Student Guide

General Vocabulary

Chin (or jaw)
A strike (or thrust) to the chin (or jaw)
Harmony, unity to join or become one with. The word carries the feeling of the strength and power of natural forces
Both partners facing each other in the same position
Whole person drop
Aikido warm-up exercises
One who practices Aikido
An Aikido organization
Sitting in a cross-legged position
A strike (or striking)
Wooden sword used in practice
Literally, the Way of the Warrior Arts; but the deeper meaning is the Way of the Protection of Society, of strength and honor and peace. "A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong and practices only to fell an opponent. There are neither opponents nor enemies for true Budo. Therefore, to compete in techniques, winning and losing, it is not true Budo. True Budo knows no defeat. 'Never defeated' means never fighting".
Warrior's Code; Way of the Warrior
Direct entering movement, ending up behind the attacker
To step back and turn
Aikido black belt rank
Student, pupil, or disciple
The Way or Path. The Way means to be one with the will of the universe and embody its function
A place where the Way is revealed; the School
Honorary title for the Master of the Art. Present Doshu is Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the late O'Sensei
Circular, spinning entering movement
Rowing (or rowboat)
To shake (or swing)
To reverse
Vigor (or healthy)
White training uniform
Fifth classification or pinning technique
Opposite (or reverse)
Reverse stance; Uke and Nage facing each other in reverse posture
A strike to the opposite side of the head
Wide skirted pants worn over the Gi. Typically worn by Yudansha, though some Dojo may require other levels of students to wear a Hakama as well.
The relaxed triangular stance of Aikido
Nage is kneeling while Uke attacks from a standing position.
In reverse order; opposite side
Eight directions
The lower abdomen; the center of life energy, physical and spiritual
Continuous freestyle Rondori, one on one (Henka Waza)
Headquarters Training Hall of Aikido in Japan
The Way of Perfection with the Sword
First classification or pinning technique
Moving into and through the line of attack with no thought of escape. Technique of entering and choosing to "die in order to live".
Place where the Aiki Shrine and O'Sensei's country home and dojo are located (in Ibaraki prefecture)
Free technique. In testing usually against one opponent.
Wooden training staff about fifty inches long and three-quarters to one inch in diameter
Techniques of staff taking
High (as in the cross-arm Aiki Taiso)
Crossed arms
Reverse (or counter)
To revolve or rotate
A posture or stance of readieness. In each kamae there are different positions for the hands or weapon. Jodan - high position; Chudan - middle position; Gedan - lower position.
Shoulder. (Also represents formalized movements, such as in Jo Kata and Bokken Kata).
Shoulder grab
One hand
Wrist grab
Grabbing your partner's wrist with both hands
Study or practice. The deeper meaning is reflection and refinement; to return to the origin and discover reality.
Japanese sword
Spirit; life force or vital energy; the essence of universal creative energy.
Release of spiritual and physical power in the form of a piercing scream originating in the hara. Literally, a meeting of the spirits.
Junior student. Those who begin their study of Aikido after you. You owe them your help and support.
Rear falling (rolling) method.
Power of breath and life force; the coordination of Ki flow and breathing.
Exercise from a formal sitting position; pinning with Ki.
Breathing method; Breath throw.
Cross hand grab
With the hips (or lower back)
A movement to the rear; to change.
Outward wrist turn
The spiritual function of sound. Every one syllable sound has its own spiritual vibration.
Neck (or throat)
A choke hold
Paired Jo practice
Paired sword practice
Aikido rank before black belt (Dan). White belt grade.
The distance of time and space between Uke and Nage; the movement of mind, the stream of spirit, and the direction in which mind and spirit move, along with physical distance determines the balance and proper use of space.
Face (or forehead)
Purification of mind, body and spirit
To grab or grasp
Chest; abdominal area
A straight punch to the chest or solar plexus
No mind, a mind without ego. A mind like a mirror which reflects and does not judge.
Opposites are but different images of the same reality. Musubi is the process of their unification. It is the movement of the spiral.
To throw, the person who throws; the defender.
Second classification or pinning technique
To the front
Great Teacher. The title used for the founder of Aikido.
A pin; method of holding down.
A drop (to drop)
To bow, or salutation
Free style against multiple attack
Grabbing both elbows (one in each hand) from the front
Grabbing both shoulders (one in each hand) from the front
Grabbing both wrists (one in each hand) from the front
Both hands
Grabbing with both hands (such as grabbing one of Nage's wrists with both of Uke's hands).
Grabbing both wrists (one in each hand) from the front
Originally came from the verb "to serve". Noble and honorable, one who has the duty and responsibility of protecting society.
Triangular entering movement
Triangular retreating movement
Third classification or pinning technique
Left and right (or to the side)
Formal sitting position
Senior student; sometime assistant to the instructor. Anyone who began the study of Aikido before you. You should respect this person's experience.
Teacher; the one who gives guidance along the Way. Literally means "born before".
Title for a Master Teacher who has been ranked at least to the grade of Sixth Dan
Four ways (or method)
Walking on the knees; Samurai walk.
Split bamboo practice sword
Upper seat, the shrine which houses the picture of the founder and spirit of Aikido. Not a religious symbol but a spiritual one.
Strike to the forehead; a vertical circular strike to the head.
Thrust between the eyes
Turning out movement, over Uke's arm
Training. Suburi is training as opposed to Kumi Tachi which is study. Suburi are single or individual movements with the Bokken or Jo, as in a Kata.
Corner drop
Techniques beginning with both Uke and Nage in formal sitting position, executed from the knees
Japanese long sword
Techniques of sword taking
Empty handed techniques
Body turning movement
Heaven and Earth
Turning to dissipate force
To take; grab
A strike (or thrust); punch
Live-in student; personal student or disciple
Turning in movement, under Uke's arm
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido; O'Sensei
One who receives; the person being thrown; the attacker
Techniques of rolling and falling. The art of protecting ones self from injury. The first and most important step to developing good Aikido technique is learning to take Ukemi well.
Practice (or exercise)
To the rear
From behind
Wrapping the arms around Nage from behind
Technique. Way of ....
A diagonal strike to the side of the head (or neck)
Four (as in fourth)
Fourth classification or pinning technique
Black belt rank holders
Falling to the front; continuous rolling
Philosophy of Buddhism; a form of meditation
Forwards and backwards
A movement forward


Counting in Japanese

Ichi One
Ni Two
San Three
Shi Four
Go Five
Roku Six
Sitchi Seven
Hatchi Eight
Ku Nine
Ju Ten

Parts of the Body

Hara Stomach
Hiji Elbow
Hija Knee
Kata Shoulder
Koshi Hip
Kubi Neck
Men Head
Mune Chest
Te Hand
Tekubi Wrist