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The spelling or meanings of any of the words listed may be incorrect. If anyone does know anything that needs correcting in the glossary I would appreciate any help with it. Email me
Notes on pronunciation:Japanese has five short vowels; [a] art, [i] ink, [u] wood, [e] egg, [o] dog, and five long vowels; a e i o u, which should be pronounced as a continuous sound, equal in value to two identical short vowels such as shomen, document, and shomen, front, with a long "o" sound. Double consonants: kk, pp, ss, and tt indicate a slight pause before them as in ikkyo, bokken, and happpo (eight directions). In Japanese, Chinese characters, kanji, can be read in two ways.
Single Chinese characters are often read in The Japanese way; combinations may be read either way. For example, "left hand" and "right hand" are read in the Japanese way as hidari-te, and as migi-te, but the "left-right" exercise can be read as sayu in the Chinese way. Sound changes occur when two Japanese readings are compounded: k becomes g, s becomes z, t becomes d, h becomes b or p.
For example, te, hand + katana, sword = te-gatana or tegatana. Japanese is rife with homonyms having the same sound but different concepts written with different Chinese characters.
Hence, Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido is "Aikido with Mind-Body Coordination" as shin can mean mind and also body. The following is a list of Japanese terms which you will often hear used in your training. It is essential that you study and learn these terms, not only for practical reasons, but also to help you discover the many aspects of Aikido training.
"self victory." according to the founder, true victory (masakatsu) is the victory one achieves over oneself (agatsu). thus one of the founder's "slogans" was "masakatsu agatsu" "the true victory of self-mastery."
Harmony, integration, unification, a coming together. in the context of aikido, it is used to signify the spirit of harmony and accord, hence aikido is "the way of harmony." also love, affection. o-sensei said, "aiki (harmony spirit) is aiki (love spirit)."
"mutual escape." an outcome of a duel where each participant escapes harm. this corresponds to the ideal of aikido according to which a conflict is resolved without injury to any party involved.
"mutual kill." an outcome of a duel where each participant kills the other. in classical japanese swordsmanship, practitioners were often encouraged to enter a duel with the goal of achieving at least an ai uchi. the resolution to win the duel even at the cost of one's own life was thought to aid in cultivating an attitude of single-minded focus on the task of cutting down one's opponent. this single-minded focus is exemplified in aikido in the technique, ikkyo, where one enters into an attacker's range in order to effect the technique.
Third set of basic exercises at the start of a class (ki society). these are training exercises for the aikido arts and techniques.
The way of harmony, ai, harmony ki, spirit. do, way. a modern discipline of harmony between opposites on a universal scale.
Footwork. proper footwork is essential in aikido for developing strong balance and for facilitating ease of movement.
(lit. striking the body) a strike to a vital point or hit to the body. in aikido, the strike is ideally a feint, not intended to injure but to distract, startle, and lead uke's mind. strike directed at the opponent for purposes of unbalancing or distraction. atemi is often vital for bypassing or "short-circuiting" an opponent's natural responses to aikido techniques. the first thing most people will do when they feel their body being manipulated in an unfamiliar way is to retract their limbs and drop their centre of mass down and away from the person performing the technique. by judicious application of atemi, it is possible to create a "window of opportunity" in the attacker's natural defences, facilitating the application of an aikido technique.
Wooden sword, from boku, wood + ken, sword. originally bokken was a practice sword used to avoid damage by or to the razor-sharp and costly katana. eventually it came to be considered as a weapon in its own right. different schools use different styles for practice; some (such as the suburito) are extremely heavy; movement with tension or weight upper-side is readily revealed by exhaustion and painfully sore muscles. see shinken (real sword).
The doctrine of enlightenment propounded by the indian philosopher gautama siddharta (563 - 483 b.c.)
Martial arts, from bu, power, bravery, military affairs + do, way. a warrior, leader, scholar, noble people. see "samurai". "martial way." the japanese character for "bu" (martial) is derived from characters meaning to "stop" and (a weapon like a) "halberd." in conjunction, then, "bu" may have the connotation "to stop the halberd." in aikido, there is an assumption that the best way to prevent violent conflict is to emphasize the cultivation of individual character. the way (do) of aiki is thus equivalent to the way of bu, taken in this sense of preventing or avoiding violence so far as possible.
A traditional system of aikijutsu. one of the foundation arts in o-sensei's early training. dan a level, a step. a rank above kyu. shodan is first level; nidan the second, sandan the third, yondan the fourth etc.
Way, path, discipline, study with physical and spiritual implications. in the literal sense, a road or path; by extension, a course of study or a way of life but certainly not limited to martial arts. the japanese character for "do" is the same as the chinese character for tao (as in "taoism"). in aikido, the connotation is that of a way of attaining enlightenment or a way of improving one's character through aiki. aikido is the way of harmony. kendo is the way of the sword. kyudo is the way of the bow (archery). kado is the way of flower
. chado or sado the way of the tea .
Rib area, from waist to shoulders. this term appears in kendo and other sword arts as a target area for cuts.
Place of practice, training hall, from do way, do place. a dojo is a place which offers training in 'the way', do. dogi or dojogi refers to the uniform or dress worn while practicing a given discipline. dojo, "the place of enlightenment," is a word derived from the sanskrit bodhimanda, the place where the ego self undergoes transformation into the egoless self. the place where we practice aikido. traditional etiquette prescribes bowing in the direction of the shrine (kamiza) or the designated front of the dojo (shomen) whenever entering or leaving the dojo.
Action, movement, from do, movement + sa, creation. although sometimes mistaken for a wrestling contest, kokyu dosa is actually an exercise in breath movement and ki extension.
Grandmaster / head of the way. following the traditional japanese custom, the position of doshu has been made hereditary.
En-undo describes a circular motion. kokyu-nage en-undo and kote o'roshi en-undo are named for their pronounced circular motion.
(inter)dependent origination (sanskrit = pratitya samutpada). in buddhist philosophy, phenomena have no unchanging essences. rather, they originate and exist only in virtue of material and causal conditions. without these material and causal conditions, there would be no phenomena. furthermore, since the material and causal conditions upon which all phenomena depend are continually in flux, phenomena themselves are one and all impermanent. since whatever is impermanent and dependent for existence on conditions has no absolute status (or is not absolutely real), it follows that phenomena (what are ordinarily called "things") are have no absolute or independent existential status, i.e., they are empty. to cultivate a cognitive state in which the empty status of things is manifest is to realize or attain enlightenment. the realization of enlightenment, in turn, confers a degree of cognitive freedom and spontaneity which, among other (and arguably more important) benefits, facilitates the performance of martial techniques in response to rapidly changing circumstances. (see ku)
The immovable-mind, from fu, not, and do, moving + shin, mind, not in the sense of stubbornness or rigidity, but in the sense of calm, stability, and imperturbability. it is the calm and stability of a spinning top. while the mind cannot be tested directly, it can be tested through the body, as we do with various ki tests. hence fudo-tai (immovable body) is considered to indicate the condition of fudo-shin.
A boat rowing motion or exercise, from fune, boat + kogi, rowing, but very different from western-style rowing. japanese boats were equipped with one oar which was sculled back and forth and also served as the rudder.
Lower level hand position, from ge, low + den, level. on the body, the area below the waist. sword (or hands) held at a lower level.
Clothes, but note that in japanese this element does not stand alone; the use of gi to indicate practice uniform is an english usage. it is often used specifically like judo-gi, karate-gi or kendo-gi. the uniform worn in class is keikogi, "practice clothes" or dogi the clothing worn while you are practicing the "way."
A technique. gi
, equivalent to waza . ken-gi are sword techniques, jo-gi are stick techniques, tai-gi are body, or "no-weapon techniques.
Pinion, from hagai, a part where feathers cross + jima, from shime, strangling. where uke grabs nage's elbows (usually from behind).
The voluminous pleated pants or divided skirt worn over the gi. in ki society, it is worn by students ranking 2nd kyu and above.
Half, pertaining to physical position. zagi han-dachi from za, seated + techniques + gi, techniques + han, half + dachi from tachi, standing, describes techniques in which a standing uke attacks a nage seated in seize. nage may rise to one knee, a half-standing position.
Han, half + mi, body is the basic aikido stance in which the feet are placed to form two sides of a triangle, exposing only half the body to the attacker. commonly referred to as "hamni.". a triangular stance, most often aikido techniques are practiced with uke and nage in pre-determined stances. this is to facilitate learning the techniques and certain principles of positioning with respect to an attack. at higher levels, specific hanmi cease to be of much importance.
Opposite, from han, reverse + tai confront. in techniques involving a hantai tenkan, nage reverses direction and turns. the other way round.
8 direction cutting with the sword. the connotation here is really movement in all directions. in aikido, one must be prepared to turn in any direction in an instant.
The "eight direction exercise." combines zengo-undo with ikkyo-undo to practice correct extension of ki and attention.
The center (one-point) in the lower abdomen or belly, thought of as physical and spiritual center of the body. hara kiri (known in english as "harry-karry') was japanese ritual suicide, involving a knife cut, kiri to the hara.
"figure-eight" stance. the figure eight does not correspond to the arabic numeral "8", but rather to the chinese/japanese character which looks more like the roof of a house. in hasso no kamae, the sword is held up beside one's head, so that the elbows spread down and out from the sword in a pattern resembling this figure-eight character.usually hasso hidari, sword on right, left foot forward.
Varied technique. especially beginning one technique and changing to another in mid-execution. ex. beginning ikkyo but changing to irimi-nage.
Hitori, one person + waza, techniques. in aikido, these are unpartnered single-person exercises to develop balance and coordination, and to pattern the basic movements of aikido techniques. see kumi-waza.
An ancient method of combat centered upon the perfection of the initial movement of the sword.
iri, from ireru, to put inside + mi, body. (lit. "entering the body"). in aikido, irimi is an entering movement, a stepping inside the line of attack. in ki society, irimi techniques are the equivalent of techniques designated as omote in other styles. compare with tenkan. many aikidoists think that the irimi movement expresses the very essence of aikido. the idea behind irimi is to place oneself in relation to an attacker in such a way that the attacker is unable to continue to attack effectively, and in such a way that one is able to control effectively the attacker's balance. (see shikaku)
A wooden staff, stick. jo-nage ('stick-throws') are techniques in which nage has the jo and uses it to throw an attacker. jo-tori, ("jo-grabs') are the set of techniques used to disarm an attacker with a jo. wooden staff about 4'-5' in length. the jo originated as a walking stick. it is unclear how it became incorporated into aikido. many jo movements come from traditional japanese spear- fighting, others may have come from jo-jutsu, but many seem to have been innovated by the founder. the jo is usually used in advanced practice.
high hand position upper position. jodan no kamae is thus a stance with the hands or a weapon held in a high position.
Ju, soft, pliant + jitsu, art, craft, skill or discipline. an art of pliancy or strength through yielding, a japanese form of unarmed combat which uses joint locks and throwing techniques.
The "way of suppleness" a discipline of development devised from the ancient jujutsu technique and budo ethics by count jigoro kano(1860 - 1938)
Letter ten, from ju, ten + ji, letter. appears in taigi 13. arm twist /cross projection.
"victory at the speed of sunlight." according to the founder, when one has achieved total self-mastery (agatsu) and perfect accord with the fundamental principles governing the universe (especially principles covering ethical interaction), one will have the power of the entire universe at one's disposal, there no longer being any real difference between oneself and the universe. at this stage of spiritual advancement, victory is instantaneous. the very intention of an attacker to perpetrate an act of violence breaks harmony with the fundamental principles of the universe, and no one can compete successfully against such principles. also, the expression of the fundamental principles of the universe in human life is love (ai), and love, according to the founder, has no enemies. having no enemies, one has no need to fight, and thus always emerges victorious. (see agatsu and masakatsu)
From kaesu, to turn out, a change, reversal. (the suffixed kaeshi often becomes gaeshi in compound such as kote-gaeshi) kote-gaeshi describes "turning the inside facing wrist, kote, to the outside. "kiri-kaeshi ("cut and reverse") involves a complete reversal (180 degrees) of uke's motion. ura ('back or reverse") + gaeshi turns him inside out, facing the other way just before falling. technique reversal. (uke becomes nage and vice- versa). this is usually a very advanced form of practice. kaeshi waza practice helps to instil sensitivity to shifts in resistance or direction in the movements of one's partner. training so as to anticipate and prevent the application of kaeshi waza against one's own techniques greatly sharpens aikido skills.
Revolving, rotating, from kai, turn, revolve + ten, roll. kaiten-nage is a spinning throw; uke's body will revolve once before he is led down to the mat. in zenpp-kelten-nage, uke falls forward like a wheel.
A posture or stance either with or without a weapon. kamae may also connote proper distance (ma-ai) with respect to one's partner. although " kamae " generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important parallel in aikido between one's physical and one's psychological bearing. adopting a strong physical stance helps to promote the correlative adoption of a strong psychological attitude. it is important to try so far as possible to maintain a positive and strong mental bearing in aikido.
A divinity, living force, or spirit. according to shinto, the natural world is full of kami, which are often sensitive or responsive to the actions of human beings.
Upper or raised seat on the mat usually located at the front of the dojo. will usually have a picture, ornament or motto on the wall (see gaku). also known as shomen.
Gratitude. aikido places great emphasis on the expression of gratitude, not just to our instructors and fellow practitioners, but to all members of society and all elements of creation.
A method of combat employing the whole anatomy as a weapon of combat, centred mainly upon the use of the hands for percussion (kara-empty te-hand), introduced in japan by funakosi gichin 1869 - 1957.
Form: hence jo kata is a form done with the staff, intended to demonstrate flow and rhythm, an awareness of space and placement while perfecting technique.
A variation of kaiten-nage where you lock your opponent's shoulder and bring him directly to the ground in a lock.
An immobilisation, from katameru, to lock, to pin, or to harden. katame -waza are immobilization techniques and include ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo and gokyo which mean "first," "second," "third," "fourth," and "fifth" techniques, respectively.
A japanese steel sword, slightly curved and single-edged. katana is the japanese reading. the chinese reading is to. the wooden sword is a bokken (see ken). te-gatana, hand-sword, refers to the use of the edge of the hand as if it were a blade or knife edge, a technique common in karate.
Number. one - ichi, two - ni, three - san, four - shi / yon, five - go, six - roku, seven - shichi, eight - hachi, nine - kyu / ku, ten - ju..
Practice, training, study, lessons, from kei, to think + ko, old. keiko-saru originally meant to think of old things," later to "to learn or study old things such as arts, skills, and techniques." learning these things requires training. thus, nowadays keiko means training. keiko-gl are "training clothes."
A straight, two-edged sword. ken is the chinese reading.
kendo is the 'way of the sword" and its practitioners are known as kendoka. shinken is a real sword. see shinken and katana.
A diagonal cut from shoulder from kesa, surplice, part of monk's costume hanging from shoulder + gake, from kake, hanging, laying, putting over. appears in taigi 26.
The universal spirit; life energy. in japanese, ki appears in many contexts such as gen-ki, a spirit of health, byo-ki, a spirit of sickness, ai-ki, a spirit of harmony. considered the energy of life itself.
ki no musubi - literally "knotting / tying-up ki". the act / process of matching one's partner's movement/intention at its inception, and maintaining a connection to one's partner throughout the application of an aikido technique. proper ki musubi requires a mind that is clear, flexible, and attentive. (see setsuzoku)
Ki breathing. a special set of meditation and development techniques aimed at calming the spirit and establishing true kokyu.
A piercing shout with ki, from ki, spirit + ai, harmony. the concept is that of an outpouring of ki energy from the one-point, unifying body and spirit. in modern japanese, it also refers to vigor. to put ki-ai into something (kiai wo ireru) means "to work at something with vigor"
(something which is) fundamental. there are often many seemingly very different ways of performing the same technique in aikido. to see beneath the surface features of the technique and grasp the core common is to comprehend the kihon.
Back; backwards, from ko, back + ho, direction. koho-tento undo is the rolling backwards exercise. see zenpo.shiro ukemi.
Breath, from ko, exhale, call + kyu, inhale, suck. a kokyu-nage is a breath throw, or, by extension, a timing throw, because it is done using only uke's momentum and nage's timing. kokyu-nage techniques are a family of techniques, which depend on timing, sensitivity, and ki extension rather than a joint lock. kokyu is thought of as ki in motion, empowered by breath and its control. kokyu-nage is known as irimi nage or as ishi otoshi in different styles.
Cross, across from ko, cross, intersect + sa, finger crossing. tekubi- kosa -undo is the "wrist-crossing-exercise." katate, one hand + kosa-tori describes a "one-hand-grab." compare with katate-tori.
Moving backwards, from ko, backwards + shin, proceed. koshin-undo is a series of exercises in which the student practices moving backwards while continuing to extend ki forward.
Forearm, hand, tips of hand, from ko, small + te, hand. kote-gaeshi is a "wrist-bend" (wrist lock), which serves as a throw. kote sometimes refers to the entire forearm. in kendo, a kote strike is a blow, not to the wrist but to any point an the gauntlets covering the entire forearms.
A practice of intoning various sounds (phonetic components of the japanese language) for the purpose of producing mystical states. the founder of aikido was greatly interested in shinto and neo-shinto mystical practices, and he incorporated a number of them into his personal aikido practice.
Emptiness. according to buddhism, the fundamental character of things is absence (or emptiness) of individual unchanging essences. the realization of the essencelessness of things is what permits the cultivation of psychological non-attachment, and thus cognitive equanimity. the direct realization of (or experience of insight into) emptiness is enlightenment. this shows up in aikido in the ideal of developing a state of cognitive openness, permitting one to respond immediately and intuitively to changing circumstances (see mokuso).
Neck. tekubi is the wrist, that is, the "neck" of the hand (te). kabi-uchi is a strike to the neck. ushiro kubi-shime is a one-armed neck choke from the rear in medieval japan, uchi-kubi was decapitation, a shameful and humiliating death.
The principle of destroying one's partner's balance. in aikido, a technique cannot be properly applied unless one first unbalances one's partner. to achieve proper kuzushi, in aikido, one should rely primarily on position and timing, rather than merely on physical force.
Teaching. the standard wrist locks, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, and yonkyo, are the "first," "second," "third," and "fourth teachings."
The proper ("harmonious") distance of respect between nage and uke, from ma, space + ai, fit, harmonize. proper distancing or timing with respect to one's partner. since aikido techniques always vary according to circumstances, it is important to understand how differences in initial position affect the timing and application of techniques. ma-ai depends on the reach of the partners and the types ofweapons being used; it is closer for a pair of short opponents than for tall ones; it is closer for unarmed combat than for swordplay. throughout japanese culture, me-ai is extremely important. in calligraphy, the space between the characters is just as important as the ink, in japanese-rock gardens, the spaces between the rocks are just as important as the rocks themselves.
Face, front of head; men-uchi is a head-strike. shomen-uchi is a strike directly down to the head. yokomen-uchi is a strike to the head or face with a diagonal component.
(purification.) a set of shinto purifying rituals. a side training discipline to aikido. various defilements obscure our essentially pure and god-like nature; through misogi, purification of body and mind, we can remove such impurities and restore our true image. although misogi rites usually involve water purification (e.g. in a waterfall), o-sensei considered all aikido techniques to be forms of misogi. in the ki society we practice a form of misogi adapted from the ichikukai temple. aikido training may be looked upon as a means of purifying oneself; eliminating defiling characteristics from one's mind or personality. although there are some specific exercises for misogi practice, such as breathing exercises, in point of fact, every aspect of aikido training may be looked upon as misogi. this, however, is a matter of one's attitude or approach to training, rather than an objective feature of the training itself.
Meditation. practice often begins or ends with a brief period of meditation. the purpose of meditation is to clear one's mind and to develop cognitive equanimity. perhaps more importantly, meditation is an opportunity to become aware of conditioned patterns of thought and behaviour so that such patterns can be modified, eliminated or more efficiently put to use. in addition, meditation may occasion experiences of insight into various aspects of aikido (or, if one accepts certain buddhist claims, into the very structure of reality). ideally, the sort of cognitive awareness and focus that one cultivates in meditation should carry over into the rest of one's practice, so that the distinction between the "meditative mind" and the "normal mind" collapses.
Literally "no mind". a state of cognitive awareness characterized by the absence of discursive thought. a state of mind in which the mind acts / reacts without hypostatization of concepts. mushin is often erroneously taken to be a state of mere spontaneity. although spontaneity is a feature of mushin, it is not straightforwardly identical with it. it might be said that when in a state of mushin, one is free to use concepts and distinctions without being used by them.
Flowing. one goal of aikido practice is to learn not to oppose physical force with physical force. rather, one strives to flow along with physical force, redirecting it to one's advantage. nage - the thrower.
(1) a thrower, the person who performs techniques. (2) a throw. nage is a common designation for the partner who performs the nage-waza, throwing techniques.
Oblique / diagonal. kokyu-dosa or kokyu-ho is sometimes called naname kokyu nage or the "oblique breath throw."
"second" immobilization technique, from ni, two, second + kyo, teaching. see katame. also known as nikajyo or kote-mawashi different styles.
Great, or original teacher. in aikido, refers to morihei ueshiba, the founder of modern aikido.
Bow, from o, no meaning but honorific + ji (originally came from time) + gi, greeting. formerly, ojigi meant seasonal greeting. now it means a bow. ojigi-nage are throws down simply by bowing politely in response to an attack. featured in taigi 4 (known as "the women's taigi").
Front, forward. usually equivalent to irimi techniques. a class of movements in aikido in which nage enters in front of uke. see ura.
The teaching of the great origin, one of the so-called "new-religions" of japan. omotokyo is a syncretic amalgam of shintoism. the religion established early in the twentieth century by deguchi nao and deguchi onisaburo. o-sensei was a fervent believer in omoto-kyo from the time of his late thirties, and incorporated some elements from it into his aikido practice. the founder insisted, however, that one need not be a devotee of omotokyo in order to study aikido or to comprehend aikido's purpose.
The english interpretation of hara or center point of the body, considered to be about two inches below the naval, roughly the point of the hip joints. japanese sometimes use itten, which literally means "one-point." see seika-tanden. made famous in aikido doctrine by koichi tohei, founder of ki society.
Receiving from the emperor + no, of, possessive particle + gyoi honorific gift of clothes.
From orosu, to drop downward; to put down. the technique ude-oroshi involves dropping the arm-downward.
A multiple-person attack; free-style defence or sparring, from randoru, to spar, from ran, chaos, chaotic, random, or disorderly + dori, from tori, grab. a free-style "all-out" training. sometimes used as a synonym for jiyu waza. although aikido techniques are usually practiced with a single partner, it is important to keep in mind the possibility that one may be attacked by multiple aggressors. many of the body movements of aikido (tai sabak) are meant to facilitate defense against multiple attackers.
Bow, the command to bow. the formal gesture of respect and gratitude used by aikido practitioners to each other.
Etiquette. observance of proper etiquette at all times (but especially observance of proper dojo etiquette) is as much a part of one's training as the practice of techniques. observation of etiquette indicates one's sincerity, one's willingness to learn, and one's recognition of the rights and interests of others.
Ritsu, standing + gi, techniques
. japanese reading is tachi-waza. see zagi and suwari-waza japanese reading.
Both, ryote, 'both hands" from te, hand. katate ryote-machi is a "grab with both hands" (two hands grabbing one hand) and ryote-tori is an attack to both hands (two hands grabbing two hands). see kata.
A warrior, military retainer - feudal period. originally it meant those who served the emperors with their lives. see bushi.
The "third" immobilization technique, from san, three, third + kyo, teaching. also known as sanjokyo or kato-hineri in different styles. see katame.
A buddhist concept: enlightenment, or the moment of intense total realisation. in buddhism, enlightenment is characterised by a direct realisation or apprehension of the absence of unchanging essences behind phenomena. rather, phenomena are seen to be empty of such essences - phenomena exist in thorough going interdependence (engi). as characterized by the founder of aikido, enlightenment consists in realizing a fundamental unity between oneself and the (principles governing) the universe. the most important ethical principle the aikidoist should gain insight into is that one should cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things. (see ku and shinnyo)
Left and right, from sa, left + yu right. sayu-undo involves alternately shifting the arms to the right and left and dropping their weight underside to perform a throw.
Seika, under the navel + tanden, the body part about 2 inches below the navel. seika-tanden is the bodily source of ki energy. lower abdomen.
The formal japanese kneeling position, from sei, correct + za, sitting. sitting on both knees with the back straight. sitting this way requires acclimatization, but provides both a stable base and greater ease of movement than sitting cross-legged.
From sen + hai, comrade, companion. the combination indicates anyone senior in a particular area. hence, on the mat, you may be senpai to someone who joined the club before you did (regardless of kyu grade) but kohai to the same person who may be a "senior" at school, at work, or simply in age. a student senior to oneself. see dohai and kohai.
Instructor, teacher, from sen, before + sei, living or born, hence "one who was born before you." more importantly, one who leads the way. it is usually considered proper to address the instructor during practice as "sensei" rather than by his/her name. if the instructor is a permanent instructor for one's dojo or for an organization, it is proper to address him/her as "sensei" off the mat as well.
"the sword that kills." although this would seem to indicate a purely negative concept, there is, in fact, a positive connotation to this term. apart from the common assumption that killing may sometimes be a "necessary evil" which may serve to prevent an even greater evil, the concept of killing has a wide variety of metaphorical applications. one may, for example, strive to "kill" such harmful character traits as ignorance, selfishness, or (excessive) competitiveness. some misogi sword exercises in aikido, for example, involve imagining that each cut of the sword destroys some negative aspect of one's personality. in this way, setsu nin to and katsu jin ken coalesce.
Connection. aikido techniques are generally rendered more efficient by preserving a connection between one's centre of mass (hara) and the outer limits of the movement, or between one's own centre of mass and that of one's partner. also, setsuzoku may connote fluidity and continuity in technique. on a psychological level, setsuzoku may connote the relationship of action-response that exists between oneself and one's partner, such that successful performance of aikido techniques depends crucially upon timing one's own actions and responses to accord with those of one's partner.
Ancient chinese boxing reputed by most authors to be the fore-father of karate and other arts of percussion.
Exemplary teacher - a title used for the highest ranking teachers. (usually 6th dan and above - but not exactly a function of rank.) a formal title meaning, approximately, "master instructor." a "teacher of teachers."
Literally "dead angle." a position relative to one's partner where it is difficult for him/her to (continue to) attack, and from which it is relatively easy to control one's partner's balance and movement. the first phase of an aikido technique is often to establish shikaku.
Samurai walking ("knee walking"). shikko is very important for developing a strong awareness of one's centre of mass (hara). it also develops strength in one's hips and legs.
Lit. "duel with live swords." this expresses the attitude one should have about aikido training, i.e., one should treat the practice session as though it were, in some respects, a life-or-death duel with live swords. in particular, one's attention during aikido training should be single-mindedly focussed on aikido, just as, during a life-or-death duel, one's attention is entirely focussed on the duel.
Mind and body from shin, mind + shin, body. both elements have the same pronunciation but different characters with different meanings. zan-shin is the immovable mind, unbroken flow of ki and concentration on uke after the throw is completed; fudo -shin is the unperturbable mind. shin -shin toitsu aikido is literally "aikido with mind and body coordinated" from shin, mind + shin, body + toitsu, coordination + ai, harmony + ki, spirit, energy + do, way.
Bamboo sword. a length of split and bound bamboo for sword practice. it makes a loud whack when it connects, but does not cause serious injury.
Shaking, swinging, oscillation, vibration from shin, shaking, waving + do, movement. tekubi-shindo-undo is the 'wrist-shaking-exercise."
"thusness" or "suchness." a term commonly used in buddhist philosophy (and especially in zen buddhism) to denote the character of things as they are experienced without filtering the experiences through an overt conceptual framework. there is some question whether "pure" un-interpreted experience (independent of all conceptualization / categorisation) is possible given the neurological / cognitive makeup of human beings. however, shinnyo can also be taken to signify experience of things as empty of individual essences (see "ku").
The 'way of the gods' a natural religion of japan based on the cult of ancestors. the indigenous religion of japan. the founder of aikido was deeply influenced by omotokyo, a religion largely grounded in shintomysticism. (see kami).
Yoshinkan style uses this term to designate what other styles call nage. pronounced shtey it is the word used for the principle actor in a kabuki play.
A brief, uplifting statement used prior to training. tohei sensei has composed 21 of these sayings which are read and repeated phrase by phrase before each class. used to centre oneself, prepare oneself for training.
Front from sho, correct, proper + men, face, mask, side shomen-uchi is an overhand strike(uchi) attacking the "front' of the head. also the designated front of a dojo (see yokomen.)
Soku = breath; boku = wood. the wooden clappers used to signify the changes in controlled breathing and meditation.
Breath -(voice)- mind (unification) training. the act of purifying mind and body. a side-training discipline in aikido. (see misogi)
"outside." thus, a class of aikido movements executed, especially, outside the attacker's arm(s). (see uchi)
Su, origin, essence, true nature + buri from fun, swinging. suburi means sword swinging (exercise) without a partner or an opponent; it is also applied to practice with baseball bats and golf clubs. basic jo or bokken practice in striking and thrusting. done also as solo practice.
A passing through without stopping, from su, origin, essence, true nature + dori from tori passing. dori (with long vowel) is not the same as dori (from tori, grab). sudori is a type of forward throw in which uke passes straight through with no change in direction and no rotation - then falls.
Techniques performed without allowing the attacker to complete a grab or to initiate strike.
Techniques performed without allowing the attacker to complete a grab or to initiate a strike. ideally, one should be sensitive enough to the posture and movements of an attacker (or would-be attacker) that the attack is neutralized before it is fully executed. a great deal of both physical and cognitive training is required in order to attain this ideal.
An opening or gap where one is vulnerable to attack or application of a technique, or where one's technique is otherwise flawed. suki may be either physical or psychological. one goal of training is to be sensitive to suki within one's own movement or position, as well as to detect suki in the movement or position of one's partner. ideally, a master of aikido will have developed his/her skill to such an extent that he/she no longer has any true suki..
Literally "to throw-away the body." the attitude of abandoning oneself to the execution of a technique (in judo, a class of techniques where one sacrifices one's own balance/position in order to throw one's partner). (see ai uchi).
Techniques requiring the nage and uke to perform from the sitting position. these techniques have their historical origin (in part) in the practice of requiring all samurai to sit and move about on their knees while in the presence of a daimyo (feudal lord). in theory, this made it more difficult for anyone to attack the daimyo. but this was also a position in which one received guests (not all of whom were always trustworthy). in contemporary aikido, suwari waza is important for learning to use one's hips and legs.
Long and big sword. originally written "big sword," now written 'thick sword." tachi-tori techniques are those designed to take away an opponent's sword. (thus tachi tori - sword-taking) see tanto.
Standing, from tachi, to stand tachi-waza are "standing techniques." also appears as dachi hence zagi han-dachi.
A circular motion. body movement. body movement in aikido should be free-flowing, natural, and prudent.
tai body + gi, techniques. taigi generally refers to techniques without weapons in contrast to ken-gi, sword techniques or jo-gi, stick techniques. however, in the ki society, taigi refers to partnered exercises involving a series of attacks and defenses but designed to demonstrate flow and rhythm.
Dagger, knife, from tan, short + to, sword. wooden training knife. all wooden training weapons are treated as if they were actually sharp steel. the idea here being that if one can successfully view the wooden weapon as steel, then when faced suddenly with steel, one can view the steel as wood.
Hand; kara-te is the way of the empty, hence weaponless hand: kata-te is the neck of the hand, that is, the wrist. katate-tori are attacks to the wrist. tegatana or tekatana is the "hand-blade" or "sword" edge (or knife-edge) of the hand.
Hand blade "hand sword", i.e. the edge of the hand. many aikido movements emphasise extension and alignment "through" one's tegatana. also, there are important similarities obtaining between aikido sword techniques, and the principles of tegatana application.
ten, heaven + chi, earth. tenchi-nage is "heaven and earth throw," based on being powerfully rooted to the earth while extending towards the heavens.
ten, turn + kan, to interchange, reverse. tenkan is a "turning' outside uke's line of attack. compare with irimi..
Small cloth to wipe the face, usually kept inside of gi during training. also worn under the helmet in kendo.
Tetsu, iron + sen, fan. it looked like any folding fan, but its skeleton was of steel. it had two main outside ribs of sword steel to tendon sword blows, inner skeletal ribs of fine sword steel, thin and pointed so that when opened and used to strike at throat of foe, at least one rib would pierce the silk cover and slit the attacker's throat. the steel fan was used where more overt weapons were forbidden, and even played a critical part (as a fin) in the art of swimming in armor (tachi oyogi).
Tabi to jump + komi entering, into
. tobikomi usually describes a jumping in behind uke, as in kokyu-nage basic (katate-kosa-tori irimi tobikomi).
Unity, unification, from to, reign, govern + itsu one. shin shin toitsu aikido is aikido with mind-body coordination or unification.
From toru, to grab, hold, take, pick. katate-kosatori is a grab of the opposite
wrist; kate-tori is a grab of the shoulder or, as we think of it, the lapel.
From tsuki, to stick. a thrust, poke, stab, punch as with a fist, jo, or knife; mune-tsuki is a chest-punch; (esp. an attack to the midsection). ushiro-tsuki can mean a stab from behind or a thrust to the rear.
"inside." a class of techniques where nage moves, especially, inside (under) the attacker's arm(s). (but also a strike, e.g., shomen uchi)
From utsu, to strike. shomen-uchi is a frontal attack to the head while yokomen-uchi is a diagonal attack to the head.
Inside. opposite is soto, outside. an uchi-deshi, from deshi, pupil, disciple, is an apprentice living in the home of his master.
A live-in student. a student who lives in a dojo and devotes him/herself both to training and to the maintenance of the dojo (and sometimes to personal service to the sensei of the dojo).
Receiving, from ukeru, to receive. in aikido the partner who receives (techniques). the opposite is nage. at high levels of practice, the distinction between uke and nage becomes blurred. in part, this is because it becomes unclear who initiates the technique, and also because, from a certain perspective, uke and nage are thoroughly interdependent. see nage.
the body, (1) defensive, passive (2) the act of taking techniques, from ukeru, to receive ukemi. uke is the attacking partner who receives nage's technique. ukemi is the art of falling under control and refers to protecting oneself by falling safely. ideally, one should be able to execute ukemi from any position and in any direction. the development of proper ukemi skills is just as important as the development of throwing skills and is no less deserving of attention and effort. in the course of practicing ukemi, one has the opportunity to monitor the way one is being moved so as to gain a clearer understanding of the principles of aikido techniques. just as standard aikido techniques provide strategies for defending against physical attacks, so does ukemi practice provide strategies for defending against falling (or even against the application of an aikido or aikido-like technique!).
Behind, rear, in back of something. in styles other than ki society aikido, ura techniques are often the named equivalent to ki society tenkan techniques. see omote.
Back, backwards, behind. ushiro techniques all involve an attack from the rear such as a bear-hug from behind(ushiro-tori). the apposite of ushiro is mae.ushiro tekubitori describes a "wrist grab from behind." ushiro ryotori describes "both hands attacked from behind." ushiro ryo-kata-tori describes "both shoulders grabbed from behind."ushiro ukemi waza - backward roll ushiro kubishime - choke hold form behind ushiro muki -back vacuum ushiro muki furikaette yokomen uchi - nage draws uke into a vacuum and then reverses the direction and projects uke with a yokomen-style throw ushiro ryo-katatori - both shoulders held from behindushiro tori - held form behind (bear-hug)
. hitori waza refers to "single" person exercises such as ikkyo-undo, funekogi-undo. kumi waza refers to "more than one person" technique, that is, throws involving an attacker and a defender. although in aikido we have to practice specific techniques, aikido as it might manifest itself in self-defense may not resemble any particular, standard aikido technique. this is because aikido techniques encode strategies and types of movement, which are modified in accordance with changing conditions. (see kihon)
Is a diagonal strike, uchi to the head, men, it actually begins as a straight forward strike, as does shomen-uchi with an added diagonal component and a turning of the hips.
yu from yu-suru to possess + dan, level + sha, person. hence black-belt level students or "persons with dan."(any rank).
Lit. "remaining mind / heart." even after an aikido technique has been completed, one should remain in a balanced and aware state. zanshin thus denotes "following through" in a technique, as well as preservation of one's awareness so that one is prepared to respond to additional attacks. calm awareness, continuing mind, the mind that stops at, or on, nothing.
A seated bow, from za, seated, sitting rei, bow, etiquette, gratitude. see ritsurei, a standing bow.
A school or division of buddhism characterised by techniques designed to produce enlightenment. in particular, zen emphasis's various sorts of meditative practices, which are supposed to lead the practitioner to a direct insight into the fundamental character of reality. it also means "quietness" or "serenity". nowadays, zen means to seek true senses or features by attaining a state of perfect self-effacement, and unifying spirit and soul. (see ku and mokuso).
Forward from zen, forward + po, from ho, direction. zempo kaiten is a forward roll; zenpo kaiten-nage is a throw in which uke is projected into a forward roll. see koho.
Forward roll. in ki society it is 3 continuous rolls with opposite hand to leg finishing in seated position and ki tested.