skip to Main Content

The most important karate terms and signs

Karate Zeichen und Begriffe

The spread of karate from Okinawa, which is part of Japan today, means that the terms and symbols come from the Japanese language. There are translations for the karate terms, but knowing the names in the original language is a condition for training and exams. At the latest, if you want to learn from a trainer who comes from Japan, for example, the German names of the techniques will no longer help you.

Karate signs and terms

For some terms exist in the translation different spellings or designations, but the meaning of these is usually the same. Nobody can ask you to acquire the complete Japanese language for the training. That would be wasted effort anyway, since you actually only need a fraction of it. There are some basic terms that you should gradually internalize. Here is a small, categorical overview of the most important of them.

General terms and greeting

A few names, which one is best for you heard beforebefore you start your first training session. Otherwise you can of course also learn these on site.

Karate Path of the empty hand
Karateka Karate fighters (from novice to master)
Do The path (in martial arts mostly indicative of the life path of karateka)
Dojo Training room, hall
Sensei Trainer, master
Senpai parent student (based on experience)
Kohai subordinate student
Kyū Student grade
And Master degree
Karategi, Gi Karate suit (pants, jacket and belt)
Comments jacket
Zubon Hose
Obi belt
Orange form a row
Seiza Knee seat (when greeting and saying goodbye)
Shomen ni Rei Greetings to the ancestors
Sensei ni Rei Greetings to the master
Otagi ni Rei Greetings to one another
Mokuso Meditation
Mokuso Yame End mediation
Kiritsu stand up

Basic terms for training

You need these terms for Your daily trainingas the sensei will use these and other karate terms to define the techniques. The numbers are necessary because the techniques are often repeated several times in the group, with the sensei counting out loud.

Kihon primary school
Word Form, form run
Hajime To start
Yame The End
Bunkai Analysis of a kata
Yoi Get ready
Kamae Fighting stance
Mawate turn
Kiai Battle cry
Fuck Head and neck attack zone
Chudan Attack zone neck to belt
Gedan Attack zone belt to knee
Hikite pulling a fist back to the hip
To who Tensing all muscles at the end of the technique
Ichi Eins
Ni Two
San Three
Shi Four
Go five
Year six
Shichi seven
Hachi eight
Kyu nine
Ju ten

Terms for fighting techniques

These karate terms and techniques are needed very often. You should therefore also learn these in the first few weeks of your training.

Zuki straight punch
Week Block
Age Upwards
Ushiro to the rear
Soto Outside
Uchi within
There is Forward
Dachi Stand, foot position
Zenkutsu-Dachi Stand leaning forward
Kokutsu-Dachi Stand inclined backwards
Kiba-Dachi Rider stand
Hi-Zuki Equilateral punch with lunge (front leg and same arm)
Gyaku-Zuki Opposite punch with lunge
Kizami-Zuki Bounce
Empi-Uchi Ellenbogenschlag
Gedan-Barai Tiefblock
Age-Uke Upward block
Uchi-Ude-Uke Forearm block from the inside out
Soto-Ude-Uke Forearm block from the outside in
Shuto-Uke Palm block
Mae-Geri Forward kick
Yoko-Geri Sideways kick
Mawashi-Geri Semicircle step
Ushiro-Geri Backward kick

Basic terms for practice fights

These terms are less interesting if you are a beginner. They gain importance when you join your first exam approaches or wants to take part in a competition.

God-Kumite Full contact form with full protective equipment
Randori playful practice fight
Gohon-Kumite Five step fight
Sanbon-Kumite Dreischrittkampf
Kihon-Ippon-Kumite elementary school one-step struggle
Jiyu-Ippon-Kumite free one-step struggle
Kime-Waza decisive counter technique
Sun-Dome Braking the movement before the hit
Shiai competition
Shushin Main referee
Fukushin Side referee
Aka rot
To the blue
Shiro White
Shiro no kachi Victory for white
Ippon Point
Wazaari half point
Ai uchi simultaneous attack
Atatta too hard hit
Kiken task
Shikkaku disqualification
Hikiwake draw
Moto no ichi Back to the starting position
Back To Top