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Punch (Zuki – pronounced “zoo-key”)

  • Age-zuki (ah-geh zoo-key): Rising punch
  • Awase-zuki (ah-wah-say zoo-key): U-punch
  • Choku-zuki (cho-koo zoo-key): Straight punch
  • Chudan-zuki (chew-dahn zoo-key): Middle area punch
  • Gyaku-zuki (gya-koo zoo-key): Reverse punch
  • Jodan-zuki (joe-dahn zoo-key): face level punch 
  • Morote-zuki (moe-row-the- zoo-key): Double “U” punch
  • Oi-zuki (oh-ee zoo-key): Lunge punch
  • Tate-zuki (tah-the zoo-key): Vertical punch
  • Teisho-zuki (tay-show zoo-key): Palm-heel punch
  • Ura-zuki (oo-rah zoo-key): Close punch

Kick (Geri – pronounced “geh-rhee”)

  • Ashi-Barai (ah-she bah-rye): Foot sweep
  • Fumikomi (foo-me-koh-me): Stamping kick
  • Keage (key-ah-geh): Snap kick
  • Kekomi (kay-koh-me): Thrust kick
  • Mae-geri (mah-eh geh-rhee): Front kick
  • Mae-geri-kaege (mah-eh geh-rhee kay-ah-geh): Front snap kick
  • Mae-geri-kakomi (mah-eh geh-rhee kay-koh-me): Front thrust kick
  • Mae-tobi-geri (mah-eh toe-be geh-rhee): Jumping front kick
  • Mawashi-geri (mah-wha-she geh-rhee): Round kick
  • Ushiro-geri (oo-she row geh-rhee): Back kick
  • Yoko-geri-kaegi (yoh-koh geh-rhee key-ah-geh): Side snap kick
  • Yoko-geri-kekomi (yoh-koh geh-rhee key-ah-geh): Side thrust kick

Strike (Uchi – pronounced “oo-chee”)

  • Empi-uchi (en-pee oo-chee): Elbow strike
  • Haishu-uchi (hi-shoo oo-chee): Back hand strike
  • Haito-uchi (hi-toe oo-chee): Ridge-hand strike
  • Ippon-ken (eep-pone ken): One-knuckle fist
  • Nukite (noo-key-teh): Spear hand
  • Kentsui-uchi (ken-tsue-ee oo-chee): Hammer fist strike
  • Shuto-uchi (shoe-toe oo-chee): Knife hand strike
  • Teisho-uchi (tay-sho oo-chee): Palm hand strike
  • Uraken-uchi (oo-rah-ken oo-chee): Back fist strike

Stance (Dachi – pronounced “dah-chee”)

  • Fudo-dachi (foo-dough dah-chee) Rooted stance
  • Hachiji-dachi (hah-chee-gee dah-chee): Open leg stance
  • Hangetsu-dachi (hahn-geh-tsue dah-chee): Half-moon stance
  • Heiko-dachi (hay-koh dah-chee): Parallel stance
  • Kamae (kah-may): Sparring posture
  • Kiba-dachi (key-bah dah-chee): Side stance (horse stance)
  • Kokutsu-dachi (koe-koo-tsu dah-chee): Back stance
  • Kosa-dachi (koe-sah dah-chee): Crossed legged stance
  • Neko-ashi-dachi (neh-koh ah-she-dah-chee): Cat stance
  • Sanchin-dachi (san-chin dah-chee): Hour-glass stance
  • Shizentai (she-zen dah-chee): Natural position
  • Sochin-dachi (so-chin dah-chee): Diagonal straddle-leg stance
  • Teiji-dachi (the-gee dah-chee): T stance
  • Zenkutsu-dachi (zen-koo-tsue dah-chee): Front stance


  • Ichi (ih-chee): One
  • Ni (nee): Two
  • San (sahn): Three
  • Shi (she): Four
  • Go (go): Five
  • Roku (roo-koo): Six
  • Shichi (Shih-chee): Seven
  • Hachi (Hah-chee): Eight
  • Ku (koo): Nine
  • Ju (joo): Ten

General Terms

  • Budo (boo-doh): Martial way
  • Bunkai (bun-kye): Applications
  • Chudan (chew-dahn): Chest area
  • Dan (dahn): Black belt rank
  • Do (doh): Way/path
  • Dojo (doh-joh): Training area
  • Domo Arigato Gozai-mashita (doh-moh ah-ree-gah-toe go-zye-mah-she-tah) Thank you very much (past)
  • Gasshuku (gas-shoe-koo) Summer camp
  • Gedan (geh-dahn): Lower body area
  • Gi (ghee): Uniform
  • Gohan-kumite (goh-hon koo-mih-tay): Five step sparring
  • Hai (hi): Yes
  • Hajime (hah-zhim-ay): Begin
  • Hidari (he-dah-rhee): Left
  • Hombu-Dojo (hohm-boo doh-joh): Dojo headquarter
  • Ippon kumite (eep-pohn koo-me-teh): One step sparring
  • Jiyu ippon (jye-oo ih-pon): Free one step sparring
  • Jiyu-kumite (gee-you koo-me-teh): Free sparring
  • Jodan (joh-dahn): Face area
  • Kamae (kah-mah-eh): Sparring posture
  • Karate (kah-rah-teh): Empty hand
  • KarateKa (kah-rah-teh-kah): Karate student
  • Kata (kah-tah): Form
  • Ki (key): Mind, Spirit, Energy
  • Kiai (key-aye): Focusing shout
  • Kihon (key-hohn): Basic technique
  • Kihon kumite (key-hohn koo-me-teh): Basic sparring
  • Kime (key-may): Focus of power
  • Kumite (koo-me-teh): Sparring
  • Kyu (kyoo): White/Brown belt Rank
  • Mae (mah-eh): Front
  • Makiwara (mah-key-wha-rha): Punching board
  • Mawate-te (mah-wha-tay): Turn around
  • Migi (me-ghee): Right
  • Ohayo Gozaimasu (oh-ha-yoh go-zye-mah-soo): Good morning
  • Onegai-shimasu (oh-nih-guy-she-mah-soo): Please teach me
  • Osu (oh-soo): Greeting
  • Oyasumi nasai (oh-yah-soo-me nah-sigh): Good night
  • Rei (rey): Bow
  • Sanbon kumite (san-bohn koo-me-teh): Three step sparring
  • Seiza (say-zah): Sitting position
  • Sempai (sehm-pye): Senior student
  • Sensei (sehn-seh-ee): Instructor
  • Shizen-tai (she-zen tah-ee): Natural position
  • Tai sabaki (tye sah-bah-key): Body movement
  • Waza (wah-zah): Technique
  • Yame (yah-may): Stop
  • Yoi (yoy): Ready
  • Zanshin (zahn-shin): Following through technique

All vowels are short and pronounced as follows:

  "a" as in "father"
  "i" as in "teen" except shorter
  "u" as in "boot" except shorter
  "e" as in "bet"
  "o" as in "boat" except shorter and without the off-glide

Longer vowel sounds are the same sounds as above, but given more time.

"aa,"  a longer  "a"
"ii,"   a longer  "i"
"uu," a longer  "u"
"ei,"  a longer  "e"
"ou," a longer  "o"

Except for the above, if you see two or more vowels in a row, they are each pronounced clearly without becoming a single diphthong. An apostrophe is used where a glottal stop occurs (like between the “n” and the second “a” when pronouncing “an apple”).

Consonants always take their “hard” sounds. So “gi” is pronounced with a hard “g” (i.e., not “ji”). “Ch” is always as in “cheese.”

The hyphens don’t mean anything but serve to distinguish separate syllables when it might be ambiguous, or to separate a word into two semantic parts. There shouldn’t be a pause for hyphens.

Parentheses are used whenever a word might be omitted by some people, or if the translation could mean more than one thing. For example, “nukite,” literally only means “spear hand,” which is just the name of the “weapon” you form with your hand, but it is also often used to mean the attack, “spear-hand thrust.” So “thrust” is in parentheses.

Quotation marks are used on the English side to distinguish between literal translations of the Japanese terms from their more figurative meanings (quotes indicate literal translation).