An Aikido Glossary

Our classes are taught in English, but we use Japanese for many instructions and techniques.

Aikido (eye-key-doe)
Compound of Ai (harmony), Ki (spirit), and Do (way): The Way of Harmonious Spirit.

Aikidoka (eye-key-doe-kah)
One who practices aikido.

Awase (a-wa-say)
To blend with the attack

Bokken (boh-ken)
Wooden sword used in practice.

Bushido (boo-she-doe)
The warrior’s code, the way of the warrior.

Dan (dan) Black belt rank. Literally: “step” or “stage”.

Dojo (doe-joe)
Training hall, place of The Way. In Buddhism this means “place of worship”.

Dojocho (doe-joe-cho)
Head of the dojo.

Domo arigato gozaimashita (doe-moe ah-ree-gah-toe go-zah-ee-mash-tah).
“Thank you very much”. Spoken by students after training to thank Sensei.

Doshi (doe-she)
Comrade, friend. Used among fellow aikidoka.

Gaeshi/Kaeshi (guy-eh-she)
To reverse.

Gi (ghee)
Training clothing. More formally – Keikogi.

Hakama (hack-kah-ma)
A skirt-like divided trouser; a formal garment that is worn by dan grade holders, and by 1st kyu (brown belt grade) with good posture within TIA Europe.

Hanmi (hahn-me)
A posture in which one foot is advanced one step and the body weight is distributed equally on both feet, in a triangular stance. Literally: “half-body”.

Hanmi handachi (hahn-me han-dah-chee)
A type of training in which nage is kneeling and uke approaches from a standing position.

Happogiri (hah-poh-gee-ree))
Eight direction cut.

Hara (har-ah)
One’s physical and spiritual centre. Physically, in the lower abdomen a few inches below the navel.

Hidari (he-dah-ree)
The left side

Irimi (ee-ree-me)
To enter, entering.

Jiyu (gee-you)
Free, unrestricted.

Jiyu Waza (gee-you wah-zah)
Freestyle techniques / practices.

Jo (joe)
Wooden staff.

Kaiten (kai-ten)
To revolve or rotate.

Kata (kah-tah)
A pre-arranged exercise.

Katate (kah-tah-tay)
One hand (left or right).

Keiko (kay-koh)
Practice session, training.

Keikogi (ghee) Training clothing. See keiko and gi.

Ken (ken) Wooden sword. See bokken.

Ki (key)
Spirit. The vital force of the body, universal energy, a stream or flow of positive energy.

Kiai (key-eye)
A piercing scream or cry with practical and psychological value. Literally: “meeting of the spirits”.

Kihon (key-hon)
Basic techniques from static positions.

Ki no nagare (key-no-na-ga-ray)
Flowing techniques, with movement.

Kohai (co-high)
A student junior to oneself; someone with a lower rank or who attained the same rank at a later date. See sempai.

Kokyu (coke-you)
Breath power, the coordination of ki flow with breathing.

Kokyu Dosa (coke-you-doe sah)
A method of off-balancing and pinning your partner with ki instead of physical power.

Kokyu-Ryoku (coke-you row-kyoo)
Breath power.

Koshi (ko-she)
Hips, waist. Sometimes spelled “goshi”.

Kubi (coo-bee)
Neck.

Kyu (cue)
The aikido ranks held prior to attainment of dan ranking.

Ma-ai (ma-eye)
Distance between uke and nage. Literally: “harmony of space”.

Migi (mih-ghee)
The right side.

Musubi (moo-soo-be)
To blend and tie in, to become one, to harmonise.

Nage (nah-gay)
(1) A throw, or (2) the person who throws.

Obi (oh-bee)
Belt.

Onegai shimasu (oh-neh-guy shi-mass)
Said to Sensei at the start of keiko, and to fellow aikidoka when beginning a technique. Literally: “Please let me train with you”.

O Sensei (oh-sen-say)
Great Teacher. The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.

Randori (ran-door-ri)
Multiple attack.

Rei (ray)
Salutation, bow.

Ryote (ree-oh-tay)
Both hands.

Sempai (sem-pie)
Student senior to oneself, someone with a higher rank or who attained the same rank at an earlier date. Used to address a student taking keiko when Sensei is not present. See: kohai.

Sensei (sen-say)
Teacher, instructor;.

Seiza (say-zah)
A formal sitting posture in which the insteps and shins rest against the floor.

Shiho (she-ho)
Four directions.

Shikko (shee-koh)
Knee-walking.

Shodan (show-dan)
Holder of the first grade of black belt. Literally: “beginning step”.

Shomen (show-men)
(1) Front, (2) the front or top of the head, (3) the front of the dojo, where the picture of O Sensei is placed.

Suburi (suh-boor-ee)
A single movement using the ken or jo, done as a solo practice.

Suwari Waza (sue-wah-ree wah-zah)
Seated techniques.

Tachi (tah-chee)
(1) Japanese sword, (2) standing (as opposed to sitting).

Tachi Waza (tah-chee wah-zah)
Standing techniques.

Tachi-Dori (tah-chee-doh-ree)
Techniques of taking an opponent’s sword.

Takemusu (ta-kay-moo-soo)
Compound of Take (martial) & Musu (to be born). This refers to martial movement spontaneously created, without active thought, resulting in a pure Aikido technique.

Taijutsu (tie-jute-sue)
Body arts, the techniques of aikido performed without weapons.

Tai No Henko (tie-no-hen-ko)
Basic blending practice. Literally: “changing the body”.

Tanto (tahn-toe)
Knife.

Te (tay)
Hand.

Tegatana (tay-gah-tah-nah)
Hand blade, sword edge of the hand.

Tenchi (ten-chee)
Compound from ten (heaven) and chi (earth). A position of the hands: one high and one low.

Tsuki (tsoo-ki)
Thrust.

Uchi (ooh-chee)
A strike.

Uke (ooh-kay)
He who receives a person (nage) to attack. Generally speaking, the person being thrown or immobilised.

Ukemi (ooh-kem-me)
The art of receiving the energy of a technique. Literally: “receive with the body”.

Ushiro (ooh-she-row)
Back, behind, rear.

Waza (wah-zah)
Technique(s).

Yame (ya-may)
Stop (as a command). Said by the instructor to end formally.

Randori (ran-doh-ree)
Multiple attack.

Yokomen (yoh-koh-men)
Side of the head.

Adapted from the glossary on the New Forest Aikido website.