Ai - as-one, same-being:     

Ki - universal energy:     

Do - pathway, channel, route

Aikido - the pathway to becoming as-one with the universal energy.


O Sensei - Great Teacher. Refers to Morehei Ueshiba Sensei - founder of Aikido


Sensei         - teacher, one who shows the way

Sempai       - senior student in club

Aikidoka     - aikido practitioner

Yudansha   - dan (black belt) grades

Mudansha  - kyu grades. Student grades leading to dan grade

Shihan         - senior teacher

Doshu         - Hereditary head of Aikikai. At present Moriteru Ueshiba grandson of 

                       O Sensei.

Nage / Tori - one who executes a technique

Uki               -  one who is subjected to a technique. 



Dojo       - teaching place, hall

Kamiza   - High Place of dojo usually where picture of O Sensei is located

Tatami    - mats. Technically Japanese woven straw mats about 3 foot x 6 foot in size.

Gi            - training suit

Obi         - belt

Tenugui - hand towel to wipe sweat / kendo headband

Hakama - pantaloon long pants tied at waist and worn over gi.

Zori         - Japanese sandals

Tabi         - Japanese slipper socks

Jo            - wooden staff about 127cm long (50 inches)

Bokken   - wooden training sword about 102cm long (40 inches)

Tanto      - knife about 31cm (12 inches)



Arigato - thank you.  

Domo - also thank you but less polite

Domo arigato gozaimasu - thank you (formal)

Onegaishimasu - please (may I train with you?)



Rei            - respectful bow

Yoi            - ready

Hajime     - begin, start

Yamay      - stop

Matte       - wait

Mawatte  - turn

Koutai      - change 

Suwatte   - sit

Tatte         - stand


Stances : Kamae

Shizentai          - facing forward, feet forward, legs straight.

Jigatai              - ‘horse’ stance. Facing forward, feet shoulder width apart, knees bent.

Sankakutai       - trigonal, ‘ready’ aikido stance.

Ai-hanmi          - standing facing training partner, each with the same leg (R or L) forward.

Gyaku-hanmi  - facing training partner with opposite legs (R to L or L to R) forward.

Seiza                 - sitting on calves on floor with legs folded under body and feet flat

Kisa                   - as above, but up on toes.



Migi      - right.

Hidari   - left.

Mae      - forward.

Ushiro  - backward

Yoko     - side

Kaiten  - circling, rotating.

Omote - a technique performed around front of partner (open technique)

Ura       - a technique performed around the back of the partner (hidden technique)

Irimi     - entering technique



  1. ichi                     5. go                            9.   ku             20. ni-ju              40. yon ju

  2. ni                        6. roku                        10. ju               21. ni-ju ichi      100. hyaku

  3. san                     7. shichi / nana          11. ju ichi       22. ni-ju ni         200. nihyaku

  4. yon / shi            8. hachi                       12. ju ni          30. san-ju         1000. sen


Tai sabaki : Stepping exercise

Tsugi ashi      - one foot glides forward, the other follows 

Asumi ashi    - back foot steps forward and past front foot to end up in front

Kaiten ashi    - pivot on the spot

Tenkan ashi   - pivot on the spot and step back.

Tai no henko - paired tenkan exercise.


Techniques used in training practice

Waza                     - a technique

Keiko                     - practice

Atemi                    - a strike

Tachi waza            - techniques with Uki and Nage both standing

Hanmi handachi  - techniques with Uki standing and Nage in seiza or kisa

Suwari waza         - techniques with both Uke and Nage in seiza or kisa

Randori                 - simultaneous free flow attacks from multiple attackers

Kakari keiko         - prearranged consecutive attacks from multiple attackers

Taninzu waza       - holds, chokes from multiple attackers - niningake-two, saningake-three

Jiu no keiko         - ‘soft’ practice

Jo no keiko          - ‘hard’ practice

Kaeshi waza         - countering techniques

Renraku keiko      - use of techniques in sequence in a particular situation

Kata - a sequential set of choreographed  movements to study techniques in martial art

Tanto tori - knife disarming techniques. Also Jo (staff) tori and Bokken (sword) tori


Uke attacks : forms and Japanese terminology

1st form  - ai-hanmi katate dori   R. hand holds R. wrist in ai-hanmi stance. (or L to L wrist)

2nd.         - gyaku-hanmi katate dori - R. holds L. wrist in gyaku-hanmi stance (or L to R)

3rd form - gyaku-hanmi kata dori - R. holds L shoulder in gyaku-hanmi stance (or L to R)

4th.          - mune dori                       - lapel grab 

5th.          - shomenuchi                    - knife hand strike down on top of head

6th.          - yokomenuchi                  - diagonal knife hand strike to side of head

7th.          - chudan tsuki                    - punch to stomach

8th.          - morote katate dori         - two hands holding one arm

9th.          - ryote katate dori             - two hands holding two hands

10th         - ryote kata dori                - two hands holding two shoulders

11th.        - ushiro tebuki dori           - holding both wrists from behind

12th.        - ushiro haji dori                - holding both elbows from behind

13th.        - ushiro ryokata dori         - holding both shoulders from behind

14th         - ushiro katate dori kubishime - hold wrist and strangle from behind

15th         - ushiro dori                       - holding around shoulders from behind

16th         - ushiro eri dori                 - holding collar from behind  


Nage (tori) defences, pins, throws

Ikkyo              - 1st. pinning principle

Nikkyo           - 2nd pinning principle

Sankyo          - 3rd. pinning principle

Yonkyo          - 4th. pinning principle

Gokyo           - 5th. pinning principle

Rokkyo          - 6th. pinning principle

Iriminage      - entering throw

Shihonage    - 4 direction throw

Kote gaeshi  - wrist turning throw

Tenshinage   - heaven and earth throw

Kaitennage   - rotatory projection throw

Koshinage     - hip throw

Aiki otoshi    - lift legs and drop

Aiki nage      - lower to kneeling from ryote grip and throw over

Sumi otoshi  - corner drop - control inside of elbow and project or drop

Juji nage (or juji garami) - grasp arms, cross and project

Kokyu nage  - breathing energy throw.  

AIKIDO @ THE ARC: Principle Terminology