Commands to begin and end class
Kiotsuke - come to attention
Rei - bow to show respect
Seiza - kneeling (seated at attention)
Mokutso - meditate
Noaote - open eyes, return to Seiza
Shomen ni rei - bow toward main wall
Sensei ni rei - bow to instructor
Otagai ni rei - bow to dojo and all assembled
Kiritsu - all rise (stand at attention)
Rei - bow (this rei is done at the end of class)
Basic terms
Yoi - ready stance
Kamae - fighting stance
Mawatte - turn
Naore - return to ready stance
Hadjime - begin
Yame - stop
Kiai - shout
Gi - karate uniform
Blocking techniques (Uke Waza)
Jodan uke - upper block
Chudan uchi uke - middle inside block
Chudan soto uke - middle outside block
Gedan barai - lower sweep
Shuto uke - knife hand block
Shote uke - palm heel block
Juji uke - X block
Kakete grasping block
Mawashi uke - circular block
Morote uke - assisted forearm block
Empi uke - elbow block
Sukui uke - scooping block
Osae uke - pressing block
Kakewaki uke - separating block
Stances (Dachi)
Heisoku dachi - straight stance
Musubi dachi - V stance
Heiko dachi - parallel stance
Motto dachi - short front stance
Zenkutsu dachi - long front stance
Kokutsu dachi - back stance
Kiba dachi - horse stance
Shiko dachi - side stance
Neiko dachi - cat stance
Sanchin dachi - hourglass stance
Koso dachi - cross stance
Sagi dachi - Crane stance
Hand techniques (Te Waza)
Oi tsuki - lunge punch
Gyaku tsuki - reverse punch
Maeken tsuki - front fist punch
Kagi tsuki - hook punch
Morote tsuki - two handed punch
Yama tsuki - U punch
Kizami tsuki - rib punch
Mawashi tsuki - round punch
Furi tsuki - uppercut punch
Uraken - back fist
Jun tsuki - side punch
Tetsui - hammer fist
Haito - ridge hand
Shuto - knife hand
Shote - palm heel
Seiryu - palm edge
Nukite - spear hand
Empi uchi - elbow strike
Kicking techniques (Geri Waza)
Mae geri - front kick
Yoko geri - side kick
Mawashi geri - round kick
Mikazuke geri - creasent kick
Ushiro geri - Back kick
Ushiro mawashi geri - back round kick
Ashi barai - foot sweep
Kagi geri - hook kick
Fumikomi geri stomping kick
Hiza geri - knee kick
Ichi - one  
Ni - two  
San - three  
Shi - four  
Go - five  
Roku - six  
Shichi - seven
Hochi - eight  
Ku - nine
Ju - ten

Excerpt from, The Empty Hand A Karate Word Book by Rui Umezawa
What is osu?
People who study karate can often be heard saying the word osu. Sometimes they will say it in a
normal speaking voice, but just as often, they will loudly shout this word, which can substitute for
"hello," "goodbye," "yes," "okay," or "I understand." No matter how or when it is said, however,
osu reaffirms one of the most important lessons of karate. The top character, o, means to push,
and symbolizes one hundred percent effort. The second character, su, means to endure.
osu is a pledge to do ones very best and to endure. However, su by itself can also
mean "to be silent," and the character is made up of the radicals meaning "blade" and "heart."
The Japanese idea of endurance, therefore, encompasses being silent even if your heart is cut
with a blade. It is very natural for people to seek positive reinforcement in return for their efforts.
This is the very principle by which our society operates, after all. Professionals are paid for their
work. Teachers reward hard working students with high marks. Parents pay children compliments
for their efforts. But karate is a discipline which involves a great deal of self reflection, and self
reflection is more concerned with irrefutable truths than with rewards. Unfortunately, there are
some karate students who pretend to work hard only when they believe their instructor is watching.
These types of students devote more energy toward attracting their teacher's attention than to
learning karate. In other words their efforts are not "silent." What these students do not realize is
that they are in class to learn karate not to impress the teacher, and how much they learn depends
solely on how hard they work. If they give their best efforts only when the instructor is watching
and are lazy the rest of the time, this will be inevitably be reflected in their technique. On the other
hand, true karate masters are usually humble and reserved. They realize their expertise in karate
and the amount of effort they have devoted to it are irrefutable, independent of the recognition of
others. After all, a flower blossoming deep in a secluded forest is no less beautiful than one growing
in a garden where everyone can see. In fact, many great karate masters have spent time training on
secluded mountains in Japan, where they had to continually challenge themselves to work hard
even though there was no one there to provide encouragement or reinforcement.
Each time you say
osu during karate class, remember that it is a pledge to work hard and to endure.
If you can say it honestly and with pride each time, you can be confident you are doing well.
Japanese karate terms