Japanese Terminology
Basic Japanese terminology translated for Aikido.



Ai - Harmony

Ai-gamae - Matching stances.

Aiki - Harmony of Spirit

Aikido - Way of Harmony of Spirit

Aikidoka - Person who practises Aikido

Aiki-Ken - Aikido Sword techniques

Ashi - Leg or Foot

Atemi - Strike

Atemi-waza - Striking techniques.


Barai - Sweep

Bokken - Wooden Sword used in Aikido and Kendo training

Budo - Martial Ways



Chudan - Middle

Chudan-no-kamae - Basic posture

Chudan-uke - Middle block


Dan - Degree ranking for Black Belt

Do - The Way or Path

Dojo - Training Hall or Place of the Way

Dori - Hold or Grasp


Eri Dori - Collar held



Furitsuki - Slashing thrust (Normally with a knife)




Gassho no renshu - Blocking exercise with the hands joined together.

Gedan - Low

Gedan-no-kamae - Low posture

Gedan-uke - Low block

Gi - Aikidogi traditional clothing worn when training

Go - Five

Go-no-sen - Attacking after you have been attacked.

Gyaku - Opposite / Reverse

Gyaku-gamae - Opposite stances.


Hachi - Eight

Hantai - Change

Hara - A point in the lower abdomen.

Hasso - High sword posture

Hidari - Left

Hidari-gamae - Left stance with the left foot forward.

Hiji - Elbow

Hiji waza - Elbow techniques

Hikitate-geiko - Middle level of competition.

Hyaku - One Hundred



Iai-do - Art of Sword Drawing

Ichi - One

Idoryoku - locomotive power; the power of movement.

Irimi - Entering principle

Irimi-nage - Entering throw


Jo - Short staff about 4' long

Jodan - High

Jodan-no-kamae - High posture

Jodan-uke - High block

Jujitsu - Ancient Japanese martial art

Ju-nana-hon waza - 17 basic techniques of Tomiki Aikido.

Jushin - Balance / Center of gravity

Jyu - Ten

Jyu-Ichi - Eleven

Jyu-Ni - Twelve and so on


Kakari-geiko - Lowest level of competition.

Kamae - Stance / Posture

Kansetsu - Joints

Kansetsu-waza - Joint techniques.

Kata - Pre-arranged techniques, Form or Shoulder

Kata-Dori-Men-Uchi - Strike to the head while holding the shoulder

Kata-Dori - Shoulder held

Katate - Single hand

Katate-Dori - One hand held

Keiko-gi - Kit/Uniform

Ken - Sword

Kendo - The way of the Sword

Ki - Spirit or Energy

Kime-waza - Final locking technique

Kiritsu - Stand to attention

Kissaki - Point or Tip of the Sword

Kohai - Junior Student

Kokyu - Blending – Fitting in was a movement

Kokyu-Dosa - Breath Exercise

Kokyu-Nage - Breath Throw

Koryu-no-kata - Pre-arranged traditional techniques in kata form

Koshi - Hips or lower back

Koshi-Nage - Hip Throw

Kotai - Switch/Change

Kote - Wrist also called Tekubi

Kote-Gaeshi - Outer wrist throw – Wrist twist

Ku - Nine

Kyu - Ranking for belts below black belt.

Kuzushi - Break balance.

Kyudo - Japanese Archery




Mae - Forward, front.

Ma-ai - Correct distance

Marui - Circular / Round

Men - Sword cut to the center of the head.

Me-tsuke - Eye contact, one focuses on the opponent's eyes.

Migi - Right

Migi-gamae - Right posture with the right foot forward.

Mochi - Grasp or hold with hands

Morote Dori - One hand held by two hands

Mu-gamae - Without stance.

Mushin - Without emotion

Mune - Chest



Nage - Throw / Technique

Nana-hon nage kuzushi - Kuzushi training exercise comprised of seven throws.

Ni - Two

Ni-Jyu-Ichi - Twenty one

Ni-Jyu-Ni - Twenty two and so on.


Obi - Belt worn over the Gi.

Omote - Front

O-Sensei - Great Teacher (Reference to the Founder)

Otoshi - Drop




Randori - Freeplay

Randori-no-Kata - Basic 17 techniques in the Tomiki system of Aikido

Rei - Bow

Ritsu-rei - Standing Bow

Rokku - Six

Ryo-Kata-Dori - Both shoulders held

Ryote-Dori - Both hands held




San - Three
Seichu-Sen - Center line of one's body
Seiza- Sitting Properly

Sempai - Senior Student

Sen - Initiating an attack slightly before your opponent

Sensei - Teacher

Sensei-ni-rei - Bow to the teacher

Sen-sen-no-sen - Sensing and preparing for your opponent's attack.

Shi - Four

Shiai - Tournament, Competition

Shichi - Seven

Shichihon-no-kuzushi - Balance breaking

Shihan - A master teacher/ teacher of teachers.

Shiho-nage - Four Directional Throw

Shikko - Knee walking

Shime - Lock

Shinkokyu - Deep breathing exercise at the end of practice.

Shite - Defender also called Tori

Shizentai - Natural standing position.

Shomen - Front also called Omote

Shomen ni rei - Bow to the front

Shomen-Uchi - Strike to top of the head

Shotei-awase - Tension exercise

Sode - Sleeve

Suwari-waza - Sitting Techniques from Seiza position



Tachi-waza - Standing techniques.

Tai-sabaki - Evasion of an attack by avoidance.

Taiso - Warm-up calisthenics.

Tandokuo-undo - Foot and hand movements exercises

Tanto - Knife

Te - Hand

Tegatana - Hand blade

Tegatana-awase - Hand blade exercise.

Tekubi - Wrist also know as Kote

Tekubi waza -Wrist techniques.

Tenkan - Absorption principle

Tentai - Hip-turn

Tori - The defender / Person doing the technique.

Tsugi - Thrust

Tsugi-ashi - Sliding feet




Uchi - Hand strike

Uke - Attacker / Person being thrown

Ukemi - Break falls

Uki-waza - Floating or timing techniques.

Ura - Back

Uraken - Back fist

Unsoku - Foot movements (Avoidance) exercises

Ushiro - Backward, behind.




Waza - Technique

Waki-gamae - Low Sword posture




Yoi - Prepare

Yoko - Side

Yokomen - Temple area of the face

Yokomen-uchi - Side strike to the opponent's temple.




Zanshin - Awareness

Za-rei - Sitting bow