Martial Arts Dictionary

The following collection of information has been gathered from multiple sources. As the majority of the terms are translations into English and open to some interpretation, depending on the particular style studied, exact definitions of each and every term are not guaranteed. Our main goal is to assist in ones ability to grasp concepts around some of the terminology that may be used in the martial arts world. As time goes on, hopefully our list will continue to refine and grow. We hope that you find this list to be a helpful resource. Enjoy!

ACUPUNCTURE – Chinese system of medicine and healing by the manipulation of needles on certain key points of the body, known as meridians.

AI-“Harmony” Philosophically it’s the force of human beings and nature. A force keeping the universe in harmony. A more broad concept explains Ai as loving energy between all living things.

AIKIDO – Japenese martial art invented by Morehei Ueshiba, involving internal and external harmony with nature, the techniques of this system are circular in movement. Other styles exist as off-shoots from the original founder’s version.

ARNIS DE MANO – Philippine martial art, meaning Harness of the Hand and involving the use of twins sticks for fighting. It is also a dance in which the fighting is hidden, devised after the spanish banned the martial arts.

ATEMI – Japanese art of attacking the vital points of the body. It is now used in jujitsu, but is illegal in judo contests.

BAGONG- Pasoktagalog-Entry-level student.Kali

BAGSAK- Tagalog-To drop; overhead strike with down weighing.Kali

BALISONG – Correct term for the filipino knife ( Butterfly ), taking it’s name from the balisong barrio, in the Philippines, where it was manufactured. It is a switchblade knife that is opened by a downward wrist action and is much favored by escrima and kali fighters.

BANDESH – Indian empty hand fighting technique used to defeat an armed assailant without killing him.

BANDO – Burmese martial art involving numerous boxing methods. It is based upon twelve animals, which are the Boar, Bull, Cobra, Deer, Eagle, Monkey, Bird, Panther, Python, Scorpion, Tiger and Viper. It was introduced into the west by Dr. Maung Gyi in 1962.

BANSHAY – Burmese forms of the weapon arts, utilizing the staff, sword and spear.

BERSILAT – Martial art of Malaysia, derived from the Indonesian Pentjaklilat. It is also practiced in Java and Sumatra.

BINOT – Ancient form of weaponless fighting found in India. This art is reputed to be more than 3,000 years old. The word means something to protect, few practioners are found today.

BLACK BELT – Belt representing the first significant rank in martial arts training. It is believed in some styles that achieving this level of proficiency allows one to teach the art to others. In the Japenese ranking system it is known as Shodan.

BO – Six and a half foot staff used by Okinawans and Japanese for combat purposes.

BODHIDHARMA – Indian holy man, also known as Ta’Mo and Daruma, credited wth bringing zen buddhism to China by introducing a series of exercises to the shaolin temple, traditionally recognized as the orgin of all Shaolin Kung Fu.

BOK HOK PAI – Chinese system of kung fu based upon the mannerisms of the white crane.

BOK MEI PAI – White Eyebrow, style of kung fu, named after it’s founder, Bok Mei. It is a very fast style of kung fu, which legend states to have been banned at the shaolin temple after Bok Mei killed a fellow student in a fight.

BOKKEN – Solid wooden sword used for training purposes in kendo and other martial arts. In the hands of an expert it can deliver fatal blows.

BRIDGE-Slightly extented arm positioning which capitilizes on structural strength

BUSHI – Japanese word meaning Martial Man to indicate a warrior who follows the code of Bushido, way of the warrior. Bushido was a code of ethnics, followed by the samurai, which stressed honor, loyalty, duty and obedience. The term has been erroneoulsy used to refer to ancient samurai ways, but it was first coined by the japanese writer, Inazo Nitobe, in 1892. As the title of his book of the same name.

BUTTERFLY KNIFE – Short, heavy chinese knife, used in pairs. It’s proper name is Bak Jam Dao. It is popularly seen in the kung fu styles of Wing Chun and Hung Gar, but other styles have adopted it.

CAT STANCE – Stance used mainly in some karate styles, but also seen in Kung Fu. It places virtually all the body weight on the back leg. The name derives from it’s resemblence to a cat about to pounce or spring.

CENTER LINE – Basic theory of Wing Chun Kung Fu, in which students are taught to defend and attack imaginary line running down through the center of the body on which all vital organs are located.

CH’AN-(CHAN) – Chinese reading of Zen, meaning Meditation. In india it is known as Dhyana.

CHANG SAN-FENG – Legendary martial arts master and great taoist philospher, credited with founding Tai Chi Chuan, one of the three internal systems of chinese boxing.

CHANG-HON YU – School of Taekwondo created by Choi Hong Hi. The name means Blue Cottage.

CHI – Internal energy, the universal force which is harnessed through a series of special breathing exercises called Chi-Kung or Gung. It brings it’s users good health and physical strength. It’s development is a prime requirement for practioners of Tai Chi and Hsing-1.

CHI SAO – Special exercise in Wing Chun Kung Fu for developing cordination and sensitivity in the arms. It is also very important for teaching correct elbow positioning and economy of motion. It is known in the west as Sticking Hands.

CHIEN – Oldest known style of Tai Chi Chaun. It began in Chien Village and has 108 postures.

CH’IN-NA – Chinese art of seizing and grappling, identified as a type of wrestling but much more sophisitated. Great knowledge of anatomy is required by it’s practioners before the techniques can be successfully applied.

CHOY LIFUT – Southern style of Chinese boxing based on the Shaolin Temple system. It was devised in 1836 by Chan Heung.

CHUAN-FA – Chinese term meaning Way of the Fist, correct term for Kung Fu.

CHUDAN – In Japanese Martial Arts the middle area or chest. In Karate this is one of the three target areas of the body.

CHUNGDAN – Korean term to indicate the mid-section of the body, corresponding to the japanese Chudan.

CHUNIN – One of the three ranks in Ninjutsu, the middleman

CRANE – One of the five animal styles of Shaolin Kung Fu.

CROSS- Boxing- It is a punch usually thrown with the dominant hand the instant an opponent leads with his opposite hand. The blow crosses over the leading arm, hence its name

DAISENSEI – Title of respect, meaning Great Teacher, given only to a teacher of high rank.

DAISHO – Matching set of the Japanese long and short swords, worn by all Samurai in the Tokugawa era.

DAITO – Japanese long sword with a cutting edge, measuring more then 25 inches. It was used by the Samurai.

DAITO-RYU – Style of Aiki Jutsu from which it is said that aikido developed.

DAN – Japanese term for anyone who has achieved the rank of Black Belt or above. This term is not exclusive to the Martial Arts, but is used in many sports and Games.

DIM MAK – Fabled death touch, a delayed action strike aimed at an acupuncture meridian, allegedly able to cause death to a victim within hours or days of it’s delivery.

DIT DA JOW – Special herbal ointment, the recipe of which is kept very secret, used to help pervent injury and severe brusing in almost all the Chinese Martial Arts

DO – Japanese word for Path or Way, used at the end of the name of a martial art, as in Karate Do or Kendo.

DOJO – Training place or hall, used for the practice of Japanese Martial Arts.

DOSHIN-SO – The founder of Shorinji Kempo, a martial art that is greatly influenced by Chinese system and is registered in Japan as a religious sect.

DRAGON – One of the five animal styles praticed at Sholin. The mythical Dragon symbolizes the spirit and teaches agility and flexability.

DRUNKEN MONKEY – Style of Kung Fu based upon the antics of Monkeys. Practioners stagger around as though intoxicated to fool their opponents. The style employs many ground and low techniques.

EMPTY HAND – Literal meaning of Karate in Japanese.

ESCRIMA – Martial system of the Philippines that employs sticks, swords and daggers. The term is spanish and means Skirmish. It’s adepts are called Escrimadors.

FIVE ANCESTORS – Five survivors who escaped during the sacking of the Sholin Temple, credited with being the founders of the Triad societies.

FIVE ANIMALS – Five animals, The Crane, Dragon, Leopard, Tiger and Snake, whose movements were imitated in a system of fighting said to be the orgin of the Shaolin Systems.

FORM – Series of choreographed movements in Kung Fu linking together various martial arts techniques, able to be performed as a solo exercise to aid the practioner in perfecting his techniuqe. The equivalent in Karate is called a Kata.

FU HSING – Chinese God of Happiness.

FU JOW PAI – Tiger Claw, system of Kung Fu, developed at the Sholin Temple.

FULL CONTACT – Form of Karate in which full power kicks are delivered at an opponent. Participants wear protective hand and foot equipment. The sport has grown rapidly in western countries in the last 15 years.

GEDAN – Lower area of the body, from the waist downwards, in Japanese Martial Arts.

GENIN – Lowest of three ranks in the Ninja Heiarchy. A Genin was the actual field agent, or Ninja, who performed assassinations.

GI – Term used for traning uniform in Japanese Martial Arts. It is known as a Karate Gi in Karate and Judo Gi in Judo.

GICHIN FUNAKOSHI – Founder of the Shotokan style of Karate, and Okinawan Schoolmaster credited with introducing Karate into Japan in 1922.

GOJU-KAI – Offshoot of Goju-Ryu Karate, founded by a student of Miyagi named Gogen Yamaguchi.

GOJU-RYU – One of the major styles of Karate developed from Okinawan Nahae. It is a hard-soft system invented by Chojun Miyagi.

GRAPPLING – Techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial arts that are practiced both as combat sports and for self defense. Grappling does not typically include striking or most commonly the use of weapons, however some grappling disciplines teach tactics that include strikes and weapons either alongside grappling or as part of it

GULAT – Type of wrestling found in Jave, greatly influenced by Sumo Wrestling.

GUNG FU – Cantonese pronunciation of Kung Fu.

GURU – Referee at a Sumo wrestling match.

HACHIDAN – An 8th degree Black Belt, Hachi means Eight. In Japanese Martial Arts the title denotes a professor of the art.

HADAN – Taekwondo term for the area of the body below the waist, equivalent ot the Japanese, Gedan.

HAKAMA – Long devided skirt, garment covering the legs and feet, used in Kendo, Aikdo and other Japanese Martial Arts. The long robe is said to mask the intricate footwork of the practioner, therefore making it difficult for an opponent to judge his movements.

HAPKIKO – Korean Martial Art involving many difficult kicks, but also utilizing locks and holds. It is somewhat similar to the Japanese Jujitsu.

HARA-KIRI – Japanese ritual suicide by disembowlment, known in Japan by it’s proper name of Seppuku. It was the ultimate act of atonement by which a samurai warrior regained lost honor.

HARIMAU – Tiger style of Penjak-Silat in Indonisia.

HEIAN – Name given to the five basic katas in Karate. In some schools the Heian Katas are also known as Pinan Katas.

HOJO-JUTSU – Japanese art of binding or rope tying. First praticed by Samurai on the battlefield to detain prisioners for questioning. Adepts learn intricate methods of tying up a person with a cord.

HO-JUTSU – Samurai art of using firearms.

HOMBU – Headquarters of any Martial Art.

HOOK – Boxing-Performed by turning the core and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent. Hook punches can be thrown by either the lead hand or the rear hand.  Variations of the hook are the shovel hook or upper-hook; they are body punches that combine characteristics of both the hook and the uppercut.

HOP GAR – Style of Kung Fu which became prominent during the Ching Dynasty of China. It was famous as the official martial art of the Manchu Emperors. Two distinct styles within the system were, White Crane and Law Horn. The style is also known by the name Lama Kung Fu.

HORSE STANCE – Basic stance, resembling that of a horse rider. In many oriental martial arts, especially Chinese Hung Gar and Japanese Karate, in the latter being known as Kiba Dachi.

HSING 1 – Chinese martial art created by the great warrior, Yueh Fei. It is sometimes referred to as Mind Form Boxing. The system is based upon the five chinese elements.

HUANG TI – Legendary Yellow Emperor of the Chou Dynasty, credited as the author of the Nei-Ching, the Taoist Classic of Internal Medicine.

HUNG GAR – Style of Kung Fu stressing powerful hand techniques delivered from low stances. It is based on the movements of the Tiger and Crane and is one of the original five ancestor styles. Hung is the creator’s name and Gar means Family or System.

HWARANG DO – Way of the Flowering Manhood, a code of ethnics and a fighting system followed by the Samurai. The code was also followed in the Silla Kingdom of Korea. Today it’s main advocate in the west is the grandmaster, Joo Bang Lee, who lives in the United States.

IAI-DO – Japanese method of drawing a sword and re-sheathing it, a non combat art aimed at leading the prationer to intellectual and spiritual awareness.

IAI-JITSU – Martial System from which Iaido was taken, a battlefield art which requires the practioner to draw his sword rapidly and strike to kill, and then replace it in it’s scabbard.

I-CHING ( Book of Changes ) – An ancient book of Taoist divination principles. This book, reputed to be the oldest known book in the world, contains the philosophicas basis of Tai Chi Chaun, Pakua, and Hsing 1. It comprises 64 six line symbols, or hexagrams, each composed of two three line symbols, called Trigrams. Together these symbols represent everything that exists in the universe.

IGA – Remote region of Japan famous as the home of the Ninja people.

INTERNAL SYSTEMS – There are three internal styles of Kung Fu; Tai Chi, Pakua and Hsing 1. They each cultivate chi energy, and inherent power within all human beings, largely inexplicable to modern science, which can be unleashed to awesome effect.

IPPON – Full point awarded in Martial Arts competitions for the flawless execution of a technique.

IPPON SEOI NAGE – The move is similar to the over-the-shoulder arm drag from professional wrestling. While tori’s lifting arm is raised tight under ukes arm, tori’s pulling arm grips high on the uke’s sleeve. Rotation and pull through complet the throw.

IRON PALM – Lethal technique of Kung Fu, able to kill with a single blow. The entire forearm must be conditioned over a period of several years before a prationer is able to attain any reasonable standard. This conditoning makes the adept’s hand and arm like an iron bar.

JAB – Boxing-A  lead hand straight punch, typically used as a range finder.  Several variations of the jab exist, but every jab shares these characteristics: while in a fighting stance, the lead fist is thrown straight ahead and the arm is nearly fully extended.

JEET KUNE DO – Style of Kung Fu divised by the late Bruce Lee. It’s name means Way of the Intercepting Fist.

JKA – Japan Karate Association, founded in 1955. It is the largest karate association in the world. It’s first chief instructor was the founder of Shotokan, Gichin Funakoshi.

JU JITSU – Japanese Martial Art based upon the exploitation of opponents strength against himself. The name means Soft or Flexable and the art contains both armed an unarmed techiques.

JODAN – In Japanese Martial Arts the top area of the body, from the shoulders upward.

JOINT-LOCK – A technique used in many styles involving manipulation of an opponent’s joints in such a way that the joints reach their maximum degree of motion

JONIN – Highest rank in the Ninja Hierarcy. A Jonin recieved intructions directly from the lord.

JUDO – Modern sporting form of Ju Jitsu, developed by Dr. Jigoro Kano in 1882.

JUDOKA – One who practices Judo.

JUKEN-DO – Way of the Bayonet, a Japanese Martial Art that has recently adopted a sporting format. It consists of fighting with a bayonet fixed to the end of a rifle and developed primarily form spear and staff arts.

JUTSU – Japanese word meaning Skill or Art.

JUTTE – Single tined or Pronged Iron Truncheon, used by the early japanese police force. The single tine at the hilt of the weapon enables the user to trap a Katana ( Sword ) without being injured by the blade.

KALARIPAYIT – Indian system of martial training, of which two styles exsist, the Northern and Southern. It is chiefly praticed by the Tamils in the south and decendants of the Nayar warriors in the north. The word means Battlefield Training.

KIAI – Super shout or yell in Japanese Martial Arts, emitted when applying a technique to add extra power and stun an opponent.

KIHON – Basic training moves, repeated many times in order to reach proficency.

KOBUDO – Name referring to the ancient martial ways of the japanese warrior.

KOSHI GURUMA – One of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the second group, Dai Nikyo, of Kodokan. Tori holds his right arm around the opponents head, then wheels his right hip inwards a bit past the opponents right hip. While the leg and hip positioning create lift, the torso rotates pulling through to complete the throw

KRABI-KRABBONG – Twin sworded combat system of Thailand, in which practioners fight at lightning speeds using two razor sharp short swords or a sword and a shield.

KUNG FU – A derivative of a Chinese term meaning Hard Work and Applied Skills, now accepted by both westerners and orientals as a generic term for martial art skills.

KUP – In Taekowndo one of the eight grades of ranking before the Black Belt comparable to the Japanese KYU grade.

KUZUSHI – Essentially means “off balance”. From Japanese, “kuzusu” meaning to level, pull down or demolish

KYOKUSHINKAI – Japanese Karate System founded by the Korean born Mastau Oyama. It’s name means Way of Ultimate Truth. Oyama gained fame by fighting bulls barehanded. He still holds the world record for breaking the largest number of roofing tiles with one blow.

KYUDO – Way of the Bow, a Japanese Martial Art of archery which incorperated deep zen concepts. Great emphasis is placed upon the way in which one applies oneself duing the ritual perparing the arrow for flight, actually hitting the target is of little importance.

LAO TSU – Legendary sage in Chinese history, credited with founding the principles of Taoism.

LATHI – Indian Art of fighting with a Staff.

LO HAN – Name of any famous diciple of Buddha and also the name of the exercises that Bodhidharma taught to the monks at Shaolin when he found them in an emaciated condition. The method of training known as The 18 hands of the Lo Han is the basis of what we now know as Kung Fu.

LUNG – Chinese word meaning Dragon

MABUNI KENWA – Creator of Shitoryu Kartate, who studied under the same Okinawan master called Hosu, as Funakoshi.

MAKIWARA – Stiking post used to conditon the hands and feet in Karate.

MARTIAL ARTS – Term denoting the arts of war, taken from mars, the god of war. It now means a fighting discipine to promote combat proficiency.

MEN – Face mask or helmet used in Kendo.

MOO DUK KWAN – Korean term for an academy for martial practice.

MOOK JOONG – Wooden dummy, shaped like a man, used for conditoning and training purposes in many hard, or external, styles of Kung Fu notable Wing Chun and Hung Gar.

MUAY THAI – Correct term for Thai Boxing.

NAGINATA – Japanese Halberd, or curved bladed spear, used in the martial way of Naginata-Do. This art was adopted by woman and is now a thriving combat sport in Japan. Although the spear tip has been replaced with a piece of bamboo for safety reasons.

NAHA TE – One of the three original styles of Okinawan Kartate, named after the town of Naha, where it was first practiced.

NINJA – Secret society of highly trained assassins in old Japan, trained from birth to become expert in a vast number of martial skills. It is also the term ofr a male of Ninjutsu.

NINJUTSU – Martial Art of the Ninja people. The original name was Shinobi.

NUNCHAKU – Two wooden batons linked by a short chain or cord to make a weapon. Used originally as a rice flail, it is found in most cultures throughout Asia.

O GOSHI – One of the original 40 throws of Judo as compiled by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the Dai ikkyu, of Kodokan Judo. In this technique, kuzushi is to uke’s front. Tsukuri (turning/fitting in) involves tori turning his hips, moving them in front and below uke’s hips, with tori’s lapel-side hand passing behind uke’s back, usually under uke’s arm, while minimising the amount of space between tori’s back and uke’s chest. Tori’s sleeve-side hand pulls uke’s arm to the front, maintaining the balance break. Execution of the throw involves tori lifting with the hips and bending while continuing torso rotation and pull through, bringing uke onto the mat at tori’s feet.

OKINAWA TE – Collective term for the Okinawan schools of Kartate. The name means Okinawa Hand.

O SOTO GARI – One of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the first group, Dai Ikkyo, of the traditional throwing list, Gokyo (no waza), of Kodokan Judo. In a classical right-handed osotogari, tori steps next to uke with his left leg and reaps uke’s right leg (at the back of the thigh) with his right leg.

PA-KUA – Style of Kung Fu, based on circular movements with open palm strikes. It means Eight Trigrams and the concept comes from the classic chinese treatise, the 1-Ching, or book of changes. The practioner constantly changes directions during an attack. Hence the art is sometimes known as Eight-Directions Palm Boxing.

PENTJAK-SILAT – Indonesian martial art of Muslim and Chinese orgin. Many hundreds of sytles exist.

PRAYING MANTIS – Style of Kung Fu known in China as Ton Long. It is named after Wong Long, who invented the style after witnessing a fight between a grasshopper and a praying mantis.

PRESS – The act of creating or maintaining pressure oftentimes in order to create offbalance

RANDORI – In judo, free practice or sparring in which the techniques are not prescribed.

ROKUSHAKUBO – Okinawan six foot staff or pole made from oak or simular hardwood. Roku means six, Shaku means about a foot in length, and Bo means pole or staff.

ROLLING – American term used for grappling or ground fighting

ROUNDHOUSE KICK – Kick used in virtually all the martial arts. It’s circular path gives it extra power by generating a center force and it is on of the most powerful kicks in the martial artist’s arsenal.

RYU – School or Style in Japanese Martial Arts.

SAI – Three pronged, fork like weapon, once made of iron, now of steel. It resembles a short, blunt sword and is a single handed weapon used in pairs.

SAMURAI – Japanese feudal warrior. The word means one who serves. A samurai served as a military retainer to a lord and his shogun. A masterless samurai was known as a Ronin.

SANCHIN – Breathing exercise of 20 movements used in Okinawan karate. It teaches a practitioner to tense his body and control his breathing during intense combat.

SAVATE – French system of foot fighting, correctly termed La Savate. It was the foreruner of traditonal french boxing, called La Boxe Francaise, used in Paris by the underworld. It was influenced by Chinese Martial Arts.

SENSEI – Japanese word for a Teacher or Instructor.

SHAOLIN – Temple in the Songshan mountains of northern China, where Kung Fu is said to have born.

SHIAI – Contest in Judo in which two Judoka use a variety of techniques to score points.

SHINAI – Bamboo sword made of four strips bound together, used in Kendo to replace the live blade.

SHINOBI – Old term from shich the name Ninja derives.

SHINTO – Japanese animistic religion, meaning Way of the Gods. It is based on ancestor worship.

SHORINJI KEMPO – Japanese Karate system founded by Doshin So, now deceased. It’s organization is now headed by his daughter.

SHOTOKAN – School of Japanese Karate founded by Gichin Funakoshi. The name dreives from Funakohsi’s pen name Shoto. It is probably the most widely practiced style of Karate in the world.

SHUAI CHIAO – One of the earliest organized fighting systems in China, dating from c.700 BC. It was a form of wrestling, but with few throws. Today it is an official sport of the People’s Republic of China.

SHURIKEN – Sharp pointed throwing stars, orginally made of iron, a favorite weapon of the Ninja. Many shapes and sizes exited.

SIFU – Instructor in Kung Fu, corresponding to a Sensei in karate. The word means Father.

SIKARAN – Martial Art found on the Philippine Island Luzon. It stresses kicks and leg techniques and resembles some Japanese Martial Arts.

SIL LUM – Cantonese name for the Shaolin Temple.

SIL LUM TAO – Primary form in Wing Chun, meaning Little Idea or Little Imagination. The form teaches elbow positioning and the protection of the center line. It has no foot movements.

SO-JUTSU – Japanese skill in using the spear. The name means Art of the Spear

SPARRING – Combat experience to give a karate student the oppurtunity to apply the techiques he or she has learned.

SPORT KARATE – Karate competition in which conteststants fight under combat rules in a ring or area. They wear protective gloves and foot pads. Techniques are scored and points are given. Actual combat is prohibited. Although some leeway is allowed.

SUMO – Ancient form of Japanese wrestling, steeped in religious aspects of Shintoism, contestants build themselves up to great weights in order to gain an advantage over their opponents.

SUN TZU – Author of the Chinese Military Classic, The Art of War, believed by many to be the treatise upon which Ninjutsu is based.

SWEEP – Technique in which catches the opponents foot for feet and unbalances him or her.

TAEKWONDO – Korean style of empty hand combat very simular to karate. Great emphasis is placed upon delivering strikes with the feet and fists. This art was partly indigenous to Korea, being known as Tae Dyon in it’s older version.

TAI CHI CHUAN – One of the three internal systems of Kung Fu. Much value is placed upon it’s therapeutic properties for the relief of stress and tension. It is intendeed to guide one into a state of peace and tranquility. The word means Great Ultimate Fist. There is a deadly side to this art, but it is known by only a few instructors.

TAMASHIWARA – Japanese technique of using strikes with the body against materials such as wood, tiles, bricks and ice to test the power of a strike.

TANG SOO DO – Way of the Tang Hand, a Korean Martial Art System very simular to Japanese Shotokan Karate. The style was developed in 1949 by Hwang Kee, who claimed to have derived it from the ancient korean arts of T’ang Su and Subak.

TAO – Chinese term meaning Path or Way. Tao is an invisible force or energy, present in all things in the universe.

TE – Okinawan term meaning Hand.

THAI BOXING – Same as Mauy Thai.

THAING – General term of the Burmese Arts of Self Defense.

TIGER – One of the five animals in Sholin Kung Fu.

TOBOK – Suit or Tunic worn by practioners of Taekwondo, consisting of a loose shirt and trousers tied in the middle with a sash or belt.

TONFA – Okinawan agriculture implement, the handle used to operate a manual millstone, adopted by the Okinawas as a weapon for fighing purposes. It is used in Karate to improve technique. In recent times many United States Police Departments have issued an updated version of the tofa to their officers as a replacement for the billy clup or night stick.

UESHIBA – Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Akido.

UKEMI – Japanese art of falling and rolling

URUMI – Indian spring sword with four sharp edges.

VITAL POINTS – Certain areas on the body which, when struck in a particular way, cause great pain or death.

WADO RYU KARATE – Way of Peace, style of Japanese Karate developed from Shotokan by Hironori Ohtsuka.

WAZARI – In competitive martial arts a score of half a point, awarded to the skillful execution of a technique.

WHITE BELT – Color of belt to a beginner in most Japanese Martial Arts.

WING CHUN – Chinese Martial Art invented by a woman named Yim Wing Chun. It’s name means Beautiful Springtime. It is considered by many to be one of the most effective forms of Kung Fu in existence. the fundamental premise of the style is economy of motion. Wing Chun greatly influenced Bruce Lee when he was forumulating his own system of Jeet Kune Do.

WU SHU – Chinese term for the Military Arts, now use a generic name for the highly acrobatic martial arts of mainaland China.

YANG – In Chinese cosmology the positive aspect of the universe relating to hardness, masculinity and light, one half of the Taoist view of the universe.

YANG STYLE – Style of Tai Chi, developed by Yang Lu Chan in the early part of the 19th century. It contains the original 13 Tai Chi postures.

YIN – In Chinese cosmology, the negative aspect of the universe, relating to emptiness, softness, darkness and feminity. Yin is represented as a black fish with a white eye in the famous Yin-Yang symbol.

YOKO ARUKI – Ninja secret walking techniques. The word means Walking Sideways. By employing such methods, the Ninja did not reveal in which direction he or she was traveling, thus making it difficult for his enemies to track him.

YOKOZUNA – Grand Champion Rank of Sumo Wrestling, the highest of five ranks.

YUDANSHA – Kendoka who has achieved the rank of Black Belt or higher, alone permitted to wear an outfit of a uniform color.

ZANSHIN – State of mind cultivated in many Japanese Martial Arts. The practioner is supposed to become calm yet fully aware of his opponent’s every movement.

ZEN – Religious phiolosophy that claims that one can reach satori, or enlightment, through meditation. Founded by the Indian Monk and Holy Man, Bodhidharma. Zen makes use of paradoxical poems called Koans to clear the mind of trivia and so reaches the meditative state required. In China, Zen is called Chan or Ch’an. Zen was much favored by the Japanese Samurai.

ZHURKANE – Persian ( Iranian ) term meaning powerhouse. It refers to a system of highly specialized strength exercises and professes to be a martial art dating back more than 3000 years to the court of the Darius.

ZLI YANG – Korean-Mass, a factor in the theory of power.

ZONING-English -The act of limiting the opponent’s offensive potential by moving to a position relative to them that closes off the major weapons, or likely next attack. Identification of the next likely attack is based on reach, foot placement, weight distribution and momentum. Similar to Angling. Kali, JKD

Leave a Reply