General terms

Aikido The word "Aikido" is made up of three Japanese characters: "Ai" – join or harmony, "Ki" - spirit or universal energy, "Do" - the Way. Thus Aikido is "the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy."
Ai Hanmi Paired stance where UKE and NAGE each have the same foot forward.
Ashi Sabaki Footwork. ("Tsugi Ashi"= slide, "Ayumi Ashi"=step)
Atemi Strike directed at the attacker for purposes of unbalancing or distraction
Budo Martial Way
Chushin Center, especially, the center of one's movement or balance
Dan Black belt rank
Do Way/path. The Japanese character for "DO" is the same as the Chinese character for Tao (as in "Taoism").
Dojo Literally "place of the Way". Where we practice Aikido.
Domo Arigato Gozaimashita Japanese for "Thank you very much". At the end of each class, it is proper to bow and thank the instructor and those with whom you've trained.
Doshu Head of the Way (currently Moriteru Ueshiba, grandson of Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba)
Gi/Dogi/Keiko Gi Training uniform
Gyaku Hanmi Paired stance where UKE and NAGE have the opposite foot forward
Hanmi Triangular stance
Hombu Dojo A term used to refer to the central dojo of an organization. This usually designates Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo.
Hidari Left
Irimi Entering movemen
Kaiso The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, also called "O Sensei"
Kamae A posture or stance. Although "Kamae" generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important parallel in Aikido between one's physical and one's psychological bearing.
Kamiza A small shrine, especially in an Aikido, generally located in the front of the dojo. One bows in the direction of the "Kamiza" when entering or leaving the dojo, or the mat.
Kata A "form" or prescribed pattern of movement. Also “shoulder”.
Keiko Training. The literal translation of the characters is “to study the old”.
Ki Mind. Spirit. Energy. Vital-force. Intention. (Chinese = chi.)
Kohai A student junior to oneself
Kokoro "Heart or mind"
Kokyu Breath
Kuzushi The principle of destroying one's partner's balance. In Aikido, a technique cannot be properly applied unless one first unbalances one's partner.
Kyu White belt rank. (Or any rank below "Shodan")
Ma Ai Proper distancing or timing with respect to one's partner
Mae Front, as in "Mae Ukemi" or falling forward
Migi Right
Mokuso Meditation. Practice often begins or ends with a brief period of meditation. The purpose of meditation is to clear one's mind and to develop cognitive equanimity.
Nage The thrower, also "Tori"
Obi A belt
Omote "The front", entering to the front
Onegai shimasu "I welcome you to train with me," or literally, "I make a request." This is said to one's partner when initiating practice.
O-Sensei Literally, "Great Teacher", i.e., Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido
Reigi Etiquette. Observance of proper etiquette is as much a part of one's training as the practice of techniques. Observation of etiquette indicates one's sincerety, one's willingness to learn, and one's recognition of the rights and interests of others. Also "Reigi Saho".
Sensei Teacher. It is usually considered proper to address the instructor during practice as "Sensei" rather than by is/her name. If the instructor is a permanent instructor for one's DOJO or for an organization, it is proper to address him/her as "Sensei" off the mat as well.
Seiza Sitting on one's knees
Sempai A student senior to oneself
Shikko Knee walking
Shodan First degree black belt
Shomen Front or top (of head), also the designated front of a "Dojo"
Soto Outside
Tai Sabaki Body movement
Taninsugake Training against multiple attackers
Tegatana "Hand sword", i.e. the edge of the hand
Tenkan Turning movement (see "Tai No Tenkan")
Tenshin A movement where "nage" moves 45 degrees away from the attack
Uchi "Inside", also “strike”
Ueshiba Kisshomaru The son of the Founder of Aikido and second Aikido "Doshu"
Ueshiba Morihei The Founder of Aikido (see "O Sensei and "Kaiso")
Ueshiba Moriteru The grandson of the Founder and current "Dojoshu"
Uke Person being thrown (receiving the technique)
Ukemi Literally "receiving [with/through] the body", thus, the art of falling in response to a technique. The development of proper ukemi skills is just as important as the development of throwing skills and is no less deserving of attention and effort.
Ura Rear
Ushiro Backwards or behind, as in "Ushiro ukemi" or falling backwards
Waza Technique
Yudansha Black belt holder
Zanshin Lit. "remaining mind/heart". Even after an Aikido technique has been completed, one should remain in a balanced and aware state.

Aikido techniques

Tachi waza Standing Technique
Suwari waza Seated Technique, also "Zagi".
Hanmi handachi waza Technique where "Nage" is seated and "Uke" is standing
Osae waza Pinning Technique
Kansetsu waza Joint technique
Jiyu Waza Free-style practice of techniques
Ikkyo First teaching, also "Ude Osae" (arm pin)
Nikyo Second teaching, also "Kote Mawashi" (wrist/forearm rotate)
Sankyo Third teaching, also "Kote Hineri" (wrist/forearm twist)
Yonkyo Fourth teaching, also "Tekubi Osae" (wrist pin)
Goyko Fifth teaching, also "Ude Nobashi" (arm stretch)
Iriminage Entering throw
Shihonage Four Way throw
Kokyunage Breath throw
Kotegaeshi Wrist/forearm reversal
Kaitennage Circular throw
Tenchinage Heaven and Earth throw
Kokyuho Breath Method

Types of attacks

Tori/Dori Grab
Uchi Strike
Keri/Geri Kick
Katatedori One hand grabbing one hand (mirror image)
Kosadori One hand grabbing one hand (right to right or left to left)
Morotedori Two hands grabbing one hand
Ryotedori Two hands grabbing two hands
Katadori Shoulder grab
Ushirodori Grab from behind
Shomenuchi Strike to the front or top of the head
Yokomenuchi Strike to the side of the head
Tsuki Punch or thrust


One Ichi
Two Ni
Three San
Four Shi/Yon
Five Go
Six Roku
Seven Shichi/Nana
Eight Hachi
Nine Kyu
Ten Ju