Shotokan Karate Terminology

These are the Shotokan karate terms that we use most often in our lessons.

General Terminology

Jodan Upper-level (head)
Chudan Mid-level (chest)
Gedan Lower-level (groin)
Zuki Punch
Uke Block
Geri Kick
Mawatte Turn around
Hajime Begin
Yame Stop
Yoi Ready
Dojo Classroom
Gi Uniform
Sensei Teacher
Kihon Basics
Kumite Sparring

Japanese Numbers

Ichi One
Ni Two
San Three
Shi (or Yon) Four
Go Five
Roku Six
Shichi Seven
Hachi Eight
Ku Nine
Ju Ten

Stances

Hachiji-dachi Ready stance (feet turned slightly inward)
Zenkutsu-dachi Front stance
Kokutsu-dachi Back stance
Kiba-dachi Horse-riding stance

Punches or strikes

Oi-zuki Lunging punch
Choku-zuki Straight punch
Gyaku-zuki Reverse punch
Kizami-zuki Jab punch
Nukite Knife-hand strike
Empi Elbow strike
Uraken Back-fist strike
Tetsui Hammer-fist strike
Teisho Side palm heel strike

Blocks

Gedan-barai Downward block
Age-uke Upper rising block
Soto-uke Inward mid-level block
Uchi-uke Outward mid-level block
Shuto-uke Knife-hand block
Morote-uke Augmented outward block
Juji-uke X block
Uchi-ude-uke Inside forearm block

Kicks

Mae-geri Forward snap or thrust kick
Mawashi-geri Roundhouse kick
Keage Snap kick
Kekomi Thrust kick
Ushiro-geri Rear thrust kick
Ushiro-mawashi-geri Reverse roundhouse kick
Tobi-geri Jumping kick
Ashi-barai Foot sweep