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Hope Yama Dojo

Hope, British Columbia, Canada

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To help visitors to our site understand some of the Okinawan vocabulary or terminology associated with Isshin Ryu Karate, Hope Yama Dojo has included this lexicon of selected expressions. Our lexicon is organized in eight categories to quickly assist you in finding the term you require.

Belt Ranks

- see Belt Ranks


Ichi (pronounced "eetch") -- one
Ni (pronounced "knee") -- two
San (pronounced "sahn") -- three
Shi (pronounced "shee") -- four
Go (pronounced "goh") -- five
Roku (pronounced "rowkoo") -- six
Shichi (pronounced "shee-chee") -- seven
Hachi (pronounced "hat-chee") -- eight
Ku (pronounced "cue") -- nine
Ju (pronounced "joo") -- ten

Karate Uniform

Gi -- uniform
Obi -- belt
Shitogi -- pants
Uwagi -- jacket

Kata and Kata Applications

Bunkai -- the application of kata
Embusan -- the pattern of a kata
Ippon Kumite -- one-point fighting
Kata -- pattern, or form
Kobudo -- "the way of weapons"
Kumite -- free fight
Yakusoku kumite -- pre-arranged sparring (its 'hidden' meaning is "I promise to not hurt you if you make a mistake.")


Chinkuchi -- power (as in a kata)
Dai -- complete
Dai Sensei -- big teacher; grand master
Dan -- black belt
Do -- style; method; way
Dojo -- training hall
Enbukai -- martial arts assembly (practitioners gathering together to practice and show their skills)
Enso -- circle (a sumi ink painting of a circle done in a single, broad brushstroke, symbolizing enlightenment, strength, and the universe)
Isshin Ryu -- one heart way; whole hearted
Isshin Ryu no Megami -- Goddess of Isshin Ryu
Karate -- empty hand
Karate-ka -- karate student
Kihon -- exercises; basic techniques
Kime -- focus
Kohai -- junior
Kyu -- coloured belt
Sempai -- senior
Sensei -- teacher; instructor
Shiai -- competition; contest
Sho -- small
Soke -- founder
Yama -- mountain


Arigato -- "thank you"
Domo Arigato Gozaimashita -- "thank you very much"
Kiotsuke -- "attention"
Hajime -- "begin"
Kiai -- a loud yell (represented by a powerful shout)
Matte -- "wait"
O Negai Shimasu -- "please teach me with humbleness"
Rei -- "bow"
Yamae -- "stop"

Stances and Techniques

Chudan -- middle body
Dachi -- stance
Gedan -- lower body
Geri -- kick
Gyaku -- reverse
Hiza -- knee
Jodan -- upper body
Kamae -- on guard position
Mawashi -- round
Nukite -- spear hand
Seiken -- fore knuckle punch
Shotei -- palm heel
Shuto -- knife hand
Sokuto -- blade
Tsuki -- punch
Uke -- block
Uraken -- back fist
Yoi -- ready position


Bo -- wooden staff, approximately 180 cm (6 feet) in length
Kama -- grass sickle
Katana -- long sword
Nunchaku -- bridle
Sai -- short, pronged sword
Tuifa -- rice grinder handle


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