Welcome Letter


Your Body
Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Congruity and Training
Uke-Nage Relationship
The Dojo
Our Relationship
Other Instructors,
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave


Dojo Etiquette
Helpful Phrases
Aikido Ranks
Basic Counting


Common Aikido Words

Aikido (eye-key-doe)
compound from "ai" (harmony), "ki" (spirit), and "do" (Way): the Way of harmonious spirit.
Aikidoka (eye-key-doe-kah)
one who practices aikido, an aikidoist.
Aiki Taiso (eye-key-tie-so)
aikido exercises.
Atemi Waza (ah-teh-me wah-zah)
striking techniques.
Bokken (bow-ken)
wooden sword used in practice.
Bushido (boo-she-doe)
warrior's code; the way of the warrior.
Dan (don)
aikido grade holder, black belt rank.
Deshi (day-she)
student, pupil, disciple.
Dojo (doe-joe)
training hall; place of the Way. in Buddhism also refers to the place of worship.
Doshi (doe-she)
comrade, friend (used among fellow aikidoists).
Gaeshi (guy-eh-she)
to reverse.
Gi (ghee)
training clothing. (a synonym is keikogi.)
Hajime (ha-gee-may)
beginning, begin (as a command). said by instructor to begin formal randori.
Hakama (hock-kah-ma)
a divided, pant-like skirt: a formal Japanese garment also worn by aikido dan-grade holders.
Hanmi (hahn-me)
a posture in which one foot is advanced one step and the body weight is distributed equally on both feet. triangular stance. literally means "half-body".
Hanmi Handachi (hahn-me hahn-dah-chee)
a type of training in which nage is kneeling and uke approaches from a standing position.
Hantai (Hahn-tie)
in reverse order.
Hara (Har-ah)
one's physical and spiritual center. physically, in the lower abdomen a few inches below the navel.
Hidari (he-dah-ree)
the left side.
Hiji (he-gee)
Irimi (ee-ree-me)
to enter; entering.
Jiyu (gee-you)
free, unrestricted.
Jiyu Waza (gee-you wah-zah)
freestyle techniques/practice.
Jo (joe)
wooden staff.
Kamiza (kah-me-zah)
shrine; literally "seat of the spirit(s)".
Kaiten (kai-ten)
to revolve or rotate.
Kata (kah-tah)
1. shoulder; 2. form, a pre-arranged exercise.
Katate (kah-tah-tay)
one hand (left or right).
Keiko (kay-koh)
practice session; training.
Keikogi (ghee)
training clothing. (a synonym is gi)
Ken (ken)
Japanese sword.
Ki (key)
spirit: the vital force of the body; universal energy; a stream or flow of positive energy.
Kiai (key-eye)
a piercing scream or cry with practical and psychological value; literally "meeting of the spirits".
Kohai (co-high)
student junior to oneself; someone with a lower rank or who attained the same rank at a later date. (see sempai)
Kokyu (coke-you)
breath power; the coordination of ki flow with breathing.
Kokyu Dosa (coke-you doe-sah)
a method of off-balancing and pinning your partner with ki instead of physical power.
Kokyu-Ryoku (coke-you ree-oh-kyoo)
breath power.
Koshi (ko-she)
hips, waist. (also sometimes spelled "goshi")
Kubi (coo-bee)
Kyu (cue)
the aikido ranks held by undergraduates, prior to attainment of dan ranking.
Ma-ai (ma-eye)
distance between uke and nage. literally, "harmony of space".
Men (men)
face, head.
Migi (mih-ghee )
the right side.
Mudansha (moo-don-sha)
someone who has not yet attained dan ranking: an undergraduate. (see yudansha)
Nage (nah-gay)
a throw or the person who throws.
Obi (oh-bee)
O'Sensei (oh-sen-say)
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido; literally, "great teacher".
Randori (ran-door-ri)
multiple attack.
Rei (ray)
salutation, bow.
Ryote (ree-oh-tay)
both hands.
Samurai (sam-oh-rye)
military retainer (from the feudal period of Japanese history).
Sempai (sem-pie)
student senior to oneself; someone with a higher rank or who attained the same rank at an earlier date. (see kohai)
Sensei (sen-say)
teacher, instructor; generally a title earned at 4th dan.
Seiza (say-zah)
formal sitting posture in which the insteps and shins rest against the floor.
Shiho (she-ho)
four directions.
Shimi (she-me)
Shodan (show-don)
holder of the first grade of black belt.
Shomen (show-men)
1. the front or top of the head; 2. the front of the dojo, where the kamiza is.
Suburi (suh-boor-ee)
a single movement using the ken or jo, done as a solo practice.
Sutemi (suh-teh-me)
a hard fall; literally "casting aside one's body".
Suwari Waza (sue-wah-ree wah-zah)
seated techniques.
Tachi (tah-chee)
1. Japanese sword; 2. standing (as opposed to sitting).
Tachi Waza (tah-chee wah-zah)
standing techniques.
Tachi-Dori (tah-chee doh-ree)
techniques of taking an opponent's sword.
Taijutsu (tie-jute-sue)
body arts; the techniques of aikido performed without weapons.
Tai No Henko (tie-no-hen-ko)
basic blending practice; literally "changing the body".
Tanto (tahn-toe)
Te (tay)
Tegatana (tay-gah-tah-nah)
hand blade; sword edge of the hand.
Tekubi (tay-koo-be)
Tenchi (ten-chee)
compound from "ten" (heaven) and "chi" (earth); a position of the hands: one high and one low.
Tsuki (tski)
Uchi (ooh-chee)
a strike.
Uke (ooh-kay)
a person who receives an attack; generally speaking, the person being thrown.
Ukemi (ooh-kem-me)
the art of receiving the energy of a technique; literally, "receive with the body".
Ushiro (ooh-she-row)
back; behind; rear.
Waza (wah-zah)
Yame (ya-may)
stop (as a command). said by instructor to end formal randori.
Yokomen (yoh-koh-men)
side of the head.
Yudansha (you-don-sha)
black belt grade holder(s). (see mudansha)

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