KARATE JAPANESE TERMINOLOGY
All techniques and class protocols are called in Japanese. It can be intimidating! Don’t panic, you are not expected to know everything right away and we’ll work with you to build your understanding over time.
This is arguably the most important word in Kyokushin. Osu is taken from the phrase Osu no Seishin (Spirit of Osu) 押忍の精神 which essentially means to persevere, to push the envelope of endurance.
In addition to this translation it carries many intentions and you will hear it constantly in the Dojo. We say Osu as a sign of respect whenever we enter or leave the Dojo, when we greet and bow to each other, and at the beginning and end of each training session. We say Osu when we receive instruction to show appreciation and indicate understanding.
OSU is pronounced “OOS” with a short OO sound (as in look, book) and an almost silent U.
Essential words and phrases for beginners
Here is a list of common words and techniques that you’ll find most useful to get started with. Most techniques are described by 3 things: where and how you are hitting/striking/blocking as well as what you are using.
Think: TARGET + METHOD + WEAPON (not necessarily in that order!)
|Shomen||(face the) front of dojo|
|Shomen ni rei||Bow to the front of the dojo|
|Mokuso yame||Open eyes|
|Yasume||Rest, be at ease|
|Otagai ni rei||Bow to each other|
|Thank you – present tense
Thank you – past tense
|Levels of the body|
|Jodan||Upper body: neck, head|
|Chudan||Middle body: torso|
|Gedan||Lower body: groin, legs|
|Shi (yon)||4||Yonjuu-go(-do)||45 (degrees)|
|Weapons – Arms + Hands|
|Uraken||Back fist/snap fist|
|Weapons – Legs + feet|
|Chusoku||Ball of foot|
|Sokuto||Foot outside edge|
Please note that not all of the words and phrases above are direct translations, rather their meaning in context of the Dojo/karate class.