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
Ashi-waza Foot or leg throw
Atemi-waza Striking techniques
Awase-waza Combination of two waza-ari
Dani Dan grade
Dojo A place to practice Judo
Encho-sen Extended contest
Fuku-shin Assistant referee/table judge
Fusen-gachi Win by default (e.g. did not appear)
Haisha Loser
Hajime Begin
Hansoku Foul
Hansoku-make Disqualified
Hantei A referee's term asking for corner judges to vote for the contest winner when the scores are drawn.
Hazumi Skillfulness with ipetus, sharpness or rhythm.
Hidari Left
Hidari-jigo-tai Left lower posture
Hidari-shizen-tai Left natural posture
Hiki-te Pulling hand
Hikiwake Draw
Ikioi Momentum with both force and speed
Ippon A score or win by 10 points
Jigo-hon-tai Straight lower posture
Jigo-tai Defensive standing position/Lower posture
Jiku-ashi Pivot leg
Jo-gai Outside contest area
Jo-nai Inside contest area
Jo-seki Upper seats/top table
Judo The Gentle or Supple Way
Judogi Suit for practicing Judo
Kachi Win
Kaeshi-waza Counter techniques
Kake Complete the technique
Kamiza Place of honour
Kansetsu-waza Joint Locking Technique
Kappo Resuscitation method
Kata Form
Katame-waza Grappling Technique
Katsu Techniques of Kappo
Keiko Training/practice
Kiken-gachi Win by withdrawal
Kime Complete execution
Kin-sa Sllight superiority or inferiority
Kinshi-waza Prohibited techniques
Kio-tsuke Attention (words of command to make the person stand straight)
Koshi-waza Hip throw
Kowa Lecture
Kumi-kata Method of grips hold
Kumi-te Grips hold
Kuzushi The first part of balance breaking
Kyu-sho Vital points
Ma-sutemi-waza Sacrifice throw with Tori on Back
Maai Distance between two players
Maitta I submit as an alternative to tapping
Matte Wait or Stop
Migi Right
Migi-jigo-tai Right lower posture
Migi-shizen-tai Right natural posture
Mondo Questions and answers
Nage-waza Throwing Technique
Nagekomi Repetitive throwing practice
Ne-shisei Ground position
Ne-shobu Ground battle
Ne-waza Ground work
Obi Belt
Osaekomi Hold down secured and being timed
Osaekomi-waza Pinning (hold down) Technique
Otagi-ni-rei Bow to each other
Randori Free practice
Rei Courtesy/Bow
Rei-ho Method of courtesy/bowing procedure
Renraku-waza Combination of several techniques
Renzoku-waza Repetition of the same technique
Riai Theory and principle
Ritsu-rei Standing Bow
Seiza Formal Kneeling
Sensei Teacher
Shiai Contest
Shiai-jo Competition area
Shido Instruction/light penalty
Shime-waza Strangulation (choking) Technique
Shimpan Refereeing
Shimpan-in Referees and judges
Shisei Posture
Shizen-hon-tai Straight natural posture
Shizen-tai Body position/posture, relaxed and standing position
Shomen Dojo front/upper seats
Shomen-ni-rei Bow towards Shomen
Shosha Winner
Shu-shin Chief referee/mat referee
Sono-mama Freeze - Keep perfectly still
Sore-made That is all - the end of a session or contest
Sutemi-waza Sacrifice technique
Tachi-shisei Standing position
Tachi-shobu Standing battle
Tachi-waza Standing throw
Tai-sabaki Body movement/control - to turn in or avoid an attack
Tatami The mat we practice on
Te-waza Hand throw
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
Uchikomi Movement repetition practice
Ude-gaeshi Arm locking throw
Uke Person thrown or who has technique performed on them
Ukemi Break fall
Waza Technique
Waza-ari A Score of 7 points
Waza-ari-awasete-ippon Two waza-ari score ippon
Yakusoku-renshu Agreed-upon practice
Yoko-sutemi-waza Side sacrifice throw
Yoshi Continue after sono-mama (freeze) has been used
Yuko A Score of 5 points
Yusei-gachi Win by superior performance
Za-rei Kneeling Bow
Zori Slippers