General terms


Karate dô – The way of the empty hand

Karateka – Individual who practices the way of the empty hand

Budô – The martial arts

Kobudô – “old budo” term used for the arts using weapons

Bushi – Warrior

Bushido – The way of the warrior

Samurai – Military class in feudal Japan

Ki – Spirit/energy

Dojo – The place of the way (training room)

Dogi – Karate uniform

Sensei – Teacher

Shihan – Master

Deshi – Student

Sempai – One’s senior

Kohai – One’s junior

Dohai – Ones equal

Enbusen – Line of attack/defence

Hiki ashi – Pulling leg

Jiku ashi – Support leg

Tsuki te – Punching hand

Hiki te – Pulling hand (chambered hand)

Uchi – Strike/hit

Jissen – Real fight

Goshin – Self defence

Kime – Decision, finish, focus

Jisei – Self control

Nintai – Patience, perseverance

Hara – Centre of the abdomen

Sen no sen – Seizing the initiative earlier

Go no sen – Seizing the initiative later

Maai – Distance

Shiai – Tournament match

Seretsu – “Line up!”

Seiza – “Sit straight”

Mokuso – Meditate

Rei – Bow

Kiritsu – “Stand up”


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