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.

JapaneseEnglish Meaning
AnzaCross-legged sitting
Ashi-wazaFoot or leg throw
Atemi-wazaStriking techniques
Awase-wazaCombination of two waza-ari
DaniDan grade
DojoA place to practice Judo
Encho-senExtended contest
Fuku-shinAssistant referee/table judge
Fusen-gachiWin by default (e.g. did not appear)
HanteiA referee’s term asking for corner judges to vote for the contest winner when the scores are drawn.
HazumiSkillfulness with ipetus, sharpness or rhythm.
Hidari-jigo-taiLeft lower posture
Hidari-shizen-taiLeft natural posture
Hiki-tePulling hand
IkioiMomentum with both force and speed
IpponA score or win by 10 points
Jigo-hon-taiStraight lower posture
Jigo-taiDefensive standing position/Lower posture
Jiku-ashiPivot leg
Jo-gaiOutside contest area
Jo-naiInside contest area
Jo-sekiUpper seats/top table
JudoThe Gentle or Supple Way
JudogiSuit for practicing Judo
Kaeshi-wazaCounter techniques
KakeComplete the technique
KamizaPlace of honour
Kansetsu-wazaJoint Locking Technique
KappoResuscitation method
Katame-wazaGrappling Technique
KatsuTechniques of Kappo
Kiken-gachiWin by withdrawal
KimeComplete execution
Kin-saSllight superiority or inferiority
Kinshi-wazaProhibited techniques
Kio-tsukeAttention (words of command to make the person stand straight)
Koshi-wazaHip throw
Kumi-kataMethod of grips hold
Kumi-teGrips hold
KuzushiThe first part of balance breaking
Kyu-shoVital points
Ma-sutemi-wazaSacrifice throw with Tori on Back
MaaiDistance between two players
MaittaI submit as an alternative to tapping
MatteWait or Stop
Migi-jigo-taiRight lower posture
Migi-shizen-taiRight natural posture
MondoQuestions and answers
Nage-wazaThrowing Technique
NagekomiRepetitive throwing practice
Ne-shiseiGround position
Ne-shobuGround battle
Ne-wazaGround work
OsaekomiHold down secured and being timed
Osaekomi-wazaPinning (hold down) Technique
Otagi-ni-reiBow to each other
RandoriFree practice
Rei-hoMethod of courtesy/bowing procedure
Renraku-wazaCombination of several techniques
Renzoku-wazaRepetition of the same technique
RiaiTheory and principle
Ritsu-reiStanding Bow
SeizaFormal Kneeling
Shiai-joCompetition area
ShidoInstruction/light penalty
Shime-wazaStrangulation (choking) Technique
Shimpan-inReferees and judges
Shizen-hon-taiStraight natural posture
Shizen-taiBody position/posture, relaxed and standing position
ShomenDojo front/upper seats
Shomen-ni-reiBow towards Shomen
Shu-shinChief referee/mat referee
Sono-mamaFreeze – Keep perfectly still
Sore-madeThat is all – the end of a session or contest
Sutemi-wazaSacrifice technique
Tachi-shiseiStanding position
Tachi-shobuStanding battle
Tachi-wazaStanding throw
Tai-sabakiBody movement/control – to turn in or avoid an attack
TatamiThe mat we practice on
Te-wazaHand throw
ToketaHold down broken or unsecured and timing stopped
ToriThe thrower or performer of technique
Tsukuri‘To create’ hence in Judo to float opponent’s balance
UchikomiMovement repetition practice
Ude-gaeshiArm locking throw
UkePerson thrown or who has technique performed on them
UkemiBreak fall
Waza-ariA Score of 7 points
Waza-ari-awasete-ipponTwo waza-ari score ippon
Yakusoku-renshuAgreed-upon practice
Yoko-sutemi-wazaSide sacrifice throw
YoshiContinue after sono-mama (freeze) has been used
YukoA Score of 5 points
Yusei-gachiWin by superior performance
Za-reiKneeling Bow