Sai

Sai

What Does Sai Mean? Sai sai \ˈsī\ noun Definition: This is a weapon originally used by martial artists in Okinawa and comes in pairs. It is a pointed metal baton with a pair of yoku (curved prongs) protruding from the handle. Karate practitioners typically use a pair...
Seiza

Seiza

What Does Seiza Mean? Seiza sei·za \ˈsā-zə\ noun Definition: This word literally means “proper sitting” and is one of the traditionally formal ways of sitting in Japan. The correct seiza position involves a person kneeling on the floor, folding their legs underneath...
Tonfa

Tonfa

What Does Tonfa Mean? Tonfa ton·fa \ˈtȯn-ˈfə\ noun Definition: This is a weapon used by some karate practitioners; it is a stick with a perpendicular handle attached one-third of the way down. Its maximum length is about 20 inches, and it is usually made from red or...
Kihon

Kihon

What Does Kihon Mean? Kihon ki·hon \ˈkē-ˈhȯŋ\ noun Definition: Refers to the foundations of Japanese martial arts, such as karate. It means “fundamentals” or “basics” in Japanese. Practitioners must master kihon in order to reach an advanced level, and it also helps...
Shotokan

Shotokan

What Does Shotokan Mean? Shotokan sho·to·kan \ˈshō-ˈtō-kän\ noun Definition: A karate style developed by Gichin Funakoshi that is credited with popularizing karate in the modern era. It is considered to be the most influential and traditional form of karate because it...
Bo Staff

Bo Staff

What Does Bo Staff Mean? Bo Staff bo·staff \ˈbō\ staf\ noun Definition: This is a long wooden stick that is usually 1.8 meters in length. Although pine wood and bamboo are sometimes used, hardwood such as red or white oak is the favored material for a bo staff. View...
Soto Uke

Soto Uke

What Does Soto Uke Mean? Soto Uke so·to u·ke \ˈsō-ˈtō\ ˈü-kā\ noun Definition: This is an outside block that deflects a strike across the attacker and away from the defender. Due to the angles involved in this type of block, it is best used to block strikes to the...
Kime

Kime

What Does Kime Mean? Kime ki·me \ˈkē-mā\ noun Definition: This word has a different meaning depending on the martial art. In karate, it means power and/or focus. It comes from the Japanese verb kimeru, which means “to decide”. View More Karate Glossary Terms:...
Kumite

Kumite

What Does Kumite Mean? Kumite ku·mi·te \ˈkü-ˈmē-ˈtā\ verb Definition: Karate sparring; its literal meaning is “meeting of the hands”. It is practiced as self-defense training and as a sport in its own right. There are kickboxing and full-contact forms of kumite...
Uchi

Uchi

What Does Uchi Mean? Uchi u·chi \ˈü-chē\ noun Definition: Another form of striking in karate. Uchi refers specifically to punches using a different technique to tsuki and may involve blows with the bottom or back of the fist. View More Karate Glossary Terms:...
Kiba-Dachi

Kiba-Dachi

What Does Kiba-Dachi Mean? Kiba-Dachi ki·ba·da·chi \ˈkē-bə-dä-chē\ noun Definition: This is occasionally called a straddle stance and involves keeping both feet wide and parallel, with a person’s weight kept low and central. The back should be straight and the feet...
Uchi Uke

Uchi Uke

What Does Uchi Uke Mean? Uchi Uke u·chi u·ke \ˈü-chē\ ˈü-kā\ noun Definition: An inside hooking block used to deflect a strike away from the attacker and away from the defender. This is a good method of blocking for those seeking a counter attack. View More Karate...
Kendo

Kendo

What Does Kendo Mean? Kendo ken·do \ˈken-(ˌ)dō\ noun Definition: This is known as “the way of the sword” and involves the use of bamboo swords and protective armor. It has had a major influence on modern karate despite the fact that few karateka ever practice it. View...
Ushiro Geri

Ushiro Geri

What Does Ushiro Geri Mean? Ushiro Geri u·shi·ro ge·ri \ˈü-shē-rō\ ˈgā-rē\ noun Definition: A form of back kick said to be the most devastating kick in karate. Advanced karateka will use a spinning variation of this kick, and the end result can be an exceptionally...