Category Archives: Karate Terms

Japanese Karate terms and numbers (Updated)

Do you get quizzed on Japanese Karate terms at your exams. In my club, at the 1st and 2nd Kyu level, each student is asked to perform a technique that is asked in Japanese.

This list is not all inclusive since these are only the terms that the examiners in my club use.

Uke – Blocks:

Gedan Barai – Downward block
Age Uke – Rising block
Soto Uke – Inward block
Uchi Uke – Outward block
Shoto Uke – Knife hand block
Manji Uke – Simultaneous downward and upper outward blocks
Morote Uke – Two arm, augmented or helping block

Geri – Kicks:

Mae Geri – Front Snap Kick
Mawashi Geri – Roundhouse kick
Yoko Kekomi Geri – Side thrust kick
Yoko Keage Geri – Side snap kick
Ushiro Geri – Back kick
Uda Mawashi Geri – Hook kick
Mikazuki Geri – Crescent kick
Tobi Geri – Jumping Kick (normally this is jumping front snap kick)

Zuki – Punches:

Oi Zuki – Front punch
Gyaku Zuki – Reverse punch
Keage Zuki – Hook punch
Kizami Zuki – Jab
Tate Zuki – Vertical Fist punch
Age Zuki – Rising punch
Yama Zuki – U punch

Dachi – Stances:

Kiba Dachi – Horse stance
Zenkutsu Dachi – Front stance
Kokutsu Dachi – Back stance
Kosa Dachi – Cross leg stance
Neko ashi Dachi – Cat stance

Other Strikes:

Nukite – Spear hand
Uracken – Back fist
Tettsui – Hammer fist
Haito – Ridge Hand
Teisho uchi – Palm heel strike
Haishu uchi – Back of open hand strike


Ichi – 1
ni – 2
San – 3
Shi – 4
Go – 5
Roku – 6
Shichi – 7
Hachi – 8
Kyu – 9
Ju – 10

Zanshin – Remaining mind.

Zanshin is a Japanese term which is translated in English as remaining mind. This was explained to me by one of my Sensei’s as being aware of your surroundings and ready, both mentally and physically, to immediately defend or attack after finishing a previous attack or defense. Another Sensei explained it as the remaining film… Continue Reading