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Aikido Glossary

Aikido in kanji.

Dictionary of Aikido Terms


Aikido terminology is in Japanese. It's "all Greek" to the beginner, but by time we all learn most of it. Here is a comprised dictionary of aikido terms, with short translations/explanations.
Stefan Stenudd



A

ai harmony, unity, blending

aihanmi basic relation between partners: both have same foot forward (left or right), compare gyakuhanmi

aihanmi katatedori wrist grip, right on right or left on left, also called kosadori, compare gyakuhanmi katatedori

aiki blending/uniting one's ki with that of the partner

aikibatto sword exercises, solo or pair

aikibudo budo based on the aiki principle, earlier name for aikido

aikido the way through the life energy to harmony/unity

aikidoka one who does aikido, specifically on an advanced or professional level

aikido toho Nishio sensei's iaido school

Aikijinja the aikido temple in Iwama

aikijo aikido jo-staff exercises

aikijutsu name on the Daito ryu Martial art, also called aikijujutsu

Aikikai organization and "label" for Ueshiba's aikido

aikiken aikido sword exercises

aikinage aiki-throw, throwing technique

aiki no michi aikido (michi=do)

aikiotoshi aiki-drop, throwing technique

aikitaiso aikido warm-up exercises

aite partner in training

arigato thanks

arigato gozaimasu thanks for something going on

arigato gozaimashita thanks for something completed

ashi leg, foot

ate hit, strike

atemi strike to the body

awase harmonizing/blending movement

ayumiashi altering steps, left and right, like normal walking


B

barai/harai parry, ward off

batto draw the sword, also called nuki

bo staff, longer than the jo

bokken wooden training sword

bokuto same as bokken

bu war, battle, fight

budo the way of war/battle, the Japanese Martial arts

budoka one who does any budo, specifically on an advanced or professional level

bugei battle art, old term

bukiwaza weapons training

bushi warrior

bushido the way of the warrior


C

chado tea ceremony

chikara force/strength

choku direct

chokutsuki direct strike with the jo

chudan middle, compare jodan and gedan

chudan kamae guard position with a weapon at belly height

chudan tsuki strike at belly/solar plexus, with weapon or empty hand

chukyusha continuing student, with a mid-level kyu grade (jämför jokyusha)


D

dai big, also o

daisho sword pair, the long and the short sword

Daito ryu aikijutsu school

dame wrong, bad

dan level, black belt grade in budo

dao/tao transcribation of the Chinese word for way, do

deshi student

do way, also michi

dogi training dress, also keikogi

do-in self massage tradition

dojo training hall

dojo cho head of a training hall

doka poem about the way

domo much

domo arigato gozaimas thank you so much, for something going on

domo arigato gozaimashita thank you so much, for something completed

dori take, catch, grab

dosa movement

doshu way leader, head of a budo

dozo please/by all means


E

embukai public demonstration

empi strike with elbow

eri neck, collar

eridori collar grip by the neck


F

fukushidoin assisting instructor, title for aikido teacher, 2-3 dan, compare shidoin and shihan

funakogi undo, rowing exercise, also called torifune

furitama exercise to still ki

futaridori/futarigake two attackers


G

gaeshi/kaeshi returning, reversed

gamae/kamae guard, basic position

gasshuku training camp, lodging together

gedan low, compare jodan and chudan

gedanbarai low block

geiko/keiko training

geri kick

gi dress

giri/kiri cut

go five

gokyo fifth teaching, pinning technique

gomen nasai excuse me

Gorin no sho Book of Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi

gotai hard body, static training, compare jutai, ryutai and kinagare

gyaku reverse, opposite

gyakuhanmi basic relation between partners: they have opposite foot forward, compare aihanmi

gyakuhanmi katatedori wrist grip, right on left or left on right, compare aihanmi katatedori

gyakutsuki strike with opposing arm and leg forward, compare oitsuki


H

hachi eight

Hagakure Hiding the Leaves, classic samurai book from the 18th century

hai yes

hajime begin

hakama traditional wide pants, used in aikido

handachi half standing

hanmi half body

hanmi gamae angled guard position

hanmi handachiwaza sitting versus standing

hanshi title in kendo, from 8th dan

hantai opposed

happo eight directions, compare shiho

hara stomach

harai/barai sweep away, parry

harakiri cut belly, ritual suicide, also called seppuku

hassogaeshi jo-staff technique

hasso gamae guard with weapon at shoulder level

henkawaza, changing techniques, variations on basic techniques, also shifting from one technique to another

hidari left (right: migi)

hiji elbow

hijidori grip on elbow

hijikimeosae pinning technique, sometimes called rokkyo

hiki pull

hineri twist

hiragana Japanese phonetic writing, compare katakana

hito e mi making the body small, guard position with more of an angle than hanmi

hiza knee

ho method

ho direction, side

hombu head quarters

Hombu dojo head dojo, used for Aikido's head dojo in Tokyo


I

iaido the art of drawing the Japanese sword

iaito training sword, usually not sharpened

ichi one

ichiban first, best

iie no

iki will power

ikkajo older term for ikkyo

ikki one ki, bottoms up, toast

ikkyo first teaching, pinning technique

ikkyo undo exercise of the basic ikkyo movement

in Japanese for the Chinese concept yin, compare yo

ippon one point

ipponken strike with one knuckle

irimi in to the body, inwards

iriminage inward throw, throwing technique

Iwama Japanese town, where Osensei had a dojo and a home

Iwama ryu Saito sensei's aikido style


J

jiyuwaza free training

jo wooden staff, 127.5 centimeters

jo awase jo-staff exercises

jodan high, compare chudan and gedan

jodan kamae guard with weapon over head

jodan tsuki strike at head

jodanuke high block

jodo the way of the staff

jodori defense against jo-staff

jokyusha advanced student, with a higher kyu grade, compare chukyusha

ju ten

ju soft

judo the soft way, or the way to softness

jujigarami/jujinage cross throw

jujutsu the soft art

jumbitaiso warm-up exercises, also called aikitaiso

juntsuki strike with the same arm and leg forward, also called oitsuki, compare gyakutsuki

jutai soft body, smooth training, compare gotai, ryutai and kinagare

jutsu technique/art


K

kaeshi/gaeshi returning, reverse

kaeshitsuki reverse strike with jo-staff

kaeshiwaza counter techniques

kagami biraki Japanese New Year celebration, held January 11

kai club, association

kaiso founder

kaitennage rotation throw, throwing technique

kaitenosae rotation pinning technique

kakaedori embrace

kakarigeiko attackers in line, one after the other

kakudo angle

kamae/gamae guard position

kami divinity

kamiza honorary place in a dojo, compare shomen and shinzen

kampai cheers, toast

kan intuition

kangeiko mid-winter training

kanji ideograms, the Chinese writing

kanren linked, connected

kanrenwaza linked techniques, one technique followed by another, compare renzokuwaza

kansetsu joint (on body)

karatedo the way of the empty hand, or the way through the hand to emptiness

Kashima shintoryu traditional sword school

kata form, pre-decided movements

kata shoulder

katadori shoulder grip

katadori menuchi shoulder grip followed by shomenuchi

katakana Japanese phonetic writing, compare hiragana

katamewaza pinning techniques

katana the Japanese sword, also ken, to and tachi

katate one-hand technique

katatedori wrist-grip

katate ryotedori grip with both hands, also called morotedori

Katori shintoryu traditional sword school

keiko/geiko training

keikogi training dress, also dogi

ken sword, also katana, to and tachi

kendo Japanese fencing

ki spirit, life energy

kiai gathered ki, usually used for shout in budo

ki-aikido Tohei sensei's aikido style

kihon basics

kihonwaza basic training

kikai tanden the ocean of ki in the body's center

kime focusing

kimusubi tying one's ki to that of the partner

kinagare/ki no nagare streaming ki, flowing training, compare gotai, jutai and ryutai

Ki no kenkyukai Tohei sensei's aikido school, also Shinshin toitsu

kiri/giri cut

kirikaeshi turning cut, sword exercise

koan riddle in zen

kobudo older budo

kogeki attack

kogekiho attack techniques

kohai one's junior, compare sempai

Kojiki religious Japanese book from the 8th century

kokoro heart, will, mind, also pronounced shin

kokyu breathing

kokyuho breathing exercise, throwing technique

kokyunage breath throw

kokyu ryoku breath power

kosa cross over, pass

kosadori cross-over grip, same as aihanmi katatedori

koshi hip

koshinage hip throw

kote wrist

kotegaeshi reversed wrist, throwing technique

kotehineri twisted wrist, sankyo

kotemawashi turned wrist, nikyo

kotodama/kototama spirit of words, Japanese sound mystique and cosmology

ku nine

ku emptiness

kubi neck

kubishime neck choke

kuden oral tradition/teaching

kumi group, set

kumijo jo-staff exercises, jo against jo

kumitachi sword exercises, sword against sword

kumite empty handed fight

kumiuchi ancient Japanese wrestling in full armor

kuzushi break balance

kyo principle, learning

kyoshi title in kendo, 6-7 dan

kyu grade before blackbelt, compare dan

kyudo the way of the bow and arrow


L

(L not used in Japanese)


M

ma distance between training partners

ma-ai harmonious, balanced distance between training partners

mae front, forward, compare ushiro

maegeri straight kick

mae ukemi forward fall

makiwara target for hitting practice in karatedo

maru circle

mawashi revolving, turning

mawashigeri roundhouse kick

mawate turning

me eye

men head

michi way, also do

migi right (left: hidari)

misogi purification, cleansing

mochi hold/grip, also called dori

mochikata gripping attacks

mo ikkai do again

mokuso meditation, also called zazen

moro both

morotedori grip with both hands, also called katate ryotedori

mu nothing, empty

mushin empty mind

mudansha trainee without dan grade, compare yudansha

mune chest

munedori collar grip by the chest

musubi tie together


N

nagare flow, streaming

nage throw, also used for the one doing the aikido technique, compare tori

nagewaza throwing techniques

naginata Japanese halberd

nakaima here and now

nana seven, also pronounced shichi

nen the purity and unity of the mind

ni two

Nihon/Nippon Japan

Nihongi religious Japanese book from the 8th century

nikajo older name for nikyo

nikyo second teaching, pinning technique

nin person

ninindori two attackers, also called futaridori

ninja courier and spy in old Japan

Nippon/Nihon Japan

Nito ichiryu/Niten ichiryu School of Two Swords/Two Heavens, Musashi's sword school

noto return the sword to the scabbard

nuki draw the sword, also called batto

nukite strike with fingertips


O

o big, also dai

obi belt

ocha tea

oitsuki strike with same arm and foot forward, also called jontsuki

omote front, surface, compare ura

Omotokyo shintoistic society

onegai shimasu please, asking for something

osae press down, pinning

osensei great teacher, in aikido Morihei Ueshiba

otagai ni rei bow to each others

otoshi drop

oyowaza applied techniques, modified for efficiency


P

(P rarely used in Japanese)


Q

(Q not used in Japanese)


R

randori disorderly grabbing, free training

rei bow

reigi etiquette, also called reishiki

renshi title in kendo, 4-6 dan

renshu training

renzoku continuous

renzoku uchikomi jo-staff exercise

renzokuwaza consecutive techniques, a series of techniques

ritsurei standing bow

rokkyo sixth teaching, pinning technique, see hijikime osae

roku six

ryo both

ryotedori gripping both wrists

ryu school

ryutai flowing body, fluid training, compare gotai, jutai and kinagare


S

sabaki action/handling

sake rice wine

samurai to serve, Japanese warrior class

san three

sankajo older term for sankyo

sankaku triangle

sankakutai triangle shape, position of the feet in hanmi

sankyo third teaching, pinning technique

sannindori/sanningake three attackers

sanpo three directions

satori enlightenment in zen

saya scabbard

seika no itten, the one point below the navel, the body center, also called tanden

seiki life energy

seiza correct sitting, sit on knees

sempai one's senior, compare kohai

sen no sen before the attack, countering before the strike

sensei teacher

sensen no sen before before the attack, a leading initiative

seppuku cut belly, ritual suicide with sword, also called harakiri

shi four, also pronounced yon

shiai competition

shiatsu massage

shichi seven, also pronounced nana

shidoin instructor, middle title for aikido teacher, 4-5 dan, compare fukushidoin and shihan

shihan expert example, high title for aikido teacher, from 6 dan, compare fukushidoin and shidoin

shiho four directions

shihonage four directions throw, throwing technique

shikaku square

shikaku dead angle

shiki courage

shikko knee walking

shime choke

shin heart, will, mind, also pronounced kokoro

shinai kendo sword of bamboo

Shindo Musoryu jodo-school

shinken sharp authentic Japanese sword

Shinshin toitsu Tohei sensei's aikido school, Ki no kenkyukai

shinto the way of the gods, Japanese religion

shinzen seat of the gods, in a dojo usually a position on the wall farthest from the entrance, compare kamiza and shomen

shisei posture

shite the one leading, defender in aikido, also called tori or nage

shizentai natural body posture

sho first, beginning

shodan first dan grade

shodo calligraphy

Shodokan Tomiki sensei's aikido school

shomen front of the head

shomen head place of the dojo, compare shinzen and kamiza

shomen ni rei bow to head place of the dojo

shomenuchi cut or blow to head

shoshinsha beginner

shuto hand ridge strike

sode sleeve

sodedori sleeve grip

sodeguchidori grip on the cuff of the sleeve

soto outside, outer, compare uchi

sotodeshi student who lives outside the dojo, compare uchideshi

sotokaiten outer rotation, compare uchikaiten

sotouke block from outside, compare uchiuke

suburi basic exercises with sword or staff

suki opening

sumi corner

sumikiri sharpness of body and mind

sumimasen excuse me

sumo traditional Japanese wrestling

suri rub, scrape

sutemiwaza techniques with losing one's own balance

suwariwaza seated training, also called suwate

suwate seated training, also called suwariwaza


T

tachi sword, also to, ken and katana

tachi stand

tachidori defense against sword

tachiwaza training standing up

tai body

taijutsu body techniques, unarmed techniques

tai no henko body turn, also called tai no tenkan

tai no tenkan body turn, also called tai no henko

taisabaki body move, evasive movement in aikido

taiso exercises

takemusu improvised Martial art

takemusu aiki improvised Martial art through the principle of aiki

tameshi test

tameshigiri cutting test with sword

tameshiware hitting test in karatedo

tanbo short staff

tanden body center, compare seika no itten

taninzugake several attackers

tanren drill techniques

tanto/tanken knife

tantodori defense against knife

tao/dao Chinese for do

tatami mat

tate stand up

te hand

tegatana hand sword, hand ridge in swordlike movements

tekubi wrist

tekubiosae pinned wrist, yonkyo

tenchinage heaven-earth throw, throwing technique

tenkan turn

tettsui hammer strike

to sword, also ken, tachi and katana

tobigeri jump kick

tobikoshi fall over hip, break fall

tomauchi jo-staff technique

tori the one who takes, defender in aikido, also called nage and shite

torifune rowing exercise, also called funakogi undo

tsuba sword guard

tsugiashi following step, back foot following and not passing front foot

tsuka sword hilt

tsuki strike, with a weapon or empty hand


U

uchi hit

uchi inside, within, inner, compare soto

uchideshi student living in the dojo, compare sotodeshi

uchikaiten inner rotation, compare sotokaiten

uchikata striking and hitting attack forms

uchikomi hitting repeatedly

uchiuke block from inside, compare sotouke

ude arm

udekimenage arm lock throw

udenobashi extended arm, gokyo

udeosae pinned arm, ikkyo

uke the one receiving, attacker in aikido

uke block, parry

ukemi falling

undo exercise

ura backside, inside, reverse side, compare omote

uraken backhand strike

ushiro behind, backwards, compare mae

ushirogeri backward kick

ushiro kiriotoshi rear cutting drop, throwing technique

ushiro ukemi backward fall

ushirowaza attacks from behind


V

(V not used in Japanese)


W

waka sensei young teacher, used in aikido for successor of Doshu

waki side

wakizashi short sword

ware break, split

waza technique, skill, training method


X

(X not used in Japanese)


Y

yame stop

yang sunny side, heavenly, in Japanese yo, compare yin

yari spear

yawara old jujutsu

yin shady side, earthly, in Japanese in, compare yang

yo Japanese for yang

yoko side, sideways, horizontal

yokogeri side kick

yokogiri horisontal cut

yokomen side of the head

yokomenuchi strike to the side of the head

yoko ukemi side fall

yon four, also pronounced shi

yonkajo older term for yonkyo

yonkyo fourth teaching, pinning technique

Yoseikan Mochizuki sensei's aikido school

Yoshinkan Shioda sensei's aikido school

yudansha dan graded, compare mudansha


Z

za seated, sit

Zaidan Hojin Aikikai Aikikai Foundation

zanshin remaining spirit, continued concentration

zarei sitting bow

zazen sitting meditation, also called mokuso

zen a form of buddhism

zengo around, forward and back, front and rear

zori sandals


Numbers

1 ichi

2 ni

3 san

4 shi / yon

5 go

6 roku

7 shichi / nana

8 hachi

9 ku

10 ju

20 ni-ju

21 ni-ju-ichi

100 hyaku

1000 sen


My Aikido Books

Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd.

Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd.

Attacks in Aikido

How to do kogeki, the attack techniques, by Stefan Stenudd. All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.





Aikido

Stefan Stenudd

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Attacks in Aikido
Ikkyo complete
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A system of jo (staff) and ken (sword) exercises for aikido students.

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The wisdom of Taoism and its classic text Tao Te Ching.

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From My Blog



My Books


Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon.

All's End, science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd. Occasionally I Contemplate Murder, by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd.
Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikibatto, by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.



About me
I'm a Swedish writer of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.