Full Glossary List

Alphabetic Glossary List

  • Abandonment
    The concept that suggests when meeting strong opposition or strength in an opponent you should abandon what you are doing and use a different method or skill, or move the opponent in a different direction.
  • Abara
    Anatomical reference to the rib cage or an individual rib.
  • Age
    Rising
  • Age Empi Uchi
    The Age Empi Uchi is a rising elbow strike. The arm is bent tightly and then the elbow rises upward until the portion of the forearm just below the elbow impacts the target. The fist of the striking hand normally ends its movement just above the same-side shoulder.
  • Age Uke
    An rising or upward directed block. Best performed against the joint (typically a shoulder) that is the fulcrum of the incoming strike. The block is often low (eye level) and directed forward as well as upward.
  • Aggressive Defense
    A defensive methodology in which any initial block, parry, or checking action is used to destabilize, root, reposition, or affect the structure of the opponent. This then becomes part of an overall offensive movement sequence.
  • Ago
    Anatomical reference to the chin.
  • Agura
    A seated posture in which the buttocks rest on the floor, the legs are bent and crossed at floor level in front. This is what is commonly called a cross-legged seated posture. This posture is often used as an informal alternative to Seiza or Kiza. Traditionally women did not sit in this posture (it was Read More ...
  • Ana
    Hole
  • Anatoshi
    Trapping
  • Angled Fist
    This is a Ken Tsuki in which the fist is neither oriented vertically nor horizontally, but is instead rotated to roughly 45° at the point of impact. The orientation of the fingers and back of the hand make this strike useful for fitting into the area immediately below the sternum and lower rib cage. It Read More ...
  • Angular Velocity
    The rate at which something moves around a fixed point, often the center of a circle. The number of degrees the objects moves per unit of time is its angular velocity. If something moves 60 degrees in one second then its angular velocity is 60 degrees per second. This alone does not provide you with Read More ...
  • Anterior
    One part of the body is anterior to another if it is closer to what you would normally consider the front of the body.
  • Aponeurosis
    A sheet of fibrous tissues (much like tendons) that allow muscles to connect to a large surface area. Commonly an aponeurosis will connect with several surfaces over a wide area and then the muscle will originate from the aponeurosis fibers.
  • Appendicular Skeleton
    The portion of the human skeleton that comprises or supports appendages including the arms and the legs.
  • Articulation
    A location at which two bones or cartilage meet. This is commonly in a joint. More generally it is any point where or by which two bones are connected in some manner.
  • Aruki
    Walking
  • Ashi
    Leg or foot.
  • Ashi Kubi
    Anatomical reference to the ankle (neck of the foot or leg).
  • Ashi No Waza
    Let of foot tricks. Manipulations or actions employing portions of the leg or foot as the primary method of movement or control.
  • Ashi Yubi
    Toes (fingers of the foot)
  • Atama
    Anatomical reference to the head.
  • Atemi
    Strike
  • Awase Tsuki
    U-punch.
  • Axial Skeleton
    The part of the human skeleton comprised of the head, spinal column, and trunk of the body.
  • Barai
    Sweep or sweeping. A Gedan Barai (Uke) is a low level sweeping block.
  • Blending
    The process of matching the speed and directional movement of some portion of an opponent’s anatomy so that both movements seem to blend together as a single unit of movement. You and the opponent may be moving different parts of your respective anatomies during the blending sequence.
  • Bo
    A wooden stick weapon measuring roughly 72 inches in length and one inch in diameter. Length varies with the height of the practitioner and generally is the same as the distance from the floor to just above the top of the head. The diameter of individual weapons can can vary slightly. Within Tensoku Ryu we Read More ...
  • Bo Empi Uchi
    A strike to the opponent’s elbow when using a Bo weapon. The “Bo” is added to distinguish the strike from an Empi Uchi, which is a strike that employs the elbow, rather than a strike to the elbow.
  • Bokken
    A wooden weapon fashioned in the shape of a Katana or other sword. Used for practicing fundamental sword skills and very limited contact training.
  • Bouei
    Defense, protection, self-defense. Pronunciation is often difficult for people who are native English speakers to conceptualize and pronounce. The word is pronounced very much like “boy-eee” would sound in English.
  • Bu
    In Japanese this term refers to a section or area, often a section of a weapon. In Chinese this refers to a stance, for example Ma Bu is equivalent to Kiba Dachi. Pu Bu refers to the drop stance.
  • Buki
    Weapons, arms.
  • Bunkai
    Explanation, analysis, or application. An explanation for what you are doing and why. Often, but not solely used in Kata to explain or suggest the purpose or intent of a series of movements. The Bunkai for a given set of movements can vary as students learn new concepts or consider alternate applications for the sequence.
  • Carpals
    The collection of small bones that comprise the wrist joint.
  • Center
    Refers to the direction in which your center line is currently pointing. As a verb it refers to the action of moving your center line to point in a new direction.
  • Center Line
    An imaginary line extending from your mother line out through the middle of your torso. It is where you are naturally pointed at any moment in time. The center line extends out and through the apex of your center triangle.
  • Center of Gravity
    Also called the center of mass, this is the point within a body (or other mass) at which the pull of gravity does not exert an unequal pull on different parts of the body. It is the point at which weight is distributed evenly throughout the body so that the body is in perfect balance.
  • Center Triangle
    The area in front of you where your hands and arms exhibit the most strength, power and speed. You can identify the center triangle by holding your elbows against your sides and extending your open hands forward until the fingers of both hands touch. The triangular area defined by your hands, forearms, and chest wall represent Read More ...
  • Centering
    The concept of keeping your body centered on your area of focus and intent while keeping your legs, hips, knees, torso and shoulders all in proper alignment in a constant and consistent manner. In addition your hands remain within your center triangle and do not move outside this triangle or stray across the center line.
  • Cervical Vertebrae
    The first seven vertebrae in the spinal column. These comprise the vertebrae of the neck and are the smallest vertebrae in the spinal column.
  • Chamber
    A hand positioning method whereby one or both hands are pulled in relatively tightly against the torso, often just above the waist. It is common to see one hand chambered while the other hand performs some action. If both hands are chambered then they may be positioned such that one hand is on each side Read More ...
  • Check
    A blocking strategy in which a guarding hand is placed against some portion of the opponent’s anatomy so as to prevent that part of the anatomy from moving in a way that would enable the opponent to obtain an advantage.
  • Checking
    The process of applying a check to prevent or limit the movement of some portion of an opponent’s anatomy. For example, you might check an opponent’s upper arm to prevent them from strike back at you with a Yoko Empi Uchi.
  • Chiburi
    Swinging, moving, striking, or otherwise inducing movements or forces that will cause blood and tissue to be dislodged from a blade. This is often distinct from wiping the blade to remove residue, which would normally be an additional step prior to performing Noto. Wiping the blade is not often depicted in Kata, but would be Read More ...
  • Chiken
    expertise; knowledge; experience; concepts
  • Chikoma
    A short distance. Usually refers to the distance between two people where no stepping or movement is required to deliver a strike.
  • Chudan
    Middle tier or mid-level. Chudan Uke refers to a mid-level block.
  • Chudan Uke
    Mid-level inward block. The hand moves from the vicinity of the ear toward the apex of the center triangle when performing this block. The exact delivery method varies with circumstance and current structural alignments.
  • Chukon Bu
    Middle section or middle part. On a Nunchaku it is the middle portion of the Monouchi.
  • Chukon-bu
    The mid-point along the length of a shaft. The center of gravity of a weapon.
  • Clavicle
    The collar bone.
  • Control Stick
    When holding one of the two sticks of the Nunchaku weapon the stick that is being held is referred to as the control stick.
  • Crease
    A joint that has been bent in flexion. The crease occurs at the joint location. In some joints, particularly the wrist, a crease can also occur when the joint is moved into extension.
  • Creasing
    The process of moving a joint into flexion or extension for the purpose of generating a crease or bend at the location of the joint.
  • Cross Grab
    When two people stand face to face, if one person uses his or her right hand to grab the right hand of the other person then this is referred to as a cross grab since the grab had to cross centers. Obviously this works with a left hand to left hand grab as well. It Read More ...
  • Crossing Centers
    The discouraged process of moving an arm or leg so that it moves toward the opposite side of the body beyond your center line. Generally speaking (there are exceptions) if one arm is moving toward center, the other arm will take over at the center line to continue a movement sequence, thereby preventing the first Read More ...
  • Cupped Hand Strike
    An open hand strike in which the fingers are held tightly together so that a cup is formed in the palm of the hand. This cup is then driven into the target, most commonly the ears, such that a column of air is compressed between the palm and the target.
  • Dachi
    Stance. Generally is used in reference to a specific stance. E.g. Kiba Dachi refers to a horse-riding stance. Also see Tachi.
  • Densho
    Written transmission scrolls. Legend, tradition, or information passed down from one generation to the next.
  • Destroy
    The third leg of the ETD model. It involves utilization of skills for the purpose of rending an opponent unable or unwilling to continue a conflict. This does not always involve causing physical harm since you can destroy a person’s will to continue. But skills that may cause physical harm are also a part of Read More ...
  • Disproportionality
    Performing two similar actions with a different degree of commitment. Perhaps doing something fast, then doing a related activity slowly. Perhaps pushing hard then pulling softly. The two related efforts are done with variable speed, power, timing, distance, location, attitude, or focus.
  • Distal
    Further from the body. Further from the mother line. The hand is distal to the elbow.
  • Distal Phalanx
    One of three bones in the finger and the one furthest from the wrist when the fingers are fully extended.
  • Distally
    Located relatively further from the core of the body (mother line). Your hand is located distally to your elbow.
  • Dojo
    The place to study the way. Training hall. Martial arts school.
  • Dori
    Take. Grab. Take away.
  • Dorsiflexion
    Dorsiflexion is movement of the ankle joint. Bending the ankle so the toes move toward the shin is dorsiflexion. Dorsiflexion is commonly used during Yoko Kekomi Geri so that the toes move back and the heel is projected into the target.
  • Dulo
    The end of the Yantok furthest from your hand. Also called the Punta.
  • Ear Side
    You are on the ear side of your opponent if your center faces the opponent and the most prominent feature you see on the opponent’s head is his or her ear.
  • Empi
    Elbow. This term is also used to refer to the Empi Kata, which some believe refers to a flying swallow.
  • Enpi
    An alternate spelling of Empi which refers to the elbow. This term is also used to refer to the Empi Kata, which some believe refers to a flying swallow.
  • Entering Stepping Pattern
    A sequence of steps or stepping patterns designed to move you closer to an opponent in order to subsequently strike or manipulate the opponent.
  • Escape
    The first leg of the ETD model. This involves utilization of a variety of skills to enable one to get away from or extricate oneself from a potential or extant conflict or to remove oneself from the grasp or control of another.
  • Escaping Patterns
    Stepping patterns designed to facilitate escape from various attack sequences.
  • ETD
    Abbreviation for the Escape, Thwart, or Destroy model of conflict management. At any moment you usually have the option to employ any of these methods. The method selected will depend on circumstance, necessity, and intent.
  • Eversion
    Eversion is the opposing movement to Inversion. The bottom of the foot moves toward the lateral side of the body. This movement is very limited in its range; the foot can seldom move very far in the lateral direction. Therefore, eversion is often simply the movement that occurs following a prior Inversion so that the Read More ...
  • Extended Outward Block
    A block in which the forearm rises vertically (with the palm facing you) inside an incoming strike or grab and then, using rotational delivery, extends in an outward direction until the palm faces away from you.
  • Extension
    The process of straightening or extending an anatomical joint or the degree to which a joint has been extended. If you reach forward and point to the horizon your elbow will move in extension. If you place the palm of your hand on the table and then bend your wrist such that your fingers point Read More ...
  • Face Side
    You are on the face side of an opponent if are centered on the opponent and the most prominent feature you see on the opponent’s head are his or her facial features.
  • Fading
    The act of moving some portion of your anatomy out of the way of an incoming strike while leaving the remainder of your anatomy in place.
  • Feint
    A faked or uncommitted strike or movement intended to cause an instinctive reaction in an opponent.
  • Femur
    The bone in the thigh. It articulates with the hip and the knee. Commonly called the thigh bone.
  • fibula
    The smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. It is positioned on the lateral side of the leg and generally adjacent to the tibia. At the distal end it forms the outer (lateral) part of the ankle joint. This part of the fibula is commonly described as the exterior or outside ankle bone.
  • Flexion
    The process of bending an anatomical joint or the degree to which a joint has been bent. If you move your wrist toward your shoulder your elbow will move in flexion.
  • Fold
    A condition in which a joint has been moved into flexion. In some cases a fold can be generated by moving a joint into extension, but in reality what actually results is that another associated joint has been forced into flexion as a result of the extension of the first joint.
  • Folding
    The process of moving a joint into flexion, usually to cause structural changes in other joints in the body as well.
  • Free Stick
    When holding one of the two sticks of the Nunchaku weapon the stick that is not being held is referred to as the free stick.
  • Fukurahagi
    Anatomical reference to the calf of the leg.
  • Full Contact Sparring
    A sparring discipline in which contact to most parts of the body, including the head, are permitted. Strikes that are likely to result in permanent injury are strictly prohibited.
  • Fumikomi
    A stomping or downward thrusting action. Usually used to describe a kick that is focused downward in a stomping type motion.
  • Gaeshi
    Countering movement or action.
  • Gai Bu
    High Lotus Stance. The back foot is positioned at or near local octagon angle 8 (right leg) or angle 6 (left leg). The posture is generally erect. The front leg faces angle 1 and may be bent to varying degrees depending on purpose.
  • Gake
    Hook or hooking.
  • Gamae
    Posture, pose, or stance. In martial arts the latter definition less often used. Dachi or Tachi is normally used to define stances.
  • Gari
    Reap or Reaping. It typically defines a sickle type movement.
  • Garuma
    Wheel or wheel type movement or motion.
  • Gedan
    Low level, tier or position. Gedan Barai (Uke) is a low level sweeping block.
  • Gedan Barai
    A low-level sweeping block. The arm descends downward along your center line while keeping the elbow slightly bent. You then rotate your center to sweep your arm toward the outside. Often used to block income kicks or low-level grab attempts.
  • Geri
    Kick. Usually used when referring to a specific type of kick, for example Ushiro Geri.
  • Gi
    Martial arts uniform.
  • Go
    Five.
  • Godan
    Fifth level. Fifth Yudansha rank.
  • Gokyu
    Fifth Mudansha level prior to Sandan. Blue Belt rank.
  • Goshi
    Anatomical term for the hip. O Goshi Nage would refer to a grand or large hip throw.
  • Gyaku
    Opposite. Usually used in the context of Gyaku Tsuki which refers to a punch with the back hand.
  • Gyaku Tsuki
    A punch in which the back hand is the striking hand. This is commonly (though not exclusively) done in Zenkutsu Dachi. If the left leg is forward, then the right hand (opposite side hand) would be striking.
  • Ha
    Sharpened or cutting edge of a weapon.
  • Habaki
    Metal collar between the blade and the Tsuba (hand guard).
  • Hachi
    Eight
  • Hachidan
    Eighth level. Eighth level Yudansha rank.
  • Hachiji Dachi
    An erect stance with the feet set at roughly shoulder width apart with the toes pointed outward at approximately 30°.  
  • Hachikyu
    Eighth Mudansha level before Sandan. Yellow Belt rank.
  • Hai
    Yes.
  • Haisoku
    Anatomical reference to the instep of the foot.
  • Haito Uchi
    The Haito Uchi or Ridge Hand Strike is similar in many ways to the Sword Hand. The hand structure is the same, but the striking surface is different. With Haito Uchi the striking surface is the area just forward and behind the first knuckle of the index finger. This strike usually has a soft tissue Read More ...
  • Haiwan Nagashi Uke
    A upward and outward directed blocking strategy in which your rising arm, employing rotational delivery, intersects a descending arm causing that arm to be deflected outward and away from you while it is also allowed to fall.
  • Hakama
    Traditional Japanese pleated trousers that span the distance from ankles to waist. They are traditionally worn over other common clothing including Komono, and in the case of the martial arts, a Gi. In Tensoku Ryu only senior practitioners who work with a Katana or Bokken wear a Hakama.
  • Han
    The term has multiple definitions including half, opposite, group, perpetrator, model, and trouble, and can be used as an honorific similar to “san.”
  • Hana
    Anatomical reference to the nose.
  • Hanbo
    A stick weapon approximately 36″ in length (a little less than one meter). Hanbo literally means “half of a Bo” so the length is generally half as long as a typical Bo.
  • Hane
    Wing, propeller, jump, bounce, or upward turn at the bottom (in Kanji).
  • Hanshi
    Exemplary person. Root Master. Master Instructor. The person who is responsible for maintaining and promulgating the key teachings of an art.
  • Harai
    An alternate spelling of Barai. It defines a sweeping motion or action.
  • Head Instructor
    The owner or most senior instructor in a Dojo, club, or other organization. This person is usually responsible for both curriculum dissemination and management/administration of the organization.
  • Heiko Dachi
    An erect stance in which the feet are parallel to one another with the toes pointing forward. The feet are beneath your hips or up to shoulder width apart. Knees are reasonably but not rigidly straight.  
  • Heisoku Dachi
    A ready stance in which the feet are placed together with the toes pointing straight forward.
  • Hidari
    Left. A Hidari Yoko Geri would be a left side kick.
  • Hiji
    Elbow. Also see Empi.
  • Himo
    Cord or rope.
  • Hiraken
    Half fist or half-knuckle.
  • Hiraken Tsuki
    In this strike the fingers are curled so that the fingertips rest on the pads of the fingers in the palm of the hand. The tops of the first bone in the fingers (proximal phalanges) remains in line with the back of the hand, but the middle and end bones of the fingers tuck under Read More ...
  • Hirate Uchi
    Slap or open hand strike.
  • Hiza
    Anatomical reference to the knee.
  • Hiza Geri
    A kick in which the knee is used as the striking surface. Care must be taken to not strike using the knee cap. Instead the lower thigh or upper shin area should serve as the striking surface. Striking with the knee joint (in the vicinity of the knee cap) may cause a painful and debilitating Read More ...
  • Hiza Uchi
    A strike to the knee. Most commonly used when striking with a weapon.
  • Hontaibu
    Body part;  the heart and a forearm are both Hontaibu.
  • Hoshi
    A rivet or pin. Often used to ensure two component parts do not separate.
  • Humerus
    The bone in the upper arm located between the shoulder and elbow.
  • Hyoshi
    Timing.
  • Hyperextension
    Moving a joint beyond its normal range of extension. This usually requires some form of external force. In many cases this causes pain, discomfort, and structural alignment changes for the person experiencing the hyperextension. Hyperextension is often used as a method of pain compliance.
  • Hyperflexion
    The process of moving a joint beyond its normal range of flexion. This usually requires that some form of external force be applied to the bones associated with the joint. Hyperflexion usually results in pain, discomfort, and structural changes for the person experiencing the hyperflexion.
  • Hypermobility
    The condition in which a person can move a joint beyond the typical range of extension or flexion for the joint. People who have joint hypermobility are often referred to as being “double jointed.” For example, the elbow joint is normally limited to zero degrees of extension. People with elbow joint hypermobility can often extend Read More ...
  • Iaigoshi Dachi
    The kneel stance in which your weight is supported largely by your back knee, which rests on the ground.    
  • Iaito
    Practice or unsharpened sword. Identical to a Katana, except the blade is not sharpened (and often cannot be sharpened).
  • Ichi
    One.
  • Ichikyu
    Last Kyu rank before Sandan. Equivalent to First Degree Brown Belt.
  • Indirect Movement
    The concept that when you move any part of the human anatomy other parts of the body also will move in predictable ways. Therefore you can move a part of the body to which you have immediate access in order to move some other portion of the body that you cannot currently directly manipulate.
  • Induce
    Moving or positioning yourself or an opponent so that the opponent will subsequently move or behave in an expected manner. For example, you might induce someone to strike you toward your head by producing a mocking or funny facial expression.
  • Inducement
    The act of inducing someone to perform a specific action or a method or practice that will cause an opponent to move in a manner you prescribe by how you interact with the opponent. For example, you might turn away to cause an opponent to strike you as you begin to move further away.
  • Inducement Stepping Pattern
    A sequence of steps or a stepping pattern employed with the intent of causing the opponent to attack you. These stepping patterns are usually accompanied with some other body motions or posturing that suggests to the opponent that you are somehow vulnerable so that the opponent will attack in the manner you have invited. Naturally Read More ...
  • Inferior
    Anatomically something is inferior to another part of the body if it is located closer to the feet (or further from the top of the head).
  • Intercostal Muscles
    A series of muscles that run along and between each pair of ribs. They function to expand and contract the chest during breathing.
  • Intermediate Phalanx
    The middle bone in the finger. The second of three finger bones.
  • Inversion
    Inversion is a rotation of the foot so that the bottom of the foot moves toward the mid-line. This is the foot position used in Deashi Barai Nage as you attempt to sweep the opponent’s foot.
  • Ippon
    Single cylindrical object. Ippon Dachi refers to a single leg stance.
  • Ippon Dachi
    The one legged or pedestal stance. One leg remains on the floor while the other is raised upward.
  • Ippon Ken Tsuki
    This is a modified version of Ken Tsuki where the striking surface is the middle knuckle of the index finger. The strike is formed by taking the traditional Ken Tsuki fist and then extending the index finger until the middle knuckle protrudes forward. The thumb then presses into the index finger from the side to Read More ...
  • Ippon Nukite Ken Tsuki
    A single finger strike in which the tip of the index finger is the striking surface. The other fingers of the hand should rest immediately over the distal joint of the index finger to lend the finger support. The index finger should also be slightly bent to better absorb shock should the finger strike a Read More ...
  • Irimi
    Enter or entering
  • Ito
    Cotton or silk wrapping on a Tsuka (weapon hilt).
  • Ittoma
    Middle distance. Usually refers to the distance between two people where one step is needed to get close enough to strike successfully.
  • Jo
    A wooden stick weapon measuring roughly 52 inches in length and one inch in diameter. Length varies with the height of the practitioner and generally is the same as the distance from the floor to the armpit. Diameter can vary slightly and some weapons may be tapered. For contact work in Tensoku Ryu we standardize Read More ...
  • Jo Rei
    A formal bow when employing a stick weapon such as the Jo, Bo, or Hanbo. The weapon is held in the right hand such that the weapon stretches vertically along the right side starting an inch or so above the floor. The right hand then moves to your center and the left open hand moves Read More ...
  • Jodan
    High level. Usually suggests shoulder level or higher when thinking relative to the body.
  • Joint Hypermobility
    The condition in which a person can move a joint beyond the typical range of extension or flexion for the joint. People who have joint hypermobility are often referred to as being “double jointed.” For example, the elbow joint is normally limited to zero degrees of extension. People with elbow joint hypermobility can often extend Read More ...
  • Ju
    Ten.
  • Judan
    Tenth level. Tenth level Yudansha rank. (Note: we do not use terms such as Grand Master, Hanshi, Sifu, or other honorific terms for high ranking practitioners. They are most commonly referred to as Sensei).
  • Juji
    Cross or crossed. The shape of the Kanji Ju (the number ten).
  • Juji Dachi
    The cross stance or X-stance.The back leg is positioned so its shin presses into the calf of the front leg.
  • Juji Uke
    A cross block. Both hands extend to allow both forearms to make concurrent blocking contact. Commonly the block may be focused upward to intercept a downward strike, or the blocks may be focused at Gedan level to intercept a kick. The block may be used at any level or angle where it can be properly Read More ...
  • Jukon Bu
    Upper section or upper part. On a Nunchaku it is the portion of the Monouchi closest to the Kontoh.
  • Kaiten Nage
    Wheel throw. Uke’s arms are moved as though they were attached to the circumference of a large wheel, forcing Uke’s forward shoulder downward while lifting Uke’s back shoulder upward. Uke will be forced to roll forward or may alternately land on his or her back.
  • Kaji
    Fire or conflagration. Rudder or helm. Blacksmith. In the martial arts this is often used to indicate use of the thigh portion of the leg. It is not clear (to the author) how this association came about – perhaps in the context that the thigh can have a steering effect (parry action) and therefore acts Read More ...
  • Kakato
    Anatomical reference to the heel of the foot.
  • Kake
    An alternate spelling of Gake. It defines a hook or hooking action.
  • Kakiwake Uke
    A block in which both hands cross slightly and move along the center line (rising or falling) then turn outward in the form of dual outward extended blocks. This block might also be referred to as Morote Outward Extended Blocks, but Kakiwake Uke sounds so much better. It is commonly used at the Chudan level, Read More ...
  • Kakou Doujime Geri
    A scissor kick employed while falling or on the ground. Both legs are spread apart and then move briskly back toward the middle much like the closing action of a pair of scissors. Usually the opponent’s ankle and knee are impacted by both of your legs simultaneously, causing the opponent’s leg to bend substantially.
  • Kakuto Uchi
    Often called a Chicken Wrist or Crane Head’s strike the open hand is positioned such that the wrist is severely bent forward and the tips of all four fingers and the thumb and press together lightly. The back of wrist is then used as the striking surface. The strike might be delivered upward to a Read More ...
  • Kamae
    Posture, pose, or stance. An alternate spelling of Gamae
  • Kamaete
    A command suggesting you reestablish an effective guard position.
  • Kansetsu
    Joints. Often used in the context of Kansetsu Waza which refers to joint locking skills, techniques and methods.
  • Kansetsu Waza
    Joint lock techniques. Methods for preventing a person from employing normal movement of one or more joints.
  • Kao
    Anatomical reference for the face.
  • Kao
    Anatomical reference for the face.
  • Karateka
    One who practices the art of Karate. A Karate practitioner.
  • Kata
    Anatomical reference to the shoulder. More commonly, a form or choreographed series of movements intended for self-instruction and self-learning.
  • Keiretsu
    Series, sequence, or having an order of execution. Often used to define combination movements where two or more actions are performed in a specific sequence.
  • Kekomi
    Thrust or thrusting. Usually refers to a kicking action where the leg is extended more deeply and powerfully into the target.
  • Ken
    First. Sword.
  • Ken Tsuki
    The word “Ken” refers to fist, so this is a thrusting fist, or, a punch. To form this strike the hand is closed tightly and then the thumb is wrapped over the middle bones (middle phalanges) of the middle and index fingers. DO NOT PLACE THE THUMB ANYWHERE ELSE or significant injury may result. Your Read More ...
  • Kensei
    Check, constrain, restrain, screen, or otherwise prevent movement of some portion of an opponent’s anatomy. This action is commonly called a check.
  • Keri
    Kick. Usually used when referring to kicks in general rather than to a specific kick.
  • Kiai
    A short but powerful guttural yell intended to frighten an opponent, add intensity to your motions, and/or create rigidity within the core of your body. A Kiai is never a word, and especially not the word “Kiai.” It is a yell, not a word.
  • Kiba
    Horse-riding.
  • Kiba Dachi
    A Kiba Dachi is a stance with both knees pointed outward as though the feet were in stirrups. The feet are a generally parallel and point straight forward. Weight is evenly distributed over the bottoms of both feet.
  • Kihonteki
    Fundamental, standard.
  • Kihonteki Kata
    A Kata series stressing fundamental blocking, striking, stances, stance transitions, centering, and octagon skills and concepts. These are the first Kata students learn (while studying to achieve the Yellow Belt ranking) when studying Tensoku Ryu.
  • Kikon Bu
    Lower section or lower part.  On a Nunchaku it is the part of the Monouchi closest to the Kontei.
  • Kin
    The groin. Anatomical reference for the testicles. Also sometimes referenced as Kintama.
  • Kinesthesia
    Defined as the ability of our bodies to detect position and guide the action of muscles in order to perform a specific task. You can touch your ear without thinking about the specific movements needed to accomplish this task. Your body knows, via Kinesthesia, how to perform this task. So Kinesthesia forms the basis for Read More ...
  • Kinetic Energy
    Kinetic energy is the energy something has when it is in motion. Falling, orbiting, and thrown objects all have kinetic energy.
  • Kiri
    Cut.
  • Kissaki
    Tip or pointed end of a blade. Less commonly used to refer to an edge of a non-bladed weapon that has the potential to cut or slice.
  • Kiza
    A sitting position similar to Seiza. In Kiza the balls of the feet rest on the floor. In Seiza, the tops of the feet rest on the floor. Otherwise the two sitting postures are generally the same.
  • Kizami Tsuki
    Jab – a punch typically thrown using the front hand.
  • Ko
    Small or minor. Often used in Nage to define something that requires a small movement or limited effort.
  • Kokutsu Dachi
    A mid-level stance in which a substantial portion of the distributed weight is over the back leg.
  • Kokyu Nage
    Breath Throw. See the post on Rooted Throwing for details.
  • Kontei
    The flat end surface of a weapon. On a Jo or similar wooden weapon it represents each of the two blunt end surfaces of the weapon.
  • Kontoh
    The chain or corded end of the Nunchaku. This might occasionally be referred to as the Zen Atama.
  • Koshi
    Alternate spelling of Goshi. It refers anatomically to the hip.
  • Kote
    Anatomical reference to the forearm.
  • Kote Uchi
    Forearm strike. This can range from a smashing forearm (Otoko No Atemi Waza) to a subtle brushing of the forearm across a surface (Onna No Atemi Waza).
  • Ku
    Nine
  • Kubi
    Anatomical term referring to the neck.
  • Kudan
    Ninth level. Ninth Yudansha rank.
  • Kuikku
    Quick. Pronounced much like “quick”.
  • Kuikku Bouei
    The name means “rapid defense.” There are three Kuikku Bouei Kata that deal with rapid execution of self-defense skills. Kuikku is pronounced nearly identically to the word “quick” in English. Bouei is pronounced very much like “boy-eee” would sound in English.
  • Kukyu
    Ninth Mudansha rank before Sandan. White Belt rank.
  • Kumade Uchi
    A palm strike in which the fingers are curved so that they will draw down and claw into the target after the palm has struck. The fingers are not spread (separated from one another) during the clawing action. This is often called a Bear Claw strike.
  • Kumite
    Sparring. Point fighting. Paired Kata.
  • Kusari
    Chain
  • Kutchi
    Anatomical reference to the mouth. Sometimes spelled Kuchi.
  • Lateral
    Away from the middle. Away from the mother line. The little toe is on the lateral side of the foot.
  • Law of Conservation of Energy
    This law of physics holds that within a closed or isolated system the total energy in the system never changes. The nature of the energy within the system can be converted from one form to another, but the total amount of energy remains forever constant. Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
  • Line of Attack
    The imaginary line along which an attack will be delivered. If you are standing along the line of attack and are within range then you will be struck.
  • Loaded
    The condition in which weight is being supported by one or both legs. A foot is said to be loaded when it is supporting body weight. The foot may or may not be rooted, it merely is supporting some portion of the body’s weight.
  • Loading
    The process by which weight is being placed onto one or both legs. When you step forward your new front leg is loading as it makes contact with the ground and your weight settles forward onto this leg.
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
    The five vertebrae in the lower back positioned between the ribs and the pelvis.
  • Ma Ai
    Distance. Interval. Distance between opponents.
  • Mae
    Front, or in front. A Mae Geri is a kick directed toward the front.
  • Mae Empi Uchi
    This is a front elbow strike, usually delivered by sweeping the front elbow inward from the shoulder toward your center (and the target).
  • Mae Fumikomi Geri
    A stomp kick directed to the front and downward. It might be used to stomp on an opponent’s foot or impact a prone opponent. Contact is typically made with the heel, though other parts of the foot may be used when appropriate.
  • Mae Geri
    A kick, commonly delivered with the back leg, that extends directly toward octagon angle one. The toes of the foot are usually retracted so that the ball of the foot forms the contact surface.
  • Makikomi
    Roll up, swallow up, wrap around, or drag into.
  • Makikomi
    Wrap or wrapping motion.
  • Makiwara
    A striking post or other surface that has been covered with either a thin padded surface or a tough padding material such as tightly wound rope. Striking the Makiwara is done to improve toughness of the striking surface and to improve the density of associated bones.
  • Mantis Hand
    A hand position in which the thumb extends forward to support the index finger from below. The index finger extends slightly beyond where the thumb makes contact with the index finger. The remaining fingers of the hand rest either in or near the palm of the hand (this can represent a stylistic difference). The wrist Read More ...
  • Mata
    Anatomical reference for the groin area.
  • Mawashi
    Roundhouse. Curved in direction or trajectory.
  • Mawashi Geri
    A roundhouse kick in which the top of the foot is used to strike horizontally into the target positioned at local angle one.
  • Mawashi Tsuki
    Roundhouse punch. The elbow flares outward enabling the striking hand to move forward along a circular path. Commonly used to allow a strike to move outside of an opponent’s guard and then inward, typically striking to the head. Also used to strike to ribs or other torso target areas.
  • Mawashi Uchi
    A circular strike directed inward. Usually this strike involves a weapon. The front hand guides the weapon toward the target area and then the back hand adds last minute acceleration forces. Such strikes might target Gedan, Chudan, or Jodan levels.
  • MCP Joint
    The metacarpophalangeal joint. It is the joint where the metacarpal bone meets the proximal phalanges gone. In other words, it is the largest knuckle of a finger.
  • Me
    Anatomical reference for the eye.
  • Medial
    Toward the middle. Toward the mother line. The medial side of the foot is the side with the big toe.
  • Mekugi
    Peg used to hold the Tsuka (hilt) in place on a blade.
  • Metacarpals
    The bones in the hand between the phalanges (finger bones) and the carpals (wrist bones). The large knuckles are the distal end of metacarpal bones.
  • Metatarsal
    Any one of the bones (metatarsals) that stretch from the toes to the tarsal bones near the ankle.
  • Metatarsals
    The bones that are positioned between the toes (phalanges) of the foot and the tarsals near the ankle. These bones are analogous to the metacarpal bones of the hand. These bones can be felt along upper side of the foot. The distal ends of these bones form the ball of the foot.
  • Mi
    Oneself.
  • Migi
    Right A Migi Mae Geri would be a right front kick.
  • Mikazuki
    Crescent moon. A Mikazuki Geri is a kick that follows a crescent shaped trajectory.
  • Mikazuki Geri
    A kick directed toward local angle one that is delivered along an arch or crescent path. The sole of the foot is generally used to impact the target.
  • Mimi
    Anatomical reference for the ear.
  • Mimicry
    The concept involving moving your anatomy to match movements of an opponent. If the opponent moves his or her right arm then you would perform the same or a similar movement with your right arm.
  • Mirror Side
    The opponent’s side directly opposite you. Your right arm and your opponent’s left arm, if you stand face to face, are on the mirror side of one another. Likewise you left foot and the opponent’s right foot are on mirror sides.
  • Mirroring
    The concept involving movement of your body in coordination with the opponent’s movement. If you stand face to face with a person who raises his or her right arm, you would move your left arm in the same (or quite similar) way as though you were observing your own reflection in a mirror.
  • Momo
    Anatomical reference to the thigh.
  • Monouchi
    Primary cutting area of a blade. Often used to refer to the shaft of other weapons.
  • Moro
    Pair. Dual
  • Morote
    Dual hands. Both hands. It might apply to two hands performing the same function such as Morote Ura Chudan Uke, or one hand reinforcing the other as in Morote Migi Ura Chudan Uke.  The “Migi” in this case indicates it is a single hand function being reinforced by the opposite hand.
  • Morote Age Uke
    Two hand upward block. The hands are positioned so they are generally parallel to one another. Commonly used when using a weapon to block an incoming Shomen Uchi. The arms remain slightly bent.
  • Morote Gedan Uke
    Two-handed downward block. The arms are positioned generally parallel to one another. This is different from Gedan Juji Uke where the arms cross.
  • Morote Ken Tsuki
    An augmented punch in which the non-strike hand is placed against the forearm of the striking hand to provide additional support and power.
  • Morote Tate Yoko Uke
    A block in which a weapon is held with both hands and positioned vertically off to the side. For example, a Hidari Morote Tate Yoko Uke would position the weapon vertically just outside of the left hip such that the weapon protects the left side of the body from an attack on that side. The Read More ...
  • Mother Line
    An imaginary line that descends from the top of the head downward though the center of the entire erect body. The line descends down just forward of the spine and though the center of mass of the erect body.  The line bends if a person is creased forward, back, or to either side.
  • Moto
    Base or point of origin. The location on weapons such as the Sai from which multiple component parts of the weapon emanate. Also used as a location to rest the thumb in some uses of the Sai.
  • Moto Dachi
    The foundational or fighting stance. The heel of the back foot and the toe of the front foot are placed along the octagon angles one-two axis. Knees are slightly flexed.
  • Moving Twice
    Moving two times instead of once allows you to escape or to move to a more advantageous position. Ideally you would move twice for every time that your opponent moves once. This allows you to remain one step ahead of your opponent at all times.
  • Muchimi Te
    Sticky hand. This method uses friction rather than grasping to cause some portion of another person’s anatomy to move.
  • Mudansha
    Those who have not yet achieved a Black Belt ranking. Those who are not yet Yudansha. Of or about those who are not yet Yudansha.
  • Mune
    Anatomical reference to the chest. The flat back edge of a Katana or similar bladed weapon.
  • Mushin
    Mind without thought.
  • Musubi Dachi
    An erect ready stance in which the heels are together and the balls of the feet are turned outward by approximately 30°. In formal and ceremonial uses the hands are open and rest gently against their respective thighs.
  • Musubi Dachi Heiko
    This is a common stance transition. From Musubi Dachi bring the balls of your feet together until you have establish Heiko Dachi.
  • Nage
    Throw or throwing. Used in the form of Nage Waza to identify throwing skills or techniques. It might also be used in the form Kaiten Nage to identify a specific type of throw or throwing technique.
  • Nage Waza
    Throwing skills, tricks, or techniques.
  • nakadaka
    Middle knuckle. Convex.
  • Nakadaka Ken Tsuki
    Middle knuckle strike. A tight fist is formed and then the middle knuckle is positioned to extend forward of the other knuckles. This middle knuckle becomes the strike surface.
  • Nami Gaeshi Uke
    Returning wave leg block. The sole of the foot (and sometimes the heel) is used as the blocking surface. The foot is positioned so that the sole of the foot will pull inward toward your center. Often used to pull an opponent’s kick inward to cause instability in his or her structure.
  • Nana
    Seven. See also Shichi.
  • Nanadan
    Seventh level. Seventh Yudansha rank.
  • Nanakyu
    Seventh Mudansha level before Sandan. Orange Belt rank.
  • Narande
    A command to line up. Often used before class begins and after students have worked in groups.
  • Neko
    Cat
  • Neko Ashi Dachi
    Also called a Cat Stance this posture is essentially a single leg stance with nearly all weight on a single leg. The other leg is set forward of the weighted leg and bears little or no weight.
  • Neutral Stepping Patterns
    Patterns of stepping that allow you to remain at a consistent distance from an opponent while both of your are in motion. You remain at a neutral or constant distance from the opponent while or at the conclusion of stepping.
  • Ni
    Two
  • Nidan
    Second level. Second Yudansha rank.
  • Nido
    Twice, two times. A Nido Mae Geri is a kicking combination where a Mae Geri kick is performed twice before the foot returns to the floor.
  • Nigiri
    Grip or grasping. On a weapon it represents a hand grip or a location at which a weapon is commonly held.
  • Nihon
    Japan. Two long cylindrical objects (such as fingers).
  • Nihon Nukite Tsuki
    This is also sometimes called a Falcon’s Talon, although there are some subtle differences between these two strikes. The Nihon Nukite Tsuki is essentially a two finger poke or spearing action. The index and middle fingers are spread, extended and bent slightly (to prevent injury) while the remainder of the fingers and thumb are tucked Read More ...
  • Nikyu
    Second to last rank before Sandan. Equivalent to Second Degree Brown Belt.
  • No
    The Japanese “no” particle. Used to indicate possession or a relationship between two things. For example: Atemi No Waza. This might be interpreted as Atemi’s Tricks, or as Tricks of Atemi (the latter being more appropriate in this case). But “Neko no Jim-san” would represent Jim’s cat, or perhaps “the cat of Jim.” In most Read More ...
  • Nodo
    Anatomical reference to the throat.
  • Noto
    Returning the Katana (or other bladed weapon) to the Saya. Returning the sword to the scabbard.
  • Nukikata
    Drawing of the sword. The process of drawing the Katana.
  • Nukite Tsuki
    The Nukite Tsuki is often referred to as the Spear Hand Strike. This strike is formed by assuming the same hand structure as used in the Shuto Uchi. Now, however, the strike is driven forward, usually at the Chudan level, so that the finger tips strike the target. As in Shuto Uchi, the finger tips Read More ...
  • Nunchaku
    A flailing weapon consisting of two sticks (made of wood, metal, or other hard substance) whose ends are connected together via two or more short cords.
  • O
    Large or major. When used in Nage it refers to something that requires large movements or significant effort. It also has the context of Grand or Great and might be used in the context of O Sensei to refer to a great or master instructor.
  • O Goshi Nage
    Grand (large, or major) hip throw. A throw in which the opponent is positioned to be behind you (or more often you reposition yourself so the opponent is behind you) then pulled forward and over one of your hips until he or she lands on the floor in front of you.
  • Obi
    Belt.
  • Octagon
    Eight sided figure. In Tensoku Ryu it helps define angles, orientations,and movement patterns.
  • Odeko
    Anatomical reference to the forehead.
  • Oi
    Lunge, charge, or pursue. An Oi Tsuki is a lunge punch in which the front hand is used to strike.
  • Oi Tsuki
    Lunge Punch. While moving or stepping forward the front arm is used to strike, usually employing a Ken Tsuki (punch).
  • Onna No Atemi Waza
    Female striking methods. Striking with indirect or manipulative pressures rather than hard focused striking. Sometimes involves strikes using softer surface areas such as the open hand, thigh, or forearm. But these strikes can also be accomplished with hard surfaces such as the fist or elbow when these striking surfaces are used to control and manipulate Read More ...
  • Optimal Structure
    The structure a person naturally adopts when grasping or holding something or when attempting to strike. This is the ideal structure the person needs to adopt in order to accomplish their intended purpose.
  • Orthogonal
    At right angles. Something is orthogonal if it is positioned or oriented 90° to something else. In Tensoku Ryu the line between angles one and two of the octagon is orthogonal to the line between angles three and four. Also the line between angles five and six is orthogonal to the line between angles seven Read More ...
  • Osae
    Pressing or pressure. Usually used to suggest a pressing motion such as found in pressing blocks. Also used to mean check or rear guard. Commonly refers to weight as well.
  • Oshiri
    Anatomical reference for the buttocks.
  • Otoko
    Man. Male
  • Otoko No Atemi Waza
    Male percussive striking methods. Striking soundly with a hard surface area, for example a fist or elbow.
  • Otoshi
    Drop or downward motion.
  • Otoshi Empi Uchi
    Otoshi Empi Uchi is a falling or dropping elbow strike. The arm is bent strongly and then positioned such that the fist is just behind the ear on the same side as the striking arm. While keeping the arm strongly bent the elbow descends into the target from above. The upper arm, just above the Read More ...
  • Otoshi Uchi
    Downward circular strike. Commonly used when a weapon is employed to strike vertically downward toward a prone target. This is not a downward thrusting strike but rather a rotational strike directed downward.
  • Oyayubi
    Anatomical reference to the thumb.
  • Oyayubi Ippon Ken Tsuki
    Thumb knuckle strike. The knuckle of the thumb protrudes out from the side of the closed fist and is used as the striking surface.
  • Parry
    A blocking strategy in which the incoming strike or grab attempt is moved off of its planned trajectory so that the opponent can be destabilized or manipulated in some manner.
  • Patella
    The knee cap. A generally circular bone that forms in the tendon that stretches from the quadriceps in the upper leg to the tibia in the lower leg.
  • Patella
    The knee cap. A sesamoid bone covering the front of the knee joint that is embedded in the tendon extending from the quadriceps to the tibia.
  • Pedestal Leg
    When you stand on one leg the leg that is supporting all of your weight is referred to as your pedestal leg.
  • Phalanges
    The bones comprising the fingers and/or the toes. There are three phalanges in each toe and finger, and two in the thumb and big toe.
  • Phalanx
    Any one of the bones comprising the fingers or the toes.
  • Pinan
    Peaceful mind.
  • Pinan Kata
    A series of five fundamental Kata used to explore essential skills, stance transitions, and combination movements. Pinan refers to the “peaceful mind”. These Kata are very widely practiced within the martial arts and generally have a basic “I-Beam” pattern of movements over the floor.
  • PIP Joint
    The proximal interphalangeal joint. It is the joint between the proximal and intermediate phalanges of a finger – or in more colloquial terms, the second knuckle of the finger.
  • Plantar Flexion
    Plantar flexion is movement of the ankle joint such the toes extend forward and away from the shin. This is the movement you would use during Mae Geri to project the ball of the foot forward and into the target.
  • Post a Leg
    While on the ground place a leg back and away from the opponent to resist an attempt by the opponent to roll or move you in that direction.
  • Post Leg
    When on the ground you may place one leg back and away from the opponent to help resist the possibility of the opponent rolling in that direction. The leg that is in such a position is referred to as the post leg.
  • Posterior
    One part of the body is posterior to another if it is closer to what you would normally consider the back of the body.
  • Posting a Leg
    When on the ground the act of placing one leg back and away from the opponent so that the leg can resist an attempt by the opponent to roll in that direction.
  • Potential Energy
    Potential energy refers to any form of stored or suspended energy. This energy may be stored in chemical, mechanical, gravitational, thermal, or nuclear form. Batteries, springs, and common fuels all possess potential energy.
  • Pronation
    An inward directed roll of a joint. This primarily concerns the ankle and wrist joints. If you place the back of your hand on a table and subsequently rotate your wrist so your thumb moves upward but your little finger remains on the table then your wrist will have moved in pronation. The ankle joint Read More ...
  • Proprioception
    Defined as the ability for us to know how our body is positioned without having to confirm it via any normal sense (vision, touch, etc.). Sensors called spindles in all muscles can detect if a muscle is stretched or relaxed. This information is relayed to the brain to enable us to know, without conscious thought, Read More ...
  • Proximal
    Closer to the body. Nearest the mother line. The elbow is proximal to the hand.
  • Proximal Phalanx
    One of three bones in the finger and the bone closest to the main body of the hand.
  • Proximally
    Relatively closer to the core of the body (mother line). Your elbow is located proximally to your hand.
  • Pu Bu
    Drop Stance. The front leg is straight and the knee of the back leg is heavily bent. This is an very low stance with the thigh of the front leg settling down very near or at floor level. The torso is commonly bent forward to maintain balance.
  • Punta
    The end of the Yantok furthest from your hand. Also called the Dulo.
  • Punya
    The end of the Yantok closest to your hand. Also called the Punyo.
  • Punyo
    The end of the Yantok closest to your hand. Also called the Punya.
  • Radius
    The distance, in a straight line, from the center of a circle to its circumference. The larger and thicker of the two bones in the forearm. The distal end is nearest the thumb (i.e. it is on the medial side of the wrist) and is the thickest part of the bone, which narrows proximally toward Read More ...
  • Rei
    Custom, practice, bow, or expression of gratitude.
  • Reishiki
    Etiquette, manners, established form or prescribed manner.
  • Renoji Dachi
    The “L” stance. The position of the (left) front and back (right) foot form the letter “L”. The stance is done on both sides, not only the side that forms the signature letter. The feet can be close or fairly far apart, depending on application.
  • Renraku
    Series, coordination, junction, or combination. Renraku Uke Waza are combination blocks involving a series of blocking actions.
  • Ritsu Rei
    Standing bow. To bow while standing in Heiko Dachi or Musubi Dachi.
  • Roku
    Six.
  • Rokudan
    Sixth level. Sixth Yudansha level.
  • Rokukyu
    Sixth Mudansha level before Sandan. Purple Belt rank.
  • Root
    As a verb it indicates the process of settling into a rooted position. The term might also suggest where or how your weight is distributed downward into the ground.
  • Rooted
    The condition of having a weight distribution such that it is difficult or impossible to move one or both legs. The leg(s) that experience this condition are said to be rooted. The term might also apply to a person who has a rooted weight distribution e.g. he or she is solidly rooted.
  • Rooting
    The process of settling into a rooted condition or causing an opponent to become settled into a rooted condition.
  • Ryu
    Style or system. Sometimes thought to mean school.
  • Sageo
    Cord used to tie the Saya (sheath) to the Obi (belt).
  • Sai
    A fork shaped metal weapon roughly eighteen inches in length.
  • Saki
    Point or tip. The tip of the Monouchi (shaft) of a weapon, particularly the Sai. Saki should not be confused with Sake.  The latter term refers to a rice wine.
  • Sakotsu
    Anatomical reference to the clavicle (collar bone).
  • Salutation
    A salute or recognition. It also commonly involves a sequence of ritualized movements that offer both a salute and presentation of some key cultural elements of a martial art. A given martial art system is likely to have a unique and perhaps somewhat involved form of salutation used at the beginning of Kata or to Read More ...
  • San
    Three. An honorific form of address.
  • Sandan
    Third level. Third Yudansha rank.
  • Sankyu
    Third Mudansha level prior to Sandan. Equivalent to a Third Level (newly awarded) Brown Belt.
  • Saya
    Sheath.
  • Sei
    System or Organization.
  • Seiza
    Kneeling posture or formal seated posture. Sometimes used as a command to suggest “sit down.”
  • Sempai
    Senior student.
  • Senaka
    Anatomical reference for the back of body and more specifically the back of torso.
  • Sensei
    One who has gone before. Instructor. Teacher
  • Seoi
    Anatomical reference to the shoulder (within the martial arts). To carry a burden. To carry on your back or on your shoulders.
  • Seppa
    Spacers or washers (often made of brass) that remove any play between a blade and the Tsuka (hilt). They ensure a tight fit of the Tsuka. They may be placed on either side of the Tsuba.
  • Sesamoid
    A bone that has developed and is embedded within a muscle or tendon. Most commonly found in tendons. Used to help derive additional mechanical leverage for the tendon. The patella is a sesamoid bone.
  • Set Position
    A form of chambering where one or both hands are pulled in close against the sides and above waist level. The hands are commonly closed with the palms of the set hand(s) facing upward. Generally the elbow of the set hand(s) is focused directly rearward.
  • Shadow
    Moving such that one of your arms is directly above or below an opponent’s arm – essentially causing one arm to appear as a shadow of the other.
  • Shadowing
    The process of moving such that one of your arms is directly above or below an opponent’s arm – essentially causing one arm to appear as a shadow of the other.
  • Shi
    Four. Death. City. We do not use Shi to refer to the number four (though many do) because of the connotation of death.
  • Shichi
    Seven. The point of death. We do not use this term in Tensoku Ryu, though it is widely used elsewhere. Some styles use Shichidan and Shichikyu to refer to seventh level rankings of Yudansha and Mudansha, respectively. We use Nanadan and Nanakyu instead.
  • Shiho
    Four directions.
  • Shiho Nage
    Four directions throw.
  • Shiko Dachi
    A stance similar to Kiba Dachi with the exception that the feet are turned outward at roughly 30°.
  • Shinken
    Real sword, sharp sword, or live blade.
  • Shintai
    Movement or course of action.
  • Shiro Kashi
    Also called Japanese White Oak (which is not the same as the inferior American White Oak) this wood is hard, dense, long grained, resists splintering, and has excellent impact resistance. It is traditionally used to make contact-grade weapons. It is an excellent choice (along with weapon grade Hickory) for use in Jo, Bo, Hanbo, Tambo, Read More ...
  • Shitsurei shimasu
    Excuse me. Used when you have disrupted (perhaps bumped into) another, must depart early, or wish to politely interrupt someone.
  • Shodan
    First level. First Black Belt level. First Yudansha rank.
  • Shomen
    Top or front of the head or face.  On a Tonfa it is the edge of the Monouchi adjacent to the Tsuka, between the Tsuka and the Ushiro Atama.
  • Shomen Uchi
    A strike directed against the front of the head or face. Generally the strike arrives in a downward directed fashion, but other potential delivery methods are possible. This term is primarily used to describe strikes using a weapon, but hand strikes might be described in this fashion on occasion as well.
  • Shotei
    Palm of the hand. Heel of the palm.
  • Shotei Uchi
    This is an open hand palm heel strike. The fingers are extended upward but pulled back so that the heel of the hand projects forward as the striking surface. The fingers are therefore held back and protected from impact. You can derive increased power by allowing the fingers to initially point toward the target and Read More ...
  • Shotei Uke
    A block in which the palm of the hand is used as the blocking surface. The hand extends toward the surface to be blocked and then the fingers are pulled back (to protect them from impact) as the palm extends into the target.
  • Shovel Kick
    A forward kick in which the instep is used as the striking surface. The toes are normally turned outward as the kick is delivered. Typical targets include the knee and groin, but it can also be used to strike the lower leg and thigh. Due to the anatomy of the hip joint this kick cannot Read More ...
  • Shusoku
    Anatomical reference for the ball of the foot.
  • Shuto
    Knife hand or outside edge of the hand and fingers.
  • Shuto Uchi
    A strike with the edge of the open hand. The fingers are extended fully and pressed tightly together. The side of the hand adjacent to the little finger is used as the striking surface. It is important to not strike with the fingers but rather with the side of the hand between the wrist and Read More ...
  • Sifu
    A Chinese term meaning Master, Teacher, and/or father.
  • Slicing Kick
    A rotating version of a Knife Edge Kick in which the outside edge of the kicking foot attempts to slice across a muscle in a manner that pinches the muscle between the underlying bone and the outside edge of the kicking foot.
  • Sochin Dachi
    The signature Tensoku Ryu stance. Feet are aligned at 45° to the center line. Feet are parallel.
  • Soft Bow Stance
    A stance similar to Zenkutsu Dachi where the back leg is bent until it approaches floor level, but does not touch the floor.
  • Soko
    Bottom or sole. On a Tonfa it is the portion of the Monouchi between Tsuka and the Zen Atama, opposite the Tsuka.
  • Soku
    Anatomical term for the foot.
  • Sokumen
    Side or flank. The side of the Monouchi.
  • Sokutei
    Anatomical reference to the sole of the foot. Bottom of the foot.
  • Sokuto
    Anatomical reference to the outside edge of the foot.
  • Soto
    Outside or exterior. Directed to the outside of an opponent’s strike or structure.
  • Stepping Pattern
    A sequence of specific steps that will move you in a predictable manner relative to an opponent or obstacle. The pattern may involve one, two, or more steps designed to move along the ground or floor in a precise way. Usually expressed in terms of leg and octagon angle abbreviations. The stepping pattern R7L2 would Read More ...
  • Sticky Hand
    Sticky Hand refers to the ability to use friction from your open hand (or any body surface) to impart a pulling or tugging force into any surface on which it maintains contact. In some cases it may be used to impart a pushing force, though this is less often utilized. While in contact pressure is applied Read More ...
  • Suigetsu
    Anatomical reference to the solar plexus (celiac plexus) or pit of the stomach.
  • Sukiru
    Skill.
  • Sukui
    Scoop or scooping.
  • Sumimasen
    Excuse me. A general term used to politely excuse yourself.
  • Sune
    Anatomical reference to the shin. Front lower leg.
  • Superior
    Anatomically something is superior to another portion of the body if it is located further from the feet (or closer to the top of the head).
  • Supination
    An outward directed roll of a joint. This most commonly applies to the ankle and wrist. If you place your palm face down on a table then rotate your wrist such that your thumb moves upward while your little finger remains on the table then your wrist has moved outward and in supination. Your ankle Read More ...
  • Sutemi Waza
    Sacrificial techniques. This refers to skills in which you must sacrifice something in order to achieve the goal of the skill. This is often applied to Nage (throwing) skills. In Nage the thing you must sacrifice is usually your standing position. In other words, you must fall (sacrifice) in order to make the other person Read More ...
  • Tachi
    Long sword. Stance, referring to stances in general rather than to a specific stance. See Dachi.
  • Tambo
    A wooden weapon similar to a Hanbo but shorter in length. Tambo are often found in the twelve to twenty-four inch (30 cm to 60 cm) range and can of nearly any diameter that will fit comfortably in the hand. Within Tensoku Ryu we use a one-inch diameter Tambo for any contact work. 
  • Tangential Velocity
    The speed of an object that is rotating about a fixed point at any moment in time. The speed the object would have if the object suddenly were released from its circular path – as might happen if the string attached to an object being swung rapidly around your head were suddenly released.
  • Tani
    Valley. Unlined Kimono. Unit of measure.
  • Tanren
    Training, forging, discipline. More commonly, drills.
  • Tanto
    Knife commonly worn by Samurai.
  • Tap Out
    When a training partner feels increasing pain, senses that an injury might occur, or is under significant distress they will tap you, the floor, his or her anatomy somewhere, or any other surface that will attract your attention. The purpose of the tapping is to let you know that you must immediately release your grip Read More ...
  • Tarsal
    One of the bones (the tarsals) found between the ankle and the metatarsal bones of the foot.
  • Tarsals
    The group of bones situated between the ankle and the metatarsals of the foot. These bones are analogous to the carpal bones of the hand, though the tarsals are larger and fewer in number (by one) than the bones in the hand.
  • Tate
    Vertical. Height. Length. Staged sword fight.
  • Tate Ken Tsuki
    A vertical fist in which the thumb is pointed upward and the little finger is nearest the floor. The largest two knuckles , which are the most elevated, are used as the striking surface.
  • Te
    Anatomical reference to the hand.
  • Te Kubi
    Anatomical reference to the wrist.
  • Teiji
    The shape of the letter “T”.
  • Teiji Dachi
    The “T” stance is similar to Renoji Dachi (the “L” stance) except that the front foot is aligned with the middle (inner arch) of the back foot as though to form the letter “T.”  
  • Tensoku
    Natural law. It also refers to foot binding – something we stopped doing a long-long-long time ago..;-)
  • Tettsui
    Hammer. Iron hammer.
  • Tettsui Uchi
    An inward directed hand strike in which the closed fist strikes the target with the fleshy part of the hand adjacent to the ring finger. This strike is also often referred to as a Hammer Fist.
  • Thwart
    The second leg of the ETD model. The term refers to methods that disrupt or abort a potential or intended action by an opponent.
  • Tibia
    The shin bone. The larger of the two bones in the lower leg. It articulates with the knee and the ankle. It is located on the medial side of the leg and is generally adjacent to the fibula. The distal end of the tibia forms part of the ankle and often referred to as the Read More ...
  • Tibia
    The front and larger bone (shin bone) in the lower leg.
  • Tiger Claw
    A variant of Kumade Uchi palm strike in which the fingers are spread apart to facilitate a wide clawing path.
  • Toma
    Significant or great distance. Usually refers to the distance between two people where two or more steps are required to close the distance before a strike can be delivered.
  • Tori
    Key performer. Active partner. Normally the person performing or executing a skill or technique. In some contexts Tori (one training partner) may be striking while Uke (a second training partner) is blocking. In most contexts Tori is the person practicing a skill while Uke is the person aiding Tori to ensure the skill is effective.
  • Tsuba
    Hand guard on a sword or other bladed weapon. Saliva.
  • Tsugi Ashi
    Shuffling or to shuffle.
  • Tsuka
    Handle. Hilt of a sword.
  • Tsuka Gashira
    The outer end or head of the Tsuka (handle).
  • Tsuki
    Thrust or thrusting motion. Stabbing or lunging.
  • Tsume
    End. On a weapon such as the Sai it is the exposed end of the Yoko.
  • U-Hand Strike
    In this strike the hand is opened and fingers are all bent slightly and pressed together tightly. The thumb is pulled away from the fingers such that the tip of the thumb is perhaps two inches from the tip of the index finger. This hand configuration looks something like the letter “U” when observed from Read More ...
  • Uchi
    Inside, within, or interior. An action directed against the inside or interior portion of an opponent’s strike or structure.
  • Ude
    Arm
  • Uke
    Receive or receiving. A block or a training partner, depending on context. An Uke training partner would be the individual receiving the result of a technique or skill. Uke is the person who is assisting Tori so that Tori may practice or execute a specific skill.
  • Ukeme
    Breaking a fall. The art of falling.
  • Uki
    Float or floating. Buoy, Preceding. At right.
  • Ulna
    The longer and thinner of the two bones in the forearm. It is thinnest near the wrist and is thickest near the proximal end where it forms the elbow joint in combination with the radius and humerus bones. The proximal end of the ulna extends beyond the elbow joint to form the tip of the Read More ...
  • Ura
    Bottom, opposite side, reverse side. Often used to suggest an opposite action or direction.
  • Ura Chudan Kake Uke
    Outward hooking block. The wrist is bent slightly to allow hooking or manipulation of the incoming strike.
  • Ura Chudan Uchi
    Similar to Ura Yokomen Uchi except the strike is not specifically targeted at the head. Ura Chudan Uchi is more of a mid-level body strike.
  • Ura Chudan Uke
    A block in which the blocking hand moves from your center in an outward direction. This is a mid-level (chest or face level) block. The block will commonly make contact in the vicinity of the wrist joint just below the thumb. The palm faces the person delivering the block. This is also commonly called a Read More ...
  • Ura Gedan Barai
    A blocking method in which the arm is lowered along your center line while keeping the arm slightly bent at all times. You then rotate your center such that the inner forearm of the blocking arm will contact the incoming string and move it outside your center. Often used when moving outside of a kick Read More ...
  • Ura Mawashi Geri
    A heel hook kick in which the heel is swept horizontally across and into the target positioned at local angle one.
  • Ura Mawashi Uchi
    A circular strike, usually involving a weapon, in which the strike is moving toward the opposite or far side of the target. Typically the front hand will extend toward the target as the back hand pulls in and under the front arm. The back end of the weapon then usually comes to rest under the Read More ...
  • Ura Mikazuki Geri
    Similar to Mikazuki Geri except that the arch or crescent movement is performed with the leg moving in the opposite direction, usually causing impact with the outside edge of the foot.
  • Ura Neko Ashi Dachi
    The “reverse cat stance” is similar to Neko Ashi Dachi except in Ura Neko Ashi Dachi the front foot bears the weight while the back for is lightly weight or supports no weight at all.
  • Ura Tsuki
    An Ura Tsuki is what you might think of as an uppercut.  Therefore this a strike in which the fist is delivered in a palm-up rather than palm-down position. The elbows remain in and down throughout this strike and it is important to return the hands to a guard position (rather than letting them descend Read More ...
  • Ura Yokomen Uchi
    Similar to Yokomen Uchi except that the back arm is striking rather than the front arm. This leads to a circular strike that impacts the opposite side of the head or face. The front hand ends up positioned under the arm of the striking hand.
  • Uraken
    Back fist.
  • Uraken Tsuki
    A closed fist strike in which the knuckles at the back of the fist are used to impact the target. The strike may be applied along a vertical or horizontal path. This strike is also often called a Back Knuckle Strike.
  • Ushiro
    Back, behind, rear. For example, Ushiro Geri is a rear kick.
  • Ushiro Atama
    The bottom or back end of a shaft. On a Tonfa it is the end furthest from the Tsuka (handle).
  • Ushiro Empi Uchi
    An elbow strike directed rearward. The hand of the striking arm moves backward until the hand comes to rest near the waist or ribs.
  • Vital Organs
    Vital Organs are those organs in a body that are necessary to support life. If a vital organ is removed, destroyed, or damaged beyond repair then life can no longer be sustained (without artificial means). Death will occur immediately or in a period of a few hours or days. The vital organs of the human Read More ...
  • Void
    The space that develops between two engaged combatants. If the space is sufficiently large then it may be difficult or impossible to manipulate or strike an opponent. This may represent an opportunity to escape. But it may also represent a momentary pause after which you will need to reengage with an opponent. In Tensoku Ryu Read More ...
  • Waki
    Anatomical reference to the armpit.
  • Waza
    Skill, trick, technique, performance, or method. For example Ashi Waza refers to leg or foot tricks and techniques.
  • Web Hand
    A strike in which the webbing between the thumb and index finger serves as the striking surface.
  • Weightless
    The concept that a person is easily moved (weightless) while they are in transition. If a person is moving they can easily be moved in a direction other than the one they intended.
  • Wheel Kick
    A form of Mawashi Geri in which the knee is first raised as though to deliver a Mae Geri. The pedestal leg and the hips then rotate until the kicking shin is generally parallel to the floor. The foot and possible the shin are then extended into the target by extension of knee joint.
  • Wolff’s Law
    In the late 19th century surgeon Julius Wolff proposed that bones adapt to the stresses to which they are exposed. Bones which experience continual stresses become increasingly dense. Bones with little or no stress become thinner and may become brittle. This concept is often referred to as body hardening. Parts of the body that receive consistent Read More ...
  • Xie Bu
    Resting Stance. The front leg wraps around forward of the back leg and the back knee lowers toward the floor. The weight is supported either in the air or by resting on the calf of the back leg (depending on function and intent).
  • Yama
    Mountain or hill.
  • Yama Tsuki
    Mountain or U-Hand Punch in which both arms strike concurrently with one arm at Chudan level and the other at Gedan level.
  • Yame
    Stop.
  • Yantok
    A stick weapon usually made of rattan and approximately 26 inches (66 cm) in length. The diameter will vary somewhat depending on the natural diameter of the rattan selected. The weapon is used extensively in Filipino Escrima arts.
  • Yari
    Spear
  • Yoi
    Ready. Used to suggest “ready for what comes next.” The Yoi posture (stance) is adopted by establishing Heiko Dachi and then extended closed fists directly forward from the waist with forearms parallel to both the floor and one another. The fists are oriented vertically with the thumbs on top. The elbows are placed against the Read More ...
  • Yoko
    Horizontal, side. Yoko Geri refers to a side kick. Yoko also refers to the side projections (shafts) emanating from the Moto and running generally parallel to the Monouchi on a Sai weapon.
  • Yoko Empi Uchi
    A side elbow strike usually employed such that the elbow moves away from your center and off to your side. The impact surface is the lower area of the upper arm just above the elbow.
  • Yoko Geri
    A kick in which the leg is extended out and to the side (a side kick) commonly impacting the target with the heel and outside edge of the foot.
  • Yoko Kekomi Geri
    A side thrust kick. Delivered much like Yoko Geri, but with a more extended, penetrative and focused thrusting action.
  • Yokomen
    The side of the head or side of the face.
  • Yokomen Uchi
    A Mawashi Uchi strike directed toward the side of the head or side of the face. Usually the strike arrives along a generally horizontal or circular path. This term normally applies to strikes using a weapon, but may be applied in some contexts to hand strikes as well.
  • Yon
    Four. See also Shi
  • Yondan
    Fourth level. Fourth Yudansha rank.
  • Yonkyu
    Fourth level prior to Sandan. Green Belt rank.
  • Yubi
    Anatomical term referring to a finger.
  • Yudansha
    Ranks of Sandan and above. Those who have achieved a Black Belt ranking. Of and about those who have achieved Black Belt ranking.
  • Za Rei
    Bowing when seated in Seiza.
  • Zanshin
    Continued or lingering awareness.
  • Zen
    In front. Meditative.
  • Zen Atama
    Head or front end. On a Tonfa it is the end nearest the Nigiri (grip).
  • Zenkutsu Dachi
    A stance in which the feet are placed along the five-six or seven-eight octagon axis. The front leg is bent while the back leg is straight. The stance resists pressures along the octagon one-two axis.