do try your best.
literally "seven times down, eight times up".
please, when asking for something. In aikido, refers to “Please take care of me.” Training begins with this saying in the hopes that there will be no injuries. Compare to domo arigato gozaimasu.
- 一 ichi
- 二 ni
- 三 san
- 四 shi (yon)
- 五 go
- 六 roku
- 七 shichi (nana)
- 八 hachi
- 九 ku
- 十 ju
literally “boat-rowing exercise”. Funakogi undo strengthens the hips and the wrists. Hands are placed beside the hips, palm down and curled under. To “row”, shift hips forward, then push hands out (with wrists still curled). To “row” back, shift hips back, then pull hands in to hips (with wrists still curled). Make sure to kiai. Compare to ikkyo undo.
literally “eight direction exercise” from happo and undo. Happo undo is an extension of ikkyo. It can be practiced empty handed or with a bokken, known as happo giri or happo-no-giri. The foot work and directions are slightly different between empty handed and with a bokken.
literally “first teaching exercise” from ikkyo and undo. Ikkyo undo is the empty handed version of ichi-no-ken-suburi. To “cut”, first shift the hips forward, then raise the arms up, then cut the arms down, and shift the hips back. Compare to funakogi undo and zengo undo.
literally “breathing priciple”.
literally “side exercise”. There are three stages of the exercise:
- From a horse stance with arms relaxed at the side, shift to one side and swing both hands up, palm up. Far hand should be at the body’s center and close hand should be 180 degrees from body. Settle down into the position. Shift to the other side and do the same.
- From a horse stance with arms relaxed at the side, rotate 90 degrees into a hanmi while bringing both hands up, palm down (as if to make a circle around the head). Settle down into the hanmi while rotating the arms down, palms should be up. Ending position should be the same as tai no henko. Rotate 180 degrees bringing the hands up, palm down, and settle to do the othe side.
- From a horse stance with arms relaxed at the side, rotate 90 degrees into a hanmi while bringing both hands up, palm down (as if to make a circle around the head). Settle down into the hanmi while rotating the arms down, palms should be up. Inner arm should be held in front, outer hand should be 90 degrees to the outside. Rotate 180 degrees bringing the hands up, palm down, and settle to do the othe side.
footwork is the same as tai no henko but arms raise up, palms out forming a circle around the head on the step forward, and arms fall down, palms in forming a circle around the torso on the step back.
from the three kanji, AI-KI-DO, translated as “the way of harmonizing with the spirit of the universe”.
aikido practitioner. All aikido students are aikidoka.
aikido jo. The aiki-jo was taught by O’Sensei and systematized by Morihiro Saito sensei. The proper length for the aiki-jo is measured from the floor to under the aikidoka’s armpit. Aiki-jo practice includes suburi, kumijo, and kata. See Weapons →
aikido ken. The aiki-ken was taught by O’Sensei and further developed by Morihiro Saito sensei. Aiki-ken training is generally done with the bokken. Iwama-ryu bokkens have a flattened tip and are without a hand-guard. For strength training, a suburito may be used. Aiki-ken practice includes suburi, kumitachi, and kata. See Weapons →
counter strikes to the body. Atemi is generally used to distract uke and to cause a specific reaction from him/her e.g. an atemi to the face makes uke lean back and often release a hand to block his/her face. In practice, we do not make physical contact when applying atemi. However in “real life” applications, atemi can cause physical harm.
weapons technique / skills from buki and waza
no good, wrong, don't do that.
literally “younger brother”. Refers to a student.
Japanese martial arts training hall, literally “place of the way”. Basic dojo etiquette requires students to:
take, catch, grab. Sometimes written as tori.
movement, behavior, action, manner, exercise.
please, proceed, by all means.
fifth teaching. Similar to ikkyo but with the palm holding uke’s wrist upward. Gokyo is often done with tanto dori as it lessens the chance of being cut by the tanto. Gokyo is always an ura technique.
to be, to exist.
reverse, opposite. Sometimes referred to as kosa dori.
literally “opposite half stance” from gyaku and hanmi. Partners are in opposite hanmi i.e. one person has right foot forward, other person has left foot forward while facing each other. Different from ai hanmi.
literally “half body”. Basic triangular standing posture or T-stance in aikido.
eight directions. Compare to shiho.
like an eight.
left, left hand side.
literally “entering throw” from irimi and nage. Nage enters behind uke and turns the same way uke is facing. Nage then draws uke onto their forward shoulder. The throw is executed when nage does an irimi tenkan (with uke still attached to the shoulder) and steps across behind uke.
Iwama style aikido. O’Sensei began purchasing land in Iwama in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1935. In 1942 with approximately 17 acres in Iwama, O’Sensei left Tokyo and moved permanently to Iwama where he opened a dojo. The aikido that he taught in Iwama is the foundation of present day Iwama-ryu.
(1) short wooden staff, traditionally 127.563 cm or 4.21 Shaku (30.3 cm) (2) upper. Homophones, different kanji.
reversal, return. Also written as gaeshi.
initiation into an art or discipline.
rotation around, revolution, turning.
Japanese martial arts posture or stance. Sometimes written as gamae.
traditional characters in Japanese writing.
(1) shoulder (2) form, pre-arranged movement exercise. Homophones, different kanji.
pin, hold, sometimes grapple.
to win, to gain victory. Sometimes written as gatsu.
Japanese sword. See Weapons →
literally “energy combined” from ki and ai. Refers to “fighting spirit” or yell/scream that accompanies techniques. Kiai is an essential part of aikido. It helps control breathing in techniques and ukemi. The energy/vibrations and suddenness from kiai also help off-balance uke.
basic, fundamental techniques in Japanese martial arts. Iwama-ryu stresses kihon sometimes known as static training in the early stages. This develops solid techniques and hip strength.
junior member, mentee.
literally “breath or breathing”. Often refers to the position where the arm is centered from the body and extended with the elbows down.
including, inclusive of.
area around wrist and forearm.
literally neck hold/constriction.
to breakout, to destroy or demolish, to pull down, to make change (money). Refers to breaking the balance of an opponent by both making him/her unstable and putting him/her in a position where regaining his/her center is impossible.
space, room, time, pause.
front, forward. Compare to ushiro.
license, permit, certificate.
right, right hand side.
both, many, various, all, together.
knot, tying, connection.
stream, current, flow.
throw, person who throws.
second teaching. Nikyo is a pronating wrist locking technique. It is the reversal of kotegaeshi.
gratitude, bow. Aikidoka should do a standing bow when entering and leaving the dojo, and when stepping on to and off the mat. Sensei will begin and end training by leading the class in bowing to the shomen. Students should do this from seiza, first lowering the left hand, then lowering the right hand so that the two hands form a triangle, and then bowing. When done bowing, the right hand should first be raised back to the thigh and then the left hand. At Aikido of Arlington, class begins and ends with bowing twice (shomen-ni-rei), followed by clapping twice and a third bow accompanied by saying, “onegai shimasu” at the beginning of class or “domo arigato gozaimasu” at the end of class.
serial, consecutive, continuity, occurring in succession, continuing.
sixth teaching. Rokkyo is an arm bar technique.
literally “both hands grab”. Each hand grabs different wrist.
proper sitting. To sit in seiza, first drop the left knee, then the right knee, and then flatten the toes. The legs should be folded under the body and the sitted position is on the knees. Toes should be flat when bowing and “live” (toes on the mat) when applying waza. The knees and feet should be positioned to give the body a triangular base with about two fists width apart between the knees. Hands should be placed high on the thighs. To get up, first get on “live” toes, then raise the right knee, and then the left knee. It is important to sit down in and get up from seiza in the correct order. Because the sword is carried on the left side, if the knees are raised and lowered in the wrong order and the sword is drawn or sheathed at the same time, the likelihood of cutting your own knee or thigh is high.
senior member, mentor. Sometimes written as senpai.
initiating at the same time of an attack.
teacher, instructor, one who has gone before.
initiating before an attack.
senior instructor, master instructor, teacher of teachers.
four directions. Compare to happo.
literally “four direction throw” from shiho and nage. Nage raises and steps through uke’s arms, pinning uke’s hands to his/her own shoulder (elbows are pointed up), and throws. Students are taught to throw in four basic directions, however, in reality, shihonage can be performed in any direction (360 degrees).
knee walking. In seiza with “live” toes shift from the hips with the toes kept together, lift one knee up, and then down to move. Shikko is essential for suwari waza and (as nage) hanmi handachi, and for developing strong hip movements.
literally "first stage", refers to first degree black belt
outside, exterior. Compare to uchi.
practice swing. See Weapons →
Japanese long sword.
festival. In aikido, generally refers to a special seminar.
improvised martial art.
literally “improvised martial art through harmonized energy” from takemusu and aiki. O’Sensei used this phrase to refer to “the spontaneous execution of limitless techniques”. Iwama-ryu is sometimes known as Takemusu Aikido.
forge, drilling, training.
literally “heaven and earth throw”.
convert or divert. Tai no henko is the exercise that is done for practicing the tenkan movement.
thrust. When empty-handed this is a punch. With a weapon this is a thrust.
receive, person who receives.
back, behind. Compare to mae.
side, sideways, horizontal.
literally “residual heart”, continued alertness, remaining on one’s guard. Often translated as remaining or unbroken spirit. Refers to continued concentration and awareness an opponent.
front and rear, front and back, before and behind.