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This section will be updated and added to on a continual basis.

General Terminology
A B C D E F G H I J -
K-Z are in Progress


a so: (J) (Phrase)See: A so desu ka.
a so desu ka: (J) (Phrase) "Oh, is that so (right)"
abunai: (J) : Dangerous
agari: (J) Rising. See Agaru.
agaru: (J) Verb meaning to rise or go up.
age: (J) Rising. See Geru.
ageru: (J) Verb meaning to rise, lift. See Age.
ago: (J) Chin; jaw as in ago-zuki (rising strike similar to an uppercut)
ai: (J) Meet, harmonize, join.
ai: (J) To meet or join. In martial arts or disciplines, "ai" (as in aikido or aiki-jujitsu) refers to the defining principle of harmony, fusion or blending. Ai is associated with concepts as "Ju" (softness, gentleness) and "Wa" (accord) having their philosophic and theoretic foundation in Taoism and the Book of Changes (I-Chin or Yi Jing: the difference in spelling reflecting two different translation systems. See Japanese Language).
aiki: (J) Unify or harmonize spirit or Ki (intrinsic energy. Chi in Chinese).See: ai, ki.
aiki: (J) Composed of two kanji (characters): "ai" meaning to meet or join, and in fighting arts or disciplines refers to the principle of harmony, fusion or blending; and "ki" meaning spirit or intrinsic energy ("chi" in Chinese). Together the characters mean spiritual or energy harmony - the harmonizing of one's spirit/energy and actions with those of the opponent using body movement and jujitsu techniques.
aikido: (J) A system of self-defense (See Do, Budo) developed in the 1920s by Morihei Usehiba from techniques of Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu and other influences that stresses the harmonizing of the body with offensive actions and energies in order to neutralize aggression.
aiki jujitsu: (J) Any jujitsu descipline that incorporates principles of "aiki." One of the oldest of these disciplines is Daito-ryu whose origin some suggest traces back to the Heian period (794-1156) and whose techniques provided technical inspiration for many aiki jujitsu disciplines as well as aikido which developed in the first half of the 20th century.
anji: (Ok) A local lord in Okinawa or in the Ryuku Islands.
Arigato: (J) Thank you (informal)
Arigato gozaimasu: (J) Thank you very much (more formal or polite)
aite: (J) Opponent or opponent in practice.
antei: (J) Balance, stability or equilibrium.
aoi: (J) Blue (color).
Arnis: (P) Also sometimes known as Kali, or Escrima. A Philippine self-defense art, also known as Kali, Tagalog, Estogue or Fraile (depending on the region) employing unarmed and armed (using stick/blade) techniques.
ashi: (J) Foot or pertaining to the foot or feet; leg.
ashi-barai: (J) A leg-sweep using the inside of the foot to sweep the opponent.
ashikubi: (J) Ankle.
ashi-nagi: (J) A foot throw.
ashi sabaki: (J) Footwork.
ate: (J) Strike as in atemi and atemi-ate (head strike).
atema: (J) Head, top of the head.
atemi: (J) A strike: striking; the art or science of striking.
atemi-waza: (J) Techniques of striking vital points.
au: (J) (Verb) To meet.


Baida: (C) See Hakuda.
bajitsu: (J) The art of horsemanship also known as joba jitsu. See Jitsu, bujitsu. Bando: (B) A general term for those styles of unarmed and armed self-defense meaning "way of discipline," or "system of defense" developed in Burma employing striking and kicking (similar to karate) grappling and locking techniques, throws, plus weapon techniques introduced into the US by Dr. Maung Gi, a college professor in 1960 (Head of the American Bando Association).
bakufu: (J) A military government as Tokugawa or Fujiwara bakufu.
bayashi: (J) An alternative spelling of hayashi (forest).
barai: (J) Sweep or sweeping block. Also called haria.
Basho: (J) A famous Japanese poet and the father of haiku.
Bassai: (J) A pair of karate kata (called Passai in Okinawa).
Battojitsu: (J) Also Battojutsu. The classical bujitsu art of drawing a sword and cutting in one action. The art from which iaijitsu was later derived.
Beida: (O) See Hakuda.
Beikoku: (J) the United States of America.
Beikoku-jin: (J) A person from the USA.
benjo: (J) A crude term meaning toilet, bathroom or lavatory. See: O-tearai. benkyoo: (J) Study.
benkyoo (o) suru: (J) (Verb) To study; work.
Bikotsu: (J) Tip of the lower spine, or coccyx. Also biteikotsu.
Bo: (J) A long wooden staff, stave or stick (weapon) about 6 feet in length.
Bodhidarma: Also Ta Mo, Daruma, Daruma Taishi. An Indian Buddhist monk who traveled to China in the 6th Century A.D. who, at the Shaolin Monistary, is credited with creating Zen. More Detail.
bojitsu: (J) also bojutsu. The art of the bo (staff).
bokken: (J) Wooden sword. See Bokuto.
bokuto: (J) A wooden sword.See Bokken.
bogu: (J) Kendo protective equipment or armor often used in other martial arts as karate.
bogu Kumite: (J) Sparring (as in karate) using Bogu protective equipment.See Kumite.
bu: (J) Military or related to the military. More detail.
bu: (J) A character often compounded into others such as bugei, bujitsu and bushi. The character for Bu is a composite of two others. The bottom inside left character is foot suggesting advancing on foot, and the right upper larger character is a prototype of a halberd (a type of lance) implying to cut, menace, pierce or kill. When combined they can be interpreted as advancing on foot with a weapon for potential use, thus referring to a warrior or by extension things military. There is also an important secondary interpretation. The first character meaning foot has also come to mean stop, based on the idea of planting the foot. Taken in conjunction with the second character of halberd, "bu" can be thus interpreted as a means to stop a weapon (conflict), or to gain peace. This is consistent with the idea of practicing budo to achieve both inner and outer peace.
bubishi: (O) (1) Kempo Haku in Japanese. Manual of Military Preparation, "bu" meaning military, "bi" meaning to provide, "shi" meaning record. A historical important but difficult to understand and esoteric Chinese martial art classic on strategy, techniques, energy cycles and vital points as well a medicine, that has highly valued by generations of prominent karate masters. Rather than a systematized work with an organized presentation the document is collection of information seeming compiled sometime in the past (up to two hundred years ago), originally written in Fujian (Chinese dialect) relating to Shaolin Temple Monk Fist Boxing and Fujian White Crane Kung Fu, application of kata as well presentation of tuidi and kyusjo jitsu techniques. Translations differ (there are five to six translations currently in print from a number of sources) slightly since various hand copied versions contain differences including text. (2) A 91 volume Chinese treatise on the art of war published during the Ming dynasty (around 1620), also called Wu Pei Chi in Chinese. More Detail.
bucho: (J) Branch directors in a martial arts organition (Kai). A director, head, cheif of a department, section or division.
Buddha: (1) (563-483 B.C.) An Indian mystic named Guatama Siddhartha who founded Buddhism after leaving his noble life as son of a Prince in the Skaya clan (Northern India) at age 29 to search for truth. After studying yoga, he devoted himself to fasting and asceticism before turning to meditation. At the age of 35 he was enlightened at Buddh Gaya thereby becoming the first Buddha. He then traveled throughout India lecturing and preaching his insights (Buddhism) accompanied by five disciples until his death when he was cremated and his ashes distributed to Buddhist communities who enshrined them. (2) One who has attained spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism.
Buddhism: The doctrine preached by Buddha and its later developments that hold that suffering is inseparable from existence, but that extinction of worldly desire and self leads to enlightenment which transcends existence and suffering. Many sects of Buddhism have evolved that profess many forms of doctrinal interpretation and observance. In Japan both Zen (meditative) and Shingon (esoteric) Buddhist sects profoundly affected the development and teaching of the martial arts (bujitsu) and ways (Budo).
budo: (J) Martial way or path. "Bu" meaning military or military related but with a secondary meaning: to stop a weapon (spear). "Do" means way or path. More detail.
budo-ka: (J) A budo student.
budokai: (J) A budo or military ways organization or group.
budokan: (J) A building dedicated to the practice of budo disciplines (more than one).
budo-jiten: (J) A budo dictonary.
bugei: (J) Pre-1600 military fighting arts. Similar to bujitsu. More detail.
bugei: (J) A term (as Bujitsu) used to refer to all specializations of combat arts primarily practiced (crossed trained) by the military class (bushi or samurai). The kanji (character) "Bu," meaning military, is used, but the kanji for "gei" means art or skill (not techniques or method as in the term "jitsu" as in bujitsu). This distinction implies that bugei also refers to the artistic accomplishments of their practitioners, rather than connoting the how or why of techniques as implied in bujitsu. See gei.
bugi: (J) Another word for bugei.
bujin: (J) Military person: a warrior or soldier not specifically of the bushi or samurai class in Japan. See Bushi.
bujitsu: (J) Military combat arts developed prior to 1600 practiced primarily by professional warriors. More detail.
buke: (J) Military house. A military family. See Diamyo.
bunkai: (J) Analysis and interpretation of kata and its movements.
bushi: (J) (1) A classical professional warrior or samurai from a military family (Buke) usually skilled in a variety of weapons. (2) A term used in Okinawa to denote a warrior, a title often bestowed by the Okinawan king, but bushi were not samurai since Okinawa had a different social, cultural and class tradition than Japan.
bushi te: (J) A term often used as alternate for "Te" the ancient indigenous self-defense methods of Okinawa but is technically restricted to those indigenous fighting arts practiced by Okinawan Bushi (bushi whose title was officially designated by the king).
bushido: (J) The "way of the warrior." A modern term (Tokugawa era) referring to the feudal warrior's moral and ethical code of behavior (See Budo)
Butokuden: (J) Hall of Martial Arts Virtues. A center established in Kyoto near the Hein Shrine in the 1890's that served as headquarters for the Dia-Nippon Butokukia. It also was the location of the Senmon Gakko, a training facility at which leading teachers of martial disciplines taught prior to WWII.
Butokukai: (J) See Dai-Nippon Butokukai.
butsodo: (J) Buddhist teachings, or way of Buddha that leads to the understanding of the self and mind.
butsudan: (J) The Buddhist family alter which are a miniature replica of the huge, elaborate and highly decorated Buddhist alters (with Buddhist image) found within temples. Butstudan are found in most Japanese and Okinawan homes and often in apartments (smaller examples). They resembles an open closet, or stand alone small chest, often with doors that swing open to reveal several elevated platforms on different levels upon which are placed Buddhist images, framed family pictures, copies of Chinese sutras and other religious articles that are subject to veneration. Incense, flowers, and food are added and replaced regularly. During the New Years o-mochi or pounded rice cakes are often added. The inside of the butsudan are quite intricate and often highly lacquered with gold overlay. Thus they represent an important investment to a traditional family costing upwards of several thousand dollars. Those who have passed away are called Hotoke-same (Buddha) and they are extended profound reverence. Their memory is also honored by many traditions. In past history family shrines were located in a small separate building (house) which inclosed an image of Buddha. They were called a bussha which when later incorporated into the house was known as a butsudan.


Capoeira: (S) A beautiful and dramatic Brazilian martial discipline founded by Africa slaves more than 300 years ago in Angola and practiced as a religious dance before being brought to Brazil where it was transformed into a self-defense system. The system uses gymnastic type back flips, cart wheels, sweeping movements and high kicks that uses evasion rather than blocks to avoid attack. Many counter kicks are done from a hand stand-position (most offensive techniques employing the feet).
cha: (J) (1) Tea. See Chado. (2) Brown.
chado: (J) Way of the tea, one of the Zen Arts, in which the subject of study was secondary to the perfection and self-improvement of the self. See Do.
chadai: (J) Mat fee for practice when visiting another dojo; a payment of gratitude.
Ch'an: (C) A Chinese term meaning meditation, from dhyana (Sanskrit) further altered to Zen (the meditative school of Buddhism) in Japan. Also known as hsin tsung.
cha-Obi: (J) Brown belt worn in the martial disciplines (before black belt) that represents not only a level of physical accomplishment but a display, or attainment of a level of mental and ethical behavior (Kyu in the Japanese disciplines). See Do.
Chan Fa: (C) Also spelled Chuan Fa. See: Kempo, Ch'un Fa.
Channan: (C) See Pinan.
chaya: (J) Tea house.
chi: (1) (J) Blood. (2) (C) Also spelled (Qi). Energy, intrinsic energy, ki in Japanese. A general term referring to energies that nurture and support body functions including harmonious relations between the organs, that provide protection from external infection (immune function), that augments inherited vitality and that stimulates and supports the spirit. It is believed that Chi (Ki) can be cultivated, controlled and used not only for health and longevity but for martial purposes including protection from injury as well as to enhance performance and body power. See Chi Kung (Qigong), Kiko. More Detail. (3) strategy, wisdom, or intellect, as in fudo chi.
chiisai: (J) Small, little.
chi Kara: (J) Ki (Chi) manifested in physical strength
chishi: (O) An implement traditionally made of a round, flat stone, usually weighing about ten pounds, with an attached shaft used for a handle, used in Okinawa as a karate training device. See Karate Training Equipment. Also sometimes spelled chushi.
chikara: (J) Strength or power.
chii kara: (O) An Okinawan term meaning internal power (non-muscular).
Chi Kung: (C) Also spelled Qigong: Kiko in Japanese. Chi meaning intrinsic energy, kung meaning training, practice or work. A general term referring to art of cultivating Chi (Ki in Japanese) that refers to the many practices, methods and exercises used to build, control and use energies for health and longevity, martial arts and other purposes. More Detail.
chikuto: (J) An old term for a kendo practice word made of bamboo strips also known as a Shinai.
Chin na: (C) The Chinese art of seizing and locking that uses striking and seizing of acupuncture points, grasping of tendons and blood vessels and the locking of joints that is widely incorporated into Chinese fighting arts. Included also is a mix of throwing, takedowns, kicking, punching and joint manipulations (locking and bending that parallel techniques in judo, jujitsu and karate. Techniques are also associated with dim mak.
cho: (1) (J) Head, chief, headman, the principal, as in Dojo cho, meaning head of a dojo.(2) (J) A unit of land measurement equaling 2.451 acres. (3) (J) A measurement of distance equaling 119.303 yards.
chojo (J) One's senior, or elder in the dojo. See Sempai.
chokkaku: (J) 90 degrees or a right angle.
chosen: (J) Korea.
chotto: (J) (1) Just a minute, or for a short while. (2) May I have your attention.
chowa: (J) Harmony, accord.
chowa Suru: (J) To harmonize with; be in harmony with.
chu: (1) (J) Loyalty, devotion. One of the virtues of Budo. (2) (J) Center, the middle.
Ch'uan Fa: (C) Fist boxing, or way of the fist also spelled Chan Fa. Called Ken Fat in Cantonese, Kempo in Japanese.
Ch'uan Shu: (C) Fist art. A general term referring to various Chinese martial disciplines practicing empty hand (without weapons) fighting techniques. Similar terms include: Kung Fu, Wushu, Gwo Chi, Gwo Sho and Chung Ku Ch'uan.
chudan: (J) (1) middle level. (2) On the body, the area from the neck to the waist, thus terms as chudan zuki, or middle punch
chuden: (J) Second, or middle level teachings, or level of mastery.
Ch'uen Yuan: (C) A system of hand and fist positions attributed to Bodhidharma that some suggest contributed to the development of Chan Fa.
chugo: (J) Devotion, loyalty, a Bushido value.
chui: (J) A warning in a competitive match by a judge or referee that signals a possible penalty or disqualification if the infraction is repeated.
Chu Hsi: (C) (1130-1200 A.D) A great Sung dynasty Chinese Confucian scholar who is famous for his commentaries on the Confucian Classics and other Neo-Confucian writings, his great contribution being a synthesis of philosophy becoming known as the school of Principle or Reason (Neo-Confucianism) which (evidencing some influences from both Taoism and Buddhism) offered a broad philosophical system focused on this world and its problems to which people could turn for guidance in life.
Chugoku: (J) China.
Chuang Tsu: (C) The famous Chinese philosopher and scholar (4th Century B.C.), a contemporary of Mencius, who helped develop and fully delineate the concepts and doctrines of Taoism using, rigorous logic and poetic imagery mixed with stories and humor, who in transcending this worldly matters helped lay the metaphysical foundation for the concept of emptiness later fully expressed within Zen Buddhism.
chuo: (J) Middle, center.
Chushi: (J) Another spelling of Chishi.
chushin: (J) (1) Center, heart, middle, focus. (2) A person's center (Also seiken tandan), or one point. (3) A martial concept of being centered - stability and character that determines one's control. (4) A loyal student. .
chusoku: (J) Ball of the foot. See Body Parts.
chu tandan: (J) Middle tandan or body center (Dan Tien in Chinese)
Confucius: (C) (551-473 B.C.) A Chinese philosopher, statesman and advisor to feudal lords who taught an ethical system that stressed virtue, manners, devotion to family and loyalty to superiors (obligations) and justice. More Detail.


dachi: (J) An alternative spelling of "tachi," stance or position, as in kiba-dachi (see) or horse stance.
dai: (J) Stand, or pedestal.
-dai: (J) (Suffix) (1) Indicating a generations, as third generation, or san-dai. (2) "In place of," as in shihan dai, someone who is temporarily in place of (secondary to) the Shihan (teacher), as in situations of illness or incapacity. (3) In karate kata a term used to differentiate different versions of a kata or to distinguish between two kata sharing the same name.
dai-: (J) (Prefix) (1) Big or large. A recently adopted use of the term indicating great, as in great teacher (dia-sensei). The kanji character depicts a person made as large as possible, standing with arms and legs spread out, thus meaning large or great. The same character can also be read as "O," as in, O'Sensei, a term usually associated with Morihei Ueshiba the founder of aikido, but rarely used elsewhere.
diagan: (J) Face to face teaching between teacher and student. Used in Zen.
daigudo: (J) The concept that the martial arts is not a single discipline but a group of interrelated disciplines in which warriors should be proficient. "dia" (see) meaning larger or greater, "gu," meaning to request or seek, "do," meaning way or path. Gudo is another word for kyudo, or archery literally meaning "to seek the truth." In medieval Japan warriors (see) were proficient in a variety of combat specializations opposed to modern times where civilian practitioners often specialize in one budo form as karate-do, judo, or aikido. But some authorities, as Donn Draeger, have also suggested that to understand "do," multiple disciplines should also be studied.
Daijobu: (J) An informal way of saying, "It's O.K.", or "It's all right."
daiko: (J) Teaching substitute, assistant.
daimyo: (J) Great names. A feudal provincial landowner and administrators with territories granted by the emperor, assumed through land reclamation or taken from enemies who in turn sublet lands to retainers or vassals (keri). Most commanded large forces of professional warriors under command of these retianers and owed allegiance to the emperor. Over time, however, they grew progressively independent. They were as buke, or military houses (as opposed to kuge, or court houses whose heads lived in cities, as Kyoto).
Dai Nippon Butokukai: (J) Great Japan Martial Virtues Association founded in 1895 to preserve and promote the martial arts and ways. More Detail. See also Butokuden.
dairi: (J) Representative, proxy, deputy. A term in Budo which is sometime used, as in Shihan dairi, meaning a person who is appointed (usually temporarily) to represent someone, such as a Shihan who is the head of a school, system or ryuha as when visiting another place, dojo, or country.
dai sensei: (J) A rarely used term meaning great sensei. "Dai," meaning large, "Sensei," meaning one who has gone before, a term usually translated at teacher in the West. The character for "dia" can also be read as "O," the term O'Sensei most often associated with Morihei Ueshiba the founder of aikido.
daisho: (J) Great and small. A term in the martial arts that refers to the pair of long and shorts swords worn only by trained warriors or samurai.
daitai: (J) Thigh: femur (bone). See Sune, Body Parts.
daito: (J) A long sword.
Daito-ryu: (J) An ancient system of unarmed and armed combat founded by Shinra Saburo Minamoto (attributed to) during the Heian period (794-1156) and perfected in battlefield warfare but whose techniques were most fully systematized (some say modified) by Sokaku Takeda with sword and unarmed techniques practiced together. It was the first and only tradition whose focuses concerns aiki-jujitsu. While it has inspired many succeeding disciplines, including aikido founded by Morihei Usehiba (Takeda's student from 1911-1918), daito-ryu proponents suggest while the other systems share the aiki jujitsu nomenclature, the understanding of aiki, as well as the techniques themselves, may in fact be very different. See: aiki, Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu.
Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu: (J) A derivative of daito ryu which focuses on the aiki-jujitsu portion of the art.
Dame: (J) (1) Wrong, (2) Damn.
Da Mo: (C) See Dharuma, Bodhidharma.
dan: (J) step. In the martial ways: one who has achieved rank. Part of the kyu/dan ranking system now widely used in Japan for many activities but known in martial disciplines as part of kyu/dan ranking system adopted by modern budo starting with judo. "Kyu," stands for level, before becoming ranked, "dan," signifies a level of rank. See Budo: Ranking and Belt Systems.
dana: (J) Shelf, as in hon-dana or book shelf.
dan tian: (C) See dan tien.
dan tien: (C) Also spelled tan tien, or dan tian; tandan, or hara in Japanese. (1) A term often used to refer to an area of the body centered in the lower abdomen (just below belly button ) that is an energy (ki in Japanese, chi in Chinese) center, called the field of elixir in Chi kung, an area where life energy is generated, restored and stored and that can be used for health or healing, or martial arts purposes. It is also the center of gravity of the body and seen as the source of the body's greatest strength. In the martial arts and ways it is the area from which true power is generated. To the Japanese it is the area within which life vitality resides and is an area of mental focus used to quiet and center the mind. (2) A general term referring to three energy centers of the body, one in the lower abdomen, the second in the middle of the chest (some say the solar plexus area), and between the eyes. Other, lesser energy centers and pumping area are also acknowledged. dan tiens and secondary centers when combined are roughly equivalent in location to the Indian Chakra locations.
Dao: (C) Alternate spelling to Tao (short for Taoism) meaning the way or path, "do" in Japanese.
dana: (J) (1) A Buddhist term meaning gift, donation or voluntary giving of energy (help), or materials to others. (2) A shelf for a small shinto shrine (kami dana) often seen in homes and dojos'
Darma: (C) See: Dharuma, Bodhidharma.
deguchi: (J). An exit.
den: (J) (1) Teachings, a legend, a tradition (2) A hall; palace.
denbu: (J) The buttocks, hips, rump.
deshi: (J) student or disciple. In many organizations there is a distinction between an uchi deshi, who is a live in student (in a master's house or special quarters), and who dedicates himself fully to training, plus assuming extra chores in service to the teacher. In return they are expected to receive more training, or additional training. Regular students or trainees (seito) who live elsewhere are often termed Soto deshi, or outside students.
dim mak: (C) Also dim mok, or dian mai. The Chinese science of attacking the body and/or its acupuncture points, or centers so as disrupt internal energy (ki, chi, or qi), organs, or blood flow to cause injury, or death - immediately, or hours, days or weeks later. Techniques are associated with chin na.
do: (J) (1) Way or path (to follow). A term often used as a suffix as in Judo, kendo, aikido and karate-do. "Do" is the Japanese pronunciation the Chinese term Tao (for Taoism) meaning the way to suppress violence and return to the way of the universe. But while Chinese Taoism developed strong otherworldly or religious connotations, the Japanese interpretation had a more practical, less abstract meaning, one more focused on the pragmatic dimension of human relationships. This led to the concept of the way or road toward self-development. More Detail. (2) A kendo, chest protector, also adopted in karate as body amour for practice fighting (kunite). It is a modern rendition of the armored chest protectors (also a "do") that were used by professional warriors in Japan, (3) Trunk of the body; torso. (4) degree(s), as in yonju godo: 45 (yonhu go) degrees (go). (5) Earth, as part of gogyo: the five natural elements (concepts): fire (ka), water (sui), earth (do), wood (moku) and metal (kin) - that served as basis for many arts based on Chinese cosmology from medicine (brought to Japan from China) to fortune telling.
Dogen: (J) A famous 13th century Zen master and founder of the Soto School of Zen.
dogi: (J) An informal term meaning budo training uniform. Also gi (see).
dojo: (J) A sacred place of the "way" or learning hall where budo is practiced. More Detail.
dojo cho: (J) Dojo chief, or eldest.
dojo cho daiko: (J) Assistant chief, head or director of a dojo.
dojo kun: (J) dojo precepts and maxims voiced as a training hall oath.
domo: (J) (1) Informal: "Thank you." (2) Please.
domo arigato gozaimasu: (J) Formal : "Thank you very much."
doryo: (J) Magnanimity, generosity. One of bushido's virtues.
dosa: (J) Action, movement(s), motion(s).
dosen: (J).A line of movement, or path of flow.
Doshu: (J) (1) A grand master in a hereditary position, a successor. (2) In aikido a term that refers to the current hereditary head of Ueshiba family's Aikikai aikido organization.
dozo: (J) Casual: (If you) Please, kindly.


Edo: (J) The name for Tokyo until 1868.
Edo Jidai: (J) the Edo period lasting from 1603-1868. Also sometimes referred to as the Tokugawan period.
Eigo: (J) The English language
Ei-In: (J) England and India.
eiji: (J)(1) A letter (any character) in the English language alphabet. (2) An infant, baby.
Ekikyo: (J) The I Ching.
ekku: (O) An oar, or paddle used in Okinawa as a weapon and in kata (ekku weapon kata). Kai in Japanese. See kobudo.
emi: (J) A smile.
embusen: (J) The performance line, or movement pattern of a kata (form: one or two person choreographed practice sequence of movements). Also engisen.
e-mone: (J) A general term referring to any sharp weapon, or ready weapon.
Empi: (J) The Japanese name for the Okinawan kata Wansu.
empi: (J) Sometimes spelled enpi. Elbow. Also Hiji (J). See Body Parts.
en: (J) A circle.
enbu: (J) A military exercise, or practice, as fencing or judo.
engisen: (J) See embusen.
enkei: (J) Referring to a circle, or circularity, a term often used in aikido.
enshin: (J) the center of a circle, a position (in the center) used for training exercises.
eri: (J) (1) Lapel, or collar. (2) The neck. Also kubi. See Body Parts.
erikubi: (J) The nape or back (scruff) of the neck.
eri dori: (J) Also spelled eri tori. Grabbing the coller or lapel.
Escrima: (S) Also sometimes known as Arnis (see), or Escrima.
eta: (J) The original inhabitants of the Islands now called Japan who were considered outcasts (until they were officially designated as part of the commoner class in 1871) and allowed only to serve in the most menial jobs.


fudo: (J) Immovable, not physically or literally, but in mind, one that is not captured, or moved, or dwells, or loiters on a thought or in a focus - a total unobstructed awareness and focus on everything, thus not moving with, or fixed upon something (limited by a focused attention). The term is often combined with others as in Fudoshin or fudo-dachi (preparedness stance) and is derived from the Japanese deity Fudo Myo-O. It is also related to the term mushin.
fudo dachi: (J) Preparedness stance, or natural stance. A stance with feet approximately at shoulder width and feet slightly turned outward that is balanced and centered from which it is easy to move in any direction, or turn.
fudo-chi: (J) Immovable wisdom. A spirit that can't be moved or influenced. "Fudo" meaning immovable, "chi" meaning strategy, wisdom or intellect.
Fudo Myo-O: (J) A Japanese deity (also know as Acala), the God of Fire, a manifestation of the central sun (Vairocana), a fierce God of Indian origin although neither a Buddha or Bodhisattva. A male, he is usually portrayed as livid blue in color with a terrible facial expression sitting on a rock surrounded by flames, gripping a sword in the right hand, a rope in the left, teeth bared and with angry eyes. The deity symbolizes the mind that does not move, or the body that is not unsettled even when surrounded by danger. The deity was popular with the Japanese warriors (bushi or samurai) who saw themselves as guardians of order in a nation besieged with disorder. See: Fudo, Fudo Shin, Mushin.
Fudoshin: (J) A term referring to a calm spirit, even when faced with danger, without fear or confusion, that does not dwell or become fixed on anything. See: Fudo and Shin. Related to Mushin.
fudotai: (J) Immovable body.
fundoshi: (J) A loincloth, or cloth G-string for men, a cloth tied around the waist and between the legs that was often worn by Japanese men during training in the martial disciplines, such as judo and karate, before pants as part of budo uniforms, or dogi, were adopted.
fuku: (J) Assistant, adjutant, duputy, vice-.or sub-.
fuku kaicho: (J) Vice president or assisant chief or a organization, association, or group (Kai).
fukubu: (J) the abdominal region, abdomen, the belly. Also hara, tanden. See Body Parts.
furi: (J) A swing, or swinging.
furyu: (J) (1) Elegance, taste, refinement or elegant refined arts. Furyu was originally a Heian period (700s-1100s) term referring to a type of elegant but playful look at life and art. (2) In the martial arts and ways (budo and bujitsu) furyu refers to those principles of training (customs, manners, ritual, beliefs, etc.) which gradually expand the practitioners sense of beauty, taste and elegance (aesthetic sense) which serve as a foundation for spiritual development.
futari: (J) Two persons, a pair, two, or the pair of us: the term for two in a Japanese system used to count people. Japanese is noted for its many different counting systems.
futatsu: (J) two objects, part of a Japanese counting system for many objects.
Futon: (J) A soft, lightweight bed quilt in Japan. In the West a heavy, padded mattress-like product used for coaches and sleeping.


gaijin: (J) A foreigner, alien, or foreign resident in Japan.
-gatai: (J) A suffix meaning hard to do, or put into practice, as in giri-gatai.
gaiwan: (J) Informal: outer forearm. "Gai" meaning outer, "wan" meaning arm.
gake: (J) See kake.
gakko: (J) A school, college, academy, or educational institution.
gaku: (J) (1) Frame, placque or tablet. In a dojo it refers to framed calligraphy, mottos, or pictures of a founder usually hung on the wall in an honored position, usually in an area known as an upper seat (instructors area), or shinzen; See dojo. (2) Music.
gaman: (J) Patience, perseverance, endurance, self-control or restraint.
ganmen: (J) The face, face area, or general target area of the face.
gamen tzuki: (J) Face thrust (strike). Tzuki is also often spelled zuki.
gari: (J) A reaping action of the leg usually associated with a take-down, or throw.
gassho: (J) A joining or grasping of hands flat together in front of the body used in prayer, veneration, or as a bow within Buddhist traditions and martial arts and ways.
gasshuku: (J) A training camp, or stay at a camp for training in the martial disciplines.
gei: (J) Art. The science and technique rooted in the tradition of a martial ryu, system or style.
geiko: (J) Training, practice, exercise. Also spelled keiko.
gendai: (J) Present age, generation, day, time, or modern times.
gendai budo: (J) Modern martial arts, referring to those disciplines usually having a wide audience appeal or following. See gendai, meaning present age, day or time
gedan: (J) (1) Lower level. (2) Below the waist, as in gedan tsuki, or lower strikes. See jodan and chudan.
gedan-barai: (J) Lower block, or parry, using the forearm.
gedan-tzuki: (J) A lower punch, or strike.
gei: (J) Art, or craft, as in bugei meaning military (martial) art or craft.
geido: (J) Artistic ways. A Japanese category of activity that includes (a) Esthetic enterprises such as poetry composition, Noh, flower arranging, the tea ceremony or the playing of musical instruments (b) martial arts and (c) popular culture such as puppetry, dance and comical theater.
geisha: (J) A professional beauty, dancer and entertainer.
geki: (J) First strike or first strike capability.
gekisen: (J) A fierce, hard fought battle or contest.
genkotsu: (J) (1) A clenched fist. (2) The art of striking vital points. Another name for Atemi.
Genji: (J) The Genji (Minamoto) family. See Minamoto.
genki: (J) Vigor, energy, vitality, health.
geri: (J) Kick. Alternate spelling for "keri."
geta: (J) Clogs, or sandals ( usually wooden).
Geru: (J) Verb meaning to raise, lift. See Age.
gessha: (J) A monthly fee or tuition.
getsu: (J) (1) Moon (2) Month.
gi: (J) (1) Informal: A budo training uniform. Short for keiko-gi. See Budo: Ranking and Belt System. (2) A technique. (3) Justice, righteousness, a just cause.
Gi Gong: (C) Alternative spelling of Chi Kung (see).
giho: (J) Technique.
gimu: (J) Duty, obligation, responsibility. Also see giri, -gatai.
giri: (J) The strong feelings of obligations, duty and responsibilities felt for doing what is expected (to abide by traditional customs) in order to uphold honor and reputation. One of the virtues of bushido and a cornerstone of traditional Japanese culture. In feudal times when demands of giri were incompatible with personal wishes or obligations (ritual), suicide was a way out.
giri-gatai: (J) Very strict in observance of giri (see).
go:(J) (1) Five. (2) An ancient Japanese board game of strategy.
godan: (J) Fifth degree, step, or rank, as in fifth degree (dan) black belt in budo. See Budo: Ranking and Belt System.
gogo: (J) Afternoon, this afternoon.
gogyo: (J) The five natural elements (concepts) -- fire (ka), water (sui), earth (do), wood (moku) and metal (kin) -- that served as the basis for many arts, from medicine (brought to Japan from China) to fortune telling.
goho: (J) Fate, or karma.
gokui: (J) A profound secret, mysteries (of an art), the inner meaning of an art.
>gokui kaidan: (J) The final certificate (menkyo) indicating mastery of all of an art's techniques and teachings.
gokyu: (J) Fifth kyu, or level preceding attainment of rank of dan within the kyu/dan ranking system. See Budo: Ranking and Belt System.
Gokyo: (J) The five Classics of Confucianism.
"Gomen": (J) Very Informal: "Pardon me" or "excuse me."
"Gomen-nasia": (J) Informal: "Pardon me," or "excuse me."
Goju Ryu: (J) A major style of karate founded by Miyagi Chojun (1888-1953) in Okinawa, meaning hard/soft. Some say the name was adopted from the Bubihi.
Gojushiho:(J) An advanced kata, meaning 54 steps.
Gorin No Sho: (J) The Book of Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi
gyaku: (J) Opposite, or reverse, as in gyaku tzuki, meaning reverse punch.
gyaku tzuki: (J) Reverse punch. In karate: a punch with the hand opposite of the lead foot.
gyosho: (J) A term for brushed calligraphy (Japanese writing that includes kanji) which is semi-cursive and more free and flowing than printed writing called kaisho and is part of the general art of brushed calligraphy called shodo. It is more controlled than the more free form and expressive shodo form called shosho.


ha: (J) (1) A tooth (2) An edge or blade (3) A leaf.
-Ha: (J) (suffix) A group, party, faction, sect or school (of an art or way) indicting that the "Ha" entity is following the basic concepts and/or tenets of the original ryu, style, system or teacher, but with minor differences (usually those of the founder) which distinguishes it in some fashion. In karate there are different styles, and within one style, as Shito Ryu, for example, there are a number of "Ha," such as Motobu Ha, Mabuni Ha, Hayashi Ha, Kuniba Ha, etc. Within aikido a style adapting itself to Morishei Uyeshiba's tenets is Suenaka Ha Tetsugako Ho formed by Sensei Roy Sueneka who is dedicated to teaching aikido as it was taught to him within the Uyeshiba organization. "Ha" shares with "ryu" the same radical (or part) on the left side of the character meaning water (mizu) which is interpreted as a flowing river or current. Thus within budo it symbolizes a flowing of knowledge from one martial entity to another. A "Ha" can therefore represent a minor current leading from a larger one (ryu, system or style).
"Ha" : (J) A sound often used in a kiai.
hachi: (J) Eight.
hachidan: (J) An eighth degree black belt.
hachimaki: (J) A headband the Japanese have traditionally worn during strenuous work, or worn when participating in some festival activity, labor or political demonstration. In the martial disciplines traditionally they were used for serious confrontations, or very hard practice, but have more recently lost this significance, being adopted by many as a training aid. They derived from a length of cloth that professional warriors wrapped around their head as a helmet (armor) pad.
hachiwari: (J) A type of jutte.
Hakakura: (J) A widely read and studied book on samurai ethics written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo a samurai during a time (after nearly 100 years of peace around 1716) when samurai martial skills and spirit were in decline that it served as reminder of principles of Bushido including self-sacrifice and absolute loyalty
hai: (J) Most often used to mean "yes," or "that's right," but which actually signifies agreement with a question.
"Hai dozo": (J) Informal: "Yes, Please."
haiku: (J) A highly stylized and refined style of Japanese poetry (art form) composed of three lines of five, seven and five syllables respectively within which some mention of the season is usual. Haiku attempts to awaken feelings with a few, fresh and vigorous words masterly chosen to go to the heart of an experience - without excess analysis or description - that portrays the deepest inner sense of the poet himself. Although it was developed in the middle of the 17th century by the famous poet Basho Matsuo, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that Masaoka Shiki made the name haiku a generic name for this form. A famous Basho haiku reads:

Yagae shinu       The cicada's cry
Keshiki wa miezu       Gives no sign
Semi no koe       It is about to die

haishu: (J) The back of the hand as a weapon.
hiasoku: (J) Instep. A foot position with the toes pointed downward that exposes the instep to be used as a striking weapon. Sometimes spelled heisoku.
haito: (J) Ridge hand. Use of the thumb side of the hand between the first finger and the wrist as a striking surface.
hajime: (J) Begin.
haiwan: (J) The back of the forearm.
hakama: (J) A divided skirt, or skirt like pants with seven pleats, five in front and two in the back, traditionally used by the warrior class and later adopted by budo (kendo, aikido, jujitsu and karate-do) to indicate dan rank or a high kyu level. In karate hakama were often used by teachers in Okinawa and on mainland Japan before adoption of modern budo uniforms (dogi) and are still often used for demonstrations or ceremonial occasions. Hakama are traditionally black, violet blue, or white.
Hakko-ryu: (J) A style of jujitsu derived from daito-ryu.
haku: (J) White. The same character in Japanese can also be read as "shiro." As in Hakutsuru, or white crane.
hakuda: (J) "White strike," or "Striking without impurity." An ancient Buddhist poetic description of the art of striking the vital points (atemi) of another person in self defense without making the self impure. Hakuda is often combined with grabbing techniques (hakushu) found within many Japanese, Okinawan kata and Korean hyung. "Haku" meaning white (the color symbolizing purity) and "da" meaning to strike or hit. Beida in Okinawan (dialect). Baida in Chinese.
hakushu: (J) (1) "To catch or capture skillfully," or "to seek and capture the hand." An ancient term referring to the art of catching or grasping an opponent and often combined with hakuda (vital point striking). Hakushu techniques are found within many forms of Japanese, Okinawan kata and Korean hyung. Po shou in Chinese. An art similar to tuite. (2) Applause.
hakutsuru:(J) (1) White crane. The white crane style of karate (Hakutsuru shorin-ryu). (2) A single kata or a group of kata within the white crane system. "Haku" means white, "tsuru" means crane.
hambo: (J) A wooden staff, or bo used in bojitsu.
han: (J) (1) Half. (2) A hand stamp, a stamp of seal (3) A printing block. (4) A corps., a squad. (5) a feudal clan or a feudal domain.
hana: (J) (1) Nose. (2) flower or blossom.
hane: (J) Jump, or spring -- as in hane goshi, a spinning hip throw.
Hangetsu: (J) A karate kata. See Seisan.
hangetsu: (J) Half-moon, a semi circle, crescent (shaped).
hanko: (J) (1) A seal, or stamp carved from stone that is used with red ink on legal documents, paintings, or diplomas or other documents and has the same legal status as a signature. (2) Half-facing. Same as hanmi.
hanmi: (J) (1) Triangular stance. A ready stance with one foot forward and the hips angled (45 degrees). (2) Half facing. Same as hanko.
hanmi handachi: (J) Opponents facing each other, one standing and the other in a seated position (usually seiza).
hansha: (J) Reflection (as a mirror).
hanshi: (J) (1) A honorary teaching title originally created by the Dai Nippon Butokukai in 1902 to be bestowed to outstanding teachers who were usually ninth or tenth dan. A second title, Kyoshi (seventh and eight dan) was also created. A third title Renshi (usually fifth and sixth dan) was later created in 1935. After WWII various budo organizations also began bestowing these titles. See Budo: Ranking and Belt System. (2) A Japanese aristocratic title of the Edo era.
hantai: reverse, opposite.
Hapkido: (K) The way of coordinated energy (internal). A Korean martial discipline that combines karate like moves (noted for its spectacular high kicks), judo throws and aikido circularity and joint manipulations combined with Ki (Chi) or internal energy. Hapkido was founded by Young Shui Choi in the late 1930's and early 1940's but was practiced under a variety of names up until the 1960's. Choi had previously studied daito ryu aiki jujitsu which he combined with his native hwarando and taekyon (a kicking art not to be confused with taekwondo).
happo: (J) Eight directions, or eight sides.
hara: (J) An area of the body centered in the lower abdomen (just below the belly button) that is an energy (ki in Japanese, chi in Chinese) center, called the field of elixir in Chi kung (kiko in Japanese), an area where life energy is generated, restored and stored that can be used for health, healing, or martial arts purposes. To the Japanese it is the area within which life vitality resides and the reason, some suggest, that Japanese ritual suicide by disbowlment (harai kari) is actually a sacrifice of a person's vital energy source in the name of honor. Traditionally, a long piece of cloth was wrapped around this area (see haramaki) in cold weather to prevent loss of vital energy from this center. Many warriors and martial artists also concentrate on this center to focus their energy and mind. This area is also the center of gravity of the body and is seen as the source of the body's greatest strength. In the martial arts and ways it is the area from which true power is generated.
haragei: (J) Stomach art. The integration of inner control and calm in the hara combined with Ki (chi) energy that is sought as a foundation and prerequisite for effective control or interaction with either an opponent or circumstances of life. The concept acknowledges the importance of a psychological base to enhance physical activity, especially within a combative, emotional confrontation. Haragei involves a coming together of the non-physical aspects of mind, spirit and energy with the body aspects of power, center of gravity and movement - all centered on the hara, or more specifically the one point (sekika no tandan just below the navel internal to the body). The end goal is to harmonize and free the warrior for action by eliminating thoughts, emotions, tensions, hesitation or thoughts of the self (no mind or mushin) or any specific attention (fixed focus) which interferes with perception, intuition and awareness or inhibited reflexive action, courage, spirit or total commitment to action (fudoshin) heightened by the release and free flow of vital energy (ki).
haramaki: (J) Stomach band. A long band of cloth (usually woolen) that is traditionally wrapped around the abdomen by men to keep it warm (referring to the concept of the hara as the center of a person's vital energy, or life force).
haria: (J) See barai.
hara-kiri: (J) A common, but impolite, term for ritual suicide (self-disembowelment) more formally called seppuku. "
hasami: (J) Scissors, as a hasami tsuki, or scissors punch or hasumi jimi. A scissors strangle, or hold.
hayashi: (J) A forest or woods.
hayai: (J) (1) Fast, quick, swift. (2) Early.
hayai ashi: (J) Quick steps.
he: (J) Yes, certainly.
hea: (J) Hair (on the head). Also Kami.
hei: (J) (1) A common soldier, private. (2) Troops, an army, a force. (3) War, warfare. (4) A wall, a fence.
heian: (J).The Japanese name for pinan katas.
heian: (J) Peace, calm(ness), quiet(ness)
heiho: (J) (1) Ken-jitsu (sword art). (2) Military strategy, tactics.
heiki: (J) (1) Arms, a weapon (of war). (2) Calmness, serenity.
heiko:(J) Parallel, as in heiko dachi (parallel stance).
heisha: (J) A barracks.
heishi: (J) A soldier, a private. Heishi suru (verb): to fall dead, perish.
heisoku: (J)See haisoku.
henka: (J) Change, or variation.
heso: (J) the navel.
heta: (J) Unskillfulness, awkwardness.
heya: (J) Room, a chamber .
hi: (J) (1) The sun, sunlight. (2) Fire, a flame, blaze. (3) A princess, a consort.(4) Scarlet (color). (5) The spleen. (6) Secret. (7) The grooves on a blade of a weapon such as a sword.
hidari: (J) Left. Hidari ashi: left leg. Hidari te: left fist or hand.
hiden: (J) Secret teachings, secret arts, a secret, a mystery.
hifu: (J) The skin.
hiho: (J) A secret method.
hiji: (J) An elbow, as in hiji ate, an elbow strike.
hikari: (J) Light, rays of light.
hiku: (J) (Verb) To pull, draw, tug.
hijitsu: (J) A secret art. Alternate spelling hijutsu.
hikite:(J) The retracting arm.
hima: (J) Time, to take time.
himo: (J) A string or cord. Used, for example, as ties on cloths, budo uniforms (dogi) and kendo protective equipment (bogu).
hiragana: (J) See kanji.
hirate: (J) The whole inside of the hand as a weapon.
hiri: (J) The flat, the broad. Refers to the flat of palm, sword or other weapon used as a striking surface.
hirate: (J) An open flat hand, the palm.
hissatsu: (J) A mortal blow, a deathblow. As in "Ichi geki hissatsu," meaning to kill with one blow or punch.
hitai: (J) Forehead, the brow.
hito: (J) A person.
hitomi: (J) Pupil of the eye.
hitori: (J) One person or man.
hitotsu: (J) One unit, one.
hiza: (J) Knee.
hizo: (J) The spleen.
ho: (J) (1) A gun, or cannon. (2) A cheek. (3) A sword point, a dagger (4) A fief.
-ho: A suffix stemming from the word hobo meaning almost, or nearly, used in the martial disciplines to denote: (1) a system following in the footsteeps of another; (2) almost achieving, as in shodan-ho, used in children's ranks (often indicated by a white stripe in the middle of the black belt).
hogen: (J) (1) A dialect, provincialism. (2) A term used to refer to the dialects of Japanese spoken in the Ryuku Islands including Okinawa. Hogen was spoken in many sub-dialects among the Islands. While some Island's dialect were very different, as Miyako, others had less spoken differences. Even in Okinawa itself, the language among the principal towns of Suri, Naha and Tomari once had different accents. In Suri, the capital and center of government, the language was more formal and correct. In Tomaria language was less correct and dignified reflecting the workers and farmers who had less education. In Naha the language was less formal and more hurried reflecting the merchants and traders centered there. The original language of the Ryukus was aboriginal that became layered with Chinese and old style southern Japanese. Hogen came to resemble Japanese in grammar and vocabulary (but with its own set of words and expressions) but had phonetic offshoots, so much so it was virtually unintelligible to the Japanese.
hoho: (J) A method, a way.
hojo: (J) (1) Supplement, assist, support. (2) A policeman's rope. (3) Buddha's teachings. (4) A certificate of merit.
hojo undo: (J) A subsidiary exercises.
hoko: (J) Halberd, arms.
hombu : The headquarters or main office or main dojo in the martial disciplines. Also spelled honbu.
hon: (J) A book, a volume.
hon-: (J) (Prefix) Main, head, chief, principal.
honbu: (J) See hombu.
honbun: (J) One's duty.
hone: (J) Bone.
honryu: (J) Main style or system.
honto: (J) Short form of "Honto desu ka," or "Is that right," "Really?," or "Is it true?"
Hsing-i: (C) Also spelled Hsing-yi. "Mind Form." An powerful ancient Chinese martial discipline based on Chinese Cosmology (five element theory) that stresses direct linear techniques forward and backward combined with the use of internal energy (chi). While the system visually resembles the hard styles (that emphasize muscle power) of Chinese kung fu, its real emphasis is the development and control of internal energy (chi kung). "Hsing" meaning form and "i" meaning idea, or idea behind the external form which includes not only movements of the discipline but knowing the intention, or ideas of the opponent (intuition) - thus its relation to the I-Ching (Book of Changes) as well as Pa-qua (often taught with Hsing-i) whose more circular, non-direct and evasive actions complement it. The system was originally from the north of China (San Shih province) spreading to Hepei, then to Hunan and Peking. Weapons include the knife and sword.
Hsing-yi: (J) See Hsing-i.
hyoshi: (J) Rhythm, time or measure. In budo, the rhythm of a technique or a kata.
hyoshigi: (J) Wooden clappers (two square pieces of wood held together with a tie) hit together to make a sharp sound used to keep a beat or signal the beginning or end of a class or period of study or meditation.
hyung: (K) A prearranged form; kata.
Hwarang-do: (K) "Flower man way," or "The way of the flowering manhood." A broad based and complex Korean martial discipline, which traces its roots back over 1800 years, that combines body movements with kicks, blocks and strikes, throws, joint manipulations, choking and submission techniques, ki training, weapons and the healing arts. The original self-defense art was created over 1800 years ago by a Buddhist priest, Won Kwang Bopsa. He was asked to instruct members of the royal family of Silla (one of three kingdoms that divided the area that is Korea) in a variety of subjects and students went on to become warriors, statesmen and leaders known collectively as the hwarang. Later, during periods of political turmoil, training continued in secret within Buddhist monasteries and was preserved. In the modern era, two brothers Joo Bang Lee and Joo Sang Lee, trained under the 57th successor of the system, the Buddhist monk Suahm Dosa, and they were given permission to teach publicly in 1960. Since then the art has spread under the direction of the World Hwarang-do Association.
hyaku: (J) One hundred.


i: (J) (1) Stomach. (2) A special reading of the Kanji character meaning "to be", or "exist" (iru).
iai: (J) Short for iaido or iadijitsu. "I" meaning to be, "ai" meaning to meet, harmonize, join.
Iaido: (J) The way of drawing the sword derived from

(See a comprehensive article on Iaido by Dr. Deborah Kein-Bigman in "Martial Arts of the World.")

Iaijitsu. See budo, do.
iaigoshi dachi:(J) A low crouching position with the right knee raised, the other knee on the ground, used by classical warriors for mobility and speed. This seating position was prefered by many professional warriors but during later periods of peace and urban life its use gave way to seiza (kneeling).
Iaijitsu: (J) The art of drawing the sword and cutting as a single motion. It was traditionally a sub-specialization of kenjitsu and one of several martial disciplines usually practiced by traditional warriors before the modern era. In the 1930's it was popularized as a separate discipline (iaido).
ibuki: (J) (1) Breath. (2) A breathing method in the martial arts. During ibuki the abdomen is tensed (outward) as air is forced upward in a long exhalation. At the same time the throat is constricted, which limits the outbreath, creating a sound that ranges from a loud, deep, rasping (similar to that used when trying to clear the throat) to a soft hiss. This type of breathing is most often associated with goju ryu, uechi ryu and kyokushin styles of karate and katas as sanchin, tensho and others. Ibuki breathing has several functions: (a) it is a natural complement to dynamic tension movements used in practice and kata; (b) it establishes mental control over breathing, which is especially useful when a person is winded and gasping and thus in a vulnerable position during combat; (c) it creates an internal pressure which enhances oxygen absorption within the lungs; (d) it can be used to intimidate or confuse an opponent; (e) over time this type breathing should increase lung capacity; (f) when practiced softly this breathing is often part of ki (chi) building, a chi kung exercise.
ichi: (J) One.
Ichi geki hissatsu: (J) (Saying) To kill with one blow, or punch.
iciban: (J) The best. The most. Number one.
ichibun: (J) One's proper duty, or honor.
I Ching: (C) Ekikyo in Japanese. The Book of Changes. A Chinese classic, with a highly Confucian style, that has been used to predict the future and/or divine a course of action amongst the change and transformation that it seen to underlie all existence. Originally it was a collection of linear signs or symbols used for fortune telling, which in its most basic form used a short unbroken line to symbolize "yes" and a broken line to symbolize "no." The symbols also represented the two primal forces or modes, or phases of creation and change: the yin and yang. These two symbols later became the father and mother of six additional symbols (totaling 8 trigrams, or three line symbols composed of combinations of short and long parallel lines) representing specific attributes, such as strong, penetrating, inciting movement, etc., and natural images such as heaven, wind/wood, thunder, water, etc. that developed into a system of cosmology with sixty four combinations (hexagrams) within the I-Ching along with cryptic comments (which are difficult to understand) with social, moral or political character. Faced with an important decision, warriors, politicians and others would consult an oracle just as a person today would consult an expert. Different lengths of sticks or reeds would be thrown on the ground, or the cracks in a broken or burned tortoise shells would be read by an expert and interpreted. The system allowed the universe and all its changes and transformation to be reduced to a predictable and understandable system -- within which extremes were understood to produce their own opposites, and each situation inevitably producing its own antithesis. The work is believed to be a compilation rather than a single work, the earliest parts dating from 800 BC, and the most recent from 200 AD. The Chinese internal kung fu system of Pa qua uses the hexagram and the I Ching philosophy of change and direction as its philosophical basis. Hsing-I utilizes a more ancient form of the directional arrangement using the four elements, metal, water, wood and fire arranged around earth at their center.
ichidia: (J) Very important or of great importance.
ichido: (J) All (of us or them).
ichi-go, ichi-e: (J) A saying which literally means "One period, one encounter." It suggests full attention, involvement and participation in each activity, class or practice as if it were the only one.
ido: (J) Movement, body shifting, change.
iie: (J) Usually taken to mean "No," or "that's wrong," it actually indicates a disagreement with a question or statement posed and thus also can also mean "yes."
Iken Hisatsu: (J) A saying which literally means to "To kill with one punch." Some suggest this saying is a budo adaptation of the traditional warrior concept (Bushido) of total commitment to action and purpose without thought of evasion, or of the self. Others, such as Seido Juku karate's Kaicho Nakamura, interpret kill to mean "loss of ego" (to lose one's ego) which reflects a central theme of budo rather than a strategic principle of action.
ikebana: (J) "Living flowers." The Zen art of flower arranging. An esthetic exercise in which simplicity in arrangement provides an alive, visual harmony that represents a greater harmony between heaven, earth and man, and whose practice develops character and morality. Also called kado. The art originated in the 15th century and became widespread during the Tokogawa era (1603-1868). Some styles stressed a natural standing style, while others advocated a formal standing style which schools currently follow. Once practiced by both men and women, today ikebana is practiced primarily by women and was once considered an important aspect of upbringing for all young women.
iki: (J) Breath, breathing, respiration.
ikkyo: (J) First pinning technique in aikido in which an attacker's arm (as in an attack to the head) is manipulated downward to waiste level by the use of a sword-like cutting technique with one hand on the opponent's wrist, the other hand at the elbow.
ima: (J) Now. Often used as a command, "Ima."
in: (J) the Japanese version of the Chinese yin, as in yin and yang. See yin/yang.
inasu: (J) (Verb) To dodge and attack skillfully or shift the body from the line of attack. A principle of tai sabaki.
ingen: (J) Dignity. A dignity of demeanor and department that creates a pervading sense of force or personality.
inka: (J) A Buddhist certificate (hand written scroll) signifying maturity in training which was later adopted by schools of bujitsu.
in-yo: (J) Yin, yang in Japanese.
ippon: (J) A full point in a contest.
ippon ken: (J) A one knuckle fist.
ippon nukite: (J) One finger (usually the index finger) spear hand.
irimi: (J) To enter. A classification of entering techniques in aikido which refers to entering into an offensive technique as it begins, as opposed to moving around it or to its side.
iriguchi:(J) An entrance.
iru: (J) (Verb) To enter.
ishi: (J) A stone.
isogu: (J) Hasten, hurry up, make haste. Often voiced to mean "Hurry up."
itadakimas: (J) A saying which means "I humbly accept this gift," used to accept food at the beginning of a meal.
itai: (J) Painful, sore. "Itai," it hurts.
itsu: (J) Five.
itten: (J) A point. Refers to the "one point," a spot about 2 1/2 inches below the navel thought to be the center of a person's vital energy (ki or chi). See hara, haragei, chi kung.
iwa: (J) A large rock.
Iwama: (J) Location of Morihei Uyeshiba's (founder of aikido) country dojo and home, as well as the location of the aiki shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan.


Jeet Kune Do: "Way of the intercepting fist." An unarmed approach to combat developed by Bruce Lee in 1967 and popularized with his martial arts movie career. Jeet kune do is distinctive in that it does not employ a specific method of fighting or collection of techniques as in other systems, but rather stresses freedom to choose any technique or method best used by an individual practitioner according to his physical makeup and skills. It is thus more of a concept or approach to produce speed, power, timing, coordination, footwork and intuition. Techniques are drawn from any number of arts - aikido, jujitsu, wing chung, boxing, karate, tae kwon do, northern style kung fu and/ or wresting and the weapon arts of escrima and kali (Filipino). No kata is practiced, since kata, it is believed, teaches specific methods, stances or techniques, the very things from which jeet kune do attempts to free itself. Instead jeet kune do stresses constant flowing change and broken rhythm that mimics actual combat and reflects the truth that exists outside all molds and patterns. Students are guided to their own truth, a process of self-discovery or a way each person must find for himself.
ji:(J) (1) A character, or letter. (2) An hour.
-ji: (J) )Suffix) Temple
Jidai: (J) A period of time, epoch, an era. See Edo Jodai.
jigai: (J) (1) Also jisatsu: Suicide. (2) The female equivalent to seppuku where the veins in the left side of the neck were cut with a short dagger (kaiken).
ji gong: (C) An alternate spelling for chi kung.
jiken: (J) (1) An hour; time; a lesson, class. (2) In competitive budo: A time out.
jin: (J) Benevolence, a compassionate heart; perfect virtue. A bushido value.
-jin: (J) (Suffix) A man.
jinja: (J) Shrine.
jing: (C) (1) Line or passage. A term used for the western word meridian (energy pathway). (2) A Chinese term referring to the inherited energy of the body. (3) Power from muscles energized with chi.
jintai: (J) The human body.
jinzo: (J) The kidney or kidney area.
jiten: (J) A dictionary.
jito: (O) An administrator of an Okiniawan feudal fief before Okinawa became a province of Japan.
jitte: (J) See jutte.
Jitsu: (J) (also spelled Jutsu) Method, truth, art of technique. A term used to classify by category those Japanese pre-1600 fighting disciplines, as Kenjitsu (the art or technique of the sword), or sub-category or specialization as iaijitsu (art or technique of sword drawing) whose principal focus was the development and perfection of effective combat techniques used to kill other professional warriors. Jitsu also implies the application and strategy employed by these methods. The actual schools (Ryu) or methods that taught these arts (under collective terms such as kenjitsu) generally used names based on their founder, lineage, philosophy or method.
jiyu: (J) Free.
jiyu kata: (J) Free form, free style form. A term sometimes used to refer to a practice method in which students visualize various attacks and defend spontaneously rather than traditional kata, which uses prearranged techniques in a specific order.
jiyu kumite: (J) Free style kumite (practice fighting) in karate.
jiyu renshu: (J) Free practice.
jo: (J) (1) A round wooden staff made of hard wood which is usually 48-50 inches long and one inch in diameter. Traditionally the correct length for a jo was determined by the distance between the cupped hands of one's outstretched arms. (2) Upper as in jodan.
jo kata: (J) A prearranged sequence of movements with a jo.
Jobajitsu: (J) The art of military horsemanship.
jodan: (J) (1) Upper level (usually referring to the body above the neck) as in jodan uke: upper level block. (2) A joke or jest.
jodan uke: (J) An upper block in karate.
jodan tsuki: (J) An upper punch to the head in karate. Tsuki also is spelled zuki.
Jodo: (J) The way of the jo derived out of jo jitsu. See jo, do. Included are methods of striking, parrying, blocking, sweeping, etc. often practiced in kata (prearranged practice) sets.
jogai: (J) "Out of bounds." A term used by some judges or referees in a competitive budo match to stop action and signal that a contestant has gone out of bounds.
joge:(J) Upper and lower, as in joge uke.
joge hiki uke: (J) A double open hand block (often done in a horse stance), with one hand pulled over the head, and the other extended downward over the leg. The movement is often interpreted as a throw, a release from a grab or a simultaneous block and grab.
joge uke: (J) A middle inside block combined with a lower parry.
joho: (J) (1) The upper part; upwards or above. (2) Information, intelligence.(3) An order or fixed rule.
jojitsu:(J) The art of the jo.
joseki: (J) Upper seat. A place in a dojo, mat or room, usually on the right side, that is a seat of honor and usually located furthermost from the entrance.
jo tanden: (J) Upper energy center, one of three often associated with kiko (chi kung) and other Japanese energy, healing systems based on the Chinese energy model. See tanden.
jowan: (J) The upper arm. Sometimes spelled joowan.
jozu: (J) Skill, dexterity, proficiency.
Ju: (J) (1) Softness, gentleness. A term used in the martial arts and ways to refer to yielding, suppleness, adaptability and harmonizing, the operational principle or philosophy to neutralize, avoid, redirect or lead an opponent's energy or offensive attack. "Ju" is associated with concepts of "wa" (accord), "ai" (harmony) or "aiki" (unify or harmonize spirit or ki) and has philosophical and theoretical foundations in Taoism and the Book of Changes (I-Chin). In aikido to blend with an oncoming attack, by turning to the side and leading it, or stepping inward to redirect it before it is generated. In judo it is often represented with the saying "pull when pushed, push when pulled," reinterpreted in aikido to be "turn when pushed, enter when pulled." In karate it is seen when body movement (tai sabaki) is combined with soft brushing blocks that redirect an attack. (2) Ten.
judai: (J) Importance, seriousness.
judan: (J) A tenth day, or rank.
Judo: (J) (1) Confuciism, also called jugako, jukyo. (2) A throwing and ground grappling art developed by Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) meaning "The gentle or flexible way." It is composed of two words, "ju" meaning gentle or flexible and "do" meaning way or path. Having studied various forms of exercise to improve his health, Kano also studied tenjin shinyo ryu jujitsu (which specialized in striking and grappling techniques) and kito ryu (which emphasized throwing techniques) as well as other systems. Kano developed his own system called kodokan judo that eliminated many of the most dangerous techniques so students could compete. The discipline emphasized its goal of physical education and spiritual development. In judo, Kano often said a person tries for "seiryoku zenyo" which means minimum effort, maximum efficiency to off balance or lead an opponent using the principle "pull when pushed and push when pulled" to position and move an opponent around ones own center. The opponents own weight and momentum thus become a centrifugal force, the fulcrum being a foot, leg or hip. Attempted throws are often followed by grappling on the ground to secure a pin, or a submission, such as a choke, or arm bar. The study of judo has been subdivided into four categories, each with subcategories, the first taught to beginners and intermediates, and the last two to experts.

I Throwing Techniques       nage waza
     a. Standing techniques       tachi waza
          1. Hand techniques       te waza
          2. Hip/loin techniques       koshi waza
          3. Foot/leg techniques       ashi waza
     b. Sacrificing techniques       sutemi or ne waza
          1. Back sacrifice techniques       ma sutemi waza
          2. Side sacrifice techniques       yoko sutemi waza
II Grappling Techniques       katame waza
     a. Standing grappling techniques       tachi waza
          1. Choking techniques       shime waza
          2. Joint locking techniques       kansetsu waza
     b. Lying grappling techniques       ne waza
          1. Choking techniques       Shime waza
          2. Joint locking techniques       kansetsu waza
          3. Immobilization techniques       osaekomi techniques
III Striking Techniques       ate waza or atemi waza
     1. Hand/arm techniques       ude waza
     2. Foot/leg techniques       ashi waza
IV Resuscitation Techniques       katsu or kappo
     1. Frontal techniques      
     2. Back techniques.      

judo-gi: (J) A heavy practice uniform used in judo and jujitsu with a jacket made of heavy woven material, usually cotton.
judoka: (J) A judo student.
jugaku: (J) Confucism. Jugaku is also called judo, jukyo.
jugyo: (J) Teaching, instruction.
juho: (J) (1) Non-resistance (principle). (2) Firearms, guns: a heavy (caliber) gun. (3) Incantation.
juji: (J) (1) Cross. (2) Ten o'clock. (3) Chief priest of a temple.
juji uke: (J) Cross arm or "X" block.
juji-waza: (J) A cross armed technique.
Jujitsu: (J) "Ju" meaning soft or gentle; "jitsu" meaning reality, truth, technique or method. Jujitsu (also spelled Jujutsu). Refers to those combat systems characterized by unarmed combat against armed and unarmed opponents using joint techniques, throws, chokes and strikes. Although the kanji (character) for "Ju" suggests suppleness and yielding, these arts were actually brutal in application, looking as much like karate (use of strikes and kicks) as judo (throws/grappling) which were later derived from them.
juken: (J) A (sword) bayonet or side arms.
jukendo: (J) The way of the bayonet, a modern martial way.
juken jitsu: (J) The art of the bayonet, techniques of warfare using a bayonet from which jukendo derived.
juku: (J) (1) Nineteen. (2) A private school or a "cram school." (3) In feudal days it referred to a small place to study, grow or learn, or a small group or school.
juku gashira: (J) A senior student of a dojo or teacher, the person to which all the teachings of a master will generally be given. A term often used in traditional schools of ken jitsu.
jukyo: (J) Confucianism. Also judo, jugako.
jukyu: (J) Tenth level, the lowest level of kyu before dan grade in the kyu/dan system of budo grading. A white belt or beginner.
jumon: (J) Mantras. Repeated sounds or words used to elicit various mental states. See misogi, ketsu, kuji kiri.
jumonji: (J) (1) A cross, or crosswise. (2)Turning the blade and cutting upward during seppeku (an act of courage).
junbi: (J) Preparation; warming-up.
junbi undo: (J) Warm-up exercises.
junen: (J) Ten years, a decade.
juni: (J) Twelve, the twelfth.
junidan: (J) Twelfth dan, or rank. A rank once extended to Jigoro Kano, the fonder of judo.
junin: (J) Ten persons or people.
jun tsuki: (J) A side thrust punch usually from a horse stance.
jushi: (J) Fourteen.
jushin: (J) (1) The center of gravity. (2) A chief vassal (retainer). (3) The barrel of a gun. (4) A brutal heart.
jutsu: (J) Alternate spelling for jitsu.
jutta: (J) See jutte.
jutte: (J) (1) A formal exercise or kata. (2) An iron or steel shaft, pointed at one end, from which a single square or rounded hook juts out from the shaft where it crosses the hilt, at which point there is often a guard (tsuba). The shaft is sometimes, but rarely, sharpened into a blade. it was carried in a variety of ways, as in a scabbard, in the waistband or inserted through a ring attached to a waistband. It was practiced in Japan as jitte jitsu and was used defensively to block, parry and counter sword or weapon attackers as well as offensively to jab, poke, hook or cut. Also known as jitte, jutta or jittei. It was studied by both warriors and commoners and during the feudal period it was used by law enforcement officers. It is similar to the sai which employs two hooks.

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