Directional Terminology

Throughout our training materials we refer to various directions, angles, and positions. We will cover the most salient of these terms in this article so that you have one central place to visit when you encounter a term you no longer recall or that is foreign to you. You can sort the various tables by clicking on the header of the column by which you wish to sort.

General Directions

The table below lists common general directional terms that we use quite frequently. You may on occasion find other terms in use, but these are usually defined in the vocabulary section of the relevant student manual. If you cannot find a term listed here, then check your student manual (or earlier student manuals) to see if it is provided in the vocabulary list.

EnglishJapanese
RightMigi
Up, OverUe
Down, UnderShita
FrontMae
Back, BehindUshiro
Side, HorizontalYoko
Circular, Rotating, RoundMawashi
RisingAge
DropOrosu
VerticalTate
AscendingNoboru
DescendingKakou
RaisingAgeru
LoweringSageru

Hierarchical Terms

Here are common terms you will find related to elevation or hierarchy levels. You will often find similar variations to these terms that suggest some form of ranking or hierarchy is being employed.

EnglishJapanese
High LevelJodan
Mid LevelChudan
Lower LevelGedan
Rank before Black BeltKyu (e.g. Yonkyu)
Rank after Black BeltDan (e.g. Nidan)

Octagon Angles

We also refer to positions or directions based upon angles of The Octagon. Here is a list of this terminology.

Octagon AngleJapanese TermEnglish Equivalent
1MaeFront
2Ato (Ushiro)Back (rear)
3HidariLeft
4MigiRight
5Naname Hidari (Mae)Front left diagonal
6Naname Migi AtoBack right diagonal
7Naname Migi (Mae)Front right diagonal
8Naname Hidari AtoBack left diagonal

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