensei.
  • Katate – One hand.
  • Katatedori – One hand grab to wrist.
  • Katatori – One hand grab to collar.
  • Ki – Spirit, mind, heart; energy. Defined as a point about 2 inches below the navel.
  • Kokyu – Breath. Basic meaning is a type of deep abdominal breathing method. Also has an abstract meaning referring to a larger power generated when one is in full harmony with one’s breathing. Its meaning is similar to that of Ki.
  • Kogeki – Attack.
  • Koho kaiten – Back roll.
  • Kokyuho – Way or method of breathing. The term refers in aikido to a seated exercise performed at the end of class where one partner, both of whose wrists are being held, attempts to unbalance the other. Designed to develop Kokyu and proper method of blending.
  • Koshinage – Hip throw. Refers to any number of techniques where one executes a throw by projecting the attacker over the hips.
  • Kotegaeshi – Wrist turn or twist. In aikido, a pressure applied outwardly against the back of the wrist.
  • Hidari – Left.
  • Maai – Spacing; distance. Proper spacing from one’s opponent before combative engagement.
  • Mae Ukemi – Forward roll.
  • Migi – Right.
  • Morotedori – Two hands on one.
  • Nage – The person executing a technique. Opposite of Uke.
  • Nikyo – Refers to several types of pressures applied against the wrist of the attacker in order to break his balance.
  • O’Sensei – Great Teacher. A term of respect used to refer to the founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
  • Obi – Belt.
  • Omote – Front. Used in contrast to URA or rear techniques and normally refers to movements where the defender executes an entering movement when commencing a technique. Omote and ura are basically synonymous with the words IRIMI and TENKAN and became part of the nomenclature popularized in the 1950s by Koichi TOHEI.
  • Rei – Bow; executed before and after training sessions.
  • Ryotedori – Both wrists grabbed from the front.
  • Sankyo – Refers to a twisting movement of the wrist and fingers used to unbalance an opponent.
  • Seiza – Seated position.
  • Sensei – Teacher; instructor.
  • Shihonage – Four-corner throw. Technique where defender passes under attacker’s arm, then lifts it overhead, pivots 180 degrees and throws. This throw originally included a pin with the arm barred in the shihonage position to complete the technique.
  • Shikko – Knee walking. A form of walking on the knees from a Seiza or seated position designed to improve balance, hip stability and prepare a student for the execution of Suwari waza or seated techniques.
  • Shiro obi – White belt or practioner with a belt.
  • Shomanuchi – Strike to the front of head. Essentially the same as Menuchi.
  • Sumiotoshi – Corner drop. A throwing technique where the attacker is forced off balance diagonally backwards by the extended hand of the defender.
  • Sutemi – Term used to denote a a high breakfall.
  • Suwariwaza – Techniques from sitting.
  • Tachi – Standing.
  • Tachi waza – Standing technique.
  • Tachidori – Sword-taking. Refers to group of techniques for disarming a sword-wielding attacker.
  • Taisabaki – Foot movements. Body turning movement; used in reference to the evasion of an attack.
  • Tantodori – Tanto-taking. Refers to group of techniques for disarming a tanto-wielding attacker.
  • Tatami – Practice mat.
  • Tenchinage – Heaven and earth throw. A technique where one brings one’s hand upward (heaven) under the chin of the attacker and then downward with the other hand (earth) to execute the throw.
  • Tsuki – Thrust or punch.
  • Uke – One who receives. The person who takes the fall, thus the attacker.
  • Uchi – Strike; blow.
  • Ukemi – Fall; breakfall.
  • Ura – Back; reverse. Used to refer to an opening movement or turn executed as the intial movement of a technique.
  • Ushiro Kubishimo – Choke from behindwith free hand grasping wrist.
  • Ushiro Ryokatadori – Both shoulders grabbed from behind.
  • Ushiro Tekubidori – Both wrists grabbed from behind.
  • Ushiro Ukemi – Back roll.
  • Ushiro Waza – Any attack from behind.
  • Waza – Free form technique.
  • Yoko – Side.
  • Yokomen – Side of the head.
  • Yokomenuchi – Strike to the side of the head.
  • Yonkyo – Pressure applied on a nerve point in the lower forearm to bring the attacker into a pinning position.
  • Zempo kaiten – Forward roll.
  • Zori – Sandals worn in the dojo.

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