The spread of karate from Okinawa, which is now part of Japan, has meant that the terms and signs come from the Japanese language. There are translations for the karate terms, but the knowledge of the names in the original language is a condition for training and exams. At the latest, if you want to learn from a trainer who comes from Japan, for example, the German names of the techniques will no longer help you.



Karate Zeichen und Begriffe

For some terms there are different spellings or names in the translation, but the sense of them is usually the same. No one can ask you to learn the entire Japanese language for the training. That would be wasted effort anyway, since you will only need a fraction of it. There are some basic terms that you should gradually internalize. Here is a small, categorical overview of the most important of them.

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Karate - Einführung und Grundtechnik
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General terms and greetings

A few terms that you should have heard before you start your first training. Otherwise, you can of course learn them on the spot.

KarateWay of the empty hand
KaratekaKarate fighter (from novice to master)
DoThe way (in martial arts usually denoting the path of life of the karateka)
DojoTraining room, hall
SenseiTrainer, master
Senpaisuperior student (by experience)
Kohaisubordinate student
KyūPupil grade
DanMaster degree
Karategi, GiKarate suit (pants, jacket and belt)
UwagiJacket
ZubonPants
ObiBelt
Narandeform a row
SeizaKneeling (during greetings and farewells)
Shomen ni ReiSalute to the ancestors
Sensei ni ReiSalutation to the master
Otagi ni ReiGreetings to each other
MokusoMeditation
Mokuso YameEnd mediation
Kiritsustand up

Basic terms for training

You will need these designations for your daily training, as the sensei will use these and other karate terms to define the techniques. The numbers are necessary because the techniques are often repeated several times in the group, with the sensei counting aloud.

KihonBasic school
KataForm, form running
HajimeStart
YameEnd
BunkaiAnalysis of a Kata
YoiPrepare
KamaeFighting stance
MawateTurn
KiaiFighting cry
JodanAttack zone head and neck
ChudanAttack zone neck to belt
GedanAttack zone belt to knee
Hikitepulling back a fist to the hip
KimeTightening all muscles at the end point of the technique
IchiOne
NiTwo
SanThree
ShiFour
GoFive
RokuSix
ShichiSeven
HachiEight
KyuNine
JuTen

Terms for fighting techniques

These karate terms and techniques are needed very often. You should therefore also learn them in the first weeks of your training.

Zukistraight fist punch
UkeBlock
AgeUpward
Ushirobackward
Sotooutside
Uchiinside
Maeto the front
DachiStance, foot position
Zenkutsu-DachiForward inclined stance
Kokutsu-dachiBackward inclined stance
Kiba-DachiRiding stance
Oi-Zukiequilateral fist strike with lunge (front leg and same arm)
Gyaku-Zukiopposite fist punch with lunge
Kizami ZukiBouncing kick
Empi-UchiElbow strike
Gedan-BaraiLow block
Age-UkeUpward block
Uchi-Ude-UkeForearm block from inside to outside
Soto-Ude-UkeForearm block from outside to inside
Shuto-UkeHand edge block
Mae-geriForward kick
Yoko-GeriSide kick
Mawashi geriHalf circle kick
Ushiro-geriBackward kick

Basic terms for practice fights

These terms are less interesting if you are a beginner. They become more important when you are approaching your first exam or want to participate in a competition.

Bogu-KumiteFull contact form with full protective equipment
Randoriplayful practice fight
Gohon-KumiteFive-step fight
Sanbon-KumiteThree-step fight
Kihon-Ippon-Kumitebasic one-step fight
Jiyu-Ippon-Kumitefree one-step fight
Kime-Wazadecisive counter technique
Sun-DomeBraking the movement before the hit
ShiaiTournament
ShushinReferee
FukushinReferee
Akared
Aoblue
Shirowhite
Shiro no kachiVictory for white
IpponPoint
Wazaarihalf point
Ai uchisimultaneous attack
Atattatoo hard hit
KikenAbandonment
ShikkakuDisqualification
HikiwakeDraw
Moto no ichiBack to the starting position

Update: 2023-01-20 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API