Abara – Ribs

Age Uke – Rising block

Ago – Jaw

Ani-deshi – Senior student in the dojo (Lit: Big brother student)

Ashi gyaku – Ankle

Ashi waza – Foot and leg techniques

Atama – Head

Atemi – Strike to a vital area

Atemi waza – Striking Techniques

Asoko – Over there




Bitei Kotsu – Coccyx

Bokken – Wooden sword

Bokuto – Anoter term for a wooden sword

Bojutsu – Staff-art. Sometimes taught in classical jujutsu schools, depending on the system

Budo – Martial ways (literally “way(s) of war)

Bugei – Martial crafts (Another way of referring to Japanese martial arts)

Bujutsu – Martial arts (Yet another interchangable term for Japanese martial art)




Choku – Straight (Modern usage of this word in Japanese is “Massugu”.

Choku Tsuki – Straight punch

Chototsu – Atemi point between the eyes

Chu – Middle

Chudan – Mid level




Dan – Level

De Ashi Barai – Advancing Foot Sweep

Deshi – Student of a system

Do/Michi – (the) Way

Dojo – Place of practice

Dori (Toru) – To grab or capture.




Empi Uchi – Elbow strike (The term comes from karatedo and doesn’t have really much connection to jujutsu. It literally means swallow flying.)

Ensho – Round heel

Eri – collar or lapel




Furimi – Avoidance

Fusegi – Escapes/Defences




Gedan – Low level (below belt)

Gedan Tsuki – Punch to groin

Genkotsu-uchi – Another term for Uraken.

Gewan – Forearm

Gi – Training Uniform (abbreviated from “dogi” of “keikogi”)

Go-no-sen – Responsive initiative

Gyaku – Reverse (Can also refer to some Kansetsu waza where the joint is reversed)

Gyaku Tsuki – Reverse punch




Hadaka Jime – Naked strangle

Haisoku – Instep

Hajime – Start/Begin

Hana – Nose

Harai – Sweeping

Heiko – Parallel

Henka – Variation

Hichu – Windpipe

Hidari – Left

Hiji Ate – Elbow strike

Hiki – Pull, tug

Hiraken Tsuki – Horizontal fist punch

Hiza – Knee

Hiza Ate – Knee strike

Hiza geri – Knee strike/kick

Hyoshi – Timing/rythm




Ichi – One

Ippon – Full point

Ippon Seoi Nage – One arm shoulder throw

Irimi – Entering

Irimi nage – Entering throw




Jujutsuka – Practitioner of Jujutsu

Jinzo – Kidney

Jiyu Kumite – Free sparring

Jodan – High/Upper level

Jodan Uke – High block

Juji – Cross (Literal translation: Figure ten. In Japanese, ten is

Juji Gatame – Cross lock/armbar

Juji Jime – Cross choke

Juji Uke )- Cross block

Jujutsu – The gentle art/supple art/flexible art/Pliant art/soft art (But no way in hell is Jujutsu gentle or soft!!!)

Jutsu – Art or technique




Kacchu-Yawara – Armoured close combat, where most jujutsu systems got their techniques, very few atemi used, lots of nagewaza, kansetsuwaza & the use of daggers to finish the enemy

Kaeshi ·- Countering Techniques. (Kaeshi also means to turn)

Kagi – Hook

Kagi Tsuki – Hook punch

Kaishu – Open hand

Kaiten – Rotation

Kakato – Heel

Kake – The point at which a throw will take it’s maximal effect

Kamae – Posture (or stance)

Kani basami – Crab scissors

Kansetsu – Joint Locking

Kansetsu waza – Joint Locking techniques

Kari – Reap (Changed to gari when used with a prefix word)

Kasumi – Temple

Kata – Pre arranged stylized techniques

Kata – Shoulder

Kata-gatame – Shoulder pin

Kata-guruma – Shoulder wheel (fireman’s lift throw)

Kata-ha-jime – Single wing strangle

Katame – Lock/Hold

Katame Waza – Joint locking/immobilizing techniques.

Katana – Japanese sword.

Katsusatsu – Spine between the shoulder blades

Kappo/Katsu – Resucitation & revival techniques

Keri – Kick

Keri waza – Kicking techniques

Kesa – Scarf

Kesa Gatame – Scarf hold

Kesa-Giri – Sash cut – A diagonal cut with a Japanese sword from shoulder to hip.

Kiai – Shout with vital energy

Kime – Focus

Kime waza – Another term for joint locking techniques

Kinteki – Testicles

Kiwostuke – Attention

Kiri – Cut

Ko – Minor/small

Kodachi – Short sword. (Alternative term: Wakizashi or Shoto)

Kogusoku – A term used in stead of jujutsu, where both practicioners use shortswords or daggers.

Kohai – Beginner or junior student in the dojo

Ko-soto-gari/gake ·- Minor/small outer reap/prop

Kote Gaeshi – Wrist turnout lock/throw

Ko-uchi-gari/gake – Minor inner reap/prop

Koshi – Hip (when used first in a throw name)

Koshi guruma – Hip wheel throw

Kubi – Neck

Kubi Nage – Neck throw

Kumite – Sparring

Kumi-Uchi – Another term used instead of jujutsu

Kusarigama – Sickle & weighted chain. Sometimes taught in classical jujutsu, depending on the system.

Kuzushi – Unbalancing

Kyu – Coloured belt






Ma-ai – Combative Distancing

Mae – Front

Mae geri – Front kick

Mae-tobi-geri – Jumping front kick

Makkikomi – Winding throw

Massugu – straight ahead

Mata – Groin

Mate – Wait

Mawashi-geri – Roundhouse kick

Me – Eyes

Migi – Right

Mikazuki – Crescent

Mune – Chest

Mune-gatame – Chest hold

Munen mushin – Striking without conscience

Mokuso – Meditation

Mudansha – members with kyu grades

Mushin – No-mindedness




Naiwan – Upper arm

Nage – Throw

Nage-no-kata – Throwing kata (usually used to refer to the Kodokan Nage-no-kata)

Nage waza – Throwing methods

Naginata – A long polearm with a large cutting blade.

Naka – Center

Newaza – Ground techniques

Ni – Two

Nidan – 2nd Dan

Nigiri – Grip (Gyakute nigiri -reversehand grip – Junte Nigiri – Normal grip)




O – Major/Large

Ogoshi – Major/Large hip throw

O-guruma – Major/Large Wheel

Omote – Front or surface (Can also refer to basic skill sets of techniques in classical jujutsu schools)

O-soto-gari/gake – Major/Large outer reap/prop

O-soto-guruma – Major/Large outer wheel

O-soto-makkikomi – Major/Large outer winding throw

O-soto-otoshi – Major outer drop

O-uchi-gari/gake – Major inner reap/prop

Otagai-ne-rei – Mutual bow to all assembled








Randori – Sparring

Rei – To bow

Reigi – Manners

Reiho – Etiquette methods. (From dojo to dojo the reiho depends on the school of jujutsu being taught. Usually, it’s to the Shinzen, then to the teacher and then to each other.)

Renraku-waza – Combination techniques (Lit: Connected techniques)

Ritsu rei – standing bow

Roku – Six

Rokushakubo – A six-foot staff. Generically called a bo, but this is the proper term.

Ryu – School/system of Martial Art. (e.g. Kito-ryu, Takenouchi-ryu, Takagi-ryu)

Ryuha – A collective term for different schools




San – Three

Sasae ( – Floating

Seiza – Formal kneeling position

Sen-no-sen – Simultaneous Initiative. One of the three classical timings in budo – Sen sen no sen, sen no sen and go no sen.

Sensen-no-sen – Preemptive initiative.

Sensei – Teacher

Sensei-ni-rei – Bow to instructor

Seiken – Horizontal fist

Sempai – Senior student(s) in the dojo

Seoi – To carry on the shoulder

Seoi-nage – Shoulder throw

Seoi-otoshi – Shoulder drop

Shi – Four (note: yon is usually four, shi is only used in certain situations because “Shi” also means “Death”)

Shiai – Competition or match

Shichi – Seven (note: similar to “shi”, “shichi” is only used in certain situations, otherwise “nana” if more commonly used. The numerical pronunciation for shi is the same as death, therefore, unlucky.)

Shihan – Master (6th Dan and up, style dependent)

Shikko-ho ( – Knee walking (Something only done in Daito-ryu aikijujutsu and aikido, not really done in classical jujutsu, unless it’s a new addition.)

Shime – Choke/strangle

Shime-waza – Strangulation techniques

Shisei – Posture (Nothing to do with combative stances)

Shinzen-Ni-Rei – Bowing to the Kamiza (Shinto altar) at the front of the dojo

Shote – Palm heel strike

Shomen – Front (Also used to refer to the front of the dojo)

Shomen-Ni-Rei – Bowing to the front of the dojo

Shuriken – Throwing blades sometimes taught in classical jujutsu systems.

Sokuto – Blade of the foot

Sokuto-Geri – Side kick using the blade of the foot

Soto – Outer/outside

Sukui-nage – Scooping throw

Sutemi – Sacrifice

Sutemi-Waza – Sacrifice techniques

Suwatte – sit down




Tai – The Chinese reading for body (Usually in Japanese it’s pronounced Karada unless it’s used in combination with another word, then the Chinese reading is used)

Tai-otoshi – Body drop throw

Tai-sabaki – Body Movement

Tanto – Dagger (one of the weapons jujutsu was originally designed to defend against)

Tanto-Dori – Defences or disarms against a dagger weilding enemy.

Tatami – Mat

Tate – Vertical (Can also mean to stand)

Te – Hand

Te-guruma – Hand wheel

Teisho – Heel of hand

Te-waza – Hand techniques

Tessen – Iron fan sometimes used in certain classical jujutsu schools to augment a technique

Tawara-gaeshi – Rice bail throw

Tokui waza – favorite technique

Tori – Defender in a demonstration.

Torite – Another term used instead of jujutsu

Tsuki – Punch or thrust with a weapon.




Uchi – Strike

Uchi – Inside/inner

Ude – Arm

Ude-kansetsu-waza – Arm locking techniques

Uke – Recieve/reciever (ie, opponent to tori in a demonstration)

Ukemi – Breakfalling (literally uke = “to recieve”)

Uki – Floating

Uki-goshi – Floating hip throw

Uki-otoshi – Floating drop

Uki-waza – Floating techniques

Ura – Reverse or underside

Ura-nage – Rear throw

Ura-ken – Backfist strike

Ushiro – Rear

Ushiro-dori – Attack from behind






Waki – Side (Can also refer to the armpit)

Wakibara – Flank/floating ribs (Literally: Side stomach)

Waki-Gatame – Side armlock using the armpit for leverage

Waki-No-Kamae – Side posture when using a katana

Wakizashi – shortsword (Also referred to as a kodachi or a shoto)

Waza – Technique






Yame! – Stop!

Yami – To cover or conceal one’s intentions

Yami-uchi – To make a sneak attack (Sucker punching)

Yawara – Another term for jujutsu

Yoko – Side

Yoko Geri – Side kick

Yon – Four

Yoroi-Kumiuchi – See Kacchu Yawara. Armoured close combat

Yubi-waza – Finger techniques

Yudansha – members with dan grades




Zanshin – Vigilance or awareness after a technique has been performed.


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