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Ai – harmony, love

Aiki – harmonious energy

Aikido – a martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba

Aikikai – aikido school

Ai hanmi – the position taken by two students facing each other, in which each has the same foot forward, i.e. each has the right foot forward, or each has the left foot forward

Atemi – a strike

Biran – the cosmic storm that presages great change in the world

Birankai -  the organization founded by T.K. Chiba Shihan, to which Grass Valley Aikikai belongs. Birankai consists of member dojos throughout the world whose chief instructors follow Chiba Sensei. Birankai is divided into three branches: Birankai North America, Birankai United Kingdom, Birankai Contental Europe.

Bokken – wooden sword

Budo – martial way

Chudan – middle level, level of the chest and abdomen

Dan – black belt rank

Do – way, path, Tao

Dojo – place where a martial art is practiced (“way place”)

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita – thank you very much

Doshu – the title of the person who is the head of the International Aikido Federation, currently Moriteru Ueshiba - the grandson of the founder of Aikido.

Fukushidoin – the first (or lowest) of the three teaching ranks used in the United States Aikido Federation, Western Region

Gedan – lower level, knee level

Gi – uniform

Go - five

Godan – fifth degree black belt

Gokyo – fifth pinning technique

Gokyu – the first rank obtained by a new student (see “kyu”)

Gyaku Hanmi – the position taken by two partners facing each other in which each has the opposite foot forward, a mirror image configuration

Hachi - eight

Hakama – a traditional Japanese men’s garment like a long divided skirt that is worn by black belt or instructor training students

Hanmi – triangular stance used in aikido

Hanmi handachi – the configuration in which the attacker is standing and the receiver is kneeling

Hombu Dojo – “headquarters dojo”, the Aikido World Headquarters, located in Tokyo.

Hombu dojo style – the style of aikido practiced at Hombu Dojo. Grass Valley Aikikai practices Hombu dojo style.

Ichi – one

Ikkyo – first pinning technique

Ikkyu – the rank just before black belt

Irimi - entering

Iriminage – entering throw

Jo – staff. Sometimes spelled jyo.

Jodan – upper level, face level

Ju - ten

Jujinage – a throw in which two partner’s arms make a cross. “Juji” means “cross”, as in the Roman numeral for ten (X).

Kaiten – sliding the foot forward, then pivoting 180 degrees

Kaitennage – rotary throw

Kamiza – a small shrine

Katadori – shoulder grab

Katatedori – hand grab

Kenshusei – student in an instructor training program

Ki – energy, life force

Ki no nagare – flowing movement

Kohai – junior student

Kokyu – breath

Kokyudosa – a traditional exercise often performed at the end of class (Suwariwaza ryotedori kokyuho)

Kokyuho – breath exercise

Kokyunage – breath throw

Kotegaeshi – wrist turning throw

Koshinage – hip throw

Ku - nine

Kyu – white belt rank. Kyu ranks go in inverse order from fifth to first for adults and tenth to first for children. Black belt ranks start at first degree and go up.

Kyudansha – a person who wears a white belt, or a group of people with white belt rank

Mai ai – proper distance with respect to one’s partner

Masakatsu agatsu – true victory is self-victory

Morotedori – two hands grabbing one hand

Nage – the person who is attacked. As a word ending it means throw, e.g. “kokyunage” translates as “breath throw”.

Ni - two

Nidan – second degree black belt

Nikyo – second pinning technique

Nikyu – the second rank before black belt

Omote – front, or positive. Most aikido techniques have two versions, omote and ura. The omote version brings the action to front of the partner’s body. The ura version takes the action behind the partner. 

Onegai shimasu – Let’s begin. This is a traditional phrase said to one’s partner when initiating practice. It can be translated several ways, and is sometimes used to answer the phone or when entering a store.

O-Sensei – the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba

Randori – a multiple attack exercise

Roku - six

Rokyo – sixth pinning technique

Rokudan – sixth degree black belt

Ryokatadori – double shoulder grab

Ryotedori – two hands grabbing two hands

San - three

Sandan – third degree black belt

Sankyo – third pinning technique

Sankyu – third kyu rank

Seiza – formal sitting position, sitting on one’s knees

Sempai – senior student

Sensei - teacher

Shi – four. Also refers to death, so in many cases the word “yon” is substituted.

Shichi - seven

Shidoin – the second (or middle) of the three teaching ranks used in the United States Aikido Federation, Western Region

Shihan – master. The third (or highest) of the three teaching ranks used in the United States Aikido Federation, Western Region.

Shihonage – four direction throw

Shikko – knee walking

Shodan – first degree black belt

Shomen – forehead, top of the head. Altar at the front of a dojo.

Shomenuchi – overhead strike to the head

Soto - outside

Suwariwaza – techniques executed with both partners on their knees

Sumiotoshi – corner drop, a throw which pulls the attacker diagonally backward

Tachiwaza – standing techniques

Taijutsu – “body arts”, empty handed techniques

Tai no henko – a basic blending exercise involving turning 180 degrees, “body changing”

Tanto - knife

Tenchinage – heaven and earth throw

Tenkan – turning the body 180 degrees and stepping back

Tenshin – a movement where the nage retreats 45 degrees away from the attack

Tsuki – a punch or thrust

Uchi – inside, home. As a word ending it means strike, e.g. “shomenuchi” translates as “strike to the head”.

Uchideshi – “home student”, a student who lives in the dojo

Udegarami – tangled arm throw

Ueshiba Kisshomaru – the second Doshu, the son of the founder of Aikido, now deceased

Ueshiba Morihei – the founder of Aikido

Ueshiba Moriteru – the grandson of the founder of Aikido, the third Doshu

Uke – the person who initiates the attack and receives the technique

Ukemi – the art of falling, receiving the technique

Ura – behind, or negative. Most aikido techniques have two versions, omote and ura. The omote version brings the action to front of the partner’s body. The ura version takes the action behind the partner.

Ushiro – back, behind

Ushiro eridori – grabbing the collar from behind

Ushiro kubishimi – grabbing one hand from behind, and choking with the other hand

Ushiro ryokatadori – grabbing both shoulders from behind

Ushiro ryotedori – grabbing both hands from behind

Yon - four

Yondan – fourth degree black belt

Yonkyo – fourth pinning technique

Yonkyu - second rank achieved by a beginner (forth below black belt)

Yokomen – side of the head

Yokomenuchi – strike to the side of the head

Yudansha – person with black belt rank, or a group of people with black belt rank

Zanshin – maintaining a martial awareness and connection after throwing

Zazen – sitting meditation 

Zen – a type of Buddhism

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