Terminology for Kyokushin Karate


General Terminology

  • Character: The combination of traits which form the individual nature of a person, including moral quality, integrity, and the development of personal potential. In karatedo, character progresses through the development of the physical, mental, and spiritual.
  • Dogi: Karate Uniform
  • Dojo: Place of practice
  • Extreme Limit: Pertains to the spirit of technique; the sixth sense
  • Gi: Karate jacket and pants
  • Hombo: Headquarters
  • Karatedo:
  • Karateka: Student of karate
  • Ki: Inner energy
  • Kiai: Concentrated shout displaying a "joining of inner energy". Usually used in one of the following contexts: 1) To show spirit, 2) To help take a punch, 3) To help give a punch, 4) To give an element of surprise.
  • Kohai: Advanced student who assists in instruction. Typically an advanced Brown Belt.
  • Mental: The thought process (thinking, learning, reasoning).
  • Obi: Belt
  • Osu: Greeting, Term of Respect, and commonly used to indicate "yes, I understand"
  • Physical: Development of endurance and musculature.
  • Sempai: Senior. Sempai are essentially senior Kohi and are usually either shodan or nidan. They have learned and are relatively proficient with many of karate's physical movements. Having a firm understanding of karate's underlying philosophies, the title of Sempai signifies the ending of preliminary training and the beginning of advanced karate. It necessitates not only a dedication of one's own development, but dedication to that of the junior Kohai.
  • Sensei: Instructor. Title indicates "those who have experienced it before". Sensei are instructors of the art should also "live the art". Sensei are usually sandan or above.
  • Shihan: Senior Instructor. Shihans have demonstrated life-long interest in and commitment to the art of karate. Shihans are expected to live the art and be originators and sources of development for karatedo. Shihans are godan and above.
  • Sosai: Means president. Title adopted by Mas Oyama in the mid 1980's.
  • Spiritual: One's ongoing involvement in seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.
  • Ryu: School
  • Tsuru: Crane


Training Class Terminology

  • Hai: Yes
  • Hajime: Start;Go
  • Ibuki: Forced Tension (Yang) Breathing
  • Kamaete: On Guard; Take Position
  • Kata: Forms
  • Kihon: Basics
  • Kime: Focus
  • Kumite: Sparring
  • Ippon Kumite: One Step Sparring
  • Nihon Kumite: Two Step Sparring
  • Sanpon Kumite: Three Step Sparring
  • Jiyu Kumite: Free Sparring
  • Jis: Sen Kumite: Full Contact; No Holds Barred
  • Mi-ai: The distance between opponents
  • Mawatte: Turn Around
  • Mokuso: Meditation. Practice often begins or ends with a brief period of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to clear one's mind. Perhaps more importantly, meditation is an opportunity to become aware of conditioned patterns of thought and behavior so that such patterns can be modified, eliminated or more efficiently put to use.
  • Naore: Return To Start
  • Osu: I Understand; Term Of Respect And Acknowledgment
  • Rei: Bow
  • Seiza: Kneeling Position
  • Tsuki: Punch
  • Uchi: Strike
  • Yame: Stop, Finish
  • Yasume: Rest; At Ease
  • Yoi: Ready


1 ichi 6 roku
2 ni 7 shichi
3 san 8 hachi
4 shi 9 ku
5 go 10 ju



  • Mea: Front
  • Ushiro: Back
  • Migi: Right
  • Hidari: Left
  • Naname: Diagonally
  • Shomen: Front
  • Sayu: Side

 Body Weapons

  • Hands and Arms
  • Empi: Elbow
  • Haisho: Backhand
  • Haito: Inner knife hand
  • Hiji: Elbow
  • Hiraken: Flat fist
  • Hitosashiyubi: Forefinger
  • Ippon-Ken: Knuckle fist
  • Ippon Nukite: Single finger spearhand
  • Keiko: Chicken beak hand
  • Kobushi: Fist
  • Koken: Wrist top
  • Kote: Forearm
  • Nakayubi: Middle finger
  • Nihon-Ken: Two knuckle fist
  • Nihon-Nukite: Two finger spearhand
  • Nukite: Spearhand
  • Seiken: Forefist
  • Shotei: Palm heel
  • Shuto: Knifehand
  • Tettsui: Bottom fist
  • Toho: Sword peak hand
  • Uraken: Backfist
  • Legs and Feet
  • Chusoku: Ball of foot
  • Haisoku: Instep
  • Hiza: Knee
  • Kakato: Heel
  • Sokuto: Foot edge
  • Sune: Shin
  • Teisoku: Arch of foot


  • Jodan: Upper level, Neck and Above
  • Chudan: Middle level, Chest and Torso
  • Gedan: Lower level, Groin and Below 
  • Head & Neck
    • Ago: Chin
    • Hana: Nose
    • Atama: Head
    • Kao: Face
    • Gammen: Face
    • Kubi: Neck
    • Kuchi: Mouth
    • Me: Eye(S)
    • Mimi: Ear(S)
    • Nodo: Throat
  • Torso
    • Hara: Stomach,Abdomen
    • Hizo: Spleen
    • Kata: Shoulder
    • Kintama: Testicles, Groin
    • Koshi: Hips
    • Mizo-Ochi: Solar Plexus
    • Mune: Chest
    • Rokkostu: Rib(S)
    • Sakostu: Clavicle
    • Senaka: Back
    • Shinzo: Heart
    • Sokei: Groin
  • Arms
    • Hiji: Elbow
    • Kansetsu: Joint(Any)
    • Kobushi: Fist
    • Kote: Forearm(Topside)
    • Te: Hand
    • Tekubi: Wrist
    • Ude: Arm
    • Yubi: Finger(S)
  • Legs
    • Ashi: Foot,Leg
    • Ashikubi: Ankle
    • Ashiyubi: Toe(S)
    • Futo-Mom: Thigh(S)
    • Hiza: Knees
    • Kahanshin: Lower Body
    • Kansetsu: Joint(Any)
    • Sune: Shin(S)
    • Tsumasaki: Tips Of The Toes


 Japanese Numbers 1-100


    10 ju 20 ni ju 30  san ju   40  shi ju  50 go ju
1 ichi 11 ju ichi 21 ni ju ichi 31  san ju ichi  41   shi ju ichi   51 go ju ichi
2 ni 12 ju ni 22 ni ju ni 32   san ju ni  42   shi ju ni  52   go ju ni  
3 san 13   ju san  23  ni ju san   33   san ju san   43   shi ju san   53   go ju san  
4   shi  14   ju shi   24  ni ju shi   34   san ju shi   44   shi ju shi   54   go ju shi  
go   15  ju go  25  ni ju go  35  san ju go  45   shi ju go   55   go ju go  
6   roku  16  ju roku   26  ni ju roku  36   san ju roku   46   shi ju roku   56   go ju roku  
shichi  17  ju shichi   27  ni ju shichi  37   san ju shichi   47   shi ju shichi   57   go ju hichi  
8   hachi   18   ju hachi  28  ni ju hachi  38   san ju hachi   48   shi ju hachi   58   go ju achi  
ku   19   ju ku  29  ni ju ku   39  san ju ku   49   shi ju ku   59   go ju ku 
    60   roku ju  70   shichi ju   80   Hachi ju  90   ku ju  100  tan  
    61   roku ju ichi   71   shichi ju ichi   81   Hachi ju ichi   91   ku ju ichi      
    62   roku ju ni  72   shichi ju ni   82   hachi ju ni   92   ku ju ni      
    63   roku ju san  73   shichi ju san   83   hachi ju san  93   ku ju san      
    64   roku ju shi  74   shichi ju shi   84   hachi ju shi  94   ku ju shi      
    65   roku ju go   75   shichi ju go   85   hachi ju go   95   ku ju go      
    66   roku ju roku   76   shichi ju roku   86   hachi ju roku   96   ku ju roku      
    67   roku ju shichi   77   shichi ju shichi   87   hachi ju shichi   97   ku ju shichi      
    68   roku ju hachi   78   shichi ju hachi  88   hachi ju hachi   98   ku ju hachi      
    69   roku ju ku  79   shichi ju ku   89   hachi ju ku  99   ku ju ku     


Kanji & Kyokushin Symbols

Did you know that Japanese style letters are called 'Kanji'. And that they are written (and read) from top to bottom, and from left to right! Well they are! As a matter of fact, the word Kyokushinkai (which is the name of our organization) is written as the group of Kanji symbols seen at the left. Broken down:
Kyoku: Means the Far East or Asia
Shin: Means the truth from within, or reality
Kai: Means club or organization 




Mas Oyama defined the art of karate as being circles and points. The symbol at the left is called Kanku. It is...


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