Basic dojo terms used in a typical class.

Required learning for 7th kyu (orange belt) and above - a student of this grade should have a working knowledge of these terms when they are used as instructions during a lesson.

Lesson Start / Finish

shugo line up (in grade order)
seiza kneel / sit down
mokusou meditation
mokusou yame stop meditation
rei bow general
otagai-ni rei bow to class
sensei-ni rei bow to teacher(s)
kuritsu stand-up
hajime start / begin
yame stop / finish
osu indicates respect, acknowledgement, and readiness
hai yes
onegaishimasu please teach me
dohmo arigato gozaimashita thank you for teaching

The Basics

jodan tsuki upper punch
chudan tsuki 
middle punch
gedan tsuki lower punch
jodan uke upper block / receive
chudan uke middle block / receive
gedan uke lower block / receive
hiza geri knee strike
mae geri front kick
mawashi geri 
round house kick
hidari left
migi right
hachiji dachi natural stance
shiko dachi box / straddle stance
zenkutsu dachi forward stance

for all basic stances click here


ichi one
ni two
san three
shi four
go five
roku six
shichi seven
hachi eight
ku nine
ju ten

To hear in Japanese click here


sensei senior instructor / teacher
sempai junior instructor / senior student
kouhai junior student
jodan upper
chudan middle
gedan low
kiai spirit shout
kihon basic techniques
kumite sparring / fighting
kata form
bunkai applications from the form
mae front / forward
back / reverse
yoko side
mawate turn
mo ichi do one more time

Glossary of basic and advanced terminology used in karate.

Below you will find more detailed terms used to describe various techniques and movements as well as additional information / instructions which may sometimes be utilised in a karate lesson. Whilst some terms are repeated from the Basic Terminology list above, this section is not not required learning for kyu grades.