about karate

Karate is a martial art from Japan and literally means "empty hand" in Japanese. It's heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism as karate involves self-restraint and introspection (meditation). Shotokan karate was developed by Master Gichin Funakoshi in modern day Okinawa, and was introduced to the rest of Japan in 1922. It quickly gained popularity and the Japan Karate Association (JKA) was established in 1948 by Funakoshi's students.
During sessions we practice the standards of training and competition set by the JKA:
  • Kihon (fundamentals): Correct breathing, form, stances, movement, spirit and attitude.
  • Kumite (meeting of hands): Includes structured and free sparring. It is about overcoming fear and accepting the possibility of pain while showing respect for your opponent. To help realize one's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Kata (form): Choreographed sequence of forms based on kihon: "meditation in motion"/ "moving Zen". To demonstrate control and good form and to simulate the movement of a fight.

karate terminology

Japanese English
Numbers
ichione
nitwo
santhree
shi/yon/yofour
gofive
rokusix
shichi/nanaseven
hachieight
kyu/kunine
juuten
Stances
zenkutsu dachifront stance
hachiji dachinatural stance
kokutsu dachiback stance
kiba dachihorse stance
sochin dachiimmovable stance
neko ashi dachicat stance
shizen taiready stance
Arm techniques
tsukipunch
oi zukistepping punch
gyaku zukireverse punch
kizami zukijab punch
nukitespear hand
ura kenbackfist
enpielbow strike
Blocks
age ukerising block
soto ukeoutside block
gedan baraidownward block
uchi ukeinside block
shuto ukeknife hand block
kakiwake uketwo-handed separating block
Leg techniques
kerikick
mae gerifront snap kick
mawashi geriroundhouse kick
yoko kekomi geriside thrust kick
yoko keage geriside snap kick
ushiro geriback kick
Sparring
jo danhead level
chuu danmiddle/stomach level
ge danlower level
gohon kumitefive-step sparring
sanbon kumitethree-step sparring
ippon kumiteone-step sparring
jiyuu kumitefree sparring
Misc terms
kiaifighting spirit/yell
kimedecision/focus
reibow
yoiget ready
yamestop
yasumeat ease/relax
mawatteturn
hajimebegin
seizakneeling position
mokusomeditation