Japanese Terminology

Basic Terms

Japanese                  Pronunciation              English                    
ossu oh-ss yes, I understand
dojo doe-joe school, place to learn the way
senpai sen-pie senior
gi gee karate uniform
obi oh-bee belt
deshi deh-she student
bunkai boon-kie application of kata technique
hai hi yes
iya   ee-yay no
kumite ku-mee-tay sparring
kobudo koh-boo-do weapons
kata kah-tah forms
kihon kee-hone basics
kiai key-eye spirit yell
karateka kah-rah-tay-kah karate student
makiwara mah-kee-wah-rah striking board
seiza say-zah formal sitting on knees
sho show first
dan don rank, level
kyu kyoo grade


Japanese                  Pronunciation              English                     
rei ray zero
ichi eech one
ni nee two
san san three
shi she four
go go five
roku roke six
shichi seech seven
hachi hach eight
ku koo nine
ju joo ten
ju ichi joo eech eleven
ju ni joo nee twelve
ju san joo san thirteen
ju shi joo she fourteen
ju go joo go fifteen
ju roku joo roke sixteen
ju shichi joo seech seventeen
ju hachi joo hach eighteen
ju ku joo koo nineteen
ni ju nee joo twenty
san ju san joo thirty
shi ju she joo forty
go ju go joo fifty

Commands and Phrases

Japanese               Pronunciation              English                           
arigato gozaimasu   ah-ree-gah-toh goh-zah-ee-mas   thank you very much  
hajime hah-jee-may begin
kamatte kah-mah-tay on guard
kiotsuke kee-oh-skay stand up straight!
mawatte mah-wah-tay turn around
onegai shimasu on-neh-guy she-mas please (teach me)
otagai ni oh-tah-gah-ee nee toward each other
otagai ni rei oh-tah-gah nee ray bow to each other
otagai ni mawatte oh-tah-gah nee mah-wah-tay turn and face each other
rei ray bow with respect
senpai ni rei sen-pie nee ray bow to your senior
shomen ni rei shoh-men nee ray bow to the front
shomen ni taishi shoh-men nee ta-eesh face the front
shugo shoo-goh line up
yame yah-may stop
yoi yoy ready, attention

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