View Full Version : Language

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Jane Woodcock
10-13-2003, 04:02 PM
did anyone else have a problem with the language when they started.
I was doing tincans all over the place, one technique was a simosa and at the end of a class I was saying oh no i've forgotton my gas mask :D

Jeanne Shepard
10-13-2003, 06:57 PM
When we begin, we bow in and say "Oh-my-gosh-a-mouse."


Clayton Kale
10-13-2003, 07:43 PM
I guess that's one of the advantages of taking a less traditional form. :: puts on flame retardant suit:: :cool:

Because we're a style that doesn't descend from O Sensei's Aikido, and becauase most of the people in my class have English as their first language (the rest have Spanish or Italian but speak English) we call most things by English names (except for concepts such as ki or maai and stances like hanmi and jigatai<sp?>). I know the hardcore traditionalists out there would prefer everything to keep its Japanese name, and I always ask what something's called in Japanese to satisfy my curiosity (and to keep up with you guys on this board!:D) But my teacher made a good point when I asked him why we don't call things by their Japanese names. "You speak English!"

I appreciate the effort to keep things traditional, but whether it's called a kokyu nage or a spin-around, kote gaeshi or front-wrist throw, it's still Aikido to me.

I say Po-tay-toe, you say po-tah-toe, but it's the same ki to me. :)

10-16-2003, 11:07 AM
jane, i understand the 'my gas mask' and the tincans, but what technique is "simosa"?

i couldn't figure it out, even after thinking for an hour

*burning curiosity

10-16-2003, 12:22 PM
I am a bum.

I've found doing aikido in different places that a common language is really useful as I can understand the basics of a class in any country.

The poetry gets lost in the translation too perhaps.

My mum says the same thing of Latin and Catholicism.



Chris Linneman
10-16-2003, 02:42 PM
I came from a very traditional Shotokan school which used the japanese terms for techniques, so, during my search for an aikido school, the traditional terminology was a plus in my mind (being the anal-retentive person I am).

However, so far (after a wopping total of 3 classes), I've found the aikido terms much more difficult, both in pronounciation and in my ability to remember what means what. Are there any good references out there for this (preferably one with pictures)?

10-17-2003, 08:59 AM
In Taiwan natually all the techniques are in Chinese. Example "Ikkyo" would be "Yi Jao" or "Nikyo" would be "Er Jao". (or first technique and second technique). When asking about a technique usually only the head instructor of a dojo will have a clue of what the Japanese term is.


Jane Woodcock
03-23-2005, 02:26 PM
Hi Maresa, simosa was the only ay i could remember sumiotosh. kind of a word association thing. trouble was it took me ages to lose that and come up with the right name

03-23-2005, 03:27 PM
i think the terminology is kinda easy once you know what little parts of the words mean.... like "han" means half so anything with "han" in it is probably going to only have to do with one half of the body.

but in my dojo we do use the japanese names all of the time... so i pick the words up pretty quickly.

Jane Woodcock
03-23-2005, 03:50 PM
Hi had some more thoughts on language. i have written some short stories on aikido language. have a read see what you think

03-23-2005, 05:56 PM
In my dojo we learn the names of techniques in Japanese, which IMO is a better approach than having local terminology. It provides a common verbal platform between people from diferent dojos or even diferent countries. If everyone uses their own terminology the comunication becomes much more difficult. It's the same thing as writing a paper to a conference: it's almost always in english! (and I'm portuguese).

Of course, in the beggining, it will be hard to follow and associate the names with the movements or techniques but, eventually, it will stop being a problem (at least that's what happened to me).

HOWEVER there's an important thing to keep in mind. It's also very useful (could even say essencial) that the instructor has some idea about the meaning of the words so that the name of a technique won't seem just like some strange word. We also do that in my dojo.

So, gradually we start associating the names with the movements and the names with their meaning, getting the best of both approaches.

One thing is sure. Regardless of the terminology approach, like Clayton said "it's still Aikido".

Just my thoughts...


PS: My dojo approach is also cool because I like leaning some japanese words!! :p :p :p

Tim Gerrard
03-24-2005, 05:21 AM
I was doing tincans all over the place, one technique was a simosa and at the end of a class I was saying oh no i've forgotton my gas mask :D

Or the Geordie equivalent.

"Dennat walk on the grass"
Plus I've only just realised what the difference between Tai no Henko and Tai Sabaki is....

:confused: :confused: :confused:

04-10-2005, 11:15 PM
Or the Geordie equivalent..:

What part of the U.K. are "Geordies" from?

Tim Gerrard
04-11-2005, 07:04 AM
Geordies are from Newcastle, up in the North East, not to be confused with Mackems (from sunderland), or Smoggies (from Middlesborough), although we sound more or less the same to a casual listener. :D

04-11-2005, 07:26 AM
If you told me to do a technique using the english name, i'd probably take about half an hour to figure out what you mean...

Jane Woodcock
04-24-2005, 03:08 PM
If you told me to do a technique using the english name, i'd probably take about half an hour to figure out what you mean...

Yes but it also takes half an hour to say it in english. :D plus I think it sounds better in japanese. much more ?romantic? , ?flowing? :rolleyes: