View Full Version : Help with the lingo, kudasai!

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Adrian Moore
10-30-2004, 02:07 PM
Hi everyone,

The amount of lingo flying about is tremendous !! is there a handy, cut-out-and-keep guide type thing anywhere, lisiting the basic words used in aikido, technique names etc... i've looked about but it's all pretty scattered around..

help ! it's soooo consuming !!

Chris Birke
10-30-2004, 02:23 PM
*tongue in cheek*

It's good that you're worried about it!

The better you get at Aikido, the more lingo you'll know. There's a 1:1 relationship between the amount of lingo you can spout and your Aiki-skill level. Therefore it follows that you can master Aikido by learning as much lingo as possible.

*toungue back where it belongs*

Yes, actually this would be a great thing to have. There must be examples of this out there - I'm surprised Aikiweb doesnt have a lingo section (or article post).

Things like names of techniques can be easily translated to english, however there might be some fun getting certain one word concepts down to less than a paragraph (or dissertation) in english.

I think a good use of replies here would be to list lingo and translations so that we can begin to make such a dictionary. I think we'd end up with something pretty comprehensive.

Adrian Moore
10-30-2004, 02:32 PM
hi chris, sounds like a plan ! i've started learning japanese as i think it will help me generally and i've always been interested in the culture. that aside, lets start from the start..

morote dori =


about the only ones i know are ukemi, uke, nage, saiza !!!

Janet Rosen
10-30-2004, 02:47 PM
Greg Connors Aikido Student Handbook has a dojo phrasebook in the back that made me feel MUCH more comfortable in the dojo as a newbie.

10-30-2004, 03:36 PM
I'm surprised Aikiweb doesnt have a lingo section

Jordan Steele
10-31-2004, 09:47 AM
morote dori = two hands grabbing one hand. Basically, uke grabs nages forearm as if it were a baseball bat and holds firmly.

Adrian Moore
10-31-2004, 11:27 AM

Perfect !

10-31-2004, 01:31 PM
The amount of lingo flying about is....soooo consuming !!

FWIW, Peter Goldsbury, whose posts are worth doing searches on for the illumination offered, surprised and delighted me once (again) when he related that his Jpn aikido students didn't understand techniques any better knowing their names than do we round-eyes. KOTE GAESHI ("forearm reversal", literally translated) didn't have any more meaning for them than it does for us. They still had to associate the terms with the stuff taught them in class even as do we.


10-31-2004, 02:02 PM
From the art perspective I recommend learning by category.

The following sequence is used with naming techniques: attack + response + modifier

For example, same side wrist grab, four corner throw to the front = katatedori shihonage omote.

If you learn the attacks and then responses and the modifiers you will be able to understand what is being asked.

10-31-2004, 11:58 PM
KOTE GAESHI ("forearm reversal", literally translated)

I swear I once heard kote gaeshi used on Iron Chef to describe a technique for making a particular piece of sushi :confused:


Berney Fulcher
11-01-2004, 05:10 AM
For example, same side wrist grab, four corner throw to the front = katatedori shihonage omote.
Heh, pretty sure I know how to do that, yet 4 corner throw does not translate well to shihonage in my head :freaky:

11-01-2004, 07:26 AM
The one hazard with using phrasebooks from the Net is that the jargon isn't entirely standardized, especially across different schools. For example, Aikikai divides throws into omote and ura, but Ki Society divides them into irimi and tenkan (and it turns out that these are not quite synonyms, though *usually* an omote throw is irimi). It's safest to look for a phrasebook from your own school or association.

I found that the best way to deal with the jargon was to keep a notebook and write down as much as I could remember after every class. It gets easier after a while as you start recognizing patterns both in the techniques (it used to seem arbitrary to me which throws were irimi and which were tenkan, now it's usually obvious) and in the words themselves.

Mary Kaye

11-01-2004, 10:10 AM
I agree with Mary. Ask your sensei if there is a glossary available. Our organization produces one that has the most commonly used terms in our brand of aikido.

What worked for me was making flashcards. By the time I was finished writing the word on one side and the definition on the other, checking all the spelling and reading it out loud, I didn't need half of them anymore.