Japanese Terms

Judo originated in Japan. As you can imagine and will have seen from looking through the site, there is a lot of Japanese terminology that you should be aware of. Terms that are specific to gradings can be found under the grading section. This page will list Japanese terms that are required for grading and in general. As a result, it will be a far more comprehensive list.

Japanese English Meaning
Anza Cross-legged sitting
Dojo A place to practice Judo
Hajime Begin
Hantei A referee's term asking for corner judges to vote for the contest winner when the scores are drawn.
Hidari Left
Ippon A Score or Win by 10 points
Jigotai Defensive standing position
Judo The Gentle or Supple Way
Judogi Suit for practicing Judo
Kake Complete the technique
Kamiza Place of honour
Kansetsu Waza Joint Locking Technique
Kata Form
Katame Waza Grappling Technique
Kuzushi The first part of balance breaking
Maitta I submit as an alternative to tapping
Matte Wait or Stop
Migi Right
Nage Waza Throwing Technique
Obi Belt
Osaekomi Hold down secured and being timed
Osaekomi Waza Pinning (hold down) Technique
Randori Free practice
Rei Bow
Ritsu Rei Standing Bow
Seiza Formal Kneeling
Sensei Teacher
Shime Waza Strangulation (choking) Technique
Shizentai Body position/posture, relaxed and standing position
Sono-mama Freeze - Keep perfectly still
Sore-made That is all - the end of a session or contest
Tai Sabaki Body movement - to turn in or avoid an attack
Tatami The mat we practice on
Toketa Hold down broken or unsecured and timing stopped
Tori The thrower or performer of technique
Tsukuri 'To create' hence in Judo to float opponent's balance
Uchi-komi Movement repetition practice
Uke Person thrown or who has technique performed on them
Waza Technique
Waza-ari A Score of 7 points
Yoshi Continue after sono-mama (freeze) has been used
Yuko A Score of 5 points
Za Rei Kneeling Bow
Zori Slippers