The David Brent Wolfe Dictionary of
Japanese Martial Art Terms
- K -
- -ka is a suffix meaning a practitioner of an art. A Judoka is a person who
practices Judo. A kendoka practices kendo. A karateka practices karate.
- Ka, , means fire.
- Ka, , means a pouch or cave.
- Kabe, , means a wall.
- Kaburaya is a turnip head bulbous arrow. It makes a distinctive sound while in
- Kabuto was the traditional helmet of the samurai. They were often decorated with
a sometimes elaborate crest. The Heian period and Kamakura period samurai often wore ornate
helmets that were designed for protecting against opponents' arrows while using a bow and
arrrow. By the 16th century C.E., the most common sort of helmet had become a cheaper, more
conservative version. made of eight applied plates, that was called hachi mai bari.
- Kachi means victorious. It is used to mean a win in a tournament.
- Kachinuki shiai is a form of Kohaku shiai in which the winner continues to compete
until defeated or a match is judged a draw.
- Kaden are hereditary family secrets.
- Kaeshi, , means counter or overturning of an
opponent's offensive action. If preceeded by another word is is spelled as
gaeshi. It comes from kaesu meaning to turn over something.
- Kaeshi waza, ,
means counter technique. In sword fighting, kenjutsu, it refers to a reverse side
- Kaeshi zuki, , means a counter punch.
- Kagashigakure jutsu means the art of hiding like a scarecrow. This is a ninjutsu
- Kagami means mirror.
- Kagami biraki means mirror cleaning. This is the ritual first workout of the new
year for a dojo.
- Kagami geiko means mirror training. This is any partnered training exercise
where the partners mirror each other actions.
- Kagayaki, , means shining.
- Kage, , means shadow.
- Kage aruki jutsu means the art of silent walking. This is a ninjutsu skill.
- Kagemushi means shadow warrior. They were individuals who acted as the double
for a daimyo when his appearance on the battlefield or elsewhere needed to be
- Kage no jutsu means the art of shadow infiltration. This is a ninjutstu skill.
- Kagi means hook.
- Kagi means key. In ancient Japan, keys were made of metal spiral coils.
- Kagi jime means key strangle. It is named this because it cuts off,
strangles, the nerve to the hand. It is known as second technique, nikkyo, in Aikido,
second principle, nikajo, in Daito-ryu aiki jutsu, and by other names in other arts
- Kagi zuki means key punch or hook punch. It is known as kagi zuki because it
curves like an old Japanese key. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Gokyu.
- Kaho was daimyo house law, the set of guidelines and rules by which the
daimyo and his retainers operated. They were also known as kakun.
- Kai means an association, society, or federation.
- Kai, , means sea.
- Kai, , means neck.
- Kaicho, , means the
owner of a school organization, i.e., Japan Karate Association or Aikikai. The head of a
organized group or society.
- Kaiden are the final teachings of a style.
- Kaikyu shiai means a type of tournament which pits contestants of similar rank
- Kaishaku was the individual who cut off the head of the person committing
seppuku. This was usually a kinsman or friend ending the dying person's pain. Some
kenjutsu and iai jutsu styles still retain and teach a kata for this purpose.
- Kaisho is linear calligraphy somewhat like Western printing.
- Kaishu means the open hand. It refers to strikes in which the hand is not
clenched in a fist.
- Kaiso is a term refering to a founder, such as the
founder of Aikido.
- Kaiten, , means rotation.
- Kaiten juki, ,
means the axis of rotation of a technique.
- Kaiten nage, , means rotary
- Kakae te is a trapping, wrapping, locking grab.
- Kakari geiko is a Judo training method in randori to develop endurance
by taking on consecutive opponents within a defined time period.
- Kakato means the heel of the foot.
- Kakato geri means heel kick.
- Kake means a hook or rack. It is also written as gake.
- Kake means execution stage of a throwing technique.
- Kake geri means hook kick.
- Kake te means hooking hand.
- Kake te uke means a hooking block.
- Kake te uke nagashi means hook and sweep block. It is a requirement for
- Kake uke means wrist hook block. It is a requirement for Koyamakan
- Kakitsubo means side bowl. In kyusho, vital points, this is used to describe
the hollow area in the armpits.
- Kakiwake uke means reverse wedge block. It is a two handed block using
the outside of the forearms to neutralize a two handed attack. It is a requirement
for Koyamakan Rokkyu.
- Kakon is the chin.
- Kaku, , means corner or angle.
- Kakun were daimyo house laws, the set of guidelines and rules by which
the daimyo and his retainers operated.
- Kaku obi is a wide belt worn to support weapons being carried in or from it.
- Kakushi means hidden weapon. It includes the hidden fist.
- Kakushi buki means hidden weapons. Normally, it refers to all small weapons that
are, or could be, hidden from sight.
- Kakushi geri means hidden kick. It is a sweeping crescent kick that is unseen by
- Kakushi tsuki means hidden weapon thrust.
- Kakushi waza refers to hidden techniques.
- Kakusu means to hide.
- Kakuto, , means the back of the
- Kakuto means hand to hand combat.
- Kakuto means crane head.
- Kakutogi means wrestling.
- Kakuto uke means crane head block. The block uses the back of the wrist joint as
the contact surface for the technique. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Shichikyu.
- Kaku tsuki means square thrust.
- Kakuyoku means crane's wing. It is a term describing a type of battle formation
that was used by certain 16th century C.E. daimyo. Its purpose was to envelop a retreating or
- Kama, , is a sickle. The farm version is found
in karate. The samurai version is found in various koryu, traditional martial art
schools. The karate style of useage is different from the koryu methods.
- Kamae means a posture, stance or attitude.
- Kamae gata is a ready stance.
- Kamae te is the command for students to get into position.
- Kame is an earthen ware jar. They were traditional training tools used to
strengthen the gripping power of the hand. As the student began to be able to lift the jar by
gripping the rim, sand would be added to increase the weight of the whole container.
- Kami means upper body.
- Kami means spirit, god, heavenly, or high. Culturally, the multiple kami were are
more like ghosts than gods. They were most often believed to be deceased family members
looking after the affairs of the living relatives.
- Kamidana is the sacred shrine sometimes placed at the front of the dojo training
area. Commonly, this is a small shelf with ritual symbolic items used to represent the
spirit or the spirit's home.
- Kami no ke means high of the hair, i.e., the hair on the head.
- Kami shiho gatame means upper four corners lock. It is a Kodokan Judo pinning
- Kamishimo was formal samurai attire consisting of a kimono, hakama, and kataginu.
During the Edo period, the kamishimo became more everyday wear.
- Kami yari means a sickle spear.
- Kamiza means seat of the spirits. In a dojo, the kamiza side is the upper
side of the floor area. It sometimes contains a Shinto shrine, photographs, or a written
- Kamiza ni rei, , means bow to kamiza.
- Kami zeme means an upper attack.
- Kamoku is a special class taught by a guest instructor.
- Kampaku was the title of the regent. A regent was an individual who ruled the
government until a ruler was old enough or healthy enough to assume direct rule. The Shogun
- Kampo means Chinese medicine. The Japanese acquired knowledge of Chinese herbal
medicines early in their history. So, when the Japanese talk about Chinese medicine, they are
meaning herbal medicine.
- Kan was a monetary unit of cash consisting of 1,000 mon.
- Kan, , means intuition.
- Kan, , means hall or building.
- Kan means the liver. (LV)
- Kanadaka was the value of a real estate holding expressed in a cash sum.
- Kanbun Shinto - One of the reasons was the Kanbun Shinto effect. What happened in
Kanbun = 1661 - 1673 was that Japan had not been to war for some time. Some of the Sword
Sensei had a theory that a straight sword points more naturally so was desirerable. So they
preached that the swords should be straight. Then some fighting happened and the Samurai
with the straight swords discovered just what the Sori was for = it decreased the shock
tranmitted to the wrist and arm. So the readily identifiable Kanbun Shinto swords came
and went very quickly. From Jim Kurrasch, President and Newsletter Editor Nanka Token
Kai = Japanese Sword Society of Southern California in an email to the Iaido-L list
- Kancho, , means the
owner of a school building or hall. The owner of a dojo.
- Kan geiko means special winter training during the coldest time of the winter.
- Kani, , means crab.
- Kanjo was a letter of commendation issued by a daimyo to a valued retainer who had
performed some valuable deed or service worthy of meritorious attention.
- Kankai ryu was a martial art lineage that taught swimming in armor.
- Kan ku is a phrase with kan meanng good observance and ku meaning universe or air
- Kanku Dai, , is a routine or kata
meaning major observing the sky form. It is required for Koyamakan Sankyu.
- Kanku Sho, , is a routine or kata meaning
minor observing the sky form. It is required for Koyamakan Nikyu.
- Kanna-zen means introspecting the koan. A Zen concept refering to
meditation which involves thinking.
- Kanpaku was an imperial regent. It was a court rank dating from the 9th century C.E.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi assumed the title in 1586 C.E. and passed it to his adopted son, Hidetsugu,
in 1591 C.E.
- Kanrei was the title of the deputy or vice shogun. The position was established in
the late 14th century C.E. Later, the position was divided into two positions. One was the
Kyoto Kanrei. The other was the Kanto Kanrei. The Kanto Kanrei acted as the shogun's
administrative office in the Kanto region of Japan.
- Kansetsu means knuckle or joint.
- Kansetsu geri means joint kick, i.e., a side kick through the knee.
- Kansetsu waza means joint locking or dislocation techniques.
- Kanshi was the act of committing suicide in remonstration to a lord or in protest;
committing suicide to get a point across.
- Kantsui hasami uchi means hammer fists scissor strike. The hammer fists circle
into a scissoring action at the opponents mid-section. An example is found in Bassai Dai
- Kanzashi means a hairpin. A long needle-like metal spike worn to hold the hair in
place. They were sometimes removed from the hair and used as a dagger to provide a method of
- Kanzo means liver as an organ.(LV)
- Kao means face.
- Kao ate means face strike.
- Kappi means lively jump.
- Kappo, , are techniques for
resuscitating people who have suffered a shock to the nervous system.
- Kara, , is the Chinese character 'tang'. The
Japanese pronounce it as 'kara' or 'to' and sometimes use it to mean the country of China.
The Okinawans used this character to describe the fighting skills which they had learned
from the Chinese as 'tode' or 'tote' or 'karate'. These are all different ways of saying
the same characters.
- Kara means empty or void.
- Karade means body.
- Karame, , means to tie up or
- Karami, , means entwined or
entanglement. It is also spelled as garami. It comes from karamu meaning to entwine
or to entangle.
- Karamiti are Okinawan trapping hand techniques.
- Karate means China hand,
, or empty hand depending on the characters used.
It sounds the same with either set of characters. Most Okinawan karate instructors changed
from using the China hand characters during the 1920's and 1930's to using the empty hand
characters due to the political climate of this period in Japan. For various reasons, the
Japanese of this time period tended to look down upon all things Chinese. Therefore, to gain
popularity, the Okinawans swapped characters for a non-political one.
- Karate-do means the way of karate.
- Karate gi means the uniform normally used while practicing karate.
, means the
art of karate.
- Karateka means a person who practices karate.
- Karo were clan elders. They were trusted retainers of a daimyo whose service
hopefully was long and loyal.
- Karui means light.
- Karui geiko, , means a light
- Karuma means wheel. It is also spelled as garuma.
- Karuma, , is a sword
posture with the sword held horizontal and back along the side.
- Kashaki uchi, , means
- Kashi is the wood, Japanese oak. Oak is frequently used for Japanese weapons due
to its hardness.
- Kashi, , means legs.
- Kashin was a retainer or vassel.
- Kashindan was a daimyo's band of retainers.
- Kashira means mask. It is the pommel fitted over the end of the handle.
- Kashira ate means mask striking. It is a generic term for any strike using the
pommel of the weapon as the hitting surface.
- Kassatsu is the spine or the middle of the back.
- Kasso teki is the term for the imaginary opponent in iaido and iai jutsu. He is
always your own size. The sword is aimed at the cener of the opponent.
- Kasumi, , means dim,
blurred, hazy, or mist.
- Kasumi means the temple area on the side of the head.
, means the
arms are crossed over to hide the actual technique setup. It is sometimes used to mean a
- Kata, , means shoulder or shoulder area of
the upper back.
- Kata, , means single
or one of a pair.
- Kata, , means to shape or
the style of a form.
- Kata, , means a model,
prearranged set, form, or routine. A prearranged set of movements used to teach a student how
to perform a technique.
- Kata ashi means single leg or one foot.
- Katachi means correct form. It refers to 'form only'. Applied in training which
requires only basic movement without the full effect.
- Kata dori, , means
- Kata gassho means single-handed prayer position. One hand opened vertically in
front of the chest with the palm towards the side.
- Kata gatame,
, means shoulder lock. It is a Kodokan Judo
pinning technique. It is also an aiki budo throw as a variation of the throw kaiten
nage. This lock is also known as taki otosu odori.
- Kataginu was a stiff shouldered sleeveless jacket worn by the samurai over a kimono
along with the hakama for formal situations. It is commonly seen in Edo period drawings of the
- Kata guchi means the top of the shoulder.
- Kataha means one half
- Kataha jime means half strangle. It is a Kodokan Judo strangling technique.
- Kata hiza,
, means one knee.
- Kata hiza dachi is a posture done kneeling on only one knee.
- Katai means hard or stiff
- Katai means the lower half of the torso, from the waist down.
- Kata juji jime means half cross strangle. It is a Kodokan Judo strangling
- Katakake is an arm bar, a joint lock against the elbow.
- Kataki means an opponent.
- Katame, , means grappling or lock.
Also known as gatame.
- Katame no kata,
, is a Kodokan Judo prearranged
routine called 'forms of grappling'.
- Katame waza,
, means grappling techniques.
- Katana is the traditional long curved sword of the samurai constructed through the
folding and refolding of a bar of hot metal thousands of times. They are reknowned for their
toughness and cutting ability. The katana replaced the straight sword during the later
Kamakura period. Until then, the bow and arrow had been the primary battlefield weapon.
- Katanagari was a term used to describe the confiscation of weapons from all
non-samurai at the end of the 16th century C.E.
- Katanakaji is the term meaning sword smith. It status was at the top of the
- Kata nashi means that nothing of value will come of it.
- Katanatogi means a sword sharpener. This craftsman sharpened and polished the
- Kata otoshi means shoulder drop. In Aikido, this technique is called ikkyo.
- Katasaki is the point of the shoulder.
- Kata shime means shoulder constriction. It is also written as kata jime.
- Katsuninken means life giving sword.
, means a single hand.
- Katate dori,
, means one hand grab
(same side, right to left or left to right).
- Katate osae,
means single handed press.
- Katate tori,
, is the same as katate
- Katate uchi,
, means one handed strike.
- Katate waza,
, means a
single hand technique. Can be used in refering to a long sword, katana, cutting
- Kate means a win
- Katei means currriculum.
- Katsu, , is a method of
resuscitating a person who has lost consciousness due to strangulation or shock.
- Katsujin no ken means the sword or fist, depending upon the characters used,
that takes life.
- Katsugi waza,
, is a shouldering the sword technique.
- Katsuri means speed.
- Katsuse Yoshimitsu Kagehiro is the 15th Soke, headmaster, of the Suio Ryu, a
traditional Japanese martial arts school including ken jutsu, iai jutsu, jo jutsu, naginata
jutsu, kusarigama jutsu, and kogusoku techniques. It is said to date from the early 1600's
C.E. The headquarters, known as the Hekiunkan, is located in Shimizu, Japan.
- Kawashi means evasion.
- Kaze, , means wind.
- Kaze Arashi-Ryu is a jujutsu style having movements which are similar to a
hurricane or tornado. This gives the opponent little chance to counter the techniques.
- Keage means snapping or whipping upward.
- Keage geri means a snapping kick.
- Kebiki odoshi was a type of close lacing used to construct armor.
- Kega means an injury.
- Kegutsu were fur boots popular with high ranking samurai during the Heian period.
They were often made of bear fur. By the Edo period, they had fallen out of fashion and had
- Kei means formal.
- Kei is a system or line. It can refer to a familial lineage or a guild
- Keibu seimyaku is the jugular vein.
- Keichu is the atemi waza point on the back of the neck at the base of the
- Kei domyaku is the carotid artery located on the sides of the neck.
- Keiko has the fingertips joined to form a chicken beak hand. The Chinese call
this technique crane's beak.
- Keiko, , means practice.
- Keikogi means a practice uniform.
- Keiko hajime means beginning practice.
- Keikoken means a foreknuckle, index finger knuckle, fist. The Chinese call this a
phoenix eye fist.
- Keikoku means warning.
- Keiko osame means final practice. It is the last class of the end of the
- Keiraku means channel, pathway, or meridian.
- Keirei means a formal bow.
- Keiseimachi means the district of destroyers of cities. These were pleasure areas
in cities for the courtesans. These red light districts were grudgingly permitted by the
Tokugawa bakufu during the Edo period. They catered to all the social classes.
- Kei-sohei were lightly equiped soldiers, ie. light infantry.
- Keito is a kenjutsu term for the sword held in a position at the left side as if
it were being held in the belt, obi. The thumb is placed on the guard, tsuba, ready to
release the sword from the scabbard.
- Keito is the upper part of the thumb used for striking an opponent.
- Keito uke means chicken head block. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Yonkyu.
- Kekomi means thrusting.
- Kekomi geri means trusting kick.
- Kempo means fist way or fist law. It is a generic Chinese term, chuan-fa
describing fighting styles using the fist.
- Ken, , means sword. As a type of sword, it was a
pre-9th century C.E. double edged straight sword.
- Ken means fist. It is the same as the kem in kempo.
- Kendo, , means the way of the
sword. It is implied that the sword is already drawn. The usage of this term by what is meant
currently dates to 1895 C.E.
- Kenjutsu, ,
means sword art, ie. sword fighting. The practice and study of fighting with a sword.
- Kenko jutsu means health restoration art.
- Kenkokotsu means the shoulder blades.
- Kenkyuka means a seminar.
- Kenkyukai means research association.
- Kenkyusha means a rearcher.
- Ken no sen means to initiate an attack.
- Kenpo is the same as Kempo.
- Kensei is a technique performed with a silent kiai,
, or shout.
- Kenshusei is a research student specially chosen for advanced study.
- Ken tori means sword grabbing. These are techniques to take away an opponent's
- Ken tsui means hammer fist. It is done by striking with the little finger side of
- Ken tsui uchi means hammer fist strike. This technique is also known as tettsui
uchi. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Hachikyu.
- Ken uke means fist block. It is using the fist to intercept and deflect an
attack by using a punch.
- Ken zen ichi is an Okinawan karate saying translated as the fist and zen are
- Keppan means blood seal as a method of swearing an oath. Traditionally, it is done
by cutting the fourth finger on the left hand with a knife and smearing the resultant blood on
an oath below the signer's signature or chop. Some involved signing in one's own blood.
- Kerai was a retainer.
- Keri, , is the same as geri in
meaning a kick.
- Keri age means a rising kick. It is done by using the knee as the striking
- Keri gaeshi means counter kick or returning kick.
- Keri komi means to kick and then step into the opening created by the kick.
- Keri waza means kicking technique(s).
- Kesa, , is the blanket
which Buddhist monks wear over one shoulder and tied at together at the opposite hip. It is
sometimes translated as scarf. It was sometimes worn over the armor by samurai who were also
- Kesa gatame,
, means scarf lock. The kesa is the blanket
which Buddhist monks wear over one shoulder and tied at together at the opposite hip. It
is a Kodokan Judo pinning technique.
- Kesa giri means a diagonial downward cut with bladed weapon across the body through
the line where a kesa would be worn. A gyaku kesa giri is a diagonial upward cut.
- Kesa uchi is a diagonal downward strike.
- Ketsuryoku means effort.
- Ki means breath, air, or energy.
- Kiai, , means to shout or yell with spirit, not what is
shouted. If you hear someone yelling 'kiai', they are yelling 'shout.' Various arts and styles
have shouts specific to their arts and styles.
- Kiba dachi means horse straddling stance. It is a requirement for Koyamakan karate
- Kichigai means a maniac or insane person.
- Kichigaikan means a training hall for maniacs.
- Kiesareta uke means disappearing reception. A generic term for techniques where the
receiving, i.e. block, technique is not seen nor perceived as a threat to the attacker.
- Ki-gurai is a noun mean strength derived from self-confidence. Also, an ability to
perceive an opponent's attack. By Inoue Yoshihiko in Kendo Kata: Essence and Application.
- Kihon, , means basic or fundamental techniques.
- Kihon kote waza means basic wrist techniques.
- Kihon kumite means a method of basic sparring consisting of a number of
pre-arranged movements done with a partner. Normally the basic attack is done an odd number
of times, such as five, three, or once, with the defender counter attacking after the
- Kihon renshu means the fundamental practice of basic elements necessary to
establish good technique.
- Kihon waza means basic or fundamental technique(s).
- Kikan is the trachea or throat.
- Kikan uchi means a strike to the trachea.
- Kiken means renunciation or to submit by tapping out.
- Kikkosha was a wheeled, armored device used to protect as many as 12 warriors as
they attacked a walled fort.
- Kiku means chrysanthemum. The flower is used as an imperial symbol. A white
chrysanthemum with a red center is used as the symbol of Kodokan Judo.
- Kiku means lower.
- Kime means the focusing of one's energy at the end point of a technique such as a
punch, block, or kick.
- Kime waza means a finishing technique.
- Kimono is a type of Japanese clothing. Basicly it is a long robe. Sometimes, it is
very plain. Women sometimes wear very elaborate kimono that may cost thousands of U.S.
- Kin, , means the testicles.
- Ki nagare means a circular energy flow.
- Ki nagashi means a circular energy flow.
- Kin geri,
, means a groin kick normally done using the
- Kinhin means walking meditation.
- Kinniku means muscles.
- Kinpatsu, , means blond haired.
- Ki no nagare means flowing techniques.
- Kinsa is used as a competition term meaning a slight superiority. Kinsa refers to
a marginal inequality between people. It is as if you weigh them in your hands, and one is
slightly more. There is a subtle difference between them that makes you evaluate the one
higher. This implies that the kinsa may not even be something you can verbalize or identify
by specifying a technique that they did or something. You may have just liked their style or
something. By Steve Cunningham 14 May 1997.
- Ki o tsukete means attention or be careful.
- Kinteki is the groin.
- Kiri means to cut.
- Kiri age means rising cut.
- Kiristu means stand up.
- Kiri-sute gomen means permission to kill and depart. This was a Tokugawa period
privilege of the warrior caste, the samurai. They were supposed to report the killing to the
local police before leaving.
- Kiseru was a long handled wooden tobacco pipe that became popular among the
samurai during the late 16th century C.E.
- Kiri te means cutting hand. It is a sword fighting term for when the back of the
wrist, at the thumb, is straight. The thumb of the right hand should be touching the second
finger and matching pads with the index finger. If your thumb is above, toward the guard, the
index finger you are gripping the handle too square across the palm and the edge of the sword
will not reach the opponent. The cut is made using the muscles between the shoulder blades,
while opening, or expanding, the chest. You do not try to cut by flexing the wrist, but with
the back muscles.
- Kishu conveys the meaning of a family's social lineage or pedigree. It carrys a
strong sense of social
status, almost to the extent of being caste-like in the psychological limits it places on
personal aspirations. Sugawara Michizane turned down an appointment to chancellor in the
government because he was not born into a high enough kishu status family.
- Kitae means forging.
- Kito-Ryu is the 'rise fall' style of jujutsu. It was one of the ancestors of
Kodokan Judo mastered by Dr. Jigoro Kano. The pair of opposites are expressions of yin and
yang, the two basic types of natural energy in Asian cosmology. Using them both in the name
of the ryu demonstrates that the ryu is all encompassing, that all types of attack and
defense are utilized.
- Kiza, , means kneeling, but up on the
balls of the feet. This is called live toes.
- Kizami geri means cutting kick. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Gokyu.
- Kizami zuki is a jab punch.
- Ko means red.
- Ko, , means tiger.
- Ko, , means small, minor, or
- Ko, , means ancient or old.
- Ko, , means behind.
- Ko, , means fox.
- Ko, , means high, tall, or
- Ko, , means a light ray.
- Ko, , means mouth or oral.
- Ko, , means retrospect
or to look back.
- Ko means filal piety, especially to one's lord.
- Ko means back of the fist.
- Ko ashi means to walk in little steps.
- Kobaya was a small open roofed ship manned by 20 oarsmen during the Japanese
- Ko bo ichi means attack and defense are one. It is the concept of the
attack-defense connection being a single unit of action.
- Kobudo means ancient fighting way. It usually is referring to non-battlefield
use of weapons in self defense.
- Kobu jutsu means ancient fighting art.
- Ko dachi means a small sword. This is the companion to the o dachi, large
sword carried by the samurai.
- Kodansha means high grade black belts at 5th degree and above.
- Koden, , means oral transmission.
- Koden means ancient transmission.
- Kodokan means hall for studying the way. The home school for Judo located in
Tokyo, Japan was founded in December 1882. A previous school by this name was established by
Mito Tokugawa for the training of the samurai.
- Koe, , means voice or tone.
- Kogai is a skewer. Sometimes they are found as a part of a scabbard.
- Koga kubo was the rank by which the Kanto region Ashikaga branch was known.
- Kogan geri means the instep (top of the foot) kick. It is a requirement for
- Koga ninja means ninja of the Koga clan.
- Kogatana means small blade. It is a small knife carried in a built in sheath as a
part of a scabbard.
- Kogeki means attack or an offensive strike.
- Kogi means lectures.
- Kohai, , means another person junior to oneself.
- Kohaku shiai means a red and white tournament.
- Koho ukemi means rear falling method.
- Koi guchi means carp's mouth. It is the term used to mean the scabbard opening
where the sword is slid into the scabbard.
- Kojiri is the fitting at the end of the scabbard.
- Kojo undo means weight training.
- Kokei means a succesor.
- Koken means wrist. It is used in karate to mean the back of the bent wrist.
- Koken tsuki means bent wrist thrust.
- Kokka was the region that a daimyo directly ruled.
, means tiger mouth. It is the fleshy arc
between the thumb and index finger. (LI-4)
- Kokoro, , means spirit-heart. In Japanese culture the
spirit is in the heart. It is also used to mean will, mood, or intuition.
- Kokoro-e is an atttitude of mind in sincere understanding and appreciation of
- Kokoro kamae means mental attitude.
- Kokotsu means the shin bone.
- Koko uke means tiger mouth block. It is the region of the hand between the thumb
and the index finger. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Yonkyu.
- Koku was a unit of rice that was used to measure an individual's wealth and a
farm's theoretical productivity. A koku was considered the amount of rice that one individual
needed to eat to live for one year, about 180 liters. a daimyo owned property that generated
al least 10,000 koku annually. A low ranking samurai retainer might be paid 100 koku by his
daimyo annually during the Edo period. Larger productive farm lands permitted daimyo to hire
more samurai who in turn increased the power of a daimyo. More power permitted the daimyo to
increase his land holdings.
- Kokudaka was the value of a real estate holding as expressed in koku of rice.
- Kokujin was a Muromachi period term meaning a man of the province. It was used to
describe rural locally powerful samurai families. Because they were often not far removed from
the peasantry in terms of priorities and concerns, they were for all intents and purposes
very much like the jizamurai.
- Kokutsu means backward leaning.
- Kokutsu dachi means back stance. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Hachikyu.
- Kokyu means breath.
- Kokyu chikara means internal strength.
- Kokyudosa, , is a seated aikido exercise dealing
with a two handed grab.
- Kokyuho means breathing way or method. It is a method of
breathing where inhalation is done on upward and inward motions and exhalation is done with
downward and outward motions.
- Kokyu nage means breath throw.
- Kokyu tanden ho is a seated aikido exercise from a two handed grab.
- Komaku was a armored shelter used to protect an archer from opponents.
- Koman kai is a board of advisors.
- Komban-wa means good evening.
- Komekami means the cheek bone.
- Komi means within or against.
- Komi, , means drawing near or coming
- Kongo, , is a posture
with a blade held vertically in front of one's own face.
- Konida bugyo was the samurai charged with supervising the movement of the supply
train. It was not a very heroic duty. But, it is a very important part of moving an army.
- Konidatai was the supply and baggage caravan for an army in the field.
- Konnichi-wa means good afternoon.
- Koppu means cupping. It is a health restoration technique used to draw off excess
energy from an individual.
- Kori is the area of the foot around the toes.
- Kori was a subsection, a district, of a provnice, kuni.
- Koroshi, , means to kill or death blow. It is
sometimes used to mean a delayed death touch technique.
- Ko-ryu, , means an ancient or old stream, this
is taken to mean an ancient school(s) or lineage.
These are usually considered to be schools which existed before the beginning of Meiji, 1865
C.E.; some say they have to be a couple of hundred years old or more.
- Koryu is shifting the body away from an opponent into a front stance.
- Kosa means lecture.
- Kosa means crossed.
- Kosa dachi means crossed leg stance. It is a requirement for Koyamakan Shichikyu.
- Kosa dori, , means cross handed grab (opposite
sides, right to right or left to left).
- Kosei, , means offensive.
- Kosei o gaisuru koi is a kendo contest term for an illegal act or move. It is given
a hansoku, a penalty for a violation of the contest rules.
- Koshi means ball of the foot.
- Koshi, , means hip, loin, waist, same word as
- Koshi guruma,
, means hip wheel. It is a Kodokan Judo
- Koshi hineri, ,
means hip twist. It is a technique to generate power.
- Koshiki no kata is a Kodokan Judo routine called forms of antique.
- Koshigatana means a short sword normally between 12 and 24 inches long.
- Koshi ita, , is the small
back plate on the traditional wide legged pants, hakama.
- Koshin means rearward.
- Koshi nage,
, means hip throw.
- Koshi o ireru means to put in the hips as a way of drawing power from the proper
movement of the hips.
- Koshi waza, ,
means hip techniques.
- Kosho Ryu Kempo means old pine tree style fist law. It is the name of the martial
art style taught by James Mitose in Hawaii and California. Most American kempo styles trace
their lineage to this style.
- Ko soto gake means minor outside clip. It is a Kodokan Judo throwing
- Ko soto gari means minor outside reap. It is a Kodokan Judo throwing
- Kotae means change.
- Kote means the forearm or wrist.
- Kote gaeshi, , means
forearm reversal refering to reversing the normal position of the forearm. The little
finger side of the hand is turned up and then out away from the body.
- Kote hiniri, , means
turning the forearm in its normal direction. It is a technique found in various jujutsu
styles, aikido, and Kodokan Judo.
- Kote kitae means forearm forging, toughening of the forearm.
- Kote mawashi,
, means wrist turn or wrist rotation. It
is an old jujutsu technique.
- Kote ori means wrist break.
- Koten shiai is a form of competition requiring no teams and useful in individual
- Ko tsuka means small handle. It is the name of the handle of a kogatana, a small
knife carried in a scabbard.
- Ko uchi gari means minor inside reap. It is a Kodokan Judo throwing
- Ko uke is a crane block or arch block.
- Ko waza, , means
minor or small technique requiring only a slight amount of body movement.
, means small mountain hall. A
small karate style having forms similar to Okinawan Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu versions. Most
of the kata names are the current Japanese versions. The emphasis is on technical
excellence expressed through strong, smoothly flowing kata. Sporting aspects are not
stressed. Due to the number of police officers and military officers in the style,
individual combat effiency has continued to be the main focus of training.
- Koyatte means do it like this.
- Ko yubi,
, means the little finger.
- Kozo means structure.
- Kozuka means a small knife. Sometimes small knives were fitted in to a sword
scabbard as an additional tool.
- Ku, , means nine.
- Ku, , means air, sky, emptyness, or
- Kubi, , means neck.
- Kubi bukuro means head bag. It was a net bag used to carry the heads of defeated
- Kubi naka, , is the
atemi waza point at the base of the skull.
- Kubishime, , means a neck choke.
- Kubo sama is the term used by the ordinary people to refer to the shogun.
- Kuchi means mouth.
- Kuchibiru means the lip.
- Kuchi bushi means mouth warrior. It is an insult meaning an individual who talks
like a warrior but doesn't have the skills to perform as a warrior.
- Kudaki, , means to break, smash,
shatter, or to destroy.
- Kudan, , means nineth degree
- Kuden means oral teaching.
- Kuge means a courtier or court noble in the Emperor's court.
- Kuge seiken means courtier government. This is used to mean the early Japanese
government run from the imperial court. Kuge seiken is what preceded the warrior
government, buke seiken, of the shoguns.
- Kugi nuki means pincers or scissors throw. An old jujutsu throwing
technique. A printed example can be found in the old text, The Text-Book of
Jujutsu, by S. K. Uyenishi.
- Kuguri, , means
to hide or submerge.
- Kugyo were the high nobility.
- Kuji was services rendered in corvee labor. Frequently, it was a requirement to
send men for work in the provinces clearing forests for farm land and road building.
- Kujiki, , means to crush, shatter, or
- Kuki, , means air.
- Kukishin Ryu is a traditional martial arts ryu specializing in pole arms,
such as the rokushakubo, six foot staff, and the hanbo, half staff.
- Kukyo means nineth principle.
- Kukyu, , means nineth
- Kuma, , means bear.
- Kumade, , means bear hand. The palm is held flat
with the finger hooked.
- Kume is the command to grab each other during contest.
- Kumi means a set.
- Kumi ai means grappling.
- Kumijo, , means stick meeting. It is an Aikido
and jujutsu paired jo exercise.
- Kumikata are methods of grabbing the opponent.
- Kumi odori is traditional Okinawan weapons dancing.
- Kumitachi, , means sword meetings. It is
a paired bokken exercise.
- Kumite means hands meeting. It is used to mean free style sparring or
- Kumi uchi is a term meaning grappling.
- Kunai was a tool used by the ninja as a sometimes weapon.
- Kuni was a province in Japan.
- Kunoichi are female ninja.
- Kura, , means to receive a
- Kurigata is the knob on the scabbard where the cord, sageo, attaches to the
traditional wide legged pants, hakama.
- Kuro, , means black.
- Kuro obi, , means black belt.
- Kuruma, , means wheel.
- Kururunfa, , is a Goju-Ryu routine, kata
meaning holding ground.
- Kuruwa was the term for a castle compound.
- Kusa, , means grass or
- Kusari fundo is a short weighted chain used as a weapon. This weapon was used by
- Kusari gama is a short bladed weapon attached to a short handle at an angle,
similar to a farming sickle, with a chain attached to the handle. This weapon was used by
both the samurai and the ninja. The chain or weighted rope would be used to entangle an
opponent. Then the sickle would be used to kill the opponent.
- Kushin, , means to spring
in to attack an opponent.
- Kussinuke, , means to dodge an
- Kusuri means medicine.
- Kusuri yubi means medicine finger. This is the ring finger, the finger next
to the little finger.
- Kutaku means the inner wrist.
- Kuzure means modified or broken position.
- Kuzushi means means breaking the opponent's balance or centeredness.
- Kyo, , means chance.
- Kyo means full or excessive.
- Kyo, , means chest.
- Kyo, , means armpit.
- Kyobu means chest.
- Kyobu geri means chest kick.
- Kyogetsu shogei is a bladed weapon combining a knife with a edged hook. They
were used by the ninja.
- Kyoka means the curriculum of a style of martial arts.
- Kyokotsu means the sternum.
- Kyosei means a student teacher.
- Kyosen means the sternum, the area of the rib cage between the base of the
throat and the solar plexus.
- Kyoshi, , is a teacher of teachers, a
knowledgeable person. The middle of the teaching titles. It is awarded by various
organizations to senior teachers in different Japanese martial arts. The ZNKR
requires that an individual be at least a 7th dan in kendo or iaido before being
awarded this teaching title.
- Kyoshi no kamae is a kneeling posture.
- Kyouryoku, , means strength.
- Kyu, , means a class of student below
black belt level.
- Kyuba no michi means the way of the horse and bow, ie. horseback archery. It is a
Heian period and Kamakura period term for martial values.
- Kyudo means the way of archery. It is the modern, contemplative form of
shooting an arrow at a target.
- Kyuju dairi is a traditional teaching license in some of the classical Japanese
- Kyu jutsu means the art of archery.
- Kyusho, , means pressure or vital
- Kyusho jutsu,
, means vital point striking found in Okinawan
- Kyusho waza,
, means pressure point techniques.