Karate Terminology

The following terminology is written in the phonetic alphabet


Chudan - Middle height

Gedan - Low height

Jodan - High

Dojo - Training place

Hajime - Start

Hidari Gamae - Left stance

Migi Gamae - Right stance

Hidari Gamae - Left fighting stance

Kakato - Foot heel

Karate - Empty hand

Kirits - Stand to attention

Naore - Attention stance

Gi - Karate Suit

Obi - Belt

Otogai Ni Rei - Bow to all

Seiza - Kneeling position

Sensei - Instructor - Teacher

Sensei Ni Rei - Bow to instructor

Tai Sabaki - Body Movement.
A method of moving the body to avoid incoming attacks whilst still remaining in distance with your opponent. In this way, a counter attack can be delivered simultaneously with your defence.

Soto - Outer

Uchi - Inner

Ushiro - Rear

Yame - Stop

Yoi - Ready

Yoko - Side

Zanshin - Awareness. To be pasively aware of things that are happening as opposed to actively concentrating on them. In this state of mind we are able to react intuitively to anything that happens around us. The ability to achieve an empty mind and Zanshin allows us not to be preoccupied by anything happening around us.

Zazen - Seated meditation


Kiba Dachi - Horse Riding Stance

Neko Ashi Dachi - Cat stance

Shiko Dachi - Horse riding stance - toes out

Surikomi - One step

Hand Techniques

Empi - Elbow

Furizuki - Swing punch

Gyakuzuki - Reverse punch

Junsuki - Lunge punch

Junzuki no Tsukkomi - Lean forward punch

Haito - Ridge hand

Ippon Ken - One knuckle fist

Kaiten Uraken - Spinning back fist

Morote Zuki - Double fist punch

Nagashizuki - Step to the side punch

Shuto - Knife hand

Teisho - Palm heel strike

Tettsui - Hammer fist

Uraken - Backfist


Ashi Bari - Inner foot block

Fumikomi - Stamping kick

Hiza Geri - Knee kick

Ippon - One point

Kette - kick

Meageri Keage - Front snap kick

Maegeri Kekomi - Front thrust kick

Mawashi Geri - Roundhouse kick

Mawashi Tobi Geri - Jumping Roundhouse kick

Mikazuki Geri - Crescent kick

Nidan Geri - Flying front kick

Nido Mawash Geri - Double roundhouse kick

Sokuto - Side kick with edge of foot

Sokuto Fumikomi - Stamping Side kick to knee

Tobi Kaiten Ushiro - Jumping spinning

Uchi Mawashi Geri - Reverse roundhouse kick

Ushiro Geri - Back kick

Ushiro Mawashigeri - Spinning roundhouse kick


Gedan Bari - Downward sweep block

Jodan Uke - High block

Mawate Gedan Bari - Turn downward block

Mawate Jodan uke - Turn upper block

Soto Uke - Outer block

Uchi Uke - Inner block