Aikido Terms PDF Print E-mail

Glossary of Aikido Terms

Ai-hanmi Mutual stance. Partners stand facing one another with the same foot forward
Aiki Harmonising/Unification of ki
Ashi Foot
Atemi A strike, hit or blow
Awase Blending exercise with a partner using jo/bokken
Bokken Wooden sword
Chi Earth
Chudan Middle level eg chudan tsuki - strike to the abdomen
Deshi Student, pupil, disciple
Do Way eg Aikido = The Way of Aiki
Dojo Training hall
Domo arigato gozamashita Thank you very much
Dori Holding eg Katadori - holding the gi at the shoulder
Dozo Please (used when giving permission)
Etsunen-geiko Special New Year's Eve practice
Furitama Clasped hands/tanden shaking following torifune
Futaridori Being held by two opponents
Gassho Palms together, as if praying
Gedan Lower level eg Gedan Uchi - strike to legs/lower area of body
Geiko/Keiko Practice
Gi/Keikogi Training suit
Giri Cutting
Gyaku Reverse
Gyakuhanmi Opposite stance. Partners stand with opposite feet forward
Gyakute "Reverse hand". Holding the jo with the palm facing downwards.
Hachi no ji gaeshi Figure of eight circular movement
Haishin-undo Back stretch exercise
Hajime Begin
Hanmi Oblique stance. "Half body"
Hanmi-handachi Techniques performed with Tori (thrower) seated, Uke (attacker) standing
Happo giri Eight direction cutting
Hara Lower abdomen; physical and spiritual centre
Hasso Holding jo or bokken vertically at right shoulder
Hidari Left
Hito e mi Basic back triangle stance. "Making the body small".
Ho Method eg Kokyu ho - breathing method
Irimi Entering with the body
Irimi-ashi "Back foot irimi"
Iriminage Body-entering throw
Jo Staff/stick, about 4-foot long
Jodan Upper level eg Jodan tsuki - strike to the face
Juji Cross, like the Roman numeral X
Junbi undo Warm-up exercises
Jusan no jo The 13-count jo kata
Jutsu Techniques
Jyunte "Normal hand". Holding the jo with the palm facing upwards.
Kaiten Turning
Kaitennage Rotary throw
Kamae Posture, stance
Kamiza Place in the dojo where O-Sensei's picture is placed.
Kata Series of movements eg 13-count jo kata
Kata Shoulder eg Katadori - holding the gi at the shoulder
Katana Japanese sword
Katate One hand
Katatedori One hand held
Keiko/Geiko Practice
Keikogi/Gi Training suit
Ken Sword
Kesa The collar of the gi where it lies across the chest. A blow aimed along this line.
Kesagiri Sword cut along the line of the kesa
Ki "Energy", "intention"
Kihon Basic
Kiri Cutting
Kiriotoshi Cutting down
Kiza Sitting on the heels, supported by the toes (in seiza, the toes lie on the mat).
Kohai Junior
Kokyu Breath
Kokyu-ho Breathing method
Kokyunage Breath throw
Kokyu Ryoku Breath power
Koshi Hip
Koshinage Hip throw
Kote Wrist
Kotegaeshi Wrist out-turn
Kotehineri Wrist twist. Another name for Sankyo
Kotemawashi Wrist turn-in. Another name for Nikyo
Kubi Neck
Kubishime Neck choke
Maai Distance
Mae-ukemi Forward ukemi
Makiwara Object used for striking practice
Men Strike, blow, cut
Menuchi Same as Shomenuchi
Mi Body eg Irimi - entering with the body
Migi Right
Misogi Purification practice
Mitori-Geiko Learning by observing others
Morotedori Uke (receiver) holds one of Tori's (thrower's) arms with both hands
Mune Lapel
Munedori Holding both lapels together, usually with one hand
Musubi Uniting, bonding
Nage Throw or thrower
Nagewaza Throwing techniques
Obi Belt
Omote Front
Onegaishimasu Please (would you do this for me)
Osae Pin, immobilisation
Otoshi Drop
Oyowaza Applied techniques
Rei Bow
Renzoku Continuous
Renzoku Uchikomi Continuous striking attack
Ryokata Both shoulders
Ryote Both hands
Ryotedori Both of Tori's hands held
Ryotemochi Holding with both hands
Sabaki Movement, motion
Sangaku or Sankaku Triangle
Sake Japanese rice wine
Sate Sit down
Seiza Sitting posture. "Good sitting"
Sempai Senior
Sensei Instructor, teacher
Shikko Knee walking
Shime Strangulation
Shimewaza Strangulation techniques
Shihonage Four-direction throw
Shizentai Natural
Shomenuchi Vertical blow to the head
Sode Sleeve
Sodedori Sleeve held
Sokumen Side
Soremade Finish
Soto Outer, outside eg Sotokaiten nage
Suburi Striking, cutting exercises with jo or bokken
Sumiotoshi "Corner drop"
Suwariwaza Techniques performed in a seated posture
Tachi Sword
Tachi Standing
Tachiwaza Techniques performed from a standing posture
Tai Body
Taijutsu "Body arts"
Tai no henko Body turning
Taisabaki Body movement
Tanden Energy centre in the lower abdomen
Tanren Uchi Makiwara practice with a bokken
Tanto Knife
Tatami Mat
Tate Stand up
Te Hand eg Katate - one hand, Ryote - two hands
Tegatana The edge of the hand. "Hand blade"
Ten Heaven
Tenchinage Heaven-earth throw
Tenkan Turning
To Sword
Toma A great distance
Tori The person who throws
Torifune "Rowing" exercise
Tsugi-ashi "Glide-walking". "Forward foot irimi"
Tsuki Thrust, punch
Uchi A strike
Uchi Inner eg Uchikaiten nage
Uchideshi A disciple who lives in the dojo and acts as a trainee/attendant to a master
Ude Arm
Udegarame "Arm entanglement"
Udekimenage Another name for jujinage. "Arm focus throw".
Udeosae Another name for Ikkyo. "Arm pin".
Uke Receiver of technique
Ukemi The art of falling. "Receiving with the body".
Ura Behind, rear
Ura sankaku The basic back triangle stance
Ushiro From behind
Ushiro ukemi Backward breakfall
Ushiro Kiriotoshi Cutting down from behind
Ushirowaza Techniques performed against an attack from behind
Waza Technique
Yame Stop
Yokomenuchi Circular strike to the head
Yoi Be ready
Za Sitting
Zafu Firm cushion used for sitting in Zazen
Zanshin Continuing awareness after executing a technique
Zazen "Sitting Zen"
Zori Straw sandals


Bokken PDF Print E-mail

Bokken Movements

1 Suburi - right/left hanmi
2 Shiho giri/& with tsuki
3 Happo giri/& with tsuki
4 8-count suburi kata - tachiwaza & suwariwaza
5 Kiriotoshi - jodan, chudan, gedan


Note: All those practising weapons should have their own bokken, jo and weapons bag.

Counting in Japanese PDF Print E-mail

Counting in Japanese

Ichi One
Ni Two
San Three
Shi/Yon Four
Go Five
Roku Six
Shichi Seven
Hachi Eight
Ku Nine
Ju Ten
Ju-ichi Eleven
Ju-ni Twelve
Ni-ju Twenty
Ni-ju-ichi Twenty one
Ni-ju-ni Twenty two
San-ju Thirty
San-ju-ichi Thirty one
Iai Batto-Ho PDF Print E-mail

Tessokai Iai Batto-Ho


Iaido (The Way of Sword Drawing) traces its origins to the late 16th century in Japan. It was developed by Hayashizaki Shigenobu. Though an established fact that some Iai-jutsu was practiced within other schools prior to Hayashizaki’s birth, he is credited with the creation of the system of Iai which we know today as Muso Shinden Ryu., which was actually developed based on a vision that Hayashizaki received in a dream, and which he referred to as Batto-Ho. The traditions and forms of Muso Shinden Ryu were transmitted through successive generations of swordsmen, amoung them Nakayama Hakudo Sensei, commonly recognized as one of the two foremost martial artists of the Meiji Era (O’Sensei being the other). One of Nakayama Sensei’s foremost students, Mitsuzuka Takeshi Sensei, established himself in Tokyo and continued the teachings of the Muso Shinden Ryu as transmitted to him by Nakayama Sensei.

Aikido Etiquette PDF Print E-mail

Arrival at the dojo

Please be punctual. Enter the dojo (the building where we practise) and be on the tatami (mat surface) at least five minutes before the class starts and meditate until the sensei (instructor) arrives. When you come earlier, do warm-up exercises and practise by yourself or with other students.
If you happen to be late, wait just off the mat until acknowledged by the instructor. Step onto the mat and perform a kneeling bow to O-Sensei (the Founder of Aikido). Join in the warming-up exercises or if these are over, do your own warm-up at the edge of the mat. As always, be aware of anyone moving or being thrown near you, and move if necessary.

Occasional lateness or lateness caused by special commitments such as one's work schedule is acceptable, but lateness caused by poor planning or lack of conscientiousness is an indication of a lack of order in one's mind, and unless corrected will hinder one's learning and progress in aikido.

About "Rei"

Aikido is more than a sport; it teaches a way of life. Because of this, aikido deserves our respect. That respect is expressed through the concept of rei, which means "appreciation and respect", and through the manner in which rei is performed. Rei literally translates to a bow given during the course of practice. Rei is done to O-Sensei, the dojo (the place of the Way), the sensei, and other practitioners. Through rei we express our appreciation and respect for life itself.

Rei to the dojo

Upon entering the dojo building, do a standing bow towards the Kamiza (shrine) by bending the body 30 to 45 degrees with the arms held by the side of the body. At all times, while in the dojo when not on the tatami, footwear of some kind must be worn. Put on your zori (sandals) or equivalent when getting changed, and leave them neatly at the side of the tatami during the practice. Leaving sandals in disorder indicates disorder in one's mind.

Rei to the tatami

The tatami surface is the training surface in the dojo and as such it is important to bow there as well. Upon stepping onto the tatami, kneel down in the position known as seiza (sitting on the heels with the back straight) and bow putting both hands in front of the knees keeping the back straight. That bow is also required upon leaving the tatami. Furthermore, if for any important reason it is necessary to leave the tatami during the class, first ask permission from the sensei, then leave the tatami after completing a standing bow, if it is a temporary absence, or a kneeling bow if it is the end of your practice.

Rei to O-Sensei

The spirit of the Founder is always present in the dojo. In our aikido training, we cannot practise without thanking him for the gift of his art. We do a kneeling bow to the Kamiza at the beginning and the end of the class. If one arrives late for the class, one kneels and bows to the Kamiza upon stepping onto the mat.

Rei to the Sensei

After the rei to O-Sensei, the practitioners do a kneeling bow to the sensei. This should be repeated at the end of the class as well. At the beginning of the class it is customary to say Onegai-shimasu (Please help me in my practice) as one bows to the sensei; while at the end of the class, one says Domo arigato gozaimashita (Thank you very much).

Rei to your partner

Your partner is the mirror of yourself. Ignoring your partner's individuality and self-esteem is against the spirit of aikido. Your partner is not someone you compete against, but a person to train with and improve with. Show respect to and consideration of your fellow practitioners in every aspect of the practice.

Again, do not forget that your partner is the mirror of yourself and helping your partner is helping yourself. Partners should bow to each other when starting or finishing practising together. Senior practitioners are precious helpers for you. Regardless of age, sex and social status, they deserve your consideration. Listen to them sincerely and follow their directions in practice. On the other hand, senior students should not take advantage of their position. They should remain humble and sincere, both in attitude and behaviour, and try to be good role models for beginners.

Rei to the weapons that are used

Before and after the use of the bokken (the wooden sword), the jo (the 4-foot stick), or tanto (the wooden knife) hold the weapon at eye level with both hands toward O-Sensei and do a standing bow. Even a piece of wood can be a great help in one's aikido training. When one practises with it, it becomes a part of one's body. Thus, throwing around, stepping on or jumping over the weapon is disrespectful.

General manners

While you practise, always be alert. Careless practice causes accidents and makes no improvement in one's aikido. Do not waste both your and your partner's time in unnecessary talk during the practice. Do not hesitate to let your partner and the sensei know when you cannot continue the practice because of sickness, injuries, or genuine tiredness. When a short rest is necessary go quietly to the corner after bowing to your partner and the sensei, and watch the class. If you feel sick, and still want to practise, see the sensei and ask permission. Since your body belongs to nobody else, take good care of your health and prevent accidents. As to hygiene, wash your keiko-gi (the uniform worn during practice) regularly. Pay close attention to personal hygiene and be sure to keep your toe and finger nails short and filed at all times. Never wear jewellery, watch, hair-slide etc at any time on the tatami. This will help prevent accidents to both yourself and your partner. The dojo, where we practise, is in the care of the membership. It is the responsibility and the pleasure of the members to see that the dojo is clean at all times. This is accomplished after each practice. Do not wait to be directed, but show initiative and do whatever is necessary to ensure that the building is clean

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