Common phrases and terms

Onegai Shimasu – Will you please teach me (at the beginning of each session)
Domo arigato gozaimashita – Thank you very much (at the end of each session)
Sumi-masen / Gomen-nasai – Please excuse me (as in an apology)
Kudasai – Please
Hajame – Start
Yame – Stop
Atemi – Blow delivered to vulnerable part of body
Bokken – Wooden practise sword
Chudan – Central position
Funekogi – Arm pushing exercise
Gaeshi – To reverse
Gedan – Low position
Hanmi – Posture in which one foot is advanced one step and the body weight is evenly distributed
Hantai – In reverse order
Hidari – Left (direction)
Hiji – Elbow
Irimi – Enter, entering
Jiyu – Free style
Jo – Wooden staff
Jodan – High position
Kaiten – Revolve or rotate
Kata – Shoulder
Katate – One hand
Kiriage-kirisage – Arm raising breath exercise
Kokyu – Breath power, the co-ordination of ki flow with breathing
Koshi – Hip, waist
Migi – Right (direction)
Nage – Throw, the person who throws
O’Sensei – The Great Teacher, Master Morihei Uyeshiba, founder of Aikido
Rei – Bow, salutation
Ryote – Both hands
Seiza – Formal kneeling position with legs folded under the body
Sensei – Teacher, instructor
Shomen – Front, top of head
Tachi – Standing position
Tanto – Knife
Te – Hand
Uchi – Strike
Uke – Person making the attack
Ura – Rear
Ushiro – Back, behind
Waza – Technique
Yokomen – Side of the head

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Ichi – One
Ni – Two
San – Three
Shi (or Yon) – Four
Go – Five
Roku – Six
Shichi (or Nana) – 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

Training types/techniques

Tachi waza – Standing techniques
Suwari waza – Kneeling techniques
Ki-no-nagare – Flowing/continuous practice
Kihon waza – Basic/static training
Kaeshi waza – Counter technique(s)
Jiyu waza – Multiple attack(s)
Hanmi Handachi waza – Uke (attacker) standing and Nage (receiver) kneeling


Hidari Kamae – Left foot stance
Migi Kamae – Right foot stance
Ai Hanmi – Same foot forward (when facing uke)
Gyaku Hanmi – Opposite foot forward (when facing uke)
Tenkan Ho – Entering turn
Irimi Tenkan – Stepping entering turn
Irimi Mae – Entering forward
Irimi Ushiro – Entering backward
Hantai Tenkan – Changing direction
Issoku Irimi – Offline entering step

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Attacks and grips

Kata dori – Shoulder grab
Katate dori – Single hand wrist grip
Morote dori – Two-handed grip on one wrist
Mune Tsuki – Straight punch
Ryokata tori – Gripping both shoulders
Ryote dori – Gripping both wrists
Shomen uchi – Vertical strike to the head with hand blade (or a weapon)
Ushiro ryokata tori – Ryokata grip from behind
Ushiro ryote tori  – Ryote-tori grip from behind
Yokomen uchi – Similar to Shomen uchi, but slightly offline and targeting the Nage’s temple

Katame Waza – immobilisation

Ikkyo – 1st principle, pinning the arm
Nikkyo – 2nd principle, twisting the wrist towards the attacker
Sankyo – 3rd principle, twisting the wrist with a screwing motion
Yonkyo – 4th principle, pressure on the forearm nerve
Gokyo – 5th principle, gripping the inner side of the wrist

Nage Waza – throws

Irimi Nage – Entering throw
Kote Gaeshi – Wrist out-throw
Shiho Nage – ‘Four corner throw’, changing direction
Juji Nage – Throw using the undersurface of Uke’s arm
Kaiten Nage – Rotary or circular throw
Tenchi Nage – ‘Heaven and earth throw’ using extended arms
Juji Garame – Throw using crossed arms
Koshi Nage – Hip throw
Kokyo Nage – ‘Breath throw’