Karate Terminology


Ichi: One
Ni: Two
San: Three
Shi: Four
Go: five
Roku: Six
Shichi: Seven
Hachi: Eight
Ku: Nine
Ju: Ten
NiJu: Twenty
Ippon: First


Fudo dachi: Unmoveable Stance
Hachiji dachi: Open-legged Stance (Yoi)
Hangetsu dachi: Half Moon Stance or Wide Hour-glass Stance
Kiba dachi: Straddle (Horse) Stance with toes forward
Kokutsu dachi: Back Stance
Kosa dachi: Cross-Legged Stance
Musubi dachi: Informal Attention Stance (feet in “V”)
Neko-ashi dachi: Cat Stance
Renoji dachi: “L” Stance
Shiko dachi – Horse stance with toes 45 degrees
Shizen-tai dachi: Natural Stance
Zenkutsu dachi: Front Stance


Chudan: Neck to Belt level
Gedan: Below the belt level
Gyaku: Reverse
Hidari: Left
Jodan: Head high level
Mae: Front
Mawashi: Round
Migi: Right
Soto: Outer
Uchi: Inner
Ushiro: Back
Yoko: Side


Age uke: Rising block
Empi uke (or Hiji uke): Elbow block
Gedan Barai: Downward sweeping block
Gedan uke: Down block
Haishu uke: Back-hand block
Juji uke: X block
Manji uke: Vortex Block
Morote uke: Augmented block
Nagashi uke: Sweeping block
Shuto uke: Knife block
Soto ude uke: Outside froearm block
Tate Shuto uke: Vertical knife-hand block


Fumikomi geri: Stamp kick
Hiza geri: Knee kick/strike
Mae geri keage: Front snap kick
Mawashi geri: Round house kick
Nidan geri: double kick
Soto mikazuki geri: Outside crescent kick
Tobi geri: Flying kick
Uchi mikazuki geri: Inside crescent kick
Ushiro geri: Back thrust kick
Ushiro mawashi geri: Reverse round house kick
Yoko geri keage: Side snap kick
Yoko geri kekomi: Side thrust kick


Age tsuki: Rising punch
Choku tsuki: Straight punch
Gedan tsuki: Down punch
Gyaku tsuki: Revese punch
Ippon Ken tsuki: One-knuckle fist punch (Hangetsu)
Kagi tsuki: Hook punch
Kizami tsuki: Jab
Morote tsuki: Parallel punch
Oi tsuki: Lunge punch
Oi-gyaku tsuki: Lunging revese punch
Otoshi tsuki: Dropping punch (Empi)
Ren tsuki: Double punch
Sanbon tsuki: triple punch
Ura tsuki: Close punch
Yame tsuki: Wide “U” punch, Mountain Punch


Empi Uchi: Elbow Strike
Nukite Uchi: Spear Hand Strike
Shuto Uchi: Knife Hand Stike
Tate Empi Uchi: Upward Elbow Strike
Teisho Uchi: Palm Heel Strike
Tettsui: Hammer-fist strike
Uraken Uchi: Backfist Strike

Competition Terminology

Senshu seiretsu: Announcing the competitors to line up before or after a match/event

Shomen ni rei: Asking competitors to bow to the front.
Shipa ni rei: Bow to referees and judges (Not done at many tournaments now)
Otagai ni rei: Asking competitors to bow to each other.
Nakai – Competitiors to enter the tatami (mat) (Not used often in competition now)
Shobu hajime: Beginning the match
Yame: To stop a match.
Moto no ichi: Telling competitor(s) to return the start positions ie the line
Tsuzukete hajime: To restart the match.
Tsuzukete: Telling the competitors to `fight on’ (continue) if one or both stops during the match.
Ato shibaraku: Alerting the competitors that there is only 30 seconds of time left in the match.
Aka/Shiro/Ao: Indicating the red and white and blue competitor.
Renzoku-waza: To indicate a combination technique.
Waza-ari: To indicate a half point
Ippon: To indicate a full point (a blow with the potential to `finish’).
Awasete ippon: To indicate that score added together makes a full point.
Torimasen: Indicating no point is to be awarded.
Hayai: Indicating that one attack is faster than the other (in an exchange of blows).
Aiuchi: Indicating simultaneous attacks; thus, no score.
Maai: Indicating that distancing was wrong; hence, no score.
Ukete-masu: Indicating that an attack was blocked.
Nukete-masu: Indicating an attack missed the target.
Yowai: Indicating that an attack was too weak to score.
Keikoku: Cautioning one or both of the competitors.
Chui: A formal warning.
Hansoku: Disqualifying a competitor from the match. (Note – the announcement of `shikkaku’is used for more serious disqualifications and removes someone from the entire tournament).
Mubobi: Indicating non-defending.
Jogai: Indicating out of the area.
Hantei: Indicating decision time.
Aka no kachi / Shiro no Kachi: Indicating red or white is the winner.
Hikiwake: Indicating a draw.
Sai Shiai: Indicating a rematch.
Sai-Sai Shiai Indicating a secondary rematch.
Sakidori: Indicating a “sudden death” match, in a second rematch situation; that is, the first competitor to score will win the match.
Shobu hajime: To begin a “sudden death” match.
Shugo: Indicating a call a meeting between the corner judges and centre referee.
Kiken: To indicate a withdrawal of competitor/competitors.