Aikido of Santa Cruz

True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

Aikido of Santa Cruz
306 Mission Street,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831) 423-8326
fax: (831) 423-6156
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Aikido Glossary

Note: This glossary of Aikido terms and techniques is intended to serve as a brief reference to the art, not as a thorough account for the inherent complexity of certain concepts. The glossary is sorted alphabetically within related concepts. Although comprehensive, it is far from complete. Please feel free to submit further terms to be included.

The allusions to the "Six Pillars of Aikido" stem from the book "Budo" by O'Sensei.

Concepts, Principles and Spirituality
AI harmony; coming together; integration; unification; unity
AI (different written character) love
AME-NO-MURAKUMO-KUKI-SAMUHARA-RYU-O guardian kami (spirit) of O'Sensei ("Heavenly, Awesome, Enlightened Dragon King")
AME-NO-UKIHASHI "Floating bridge of heaven", symbolizing connection between earthly and spiritual realms of existence
KI spirit; life force; vital energy; strength; sensitivity
DO the Way or Path
AIKI O-KAMI Great Spirit of Aiki; supreme symbol of AIKIDO ideals
AMATERASU OKAMI Great Spirit Shining in the Heavens - the Sun - symbolizing Love
BUJUTSU technical fighting
BUDO the way of the warrior arts; the way of protection, of society, strength and honor in peace
BUSHIN highest level of spiritual communion
BUSHIDO warrior's code, "the way of the warrior"
CHINKON-KISHIN calm the spirit - return to the divine spirit (soura)
TEN-NO-KOKYU "breath of heaven" posture in chinkon-kishin
CHI-NO-KOKYU "breath of earth" posture in chinkon-kishin
DOKA "Songs of the Way", didactic poems of O'Sensei
FUDO-SHIN "steadfast spirit", unassailable presence of mind
FUDO-NO-SHISEI immovable (firm and steady) posture
FURU-TAMA to shake up, cleanse, polish the soul itself
GASSHUKU seminar, workshop (literally "lodging together")
HARAGEI the art of developing the hara
KI-AI release of physical and spiritual power in form of a piercing shout originating in the hara; literally "the meeting of spirits"
IKI breath; physical act of respiration
JIN-NO-KOKYU the breath of human beings; third stage in breath meditation
JU principle of flexibility; the willow aspect of Aikido techniques and philosophy
KAMI fire and water; deity (natural gods and goddesses); spirit of the universe; the divine
KANGEIKO "cold training"; intensified winter training
KANSHA deep and heartfelt gratitude
KATA "fixed form"; predetermined practice patterns used as learning vehicle
KEI respect
KIKAI TANDEN physical and spiritual center of human being
KIMUSUBI linking of ki; blending of energies
KOGI-FUNE-UNDO "rowing the boat"; warmup exercise adopted from Misogi-ritual
KOKYU power of breath and life force; coordination of ki flow and breathing
KOTODAMA the spiritual function of sound; every one-syllable sound has its own spiritual vibration
KU emptiness; the void
KUDEN secret teachings, imparted by word of mouth
KUMANO ancient district in Wakayama prefecture, O'Sensei's birthplace and the site of many pilgrimages
MA-AI distance of time and space between uke and nage; the direction and movement of mind and spirit, along with physical distance, determine the balance of power and proper usage of space
MAKOTO sincerity, truth
MAKOTO-NO-KOKYU "true breath"; third stage of breath meditation
MASAKATSU AGATSU "True Victory is Self-Victory" - principal tenet of AIKIDO
KATSUHAYABI "victory right here, right now"; "speed which transcends time and space"; principal tenet of AIKIDO
MISOGI purification of mind, body and spirit, realized by keiko, cleaning, fasting or other exercises
MUSHIN no mind; a mind without ego; a mind that reflects and does not judge; state of absolute clarity and absence of thoughts
MUSUBI spiritual connection
NAGARE flow; unbroken flow of KI during execution of technique
NAI KAN GYO silence and action; training teaching us to still the mind and look inside
OMOIYARI a mind of concern for other's feelings and safety
REI (command) to bow; salutation
RITSUREI standing salutation
REIGI proper etiquette, respecting the creative force and spirit in all of us; literally "holy spirit"
SANGEN triangle (pyramid), circle (sphere), square (cube) - the three most perfect proportions in geometry
triangle - body, mind, spirit; past, present, future; heaven, earth, humankind; signifies ki flow, creation of energy and initiative
circle - unity, serenity, perfection; signifies liquid dimension, source of unlimited techniques
square - earth, water, fire, air; signifies solid dimension, applied control based on form and solidity
SENSHIN purified and cleansed heart and spirit; enlightened attitude
SHINBU FUSATSU "divine techniques do not kill"; principal tenet in AIKIDO philosophy
SHIN KOKYU divine or spirit breath
AMATERASU NO OMIKAMI sun goddess, representing the divine, impartial love;
O'HARAIDO NO OMIKAMI spirit of purification and cleansing
AME NO MINAKANUSHI NO OMIKAMI spirit of the universal center
SHIN SHIN TOITSU unification of mind and body
SHINTO "way of the gods"; traditional religion of Japan
SHUGYO intensive training (spiritual, mental, physical, ascetic); the "day-to-day struggle"; lifelong discipline; the work of education to refine and purify the quality of life
SUKI opening gap; vulnerability; moment of carelessness or inattention
TAKEMUSU AIKI "courageous and creative living"; motto of AIKIDO
TANREN "forging the body and mind"; especially intensive training
TEN-CHI heaven-earth; the whole universe
TEN-NO-KOKYU "breath of heaven"; first stage of breath meditation
UCHI-GATAME "pounding the body with the fists"; warm-up exercise used to stimulate the skin and muscles
WAJUTSU the technique of coordination
ZANSHIN continuity; remaining aware and prepared for the next attack; calm awareness; retention of the mind; unbroken concentration
ZAZEN meditation posture and exercise

The Training Place and Appearance
DOJO place of the Way; a place for strengthening and refinement body, mind and spirit; training hall
SHOMEN in the dojo the upper seat with the shrine housing the picture of the founder and the spirit of Aikido (not a religious, but rather a spiritual symbol); also: front or top of head
JOSEKI upper side of mat, opposite the shimoseki
KAMIZA upper seat on the mat, opposite the shimoza
SHIMOZA lower seat on the mat
SHIMOSEKI lower side of the mat
GI or KEIKOGI or DOGI white training uniform
OBI belt (part of gi)
KURO-OBI "black belt"
HAKAMA wide-skirted pants worn over gi; symbol of the samurai culture and typically worn by Aikido yudansha (black belts)

The Five Steps to Enlightenment
KAIRIMIRU reflection
HAJIRU repentance
KUIRU feeling of shame
OSORU feeling of fear
SATORI enlightenment

The Six Pillars of Aikido
(cf. M. Ueshiba: "Budo"; John Stevens: "The Essence of Aikido")

SHIHO-NAGE four direction throws
IRIMI-NAGE entering throws
KAITEN open-and-turn movements
KOKYU-HO breath-power techniques
OSAE-WAZA pinning techniques
USHIRO-WAZA rear techniques

The Meaning of Hakama Pleats
JIN Benevolence
GI Justice
REI Courtesy, Manners, Respect
CHI Wisdom
SHIN Faithfulness, Trustfulness

Roles, Postures, Directions and Movements
AITE partner
AME NO FURITAMA standing squarely, left hand resting (palm down) on top of right hand (palm up); hands are gently shaken to relieve all tension in the body
AME NO TORI-FUNE "rowing movements" in hanmi position; practice to cleanse the mind and spirit; in a metaphorical sense, row your boat through the spiritual levels of heaven towards purification
AWASE blending
CHOKUSEN-NO-IRIMI direct entering behind attack
CHUDAN middle position
CHUDAN middle-level position (of hands, sword etc.)
GAESHI to reverse
GEDAN low position
HANMI relaxed triangular (T-)stance , "half-body" (sankakutai)
HANTAI reverse, opposite
HAPPO GIRI (UNDO) eight corner cutting/extension movement
IRIMI front technique, entering, moving into and through the line of attack
JODAN high position
KAITEN to revolve, rotate; wheel, round; "open and turn"
KAMAE posture or stance of readiness; there are different stances, each with different positions for the hands or weapon
KATA a prescribed set of movements (often in solo practice)
KEIKO study or practice; reflection and refinement, returning to the origin and discovering reality
KIHON-DOSA basic movements
MIGI right
NAGE "thrower"; defender; the person applying a technique
OMOTE to the front
SANKAKU-IRIMI triangular entering (ISSOKU-IRIMI, one-step irimi)
SAHO etiquette used in performing bows, handling JO and KEN etc.
SEIZA formal sitting position; the only proper sitting on the mat
SHIHO GIRI (UNDO) four corner cutting/extension movement
SHIHO four directions
SHIKKO knee-walking
SHIME to squeeze/choke
SHIZENTAI basic, natural posture
SUBURI single movement using sword or staff (bo/jo) in solo practice; suburi is training as opposed to kumi-tachi, which is study (keiko)
SUTEMI hard (high) fall; literally "to throw away or sacrifice the body"
TAI-SABAKI two-step turn, body-turning
TANDEN center (of being)
TENKAN/URA-WAZA "back" technique, turning
TORI "the one who takes" (alternate term for NAGE)
UCHI to strike
UCHI inside
UCHI-DESHI live-in disciple who trains full time under senior instructor
UKE "receiver"; the person providing the attack and falling
UKEMI the art of receiving/taking actions as uke/falling
URA rear, back
URA to the rear/back
YOKO (to the) side

BOKKEN wooden sword
BO long wooden staff
JO short wooden staff (48" - 55" long and 3/4" - 1" thick)
JUKEN bayonet
KATANA (medium length japanese) sword, blade
KEN sword
KOSHI-ZORI deepest curvature of ken towards handle
TORII-ZORI curvature of ken greater in middle of blade
SAKI-ZORI greatest curvature towards end of blade
NAGINATA spear with knife at end
SHINAI split bamboo practice sword
SUBURITO heavy wooden training bokken to refine sword practice
TACHI (japanese long) sword; can also mean "from standing position"
TANTO (wooden) knife
TEGATANA "hand-sword"; edge of hand
WAKIZASHI (short japanese) sword
YARI spear

AIUCHI "mutual strike"; position in which both partners can strike
TSUKI thrusting strike
(SHO)MEN-UCHI strike to (top of) head
SHOMEN-TSUKI strike (thrust) to the face
MUNE-TSUKI strike to chest or stomach
YOKOMEN-UCHI side of the head (diagonal) strike
SHIME to squeeze/choke
TACHI-DORI attack with bokken, sword taking
TANTO-DORI attack with knife, knife taking
BO-DORI long staff taking
JO-DORI short staff taking

Grabs and Holds
AI(GYAKUTE)-DORI cross hand grab
HIJI-DORI elbow grab
KATA-DORI shoulder grab
KATATE-DORI single-wrist grab
MOROTE-DORI (RYOTE MOCHI) both hands grabbing one wrist
MUNADORI chest grab
RYOTE both hands
RYOTE-DORI both hands grabbing one wrist each
USHIRO-DORI rear "bear hug"
USHIRO-KATATE-DORI-KUBI-SHIME rear choke with one wrist held
USHIRO-RYO-HIJI-DORI both elbows grabbed from rear
USHIRO-RYO-KATA-DORI both shoulders grabbed from the rear
USHIRO-RYOTE-DORI both wrists grabbed from the rear
USHIRO-RYO-TEKUBI-DORI both wrists grabbed from the rear

ATEMI diverting, defensive strike or blow
ATEMI-WAZA striking techniques
IKKYO First teaching
NIKYO Second teaching (using wrist pressure)
SANKYO Third teaching (using wrist pressure)
YONKYO Fourth teaching (using nerve pressure)
GOKYO Fifth teaching (reverse grip of ikkyo, esp. for knife attacks)
HANMI-HANDACHI nage is kneeling and uke attacks from standing
HENKO-WAZA switching from one technique to another
JO-DORI techniques for disarming opponent armed with JO
JO-TAI-KEN training with JO paired against KEN
JIYU-WAZA free-style techniques with one uke (specific or any attacks)
KAESHI to return, come back (trans. of kaeru, from kaesu)
KAESHI-WAZA reverse (counter) techniques
KIAI focusing of spirit through sound; sharp shout created from the hara to unbalance opponent; projection of ki
KI-NO-NAGARE free-flowing techniques
OSAE-WAZA pinning techniques (5th pillar of aikido)
OYO-WAZA techniques with practical applications in self-defense
REPPAKU NO KIAI "ei"; the shout that cuts away barriers or impurities, thereby uniting opposites; symbolizing the sword of life which cuts things together, as opposed to the sword of death which further divides and separates
RANDORI free-style practice with multiple attackers
RIAI integrated principles of aiki-ken, aiki-jo, and taijutsu
SUWARI-WAZA techniques practiced on knees
TACHI-WAZA standing techniques
TAI-JUTSU body techniques; empty-handed techniques (done without weapons)
TAI NO HENKO "pivoting of the body"; basic blend (tenkan turn)
TAI-SABAKI body movements
TANINSU-GAKE free-style techniques against multiple attackers
TANTO DORI techniques to disarm attacker who is using a knife
TANREN striking practice with sword or bokken; the same cut is practiced over and over again; can also be done with a wooden staff
TOBU-UKEMI "flying break-fall"
USHIRO-WAZA rear techniques ("sixth sense") (6th pillar of Aikido)
WAZA technique(s)
YOBI-DASHI "calling out"; preemptive strike intended to neutralize an attack before it starts to develop

IRIMI entering (2nd pillar of Aikido)
IRIMI-NAGE entering throw ("20-year throw")
JUJI-NAGE (JUJI-GARAMI) crossed arm (X, ten) throw
KAITEN opening and turning (3rd pillar of Aikido)
KAITEN-NAGE rotary throw
KOKYU breath power; concentrated power; good timing (4th pillar of Aikido)
KOKYU-HO (KOKYO DOSA) seated technique using ki to throw and pin partner
KOKYU-NAGE "breath throw", using timing of body and spirit without applying pressure to partner's joints
KOKYU-UNDO breath (air) movement exercises
KOSHI-NAGE hip throw
KOTE-GAESHI apply wrist reversal to throw partner
SHIHO-NAGE four-direction throw (applied at wrist) (1st pillar of Aikido)
SUMI-OTOSHI four direction throw (applied at upper arm)
TENCHI-NAGE heaven-and-earth throw

Ranks, Learning, and Teaching
O'SENSEI great teacher; the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (Dec 14, 1883 - Apr 26, 1969)
KAISO founder (of Aikido)
KANCHO supervisor, director of school
DOSHU honorary title for the master of the art; the current Aikido doshu is Moriteru Ueshiba, grandson of O'Sensei
DOJO-CHO head of the dojo
SENSEI teacher; anyone who gives guidance along the way; literally "born before"
DESHI student, pupil, disciple
UCHI-DESHI devoted, personal student living in dojo with teacher
KOHAI junior student; anyone who begins the study of Aikido. Advanced students should help and support them
SEMPAI anyone who began the study of Aikido before you; you should respect this person's experience
FUKU-SHIDOIN assistant instructor; usually 2nd dan and below
SHIDOIN teacher typically with sandan rank
SHIHAN master teacher with rank of 6th dan or above
KYU white belt grade; undergraduate/mudansha rank (usually 6th kyu to 1st kyu)
DAN black belt rank; graduate/yudansha rank (1st dan to 10th dan)
MUDANSHA holder of white/colored belt degree
SHODAN 1st degree black belt
YUDANSHA holder of black belt degree

Greetings, Order, and Etiquette
DOMO ARRIGATO (GOZAIMASHITA) thank you (very much)
GAMBATTE "hang in there!"
HAJIME begin!
ONEGAISHIMASU please (train with me); I ask a favor
OSU warrior greeting
YAME quit, give up, stop (from yameru)

Parts of body
ASHI foot, leg
HARA stomach
HIJI elbow
HIZA knee
KATA shoulder
KOSHI hip, lateral pelvis, waist
KUBI neck
KUCHI mouth
ME eye
MEN head
MUNE chest
TANDEN place of "one-point"; center of body below navel
TE hand
TEKUBI wrist
YUBI fingers

NI 2
GO 5
JU [JUU] 10

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Aikido of Santa Cruz